Back in the 1950s, scientists managed to create the first successfully grown lab diamonds by using techniques that replicated the extreme heat and pressure of the conditions under which natural diamonds are formed. Early lab-grown diamonds were underwhelming, but today, science and technology have made it possible to create synthetic diamonds that are physically, chemically, and optically almost indistinguishable from their natural counterparts. Here are a few more things you may not know about lab-grown diamonds.
Lab-grown diamonds aren’t as different from natural diamonds as you might think
Lab-grown diamonds are created under controlled and replicated conditions, unlike natural diamonds which are mined at great expense. But the difference ends there. In all other aspects (physical and chemical, as well as optical), the two kinds of diamonds are identical. Lab diamonds are also 100% carbon, are categorized in the same manner as natural diamonds are, and are equally hard and brilliant.
Lab-grown diamonds are more Ethical & Responsible
If you want to make sure that you support responsible gem sourcing and that your diamonds are conflict-free, lab-grown diamonds are the best choice. This is one of the most important things to know about lab-grown diamonds
Unfortunately, the nature of the global diamond and gemstone supply chain makes it hard to guarantee that naturally-mined diamonds and precious stones are really “conflict-free.”It’s been estimated that somewhere between 4-15% of naturally-mined diamonds are “conflict diamonds,” also known as “blood diamonds.”
The world’s largest diamond-growing laboratory, which was established in Singapore in 2015, is capable of creating over 300,000 carats of lab-grown diamonds each year with only about half the energy required to mine an equivalent quantity of diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds help minimize the environmental damage that mining can cause, and with the supply of mined diamonds expected to decrease in the coming years, lab-grown diamonds are sustainable resources that can bridge the gap between demand and supply.
While you can do your due diligence and work with a retailer that exclusively sources natural diamonds from conflict-free areas, there is never a guarantee that your diamond will be totally conflict-free – unless you choose lab-grown diamonds from a company like New Dawn Diamonds.
They cost less
On average, lab-grown diamonds cost about 20 to 40 percent less than naturally mined diamonds. AS with natural diamonds, the price depends on a variety of factors, including the size of the lab-grown stone, its color, and its clarity.
They’re created using cutting-edge techniques
There are primarily two methods used to create lab-grown diamonds. The first, known as the HPHT process, involves the use of high pressure and high temperature to create a kind of carbon soup that can be transformed into single diamond crystals. In the second technique, known as CVD – or chemical vapor deposition – process, scientists use a tiny particle of a diamond crystal and develop that seed, one layer after another using microwave rays and methane and hydrogen gases, into a diamond crystal in a chamber.
There are a few different methods that are commonly used to create lab-grown diamonds. HPHT (High Pressure, High Temperature) methods involve extreme pressure and heat, which imitates the natural conditions in which diamonds form in volcanic pipes. These methods include the following:
CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) diamonds are grown in a slightly different way. This method does not use high heat and pressure. Instead, it uses a unique mixture of hydrocarbon gases. A thin “diamond seed” is placed on a sealed chamber, which is heated to a temperature of 800C, and filled with carbon-rich gas.
Imitation white stones are not the same as lab-grown diamonds
It’s a common misunderstanding that imitation white stones such as moissanite and cubic zirconia are the same as lab-grown diamonds, but that’s far from the truth. Unlike a man-made, lab-grown diamond, these inexpensive imitation stones do not possess the same chemical, optical, thermal, and visual properties as a natural, earth-mined diamond. Put simply, they don’t respond the same way to light, so they don’t capture the eye in the same way. Lab-grown diamonds are the only precious stones that match a natural diamond in these aspects, because they are created under the same conditions.
If you’re curious to check out just how much like a natural diamond lab-grown stones are, why not take a look at getting one for yourself, or a loved one? After all, lab-grown diamonds are more affordable, more eco-friendly, and just as brilliant.