LAB-GROWN DIAMOND EDUCATION
WHAT ARE LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS?
Lab-grown diamonds, also referred to as man-made, cultured or synthetic diamonds are diamonds grown in controlled laboratory environments using advanced technological processes.
These lab-grown diamonds are formed with the same processes that naturally occur beneath the earth’s crust. These lab-grown diamonds possess actual carbon atoms arranged in the same crystal structure of a natural diamond.
WHY BUY A LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS?
As it usually is with the mining of almost all naturally occurring resources, diamond mining has a significant negative impact on the environment.
While it’s worth noting that in the last few years, diamond mining companies have put steps in place to minimize the negative effect these mining operations have on the ecosystems around them, lab-grown diamonds offer a positive alternative to these mined diamonds.
Lab-created diamonds are less detrimental to our ecosystem, and represent an environmentally friendly substitute to mined diamonds.
The diamond mining industry has come under scrutiny in recent years when unethical production practices were exposed. Blood or conflict diamonds, are diamonds mined by the exploitation of miners and their families mostly in the poorer nations.
The Kimberley Process - established in 2003 – has gone some length in reducing these unethical practices. These blood diamonds, however, are still in circulation.
Beauty & Quality
Lab-grown diamonds have the same optical, chemical and physical properties as naturally mined diamonds. They look the same, are made under the same condition and cannot be differentiated by sight no matter how close the scrutiny.
Synthetic diamonds offer excellent value, and are slightly more affordable than natural diamonds of the same size and quality.
This however, does not mean that lab-grown diamonds are inexpensive. The costs of producing lab-grown and mined diamonds are pretty similar.
The main reason lab-grown diamonds are more affordable is because of the short supply chain it takes to get the diamonds to you.
ARE LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS REAL DIAMONDS?
Yes. Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds, just like mined diamonds. The conditions that create naturally occurring diamonds deep in the earth are recreated in a lab and the same end product is produced.
HOW ARE LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS GROWN?
According to mined diamonds geologists, diamonds formed deep within the Earth between 1 billion to 3 billion years ago. The process begins with carbon dioxide buried roughly 100 miles beneath the Earth’s surface.
The carbon dioxide is exposed to intense heat and put under extreme pressure. The diamonds are formed during these processes and then transported to the earth’s surface from deep within its core by way of deep volcanic explosions.
There are two processes used to make diamonds in the lab and both are similar to the way diamonds are naturally formed.
High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT)
An HPHT diamond begins as a small diamond seed placed into carbon. Using the production process above, the seed is exposed to extreme temperatures and pressure. The pure carbon melts and begins to form a diamond around the starter seed. It then cools to form a pure carbon diamond.
Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)
A CVD diamond begins as a thin slice of diamond seed. The seed is placed in a sealed chamber and heated to about 800 degrees Celsius. The chamber is then filled with a carbon rich-gas, like Methane, and other gases. The gases are ionized into plasma using technology similar to that of lasers. The ionization breaks down the molecular bonds in the gases, and the pure carbon sticks to the diamond seed and slowly crystallizes.
DO LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS LOOK THE SAME AS MINED DIAMONDS?
Yes. Lab-grown diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds and look exactly the same. The only way they can be told apart is by using special laboratory equipment.
LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS VS. NATURAL DIAMONDS
Lab-grown diamonds display exactly the same chemical, optical and physical characteristics as natural diamonds. Both natural and lab-grown diamonds exhibit the same fire, scintillation, and sparkle.
Lab-grown diamonds are impossible to differentiate from natural diamonds even when a jewelry loupe is used for scrutiny. In stores, they always come with a gem certification tagging them as laboratory grown.
The chart below illustrates the similarities between lab-grown and natural diamonds:
|PROPERTIES||LAB GROWN DIAMOND||MINED DIAMOND||DIFFERENCE|
|Chemical Composition||100% Carbon||100% Carbon||No|
|Hardness||90 GPA||90 GPA||No|
|Thermal Expansion||0.80 x
|Transparency||Deep UV to Far TR||Deep UV to Far TR||No|
|Resistivity|||0|6 CHM-CM|||0|6 CHM-CM||No|
|Compressibility||8.3 X |0.3 M2/N||8.3 X |0.3 M2/N||No|
DO LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS COME IN DIFFERENT QUALITIES?
Yes. Just as natural diamonds are born with different colors, inclusions and sizes, lab-grown diamonds also come in all forms with varying qualities.
DO LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS COME WITH A QUALITY CERTIFICATE?
Yes. Just like natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds come with a diamond certificate.
ARE LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS FAKE?
No. Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds.
Just like ice formed in a glacier (natural) has the same chemical properties as the ice in your freezer (synthetic), natural and synthetic diamonds are both diamonds, sharing the exact same optical, physical, and chemical composition.
ARE LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS RIGHT FOR ME?
Whatever type of diamond you decide to buy – lab-grown or natural - we promise you luxury with confidence. What’s important is picking a beautiful piece of jewelry that speaks to your person.