Lab grown diamonds
What is a lab grown (synthetic) diamond?🔬
Lab-created diamonds, also known as synthetic diamonds, are created in much the same way as natural diamonds, except that the process is accelerated and takes place in a lab (or factory) rather than in nature. Today, these stones are mass-produced, which helps to lower their price. For this same reason, some argue that they do not have the same emotional value or the same long-term value as natural stones.
This substitution of man for nature represents a major innovation in jewelry, since it eliminates all the work of extracting diamonds from their natural environment. These lab-grown diamonds are also known as cultured diamonds, synthetic diamonds or synthetic diamonds.
Benefits of loose lab diamonds
- Eco Friendly
lab-grown diamonds do not harm for earth
- Ethically Sourced
lab-grown diamonds do not result in injury for workers
- Competitively Priced
The value of a synthetic diamond varies and is approximately 30% -50% less expensive than that of a natural diamond
- New Technology
"Synthetic diamond technology is evolving rapidly, and with more synthetic diamonds available in the market, the gemstone and jewelry business must be prepared with tools and techniques that will help them distinguish a natural diamond from a synthetic diamond.
Laboratories such as GIA, HRD or IGI make every effort to differentiate them."
- Quality and beauty
Lab-created diamonds exude the same beauty and quality as the Naturals variety - in fact, they are visually and chemically identical.
How to make a synthetic diamond?
Production of larger crystals suitable for jewelry use began in the mid-1990s and continues to this day.
There are two main methods for the production of laboratory grown diamonds, HPHT (high pressure, high temperature) and CVD (chemical vapor deposition). Synthetic HPHT stones are made by subjecting carbon in the form of graphite to extreme heat and pressure using a mechanical press and electric current; CVD diamonds are "grown" at much lower pressures by forming layers on a base surface from a surrounding carbon plasma cloud.
In both methods, a crystal or a diamond plate is used as the seed to initiate growth.
The HPHT method
The growth of HPHT diamond takes place in a small capsule in a device capable of generating very high pressures. In the capsule, the powdered diamond starting material dissolves in the stream of molten metal and then crystallizes on the seed to form the synthetic diamond crystal. Crystallization occurs over a period of several weeks to a month or more to create one or more crystals.
HPHT synthetic diamond crystals generally exhibit cubic faces in addition to octahedral ones. Since the shapes of natural synthetic diamond crystals and HPHT are different, their internal growth patterns also differ greatly. These growth patterns may be one of the most reliable ways to separate them.
Most of the crystals produced by HPHT are yellow, orange-yellow, or brownish-yellow. Almost all of them are Type Ib, which is rare in a natural diamond.
The CVD method
Diamond growth by CVD takes place inside a vacuum chamber filled with a carbon-containing gas, such as methane. An energy source, like a microwave beam, breaks down gas molecules, and the carbon atoms are pulled down by flat diamond seed plates. Crystallization occurs over a period of several weeks to create several crystals at the same time. The exact number depends on the size of the chamber and the number of seed plates.
Most CVD crystals are brownish or grayish, but if a small amount of nitrogen or boron is introduced into the chamber, yellow, pink-orange, or blue crystals can be created. Colorless crystals are easier to produce with this method, but they take longer to grow.
Synthetic CVD diamonds have different gemological properties than the HPHT material. They tend to exhibit uniform coloring and banded "strain" patterns when viewed between crossed polarizing filters, and they are of high clarity with little or no tiny carbon inclusions.
How a lab grown diamond certified in Australia?
The GIA Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report includes full 4Cs assessment with a plotted clarity diagram. Color and clarity specification are described on the same scale as the GIA Diamond Grading Report for natural diamonds, but do not correlate to nature’s continuum of rarity. The laboratory-grown diamond’s girdle is laser inscribed with the term "Laboratory-Grown" and its GIA report number. Digital report only.
lab certifies these diamonds in broader terms, for example designating stones in the D-E-F range as “colorless” and those in the G-H-I range as “near-colorless”.
In terms of clarity, the laboratory only uses the VVS, VS, SI or I classifications for synthetic diamonds.
The certification is the same as for natural diamonds
The certification is the same as for natural diamonds
Lab grown diamonds vs. mined 💎
Different emotional values
Natural diamonds were created billions of years ago under tremendous pressure about 150km below the Earth's surface. Eternal, they are a true miracle of nature, symbols of beauty and lasting love for centuries. For the most important moments in love life (engagement, marriage, birth, etc.), diamonds have always been the ideal gift to carry the message of a rare and unique story.
Synthetic diamonds, on the other hand, are the opposite of the miracle of nature: produced artificially, they are certainly fashionable today, but without the same history, the same heritage or the same emotional value as natural stones. This is why the synthetic diamond is seen primarily as a fashion jewel rather than a genuine symbol of true lasting love.
Different financial values
Due to their rarity, natural diamonds have significant financial value. There may not be any other resource on earth that retains its value for so long. And this value is rising steadily: the scarcity and demand for natural diamonds are increasing year after year, protecting their financial value in the long run. Conversely, lab-grown diamonds cost only a few hundred dollars per carat to manufacture and have a financial value that can only decrease - as is the case with any industrial product that can be created in unlimited quantities. The price of natural diamonds should therefore continue to increase in the coming years, while the price of laboratory diamonds will inevitably decline with the economies of scale linked to the increase in production.
Actually different stones
Although diamonds created naturally by the earth and man-made synthetics may appear identical to the naked eye, there are important differences that are easily detected with detection equipment. On the one hand, natural inclusions have formed in the depths of the earth: they often contain perfectly preserved elements, billions of years old and of great scientific value.
On the other hand, the process of rapid artificial growth of synthetic diamonds leaves traces and flaws inside the stone. They often need to be treated for color in order to correct distortions created during the industrial production process. For more information on this point, we recommend that you also read our article: Synthetic diamond.
Different environmental impacts
Companies making lab-grown diamonds have claimed their stones are environmentally friendly. However, the negative impact of synthetic diamonds on the environment is very significant. Unlike natural diamonds, which have been created under natural heat and pressure over billions of years, manufacturing synthetic diamonds requires the use of enormous amounts of energy over just a few weeks.
The chemical reactors used to make stones over half a carat burn at a scorching temperature of 14,000 degrees Fahrenheit (7,760 degrees Celsius), which is extremely energy-consuming. By comparison, the sun's surface is only 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5538 degrees Celsius).
|Natural diamond||Lab grown diamonds|
|Creation process||Millions of years||Around 12 weeks|
|Very long process under extreme pressure and temperatures||Very short process under extreme pressure and temperatures|
|Growth process||Complex growth||Complete growth (faster)|
- A natural diamond is millions of years old
- These are found in nature
- Some diamonds contain natural inclusions
- Natural diamonds are rarer and, hence, more valuable
Why lab growth
- Natural diamonds are disappearing quickly, mines will close down, and stones run out eventually
- Lab Grown Diamonds are a responsible choice that helps protect the environment (in comparison with natural diamond)
- It is produced faster than natural diamond
- Many Lab Grown Diamonds are better value for money, offering higher quality for lower prices
- Lab Grown Diamond does not contain nitrogen, this makes the stone perfectly white. (You will not be able to discern a yellow glow, etc.)
- Lab Grown Diamond is more affordable