Have you ever heard of lab grown diamonds? Are you wondering if they are a good option for your diamond engagement ring? Many of us have questions and uncertainty about lab grown diamonds. Therefore we are here to make things clear! It’s never been easier to find out for yourself.
Do you think lab created diamonds are like any other diamond simulant? If so, you are wrong!
What Are Lab Grown Diamonds?
Lab created diamonds are grown in a scientific laboratory environment, using modern technology. Imitating and replicating the same extreme conditions, which diamonds naturally originate when they form, deep beneath our Earth’s surface. These grown diamonds compose carbon atoms, arranged in the same crystal structure as natural diamonds. Formed in the same material as natural diamonds, they display and own the identical optical and chemical properties.
Lab Grown VS. Natural diamond
First of all, lab grown diamonds have the exact same optical, chemical and physical properties as mined natural diamonds. They display the same fire, scintillation and sparkle effect. They do not require mining, making them an attractive option for those who prefer an eco-friendly gem and both have the same mineral hardness (10 Mohs scale).
Lab-grown diamonds are 100% diamonds.
There are many alternatives for a natural diamond and each option has different properties, pro’s and con’s contributing to the stones price, appearance and hardness.
Lab created diamonds are actual real diamonds. However, diamond alternatives like; moissanite and cubic zirconia, are composed from other materials and manufactured in different methods.
Many people ask me; “Can you tell the difference between a laboratory diamond and a natural mined diamond?” Without using a jewelers x10 magnifying loupe – No. It would be impossible to know by the naked eye. Only a professional/gemologist with professional equipment would be able to check and know the difference.
What is a Natural Diamond?
Natural diamonds have grown deep under the earth’s crust, for over the course of millions of years. They’re formed many miles below the earth’s surface, in high-temperature and high-pressure extreme conditions. Volcanic eruptions push these diamonds above the ground.
How Do Lab Diamonds grow?
Laboratory grown diamonds are first created from the extremely tiny carbon seeds of already existing diamonds. Using modern technology and machinery by applying extreme heat and pressure copying the process that occurs naturally. In addition, colored lab diamonds are grown by adding traces of elements during the growth process.
There are two main techniques used by laboratories:
CVD – Chemical Vapor Deposition
CVD is a method to create diamonds, semiconductors and optics. This technique uses a highly controlled chamber (plasma reactor) applying pure carbon rich gasses. These gasses are heated to a point they break apart – causing carbon atoms to separate. Finally, carbon atoms grow layer by layer onto a very small diamond ‘seed’. The average growth period takes approximately five to ten weeks to complete.
HPHT – High Pressure High Temperature
HPHT, uses advanced technology to imitate earth’s natural growing environment. These chambers (large mechanical press) can generate pressure of approximately 60,000 atmospheres and temperature of roughly 2,500 degrees Celsius.
A tiny diamond seed particle, refined graphite and a catalyst mixture are heated to a very high temperature of around 1,300 degrees Celsius, with more than 50,000 atmospheres of pressure. The solid catalysts material inside the machine is the first to respond to the heat and pressure, becoming molten. This causes the graphite within the cell to dissolve. Once all the required conditions are met, the cooling process begins. This part takes over several days and allows the carbon atoms to slowly grow upon the seed. After the growth is complete, the rough diamond is prepared for final cutting and polishing.
Can I Tell The Difference?
Lab grown diamonds can be differentiated by using professional equipment used to detect the minor differences in crystal growth structure and the added trace elements in colored stones.
Did you know? The prices for lab diamonds are more reasonable compared to the natural equivalent. Usually approximately 30%-40% less!
Are These Diamonds Flawless?
Just like natural diamonds, lab grown diamonds will vary in clarity, color and cut. Every diamond is different and unique. Commonly every lab diamond contains some degree of internal or surface inclusions.
Gemological experts examine and grade lab diamonds in the same way natural diamonds are inspected. Using the same diamond industry standards; based on the 4c’s; Carat, Clarity, Color and Cut.
In conclusion, compared to natural diamonds, lab created diamonds have a significantly smaller environmental carbon footprint impact. Jewelry crafted with lab grown diamonds, is a responsible choice you won’t regret!
Finally, the only thing that is left is to choose a complimenting setting for your diamond. Discover our exclusive collection of unique bridal rings designed by Ben Proctor, with our signature design themes: inspired by nature, floral motives, flowers, wood texture, leaves and more. All of our jewelry is crafted to perfection, in the highest standards, made with love in solid 14k, 18k gold and platinum.
All of our jewelry can be crafted with lab grown diamonds. If there’s a ring you like, contact us now and we will offer you a competitive quote.