Lab Grown Diamonds – How they are Made
Diamonds are often associated with luxury and love. But like most luxurious items, the cost will put them out of the reach of so many. Thanks to science, however, diamonds can be afforded by more people without affecting their quality or what they stand for as symbols of prestige, love, and elegance. Lab grown diamonds are the new trend both in the fashion world and manufacturing world.
While natural diamonds may have laid the foundation for the love of diamonds, lab grown diamonds are quickly gaining popularity. Like many minerals obtained from the earth, natural diamonds are stained with practices that bring morals and ethics to the test. On the other hand, lab grown diamonds offer the buyers peace of mind knowing that nothing immoral or unethical was done in order for them to get their precious stones.
With the backing of gemologists who have certified that lab grown diamonds are the same as natural ones, jewelers can confidently sell these stones as a substitute for natural ones.
The gemological institutes confirm that lab-grown diamonds, just like natural diamonds, contain carbon, can be grown to be flawless, and are just as hard and durable as the natural ones.
What’s more, these diamonds can be purchased for about half the price of the same weight in natural diamonds.
Making Lab Grown Diamonds
Diamonds can be grown within controlled environments thanks to years of study and research into how diamonds are formed naturally. Scientists create the same environment present when natural diamonds are formed and they go on to accelerate the process. Ultimately, diamonds can be grown using 2 methods. High-Pressure High Temperature, HPHT method and Carbon Vapor Deposition, CVD method. Both these methods require a small piece of diamond which is called a seed. The seed eventually grows into a bigger diamond.
HPHT Method of Diamond Creation
Originally, this was the first method used to grow diamonds. HPHT was used as far back as 1950. It is a method that is credited for making diamonds that have a colorless reflection. It is also used to make colored diamonds with quality pink, yellow, blue, and green hues.
The HPHT process involves introducing high pressure and temperature to a seed diamond within a special machine. This machine can produce pressure as high as 1.5 million PSI and temperature as high as 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. The combination of extreme heat and temperature causes the release of carbon from the seed diamond this will result in a reaction that ends up in diamond forming around the seed. Over a period of days, a larger diamond grows from the seed that melts under temperature and pressure. This is the same process that happens under the earth’s crust, only that it takes much longer for the diamonds to form.
Machine Used in HPHT Process
Naturally, the machines used for this process need to possess the ability to withstand high temperatures and create high pressure. These machines can also grow several diamonds in a single cycle. The main components of this machine are two anvils that create pressure when they are pressed together. There are 2 types of machines that can be used.
- One is a belt press, which is more often used for industrial diamonds.
- The second is the bar press, which is the most trusted and used machine when making diamonds for the jewelry industry.
CVD Process of Growing Diamonds
This method was started in the early 80s. Unlike the HPHT method, there is less use of pressure and more use of gas. As the name suggests, there is the use of carbon vapor. Remember, this is the main composition of diamonds.
When growing diamonds using the CVD method, the seed is put into the CVD machine. The area containing the seed is then heated as high as 1500 degrees. Carbon gas is also introduced into the chamber. This sparks a process in which carbon changes into plasma and the plasma will react to the heat and become particles of carbon that attach to the seed diamond and make it grow into a bigger diamond.
HPHT vs CVD
These two methods of growing diamonds are effectively used by different manufacturers and the results are great. This doesn’t mean that they do not have advantages and disadvantages. However, for a buyer, the process used should not be of major concern since the end result is what matters.
Lab-grown diamonds, regardless of how they were grown, are subjected to the same stringent quality control as natural diamonds. The 4Cs is a commonly used method of grading diamonds. This refers to Color, Carat, Cut, and Clarity. It has been noted that HPHT diamonds will look clearer than CVD, but the manufacturers have a way of making diamonds look clearer.
In the end, what matters is the fact that lab grown diamonds are more affordable than natural diamonds. These gems will add spark to a marriage proposal, elegance to an outfit, or even support more efficient machines. The good news for environmentalists is that the process of growing diamonds does not affect the environment. As for the stories about blood diamonds, those do not exist when talking about diamonds made by men.