The Future of lab-grown diamond
And Why are lab-created diamonds called eco-friendly diamonds?
The phenomena and the future of lab-grown diamonds have been doing the rounds across the world for a decade now. Many had adopted it as an alternative to mined diamonds but some are still skeptical about it. Several reasons make it the right choice for the future. This blog will be discussing these lab stones in detail to help you understand them better. We’ll start with history and move on to the future.
Ever since the discovery that diamond is a pure form of carbon in 1797, scientists have been theorizing ways to manufacture them. The first attempts to produce diamonds were documented in 1879 and 1893 by James Ballantyne and Ferdinand Frédéric Henri Moissan respectively. While the effort by James failed, Moissan created a new material by mistake for which he was awarded a Nobel prize.
It was not until 1941 that General Electric (GE) took up the task of creating diamonds and started succeeding. The team introduced a verified and repeatable process to grow diamonds in 1954 and they soon became a dominant player in industrial diamond development for several years. The first diamonds were approximately 0.15 mm but in 1971, they managed to produce gem-quality diamonds as large as 5mm. GE sold its super abrasives unit in 2003 and soon lab diamonds were everywhere.
Lab-grown diamonds are stones that have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as natural diamonds, with the only difference being their point of origin. The authority that certifies lab diamonds uses the same criteria as those who certify mined diamonds. The only difference that lab diamonds display is a different trace element, which can only be detected via lab testing. Today, one can easily buy lab-grown diamonds online. Let’s understand how eco-friendly they are and what the future looks like.
How Eco-Friendly Are Lab Grown Diamonds?
The two origins of the lab and mine, both use technology and equipment. While the mined diamond industry has a very drastic impact on the environment, the lab diamond industry causes comparatively low damage. In fact, it is so low that it can be counted as negligible.
Let us pit their effects against each other to receive a better understanding. Here is a list of elements showcasing the difference between lab-grown diamonds and mined diamonds.
A mined diamond consumes around 130 gallons of water per carat whereas lab diamonds, consume just about 20 gallons. Mining also leads to the discharge of more wastewater and pollutants in water bodies causing damage.
Nearly 100 square feet of land is disturbed and more than 6000 pounds of mineral waste is created for every carat of mined diamond whereas lab diamonds disrupt only 0.1 square feet of land per carat and generate 0.8 pounds of mineral waste.
When it comes to energy, both use a lot of it but when compared, mined diamonds use 600 million joules per carat, while grown ones use 275 million joules. The power used for lab diamonds is mostly renewable, thus making them a better option.
Where ever carbon is involved, there is bound to be emission of gases. The mined diamond produces more than 130 pounds of carbon for every single carat, in comparison to engineered diamonds which emit just 8 pounds. The dig diamonds also lead to a 30-pound emission of sulfur oxide.
What Does The Future Of Lab Diamonds Look Like?
The future of lab grown diamond looks bright for engineered diamonds as the demand keeps increasing steadily. The major factor driving the lab-grown diamond market is the fact that millennials are buying. They tend to be, socially conscious, environmentally-minded and looking for affordable alternatives, which is all present in the cultured sparkling stones. The second factor responsible for the improvement in lad diamond production is that we are soon going to run out of organic options. Some of the biggest mines will run dry by 2030.
Lab-created diamonds have applications far beyond just jewelry and abrasives, including medical, scientific, industrial, and computational. These alternatives would be essentially the reason behind the growth of the cultured diamond market in the future. In the coming decades, lab diamond-based devices will remarkably reduce our carbon footprint. Talking about our nation, India’s lab diamond output reached 2 million carats in 2020 and soon we are set to become a major hub for production as well as processing. The development and the future of lab grown diamonds not created by nature is advancing faster than ever before.
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