What are lab grown diamonds? Lab grown diamonds, or cultured diamonds, are diamonds that have been manufactured in a lab instead of formed under natural processes over thousands of years. They’re not cut and polished like traditional diamonds and they don’t have the same characteristics as natural diamonds. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth your time or money. With all their pros and cons, it can be hard to figure out how to think about lab grown diamonds if you haven’t used them before.
Over recent years there has been a lot of buzz regarding lab grown diamonds, also known as CVD (chemical vapour deposition) diamonds. Why all of a sudden are they so popular? It’s a combination of factors that make them so appealing, including their gorgeous look and affordable price. Here is our guide to help you learn more about lab grown diamonds and why people are buying them in droves! Let’s get started. What Are Lab Grown Diamonds? Just like natural diamonds, lab grown diamonds start as carbon atoms in an underground location such as a mine or kimberlite pipe. But instead of being found naturally, these carbon atoms are grown into perfect diamond crystals by humans through high-temperature plasma chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The process can take anywhere from several weeks to several months depending on how big or small you want your diamond to be. Because it takes time for humans to grow these carbon atoms into perfect crystals—as opposed to Mother Nature just doing it over millions of years—these diamonds have become very popular due to their affordability. They can cost up to 70% less than mined stones while still looking exactly like them!
How Are Lab Diamonds Made?
There are two methods of making diamonds in a lab: chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and high pressure, high temperature (HPHT). CVD was discovered by Hitachi in 1974 and is currently used to produce most lab grown diamonds. In CVD, carbon atoms are added to a substrate, usually hydrogen or methane gas. The diamond crystal is grown from repeated stacking of these layers until it reaches its desired size. Each layer must be as flat as possible for proper growth, so some early synthetic diamonds didn’t have ideal facets—but modern technology has made great strides there. In HPHT, also called hydrothermally, diamond powder is placed into a metal mould and subjected to high pressures and temperatures for weeks at a time.
What Are The Main Differences Between Lab And Mined Diamonds?
While lab diamonds (created by a process called chemical vapor deposition) are man-made, they’re created through a different method than traditionally mined diamonds. The main difference between the two is how they grow. Mining is similar to how one might plant seeds and harvest produce. Diamond miners dig into Earth’s surface and collect materials found underground to create synthetic diamonds. With lab-grown or CVD diamonds producers use carbon dioxide and heat to synthesize or grow them. Because these processes involve high temperatures, they’re also often referred to as hot rocks.
Myths About Lab Diamonds That Are Wrong
This is a good time to clear up some common misconceptions about lab grown diamonds. A lot of people are under the impression that lab diamonds are inferior to natural ones. That’s just not true. The growth process yields a stone that is chemically, physically and optically identical to its mined equivalent—but it’s usually more affordable because supply isn’t limited by nature’s caprices. Some think that lab diamonds lack authenticity and can be spotted easily if you know what you’re looking for, but unless you have specific experience with real and faux gems, it will probably be hard for anyone else to tell whether or not your diamond is natural—even if they know where it came from!
Where Can I Get A Nice Lab Gemstone?
When it comes to gemstones, a diamond is far and away one of the most popular choices for jewelry. For starters, a diamond is synonymous with class and wealth; how many times have you heard someone jokingly refer to a woman’s expensive engagement ring as cubic zirconia? And that association goes back centuries: once King Louis XIV started wearing real diamonds in place of wax fake ones, everyone wanted some. But what if you want to add some bling to your look without selling your firstborn? Real natural diamonds aren’t cheap. Instead of heading straight for Tiffany’s or seeking out an even more expensive online retailer, consider lab grown diamonds instead.
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How we buy and sell diamonds has changed dramatically over time. It was only a century ago that De Beers began formalizing its oligopoly on diamond markets, creating a cartel-like system in which rough diamonds were bought and sold at marked-up prices. And though De Beers is no longer as dominant as it once was, remnants of its monopoly linger in international diamond markets—just look at how traders like Harry Winston continue to try to restrict supply to boost per carat pricing. In recent years, technological advances have also reshaped how we view diamonds.