What is a Lab-Grown Diamond?
Lab-grown diamonds, also known as lab-created diamonds, are revolutionizing the diamond industry. Created in a lab, these diamonds mimic the properties of natural diamonds, which take millions of years to form in the earth. They share the same chemical, physical, and visual qualities as mined diamonds, making them visually identical. Their emergence in the market is significantly influencing diamond trends and choices, offering a high-tech and ethically appealing alternative to traditional diamond mining methods. This innovation marks a pivotal shift in how diamonds are perceived and valued in the jewelry market.
Let's dive into the fascinating processes of Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) and High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT), the two main methods used in crafting these stunning gems. Learn how these processes replicate the natural diamond-growing conditions, resulting in beautiful and high-quality diamonds.
Lab diamonds are created artificially in a laboratory instead of naturally occurring and mined from the earth. In the laboratory, there are two processes used to create diamonds; Chemical Vapor Deposition and HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature). Diamonds made by Chemical Vapor Deposition are the same as natural diamonds.
HPHT PROCESS FOR GROWING LAB DIAMONDS
Diamonds require one essential element for growth: Carbon (C). For diamonds grown by the HPHT process, pure carbon powder is pressed into a growth capsule and subsequently placed in a growth chamber. Under extreme heat (1300 - 1600 °C) and pressure a diamond crystal will grow, atom by atom, day after day. Many large stones, up to 10.00 carats rough, can be produced in one run of less than two weeks.
The Chemical Vapor Deposition process begins with a thin diamond wafer being placed inside a vacuum chamber. Next, a mixture of gases containing hydrogen and methane, which provide the source of carbon, are heated at just the right pressure until they vaporize and the carbon settles onto the wafer, layer by layer, like rain, to form a uniform coating of diamond.
The CVD process has developed significantly in the last couple of years, yielding high quality large diamonds. This development has allowed CVD diamonds to dominate the market.
Explore the similarities and differences between lab-grown and natural diamonds. Understand how they compare in terms of appearance, strength, and value, and why lab-grown diamonds are often more budget-friendly.