Lab Created Diamonds
Diamonds are a highly sought-after gemstone that has been valued for centuries for their unique beauty and hardness. However, the traditional method of obtaining diamonds through mining has environmental and ethical concerns. Although I offer both natural (mined), ethically sourced diamonds, laboratory created diamonds offer a more sustainable and responsible option for those looking to own a diamond. The introduction of this option to the market has increased the options available to the consumer at a much lower price point, which has naturally bolstered their popularity in today's economy.
The process of creating laboratory created diamonds is relatively new, having been developed in the 1950s. These diamonds are also known as synthetic diamonds, but this term can be misleading as they are chemically and physically identical to natural diamonds.
The process of creating laboratory created diamonds involves replicating the conditions found in the Earth's mantle, where natural diamonds are formed. This is done using one of two methods: High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) or Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).
In the HPHT method, a small diamond seed is placed in a diamond press and exposed to high pressure and high temperature. This causes the diamond seed to dissolve and grow into a larger diamond. The process can take several weeks or even months, depending on the size of the diamond being created.
In the CVD method, a small diamond seed is placed in a vacuum chamber and heated to a high temperature. A mixture of gases, including methane and hydrogen, is introduced into the chamber. The gases break down and carbon atoms are deposited onto the diamond seed, causing it to grow into a larger diamond. This process is quicker than the HPHT method, with diamonds being created in just a few days.
Both methods result in a diamond that is chemically and physically identical to a natural diamond. However, laboratory created diamonds can be created in a range of colors, including yellow, pink, blue, and even red. This is achieved by introducing specific trace elements during the creation process.
Laboratory created diamonds are much less expensive than natural diamonds, but this does not mean they are of lower quality. In fact, they are often of a higher quality than natural diamonds as they can be created without the inclusions and blemishes that can occur during the natural diamond formation process.
In conclusion, laboratory created diamonds offer a sustainable and responsible option for those looking to own a diamond. The process of creating these diamonds involves replicating the conditions found in the Earth's mantle using either the HPHT or CVD method. The resulting diamond is chemically and physically identical to a natural diamond, and they've grown massively in popularity due to their lower cost.
To read more about lab diamonds, my main supplier has an interesting blog post which can be found here.