LAB GROWN DIAMONDS
- CVD diamond growth occurs within vacuum plasma reactors. Thin diamond plates are placed in a growth cell, and then hydrocarbon gas is injected on top of the diamond plates. High power microwaves break the bonds of the hydrocarbon gas, separating the carbon atoms from the hydrogen atoms.
- The resulting free carbon within the reactor ‘precipitates’ onto the diamond plates, similar to the way that snowflakes collects on a table, vertically growing the diamond atom by atom.
- The resulting CVD diamonds are then subjected to extreme pressure to ‘compress’ the CVD diamond, like a footprint compresses snow. This additional step improves the quality of the diamond crystal, giving the diamond better color and light performance.
- HPHT diamond growth occurs within massive pressure cookers. Small diamond seeds are placed into a growth cell, and then graphite is inserted on top of the diamond seeds. The pressure cooker is heated to 1500 degrees C and pressurized to approximately 70,000 times the pressure at sea level.
- At this extreme temperature and pressure, the graphite in the growth cell is melted into liquid carbon and then carefully cooled into the strongest form of carbon, a diamond crystal.
Why are lab diamonds less expensive if they aren’t fake?
Lab grown diamonds are cheaper than mined diamonds because of the heavy cost of mining. Lab grown diamonds can be 20-50% cheaper than mined diamonds pending the offering of the 4C’s (color, clarity, cut, carat). Lab grown diamonds are a cost effective substitute to mined diamonds.
Is it easy to distinguish lab diamonds vs. mined diamonds?
Lab grown and mined diamonds are truly the same. This means that it is actually very difficult to distinguish them apart. From the naked eye it is impossible to tell a difference and takes special gemological diamond machinery to tell them apart. The main point is that you can wear your diamond with the same smile, as it is a diamond.
Is a cubic zirconia (CZ) the same thing as a lab grown diamond?
No. Diamonds are made entirely from carbon, whereas cubic zirconia contains zero carbon! CZs are much weaker than diamonds and have different light performance meaning CZs do not look the same as a diamond mined or from a lab.
How do you grow a lab diamond?
We recreate the conditions underneath the Earth in an incubator that result in diamond growth: pressure, heat, & carbon.
Today, there are two methods of growing diamond gemstones: High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) & Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Each process is best suited for certain sizes & colors of diamonds.
Are all lab diamonds flawless and perfect?
No. Because diamonds are grown by recreating the conditions of nature, lab grown diamonds have the same variations of color and clarity that exist in natural diamonds (the 4 C’s). While the average laboratory-grown diamond is better quality than the average mined diamond, lab diamonds still range across the color and clarity spectrum, just like mined diamonds.
Are lab diamonds graded by third party organizations like IGI & GIA?
Yes, lab grown diamonds are graded and certified by the same reputable gemological laboratories of mined diamonds such as SGL, IGI, GCAL, EGL, or GIA and graded the same as they would of a mined diamond.
Can I get my lab diamond appraised and insured?
Yes. Laboratory grown diamonds are easily appraised and insured, just like mined diamonds. Full appraisals are given on your lab grown jewelry in case of a lost or damage items.
Do lab diamonds change color over time?
No. Laboratory grown diamonds do not fade, discolor so your sparkle can live on forever.
Are lab diamonds eco-friendly and sustainable?
Yes, it is sustainable to grow diamonds with abundantly available carbon and renewable energy. Growing diamonds is definitely energy intensive; however, the impact on the earth to grow diamonds is a fraction of the impact of diamond mining.
MINED OR LAB GROWN
It all comes down to what is important to you. You may choose a mined diamond because you feel they hold a certain significance and are one of nature’s miracles with a mysterious origin.
Or, you may be attracted to a lab-created diamond because you feel they signify a new way of thinking as lab grown diamonds do not disrupt the earth and is lighter on your wallet, without losing the romance or integrity of the meaning behind a diamond.
While some may want to debate which type of diamond is “better,” in reality, mined diamonds and lab-created diamonds aren’t in competition with one another. A diamond is a diamond regardless of its origin. Both types carry the true value behind what a diamond represents.