Generally speaking, lab-grown diamonds are synthetic diamonds that are created through a controlled technological process. These diamonds are composed of pure carbon crystallized in an isotropic 3D form, which has the same physical and chemical properties as naturally formed diamonds.
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Using high pressure, high temperature techniques, lab-grown diamonds are produced in a controlled environment. These diamonds are virtually identical in appearance and chemical composition to natural diamonds. They are known as synthetic diamonds and are often referred to as man-made diamonds.
There are three different methods for producing lab-grown diamonds. The most common is Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). CVD diamonds are created by feeding hydrogen and methane gas into a heated chamber.
The chemical process causes layers of carbon to form on the seed crystal. After the growth cycle is completed, the diamond is cleaned and repolished.
CVD diamonds can also display phosphorescence. Phosphorescence is a cool phenomenon, which causes diamonds to glow when they are exposed to ultraviolet light. It is listed on IGI reports but is not listed on GIA grading reports.
Often referred to as “man-made” diamonds, laboratory-grown diamonds are grown in a laboratory and have the same physical and chemical properties as mined diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are also cheaper than mined diamonds. Typically, they are priced 20-30 percent less.
Lab-grown diamonds can be created using a High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT) or Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) system. During the growing process, the diamond seed crystal is exposed to a series of processes over a period of two months. The elements within the growth cell melt and reform, forming a rough diamond crystal. Then, the rough diamond can be extracted for cutting and polishing.
During the growing process, the pressure of a HPHT system can reach 50,000 atmospheres. The temperature can be 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. This system mimics the natural conditions found in the Earth’s crust.
Enhanced diamonds are mined diamonds that have undergone treatment to minimize the visibility of natural imperfections. They are also much cheaper than their natural cousins. However, they are no longer a uniform material.
lab grown diamonds, on the other hand, are created in a laboratory environment. They have the same chemical and physical properties as natural diamonds, which makes them very similar in appearance.
There are two main processes used to make lab grown diamonds. One process involves breaking down molecules of carbon rich gas to produce square-shaped tabular diamond crystals. The other uses a high pressure and high temperature process.
These diamonds are very similar to natural diamonds in both appearance and optical luster. The only difference is that they do not have the necessary electrical conductivity.
Cost of production
Depending on the producer, the cost of lab grown diamonds can vary greatly. However, one thing is certain, it is considerably cheaper than mined diamonds. And despite these differences, there is an increasing trend towards lab grown diamonds as a substitute for natural diamonds. The cost of lab grown diamonds has declined dramatically over the last decade, and is expected to continue falling.
The cost of producing lab diamonds in a lab has dwindled to around $300 per carat from $4,000 per carat in the past decade, according to a report released by Bain and Co. This is a threefold drop from 2008 and is expected to continue falling, according to the report. The report was produced in collaboration with the Antwerp World Diamond Center.
The market is still relatively small, but the price of lab-grown diamonds has already fallen by half in the last two years. Retailers have also lowered their prices, according to the report.
Buying a lab grown diamond is not just the smartest thing to do. It’s also the ethically better option.
Lab grown diamonds mimic the natural formation of diamonds in the earth, using one of two processes. The Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process places the diamond seed in a high-temperament chamber, which locks the tiny seed into carbon gas. The diamond is then exposed to various gases to create layers. This process is similar to the one used to create cubic zirconia.
The lab grown diamond industry has been growing quickly in the last two years. According to the International Diamond Council, the industry is estimated to be 250% larger by 2018.
Some jewelry consumers are unsure about the difference between lab grown diamonds and real diamonds. In fact, many jewelry buyers mistakenly believe that lab grown diamonds are fake. The truth is that lab grown diamonds are just as real as mined diamonds.