Most of you must have heard about Lab grown diamond jewellery. While some of you are aware of it, many of us do not have detailed information about such diamonds.
What is a Lab-grown diamond?
So what are Lab grown diamonds? Lab-grown diamonds can be best described as test-tube babies that grow from a single Diamond. They are exposed to the same level of pressure and heat as the natural diamonds that occur in the crust of the Earth. These diamonds are ecological as they are not procured via mining the earth. These diamonds have been free of the stigma of “Blood Diamonds” and hence there is growth in acceptance and popularity of these diamonds. These diamonds are uniform in size, and also affordable than the naturally available diamonds.
So how are lab-grown diamonds made?
To make high-quality diamonds, it took the effort of sixty years. The process used for the making of diamonds is similar to that of natural diamonds. As a result of this, one can get different colours and clarity in the lab-grown diamonds too. One must keep in mind that despite being developed in the labs, the diamonds are not flawless or colourless.
There are two techniques that one can use for developing lab-grown diamonds. They are as follows:
High pressure-High temperature or HPHT
The High pressure-High temperature diamonds develop in gigantic pressure cookers. The tiny seeds of diamonds are placed inside a growth cell. Graphite is then placed on top of these diamond seeds. Next, the pressure cooker is being heated to 1500 degrees centigrade and pressurized at 70000 times the sea level pressure. The graphite in the growth cell melts into liquid carbon when exposed to this extremely high temperature and pressure. It is next cooled down and it becomes a strong version of carbon- the lab-grown diamond.
Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)
This kind of lab-grown diamond growth happens in vacuum plasma reactors. Very thin plates of diamond are placed in the growth cell. Hydrocarbon gas is pushed on the top of these plates. The high power helps to break the bonds of this gas and separates the carbon and the hydrogen atoms from one another. The free carbons that come out of this process in the reactor precipitates on the plates of diamonds. This is similar to snowflakes accumulating on the table. The diamonds developed in this process are then put to high pressure for compression. This extra step enhances the quality of the diamonds and gives them a good color and clarity.
There are different versions of CVD used now for making lab-grown diamonds. The processes vary based on the chemical reactions used in it.
Is this a real diamond?
This is one question raised by most buyers of diamond jewellery. They raise the question as to whether jewellery made from lab-grown diamonds can be described as ethical diamond jewellery. Since they are real diamonds they can be called ethical diamond jewellery. Renowned gem laboratories have confirmed that they are real diamonds. Test tube babies are developed initially in the laboratories. But they are also real. Similarly, the lab-grown diamonds are also real diamonds.
The only difference with natural diamonds is that they are grown in laboratories while the natural ones are mined from the Earth.
Can you resale or buy back lab-grown diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds are getting more acceptance all over the world over time. Many renowned jewellery companies now deal with lab grown diamonds and they develop Custom made jewellery with these diamonds too. Consumers can now sell the lab grown diamond jewellery to any other jewellery company in the world.
What colors are they available in? How is the clarity of lab grown diamonds?
The lab grown diamonds are available in multiple colors for consumers. The clarity is at par with the natural diamonds.
Can the jeweler detect a lab-grown diamond?
No, even a trained and professional jeweler will not be able to detect a lab-grown diamond. It is because the lab-grown diamonds are at par with the naturally mined diamonds in their quality and clarity.
Can the lab-grown diamonds fade over time?
No, the lab grown diamonds do not become faded over time.
Differences between lab-grown diamonds and naturally mined diamonds
Place of origin
The lab-grown diamonds are made and then cut in a controlled environment.
The origin of the naturally mined diamonds cannot be traced so well. It passes through different hands before it reaches you. This is the reason why these diamonds have their origin mentioned as assumed origin in the certificates.
Impact on the environment
Since the lab grown diamonds are grown in a controlled environment, they do not harm the environment.
In the case of naturally mined diamonds, they are mined from the Earth. Hectares of soil are being disturbed, excess emissions of carbon and greenhouse gas harming the quality of the air are the side effects of naturally mined diamonds.
Free from conflict
The lab-grown diamonds are made without negatively harming any community.
In the case of naturally mined diamonds, they cannot be guaranteed as free from conflicts. Wherever they are mined from, either the interests of the community or the environment have been harmed.
The lab grown diamonds are pocket-friendly, and a large section of the customer base can afford them.
Quality of the diamonds
The lab grown diamonds are of high quality. They are type IIa and hence are regarded as the purest diamonds.
In the case of natural diamonds, they are considered type Ia. They are common and contain impurities.
Though people often have doubts about the quality of lab-grown diamonds, they are equally hard as the naturally mined ones.
Modern Jewellery design uses lab grown diamonds as they are consistent in their shapes and have great clarity and are also available in multiple colors.
Lab-grown diamonds are here to stay. They are environment friendly as well as pocket friendly for most consumers. With more jewelry companies using such diamonds in their designs, the growth in popularity of these diamonds will be unprecedented.