Lab-grown diamonds have become the latest trend in the jewelry industry. They are becoming more and more attractive to consumers as they enjoy a much larger and higher 4C Grade diamond for a lower price than a mined diamond. What makes them different from mined ones? How are lab-grown diamonds made? And how do you spot lab-grown diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds are manufactured in a lab by replication of the same natural process of diamond creation. The same extreme heat and pressure conditions inside the Earth's crust are recreated in the lab while making the lab-grown diamonds. They share the same chemical and physical properties as natural diamonds. They are also known as man-made diamonds, CVD diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, synthetic diamonds, artificial diamonds, cultivated diamonds, cultured diamonds...etc.
Lab-created diamonds are made by replicating the processes that result in the creation of natural diamonds. Natural diamonds grow through intense heat and pressure, which transforms carbon atoms into beautiful and captivating gemstones we know as diamonds over millions of years. The extreme heat and pressure are known as HPHT & CVD processes. No matter the method, the result is the same; a lab-grown diamond created in weeks.
HPHT stands for High Pressure and High Temperature.
The production of the HPHT begins with a diamond seed placed in pure carbon. The manufacturing process then puts pressure on this seed to withstand extreme pressures as high as 1800 times atmospheric.
For the diamond seed to begin its formation, it is exposed to intense pressure and heat. (Temperatures over 2,700 Fahrenheit equivalent to 1482.222 Celcius). These pressures and heats start to melt the carbon, forming a diamond around the initial seed. The newly formed diamond is carefully cooled before harvesting. A rough diamond is cut, polished, and set into jewelry like a natural one.
CVD stands for Chemical Vapor Deposition
Most lab-grown diamonds are cultivated using a process known as Chemical Vapor Deposition. Inside an enclosed chamber, methane and hydrogen gases are heated to 1,400+ Fahrenheit with the diamond seed inside. These gases are then ionized into plasma using a technology similar to lasers or microwaves, a process that creates vibration. When diamond gas undergoes a chemical vapour deposition process, the molecular bonds of this gas are broken down to form pure carbon.
In short, yes, lab diamonds are both a real and beautiful alternative to natural diamonds. Officially, the FTC defines a diamond as "A mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon crystallized in the isometric system," and whether a diamond is mined or created, both share this chemical composition. The difference and designation between lab-grown and mined diamonds lie in the way in which it is created. Titles like "lab-grown" and "mined" designate origin. Mined diamonds are extracted from Earth, while Lab diamonds are created in a laboratory setting without the negative environmental impact caused by mining.
Here are just a few of the benefits that lab-grown diamonds have over their natural counterparts.
Lab-grown diamonds are purer than mined ones because they don't contain any dirt or impurities created under controlled conditions. Compared to diamonds grown underground, man-made ones have fewer structural defects. The higher the purification, the brighter and whiter the diamond will be.
Lab-grown diamonds are created in laboratories so they don't use fossil fuel or harm the Earth. The extraction of diamonds extends far beyond dirt displacement and a hole in the ground. It has a devastating effect on whole ecosystems, with deforestation, diverted rivers, created dams to expose river beds, relocated people. The landscape that once was enriched for farming has now become desolated.
Lab-grown diamonds, of comparable quality to those made by the Earth, are up to 40% less expensive. Lab-grown diamonds are cheaper than mined diamonds due to their two significant advantages: The efficiency of the supply chain as mined diamonds are machine and labour-intensive. The process from extraction, transportation to customer passes through too many hands. The other factor is the profit margin taken by large mining corporations.
For most diamond enthusiasts, it is crucial to know the complete history of their stones—from start to finish. A common term used to highlight the adverse effects of mined diamond trade is "blood diamond," a popular film released in 2006. A significant proportion of mined diamonds often come from war-torn parts of the world, associated with human rights violations (child labour, slave labour, deplorable working conditions, massacres, and insurgency funding). A lot of uncertainty surrounds the background history of a diamond. With lab-grown diamond, you are assured of knowing that your diamond did not contribute to the blood diamond trade as it's a detectable source.
Lab-grown diamonds must be uniquely identified because consumers need to know what they are buying and because there can be a significant price difference between them and natural gems. Lab-grown diamonds share the same characteristics as mined ones. Even to a trained eye, it's impossible to tell the difference between a diamond grown in a lab and an earth-mined diamond. One way to distinguish between lab-grown and natural diamonds is by examining the grading report from a professional gemologist. A gemologist can use magnification to look for the nature of any inclusions in a diamond. Natural diamonds tend to have features not found in lab-created ones, such as stone imperfections or irregularities on the surface.
The decision as to whether or not you want a lab-grown diamond is a personal one. If you want to be sure that your diamond purchase is guaranteed conflict-free, doesn't harm local societies and has a minimal impact on the climate and environment, it would only make sense to purchase a lab-grown diamond. The consumer today is highly conscious of the environmental impact of their purchase. When it comes to diamonds, mined diamonds fall short in this department. Mined diamonds have high human costs; they cause more significant environmental damage. Lab-grown diamonds have no such concerns.
Mined diamonds are no longer the only choice for fine diamond jewelry. Lab-grown diamonds are becoming more and more popular. Lab-grown diamonds by Quorri are individually hand-selected for impeccable value and origin. We eliminate the middlemen and markups to provide you with the best possible price for the highest quality diamond. Every Quorri created diamond truly represents the beauty, allure and future of diamonds.