What are Lab-grown Diamonds?
Since the olden days, diamond is a highly regarded treasure. This is largely due to its rarity its unsurpassed brilliance and hardness. With the advent of technological advancement, human ambition prompted the quest to create such stones in workshops and laboratories. Early attempts were only partially successful, with the accidental discovery of moissanite or spinel, which are diamond-like material. While close, moissanite is not diamond, in aspects of chemical, physical and optical properties. Eventually, human undying endeavor overcame nature. The first man-made diamond was formed in the lab by General Electrics (GE) in 1954.
Diamonds are formed naturally deep within the Earth, under conditions of intense pressure and temperature. Over time, they are brought to the surface in Kimberlite pipes eruptions. To synthetically create diamonds, conditions similar to that deep within the Earth will have to be recreated. Methods employed include detonation synthesis, High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT), and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). In commercial application, mainly the CVD and HPHT methods are used.
Synthetic diamond or lab-grown diamond is not a recent innovation. It has been around more than half of a century. Its initial application is mainly for industrial purposes, being utilized for semiconductors in microchips and abrasive in drill bits. With maturing of the diamond growing technology, better quality diamonds can be produced. These gem-grades diamonds then made its way into the jewelry sector, proving a viable alternative to mined diamonds. The lab-grown diamonds used for jewelry tend to have low inclusion, good color quality (or rather the lack of color), and pure. Most of the lab-grown diamonds are classified as type IIa, which are void of any impurities. Whereas for a mined diamonds, most fall under the classification of being type I diamonds, which contain nitrogen as its main impurities.
It should be noted that lab-grown diamonds are essentially diamonds. They are carbon base, and takes on a diamond lattice carbon chemical structure, just like a mined diamond. Thus, it shares the same hardness, thermal, refractive properties as a diamond. In contrast, diamond simulants that are not diamonds in these basis. Synthetic moissanite are silicon carbide based, and cubic zirconia are zirconium dioxide based.
Unfortunately, the term ‘synthetic’ is often loosely, and inaccurately used to encompass all diamond simulants and lab-grown diamonds. To differentiate, retailers of actual synthetic diamonds would prefer the term ‘lab-grown diamonds’, or sometimes even ‘cultured diamonds’ and ‘engineered diamonds’.
With all that said, lab-grown diamond some advantages over mined diamonds. Mining of diamonds has a significant impact on the environment. Open-pit mining displaces large areas on the surface to reach deep within the earth. This would result in deforestation and the potential for pollution of water bodies near the mines. In war-torn Africa, the sales of diamonds from the mines could be used to fund further destabilization within the region. When choosing lab-grown diamond, these issues are negated. In addition, due to the shorter supply chain from source to consumers, the consumers will ultimately benefit from a lower price.
At The Better Diamond, we bring to you the best quality lab-grown diamond. Each diamond is certified by renowned gemological authorities such as GIA and IGI before reaching the customer’s hand. By choosing The Better Diamond, you can be assured that your diamond is not tainted by ethical and environmental issues.