Lab-grown diamonds, otherwise called synthetic or man-made diamonds, are real diamonds that are grown in a lab facility. Just like natural diamonds, they can add an extra spark to your outdoor occasions. It may come in exquisite jewelry forms for wedding sets like your proposal rings and wedding rings for women.
Over the years, there have been some reservations about synthetic diamonds in some quarters. However, studies indicate a steady rise in its market value from $19.3 billion to potentially $49.9 billion by 2030. This stat proves that it is a viable alternative to natural diamonds as there is little or no difference in the quality of both.
In this article, we explore everything you need to know about lab-grown diamonds.
Origin of Lab-Grown Diamonds
The first lab-grown diamonds (diamond grit) were produced in the 1950s. But, the history of lab-grown diamond research dates as far back as decades earlier.
The discovery of pure carbon in diamonds elicited a search to develop ways in which man-made or synthetic diamonds can be created. There were a few claims of success but the process responsible for the diamond formation could not be recreated by scientists.
In 1954, a team of scientists headlined by Hebert Strong and Howard Tracy Hall was able to create the first lab-grown diamond with replicable results. The technology for lab-grown diamonds has since then advanced significantly.
How are Lab-Grown Diamonds Made?
Lab-grown diamonds are made in a lab-controlled facility and subjected to intense heat and pressure. There are two widely recognized methods involved in creating lab-grown diamonds. These are; HPHT diamond and CVD diamond. Both methods are effective in manufacturing diamonds close to nature.
- HPHT Diamond
HPHT diamonds (high-pressure high-temperature) are a process in which pure carbons are subjected to heat and extreme temperatures. After a while, the carbon breaks down and the aftermath of that process is the formation of a diamond.
- CVD Diamond
CVD diamonds (chemical vapor deposition) begin with diamond seed crystals being placed in a sealed chamber. Eventually, it is heated and flooded with carbon gasses, during the ionization of gas, carbon is broken down and a diamond is crystalized.
Natural Diamonds Vs Lab-Grown Diamonds
While natural diamonds are formed in the earth, taking billions of years to crystalize in the bowels of the Earth, lab-grown diamonds take sufficiently less time to crystalize.
The best lab created diamonds are made in a matter of weeks, yet retain the same beauty and quality as natural diamonds would. So you do not have to wait another millennium to select a good diamond cut for your stud earrings or diamond wedding rings as there is no little or no difference between both.
The only difference that may exist in a lab grown diamond cannot be spotted by the naked eye. That difference lies in the amount of Nitrogen. Natural diamonds possess a tiny amount of nitrogen while Lab-grown diamonds have no trace of Nitrogen. This difference can only be spotted by a Gemologist.
Although both can cause carbon emissions, it is a well-established fact that lab grown diamonds tend to create lesser emissions than what is attainable in a naturally mined diamond environment. Lab grown diamonds require less energy than naturally mined diamonds. Therefore, it is more sustainable and eco-friendly.
Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Ethical?
Yes, they are. Lab-grown diamonds are very ethical and you do not need to worry about tracing a source since the source is a lab facility. Unlike natural diamonds where you may sometimes have to worry about mining conditions (depending on the source), the ethicality, and control of possible infiltration of blood diamonds into the market.
For this purpose, the Kimberly process certification act was established to prevent the unethical operation of diamond mines in conflict regions.
Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Certified?
Lab-grown diamonds are officially certified and graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). In recognition of lab-grown diamonds as a credible alternative to natural diamonds, the name ”synthetic” no longer applies to lab-grown diamonds.
Most lab-grown diamond facilities now come with an IGI certification (International Gemological Institute). Both grades and certifications are based on international standards.
Diamond Types and Grades
All types of diamonds can be lab-grown diamonds. For most people, the options are clear when considering buying a diamond. The considerations are usually grades based on the diamond cut, carat, color, and clarity. Here’s a brief explanation;
- The cut represents the proportions of the diamonds and how it is fashioned to create light and offer brilliance.
- The carat is a term used to understand the unit measurements and how much a diamond weighs.
- The color of a diamond is determined by the GIA color chart. A color grade ranges from D (colorless) to Z (yellow or brown).
- The clarity represents the visual appearances of the diamond’s internal features known as inclusions.
These considerations affect the final outlook of your diamond; be it small earrings for your ears or wedding rings for women. Each of these diamonds is graded by several gemologists to ensure the diamonds meet a certain grade standard.
Speaking of standards, you have nothing to worry about when next you decide to order any lab-grown diamond jewelry on your next shopping day. It comes with good benefits.
Benefits of Buying a Lab-Grown Diamond
More recently, many shoppers began to switch to purchasing lab-grown diamonds because of their certifications and proven quality as a viable alternative to natural diamonds. Some of the benefits are included below;
- Lab-grown diamonds represent a cheaper alternative to natural diamonds.
- The source of the diamond is guaranteed. So, the fear of purchasing an unethical diamond is quickly dissolved.
- Lab-grown diamonds have lesser impurities and dirt. They are grown in a lab as opposed to being mined.
- Lesser energy emissions create a sustainable and eco-friendly environment.
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Lab-grown diamonds are ethically sourced and contain the exact same chemical and physical properties as a real diamond. It is cost-effective so you can afford your dream purchase of diamond jewelry whenever. Additionally, you’ll find it comes with a spark, the spark of greatness.