This is a question that many, many people around the world have asked. Listen, lab diamonds also known as synthetic, cultured, lab-grown, lab-created, alternative diamonds, green diamonds, or created diamonds are real diamonds. They are not fake, simulants, or imitations. They are real diamonds that hold the same crustal structure, toughness, and sheer beauty as any natural diamond.
Lab diamonds possess the same physical, optical, and chemical characteristics that easily rival any natural diamond except in price because compared to natural diamonds, lab diamonds are much cheaper and have more options for personalization all retaining that magic that everyone loves in a diamond. Want more information? Please refer to https://www.rarecarat.com/blog/diamond-ring-tips/finding-the-right-ring-size, or https://www.rarecarat.com/blog/diamond-ring-tips/the-essential-4-c-s-of-diamonds-rarecarat-com
How Are Lab Diamonds Created?
Lab diamonds are created with either HPHT (High Pressure, High Temperature) or CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) which replicate the conditions that natural diamonds are faced with when they are being created and/or molded deep beneath the earth. There are other methods, such as MPCVD, UPUT, hydrothermal growth, and more; however, HPHT and CVD are the most commonly used and accepted methods.
High Pressure, High Temperature
High Pressure, High Temperature as the name implies simulates the “pressures” and the “temperature” that natural diamonds are exposed to deep within the earth. All this happens inside a chamber that looks like a giant capsule. Within this capsule is a diamond seed made of pure carbon; over time, the conditions inside the chamber slowly increase.
When the temperature reaches 1,500+ Celsius (2,732+ Fahrenheit) and the pressures are over a million pounds per square inch. This is when it melts the carbon, proceeding a multitude of carbon atoms that dissolve into the diamond seed. Layer by layer, forming a rough diamond. The process could take several weeks to complete, which will then be cut and polished.
Chemical Vapor Deposition
This method of diamond synthesis uses more complex chemistry rather than simply, relatively speaking, using high temperature and high pressure. The process is the same, more or less: a diamond seed is placed inside a sealed chamber, where gases that are carbon-based, such as hydrogen, methane, and many more, are all introduced.
The sealed chamber is heated to a high temperature of over 700+ Celcius (1,292 Fahrenheit) which breaks down the carbon-based gases into individual carbon atoms. These individual atoms then stick to the diamond seed which forms a layer of diamond crystals. The whole process could take several days or just several hours. It all depends on the desired diamond size and quality of the consumer.
Which is better: HPHT-made diamonds or CVD-made diamonds?
In all honesty, it depends. It depends on how much of the budget the consumer has, what their preferences are, and the characteristics of the lab diamond they are looking for. Overall, there are three factors to consider when deciding which method is ideal for the buyer:
1) Quality: In general lab-made diamonds using the HPHT method produce a harder diamond with a higher refractive index which means they are not only tougher, cheaper, and more brilliant than CVD diamonds but they tend to have more flaws and impurities. Now, CVD-made diamonds often produce a purer, softer diamond with a lower refractive index, which means they are less brilliant than HTPT diamonds and are more prone to scratches, all at a much higher cost. Refer to Rare Carat for more information.
2) Color: Often, HPHT diamonds have a yellowish or brownish tint. This is due to them being grown in pure carbon which has traces of nitrogen. Now, they can be treated, removing the stain and turning them colorless; however, doing this may affect the HPHT diamond’s quality and value. CVD diamonds usually have shadows of blue or gray. This is due to them being grown in a gas chamber, which has traces of hydrogen. They can also be treated, but doing so may also affect the diamond’s quality and value. Regardless, either type of diamond can produce beautiful colored diamonds such as blue, green, pink, or even other colors. It all depends on the other elements introduced during the growing period.
3) Personalization: Unfortunately, HPHT is limited in terms of personalization as most HPHT diamonds are grown to a specific size and shape. Of course, they can be cut and polished to multiply shapes and sizes, but doing so loses weight and quality. This is where CVD diamonds win. Due to the precise nature of their growing period, they can be customized to different sizes and shapes that can easily be cut and polished to several unique designs all without losing weight and quality.
Want more information? Please refer to the Rare Carat website.