When you buy a bit of diamond jewelry, you expect the gems to be beautiful, clear, and enduring – symbols of affection, success, and self-worth.
And that’s exactly what you get with lab-grown diamonds, which are physically, chemically, optically, thermally, and visually just like mined diamonds, with an equivalent hardness and sturdiness that have made these gems wanted throughout history.
But how, exactly, do scientists grow diamonds during a lab? There are two currently accepted methods. They share this reality: all lab-grown diamonds, including NGD’s, rise life from a diamond seed. Adopting high-tech equipment, laboratories then apply that seed to grow new diamonds. Here’s how:
- HPHT (High Pressure, High Temperature) diamonds are created by replicating the natural geologic process by which diamonds form deep within the earth, under extremely high and at extremely high temperatures. Small seed diamonds are placed into a machine, covered with a mix of catalyst metal and graphite powders and subjected to temperatures up to 2,500 degrees centigrade and pressure up to 60,000 atmospheres. From this mixture of pressure and temperature, the diamond grows.
- CVD (Chemical vapor deposition) diamonds are created employing a process that involves depositing a carbon vapor onto a diamond seed, during a low-pressure environment, using carbon-bearing gases to trigger a reaction. Manufacturers can precisely control the diamond composition and make either one crystal or a polycrystalline form. Using the CVD method, manufacturers are more likely to supply larger – and more often colorless — gem-quality lab-grown diamonds more economically than with the HPHT method.
Regardless of which process manufacturers use to grow diamonds, however, it’s important to notice that they can’t entirely control the color and clarity of the diamonds they produce. even as with mined diamonds, each lab-grown diamond has its own individual “fingerprint” and its personal unique imperfections. Happily for diamond consumers, this suggests lab-grown diamonds include a spread of very pretty colored diamonds – also because of the range of colorless specimens. Lab-grown diamonds also are available a variety of clarity grades. within the end, this is often why lab-grown diamonds are graded in just an equivalent way that mined diamonds are. You’ll notice on NGD’s website that our lab-grown diamonds are assorted using the common color and clarity grades of all diamonds
Lab-Grown Diamonds vs Imitation White Stones
And just to clarify: Lab-grown diamonds should never be confused with white stones like cubic zirconia (CZ), moissanite, and other inexpensive imitations. These stones don’t have an equivalent chemical, optical, thermal, and visual properties of diamond. Only diamonds grown via either the HPHT or CVD methods described above are precisely the same as mined diamonds.
A diamond, whether mined or lab-grown, is additionally the toughest substance known to man (ranking 10.0, the very best level on the Mohs Hardness Scale). Jewelry containing mined or lab-grown diamonds are often worn a day and passed on to heirs due to diamond’s incredible durability.
Thus, once you believe lab-grown diamonds, it’s best to adopt the French expression: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (“the more things change, the more they continue to be an equivalent .”).
When high-tech lab processes can give us an equivalent product, without the risks of human rights abuses or mines disturbing the world , i feel that’s a win for all folks . Some things never change.