The diamonds mined from under the earth’s surface have sparked controversies about the funding of wars and insurgencies. The term “blood diamonds” have been given to the natural diamonds for the same reason. In addition to this, the environmental damage caused due to the mining operations has caused a major shift in market trends of mined diamonds since people have become more aware of the impact of their choices on the environment. All of this has led to a steady decline in the sales of mined diamonds and provided an impetus for diamond alternatives that are ethical and kinder to the planet. Lab grown diamonds are a direct result of this impetus and were introduced to the jewellery markets a few years ago and have been growing in popularity ever since.
What are lab grown diamonds?
As the name suggests, lab grown diamonds are the diamonds which are grown in a laboratory. These diamonds, even though created artificially, are not artificial. In contrast to the mined diamonds which are made by the Earth’s geological process over a billion years, the lab grown diamonds are made using a manufacturing process, which is similar to the geological process, in a matter of weeks. Also known as manmade diamonds, lab grown diamonds should not be confused with diamond simulants such as moissanite which are made of non-diamond material. Lab grown diamonds have the same structure as that of mined diamonds.
How are they created?
Now that we know what are lab grown diamonds, the next question that would come to your mind is how are they made? The lab grown diamonds are created using a process which mimics the geological process that creates diamonds under the Earth’s crust. Carbon is subjected to conditions of high temperature and high pressure in a controlled environment to create diamonds. This is done by using two methods.
The High Pressure High temperature (HPHT) method and the Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) method. The HPHT method uses a diamond seed placed inside carbon and subjects it to high temperature and pressure to form diamonds. The CVD method uses a diamond seed inside a chamber filled with carbon rich gases. These gases are then ionized which makes the carbon stick to the diamond seed and turn into a diamond.
Are they original?
Lab grown diamonds are often referred to as engineered diamonds, cultivated diamonds and synthetic diamonds. These have led to a popular myth that lab grown diamonds are not original diamonds. In reality lab grown diamonds are exactly similar to the diamonds mined from the Earth’s crust. They have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as that of mined diamonds. The only difference between lab grown diamonds and naturally mined diamonds is that the lab grown diamonds are created in a laboratory unlike the naturally occurring diamonds but otherwise they are identical.
Are they better than mined diamonds?
Lab grown diamonds are real diamonds and they are fantastic because not only are they ethical, they are also eco-friendly and much more affordable than the naturally occurring diamonds. Lab grown diamonds are identical to naturally occurring diamonds in terms of composition and appearance. They come in various shapes and hues and have a brilliant shine like that of mined diamonds. In fact, some might argue that they have no imperfections as compared to mined diamonds since they are created in a laboratory, but that is not true.
Lab diamonds may have lesser imperfections than mined diamonds, but are not completely devoid of them. Many people in UK consider wearing synthetic diamond rings from Flawless Fine Jewelry made up of them. Considering all of the above mentioned facts, it can be said that lab grown diamonds are a better choice because they allow you to purchase a precious stone for your special occasion without making you feel guilty, without damaging the planet and most importantly without burning a hole in your pocket.