Lab-grown diamonds are also known as manufactured and synthetic diamonds. Growing these diamonds is known as HPHT, CVD, MDC, or similar processes. Man made diamonds are gaining popularity because they can be produced in astonishing numbers with less effort and at reduced costs.
But there is a debate between natural mined diamonds and artificial diamonds over their similarities versus differences. Below are some interesting facts about lab-grown (synthetic) diamonds.
What are lab-grown diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds are artificial diamonds created by the process of hydrogen actuated high-pressure high temperature (HPHT) treatment. This process is also known as Centrifugal Process (CVD), where carbon atoms are strongly attracted to a strong magnetic field and used to grow diamond crystals. This process is used in various industrial applications such as glass tubing and pipes, optical lenses, dynamite, etc.
How are lab-grown diamonds different from natural mined (i.e.) normal diamonds?
Labor-grown diamonds have been vigorously debated over their similarities versus differences with natural mined diamonds. Here are some interesting facts about the two types of diamonds, how they are created, and their differences:
- Appearance: Irradiated natural mined diamonds are generally dark with yellowish and brownish hues. On the other hand, irradiated lab-grown diamonds appear white or light in color.
There has been no optical evidence that shows that these diamonds have some unique characteristics. However, some argue that lab-grown diamonds have an inherent sparkle than natural mined do not have.
- Value: Laboratory-grown diamonds usually cost much less than irradiated manufactured diamonds because they are produced in lakhs of pieces per day rather than millions as done during natural mined operations.
This is because a piece of the diamond is lost or broken during irradiation of natural mined diamonds. On the other hand, lab-grown diamonds are produced in large quantities at a single time, and hence they are considerably cheaper than natural mined diamonds.
- Facets: Natural mined diamonds have sharp facets, whereas irradiated man-made stones have blunt facets.
- Creation: It takes approximately eight months from when seeds are obtained until they appear as diamonds until other impurities have been removed by various treatments (e.g., bleaching, polishing).
An even broader range of time can be expected for larger-sized stones and those that experience thermal treatment within the laboratory production process at high temperatures for shorter periods.
Are they real diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds, and they look just like natural mined diamonds. They also have the same physical, optical, chemical, and electronic properties as their natural mined counterparts. Lab-grown diamonds are not necessarily inferior to naturally mined stones as they have similar chemical compositions.
There is a debate about lab-grown diamonds because most consumers believe that artificial diamonds are not real and hence are inferior to natural mined diamonds for value for money. But lab-grown diamonds do not necessarily have a lesser value than their natural counterparts simply because they are created artificially in laboratories using highly technological methods.
Are they of high quality?
The only way to know the quality of diamonds is by looking at the cut and polished diamonds. The thickness, size, color, and clarity of irradiated artificial diamonds are similar to their natural mined counterparts. The only way for consumers to check the quality and price of lab grown diamonds is by reading independent laboratory evaluations.
Are there different types of laboratory-grown diamonds?
While lab-grown diamonds are being created in various countries, the most popular HPHT process is produced by industry leader Genesis. Their lab created diamonds are available in natural color and colorless.
Their full range of lab-grown diamond jewelry is available online. All the other brands produce gems with poor clarity and color, although their prices are much lower than their competitors’ products.
Although there are various controversies about lab-grown diamonds versus natural mined diamonds, the fact remains that both types of diamonds can be used as an investment, and they can be worn. If a consumer is looking to purchase a diamond, then it is highly advisable to look at the cut and polished product rather than just basing their decision on the price.
Natural mined and lab-grown diamonds are quite similar in many aspects. However, there are some differences between these two types of diamonds (these differences arise because of how they are created). These differences include their appearance (color, clarity etc), facets, and value. Natural mined diamonds have sharper facets than lab-grown ones, which have blunt elements.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.