A lab-grown diamond is created inside of a lab using modern technology that replicates the growing process of a natural diamond, resulting in a stone that is chemically and visually the same as one created by mother nature. There are two procedures used to grow diamonds this way, and the process takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks versus the billions of years it takes the earth to create a diamond.
What Are Lab Grown Diamonds?
Naturally occurring diamonds formed deep beneath the Earth billions of years ago when carbon dioxide was exposed to extreme heat and pressure. The stones were transported by volcanic explosions closer to the surface where people were able to discover and mine them. Thanks to modern technology, we’re able to replicate those same conditions of heat and pressure in a lab to create a diamond in much less time, and utilizing fewer resources than mother nature to create one.
The only thing that makes a lab-grown diamond different from a naturally occurring one is its place of origin. One comes from the Earth, the other comes from a lab and both have identical chemical, physical and visual properties. Regardless of where and how the stone was created, crystallized carbon is a gemstone known as a diamond. Even to a well-trained eye, it’s impossible to tell the difference between a natural versus a lab-grown stone, and distinguishing between the two can only be done with specialized equipment.
Lab-grown diamonds are sometimes inaccurately referred to as synthetic which causes a misconception that lab-grown diamonds are fake which they are not. Unlike lab-grown diamonds, simulated diamonds like cubic zirconia and moissanite are not diamonds because they have a different chemical composition and will therefore lack the hardness and visual characteristics of either a lab-grown or naturally occurring diamond.
How Are Lab Grown Diamonds Made?
A lab-grown diamond is made by mimicking the natural process that carbon undergoes to create diamonds grown from the Earth. Instead of happening deep beneath the surface of the Earth, carbon is subjected to high temperatures and pressure in an efficient and controlled lab environment. The end result is a diamond, just like the ones found in nature in a fraction of the amount of time.
There are two different lab methods used to grow diamonds, High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). After a small diamond “seed” is placed into a piece of carbon, the HPHT method uses several different types of presses including belt, cubic, and split sphere (BARS) to achieve pressure levels equivalent to those that occur naturally deep within the earth. As temperatures reach 2,700°F the carbon melts and begins forming a diamond around the seed.
CVD also uses a diamond “seed” heated to 1500°F inside of a chamber filled with a carbon gas mixture and which causes the gasses to be ionized into plasma. As the molecular bonds are broken down, carbon sticks to the seed and accumulates, creating a diamond. Unlike the billions of years it takes mother nature to create diamonds, lab-grown stones typically take less than a month to grow depending on the size and color.
The Diamond Reserve features Colorado’s largest in store collection of loose certified lab grown diamonds. If you’d like to learn more about lab created versus natural diamonds give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule your appointment.