What are lab grown diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds are a wonderful way to purchase a much larger diamond at a fraction of the cost. At typically 1/3 to 1/4 the price of natural diamonds, these make an excellent affordable alternative. They are created in a man-made forge using a diamond seed made of a carbon-containing gas and plasma, that undergoes a process that mirrors nature’s process of diamond formation.
Lab-grown diamonds are not fakes or simulants, such as cubic zirconias. Sometimes lab-grown diamonds are inaccurately referred to as synthetic, which may be the cause of the misconception that lab-grown diamonds are fake. Also made from carbon, the only thing that differentiates a lab-grown diamond from a natural one is its origin.
Are they the real thing?
You’re probably still wondering, “Come on, oven baked diamonds? Are these real?” Don’t worry, this is a very common question, and the answer is: yes. Lab-grown diamonds are pressurized carbon just like natural diamonds and have the same chemical makeup, physical properties and optical appearance as diamonds formed beneath the earth’s surface.
According to GIA Spokesman Stephen Morisseau, “lab-grown diamonds have all the same physical and chemical properties of a mined diamond.”
The Diamond Reserve maintains Colorado’s largest collection of loose certified lab-grown diamonds. Our team hand selects every diamond in our curated inventory. Every piece, diamond and detail is created with care and love, ensuring your ring is everything you dreamt it would be.
Educating you on diamonds is the first step in our process, then the fun really begins with the selection of your diamond(s). After that, our expert designers work with you on every individual detail, down to the exact millimeter width of the band. Next, we do 3D imaging of your ring to showcase it from every angle. Once we have approval, our designers will craft your ring. The average ring typically takes 3 to 4 weeks, but we do offer expedited services for those that need it faster.
How are lab grown diamonds made?
When our lab-grown diamonds are made, they can undergo one of two procedures — ‘High Pressure High Temperature’ (HPHT) or ‘Chemical Vapor Deposition’ (CVD). Labs utilize cutting-edge technology that replicates the natural processes of the earth to create diamonds.
After diamond seeds are quite literally baked in ovens, they must be cut and polished, same as any mined diamond. HPHT and CVD systems are not new by any means. These tried and true methods have seen advancements in modern technology which have allowed refinement and the perfecting of the process.
High pressure, high temperature
HPHT, or ‘High Pressure High Temperature,’ is just like the name says. In order to reach pressures akin to those that occur naturally inside the earth’s mantle, this method can use one of several types of presses including belt, cubic, and split sphere (BARS) presses.
Diamond seeds are exposed to temperatures reaching as high as 2700 degrees Fahrenheit and pressure up to 1.5 million pounds per sq. inch. This amount of pressure and heat simulates the conditions that natural diamonds are created in, which means you’re getting the real thing.
Chemical Vapor Deposition
First hypothesized in 1952, most thought CVD, or Chemical Vapor Deposition, was foolish or a fraud because it appeared to break the 2nd law of thermodynamics. It was then expanded on in the 60s, experimented with and proven successful. The process has been improved and perfected over the past 80 years to produce brilliant man-made gems.
While still very hot, CVD uses less heat than the HPHT approach. Temperatures in the chamber can reach a scorching 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. This creates a carbon gas mixture which is then ionized into plasma. The gas mixture is broken down and pure carbon accumulates to the crystallizing seed, which has the appearance of bread rising.
How are they certified and graded?
In the world of diamonds, we use the 4 C’s to determine how a diamond should be graded. These 4 C’s stand for cut, clarity, color, and carat. You can find out more specifics about this below. For now, we’ll stick to the overview.
Jewelers will choose one of several reputable grading labs to evaluate their diamonds. At these labs, gemologists independently examine each diamond to establish an individual score. These individual scores are then collected and considered for a final grade. In this way, the grading is fair and honest.
It is not unusual for a diamond to receive a different score when examined a second time. This is because the scores are ultimately subject to the gemologists’ opinion. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is an extremely popular and widely trusted lab and has been using a D-to-Z scale since the early 1950s in order to color grade diamonds. If these grades are of importance to you, you and your jeweler should have an open conversation about your jeweler’s grading lab. Here at The Diamond Reserve, we only sell GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or IGI (International Gemological Institute) certified lab-grown diamonds to ensure that your diamond is of the highest quality and offers the most brilliance.
The Largest Inventory
Prices of these lab-grown diamonds are generally around a quarter of the price of a natural diamond. Diamond growing labs allow for a much shorter supply chain and are a major contributing factor to such affordable prices. As more labs begin to grow diamonds and further improve their techniques, the cost will continuously become more competitive.
The Diamond Reserve boasts Colorado’s largest in store collection of loose certified lab-grown diamonds at wholesale pricing. If you’d like to learn more about lab grown diamonds then use the button below to schedule your free consultation!