Have you ever heard about lab-created diamonds? If yes, then you need to strengthen your knowledge about lab-made vs. natural diamonds. Alternatively, if you have yet to, you should know what lab-made diamonds are, their features, and other required details.
After reading this article, you will understand these diamonds and thank us for accumulating such precious information for you.
This article explains what lab-made diamonds are, their growth process, benefits, properties, pricing, features, shape, and colors.
To begin, let us understand the necessary term around which this article primarily revolves.
What are Lab Grown Diamonds?
Man-created diamonds are diamonds grown in labs and can also be called man-made or synthetic diamonds. These are pure carbon diamonds grown under highly controlled laboratory conditions. These conditions can awaken the natural growth of the earth above the ground.
The diamonds that result from this are usually physically, chemically, and optically similar to the natural, mined diamonds. In short, they look like real GIA loose diamonds.
Synthetic diamonds have been in the experimentation phase for hundreds of years; the research became a success in the last few decades. The experiment is still ongoing because the goal is to get better diamonds in physical, chemical, and optical structures than natural diamonds mined from the earth.
From a different viewpoint, artificial diamonds are engineered and cultured under a controlled environment and unique technological process that mimics the natural process required for diamond formation under the earth. These diamonds are so made that they carry the same characteristics as the natural diamond crystal structure.
In the short text above on what lab-made diamonds are, we emphasized the process that man-made diamonds must undergo. Similarly, we have highlighted the process of growing them in the following paragraphs.
The process of growing lab diamonds include:
- Chemical vapor deposition
- High and high temperature
THE PROCESS OF LAB CREATED DIAMOND
The process of lab-created diamonds is simple; you only require a carbon seed to start it. The engineered diamonds are made by placing a "seed" into a chamber of extreme heat, pressure, and a special deposition process. This chamber aims to mimic the natural process of diamond formation.
The mad-made diamond is formed when a small amount of known quantity of trace elements are available during the diamond's growth, similar to how it happens naturally.
The primary process required is Crystallization. It allows the diamond seed to grow and mature in six to ten weeks before it is cut and polished. Afterwards, it is certified by renowned and certified by earth mined diamond certification lab. The certification aims to know if the man-made diamond has the natural diamond's chemical, physical and optical characteristics.
Later in the article, we have discussed some techniques widely used for making synthetic diamonds.
The diamond can then be polished to have fancy colored diamonds. In both polished/colored and white man-made diamonds, the trace elements' composition differs slightly from the naturally mined ones.
This difference can only be measured via special equipment capable of detecting minor differences in the growth of crystal and trace elements. Besides, you can always get lab-made or lab-grown diamonds in different colors.
Laboratories use the following combinations of techniques to make synthetic diamonds:
You may wonder why there is a need to make diamonds synthetically since they are available naturally. This part of the article gives you reasons why lab-made diamonds are good. Let us look at the benefits of such diamonds.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MAN MADE DIAMOND
- The first and most significant benefit of man-made diamonds is that the diamonds are affordable and conflict-free.
- The beauty of lab-made diamonds is unmatched.
- Man-made diamonds have good diamond clarity, good color, excellent cut, and good carat size. Also, they have different colors, ranging from white to yellow, to green to pink and blue.
- Man-made diamonds are of good quality. Depending on the type, a good one, such as Type IIa, has characteristics like a pure natural diamond.
- Getting value for less is one of the significant benefits of man-made diamonds. Diamonds, being the most precious resource, are expensive. A lab-grown diamond will cost you about 50% less than a natural diamond.
- They are Conflict-free. Unlike naturally mined diamonds that affect native communities and leave the environment degraded, these diamonds are conflict-free because they are cultured, treated, and cut in a controlled laboratory environment.
- Hundreds of hectares of land are disturbed to mine natural diamonds, with excessive emission of criteria pollutants, such as carbon and other greenhouse gases, that affect air quality. For every carat of a mined diamond, approximately 0.000091 hectares of land is used, and over 126 gallons of water is consumed. On the other hand, for every carat of a lab-made diamond, 18.5 liters of water and 0.00000071 hectares of land are required.
Major properties of the lab made diamonds include;
- Hardness of ten on the Mohs scale
- Face centered cubic internal crystal structure
- 2.42 comparable hardness
- Affordable price
- Ideal cut
Having looked at their properties, we shed light upon the colors of artificial diamonds at the beginning of the article. Therefore, it is crucial to look at the available colors of lab diamonds, given that prices, clarity, growth, and cut are different for different colors.
AVAILABLE COLORS OF LAB GROWN DIAMONDS
As mentioned earlier, lab-grown diamonds have different colors, ranging from white to green.
We must look at the colors of man-made diamonds, their growth time, the price comparison to the natural diamonds, the available shapes, and the cut and clarity.
WHITE LAB MADE DIAMONDS
Any carbon diamond with zero impurities is referred to as a colorless diamond. However, both natural and man-made diamonds have impurities mainly in the form of nitrogen because nearly every diamond, natural or man-made, starts as a yellow diamond.
The nitrogen lattice in the natural diamonds is separated after millions of years of exposure to heat and pressure. The separation gives the diamond the ability to shine white.
Our lab-grown diamonds do not have millions of years to split, though growing the diamond with little or low Nitrogen results in the same.
An incredibly controlled environment with constant temperature (heat) and pressure is needed to grow a white diamond because fluctuation may stop its growth.
The process of extracting nitrogen and boron from the cell makes the growth slower, for which reason 1.0 carat of a diamond grows in up to two weeks.
Given that the growth of white diamonds is temperamental and time-consuming, they are very limited in supply. On the other hand, white, natural diamonds are in abundance, making their cost comparable. The price of the natural and man-made white diamonds for a carat will fall within the range of $5,600-$10,000, depending on the carat, cut, size and clarity.
Lab-made diamonds have a clarity ranging from IF to SI2.
YELLOW LAB-CREATED DIAMONDS
Like the white diamonds, yellow lab-created diamonds are chemically, physically, and optically identical to the naturally mined yellow diamond. Yellow man-made diamonds are conflict-free and available in yellow: the yellow color ranges from fancy yellow to fancy vivid yellow.
Nitrogen is the primary source of color for naturally mined and artificial diamonds. Introducing impurities at a controlled rate during the culturing process gives a right to the yellow man-created diamond. The more nitrogen added to the process, the yellower the diamond, though adding excess nitrogen makes a diamond brownish in appearance.
It takes five to six days to end a cycle of production of the 1.0 to 2.0 carat of diamond in the growth machine. The growth of yellow man-made diamonds is faster because the nitrogen left during the growth process speeds up the growth.
Yellow lab-made diamonds are not abundant in nature. Besides, since yellow man-made diamonds cost about 75% less than the scarcely available natural yellow diamond, the yellow man-made diamond is always a good option.
Given that the yellow man-made diamonds are easier to make, they are less expensive than their natural counterparts.
Most yellow shaped diamonds grow in a truncated octahedral shape. Shapes like Asscher and Emerald are typically acquired from them to maximize the yield.
BLUE LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS
Blue lab-grown diamonds are chemically, physically, and optically identical to the naturally mined blue lab diamond. Blue man-made diamonds are conflict-free and cost about 10% of the amount needed to get a naturally mined pink diamond. A blue diamond made in the lab also ranges from fancy blue to fancy intense blue diamond.
Boron is the source of color for both the natural and lab-made blue diamond. It is the impurity introduced in the process of diamond growth. Controlled introduction of boron results in a varying lab-made blue diamond.
About 7-10 days are required to produce 1.0 carat of blue diamond. Boron helps in speeding up the growth of the diamond.
A lab-made blue diamond amounts only to 10% of the cost of a natural blue diamond. Besides, it falls within the range of $7000-$12,000 per carat.
Blue diamonds grow in Hexa-Cubic shapes, while the best produced are usually round and corner shapes like Cushion and Asscher.
PINK MAN-MADE DIAMONDS
Like the white, yellow, and blue diamonds, pink lab-made diamonds are chemically, physically, and optically identical to naturally mined pink lab diamonds. Pink man-made diamonds are conflict-free and cost about 5% of the amount needed to get a naturally mined pink diamond. Those made in the lab also range from fancy pink to fancy deep pink diamonds.
The color in the pink diamond is different from that of color formation in the other three discussed above.
While the white, blue, and yellow engineered diamonds get their color during the growth process, while pink lab-created diamonds get their color after growth treatment. The process is referred to as irradiation and annealing.
Pink diamonds can also be made from slightly yellow lab-made diamonds through the process of irradiation. Irradiation means showering the diamonds with neutrons and electrons.
Other diamond colors, such as green, red, and purple, are also available, and their growth process is the same as that of the pink man-created diamond.
Naturally mined diamonds cost between 56000-150,000 USD per carat because of the availability (most naturally mined pink diamonds are from Australia), but a synthetic diamond costs between 5000-10000 USD per carat. The color of the pink diamond also affects the price.
The shape of a pink diamond is the same as that of a yellow one.
It is a dependent factor and depends on the saturation. The lesser the saturation, the lower the clarity, while the fuller the saturation, the higher the clarity.
Other points worth highlighting include:
The color of diamonds after production is permanent and is also resistant to wear and tear.
One should be careful when trying to repair the settings of a diamond. Moreover, servicing it to avoid exposure to high temperatures also demands care because exposing the diamond to high temperatures may result in color variance.
We hope that this article has given you the necessary information you need to know about lab-made diamonds. If you find the article helpful, kindly help your friends by sharing it with them to learn about lab-made diamonds.