Many people feel conflicted when it comes to buying a diamond for their engagement ring because of the diamond industry’s long history of exploitation. Luckily, today options exist to purchase your dream ring without the undesirable costs of mining.
Have you ever wondered, how are lab-grown diamonds made? This article explores the different processes scientists have discovered for creating lab-grown diamonds in a way that mimics Mother Nature’s methods without the need to mine.
Lab-grown diamonds are a fast-growing segment of the diamond industry. Rather than contributing to the harmful practice of mining, lab-grown diamonds provide a more ethical and sustainable alternative for conscious consumers. Lab-grown diamonds are physically, chemically, and optically identical to their mined counterparts, making them an easy choice. At Taylor Custom Rings, we use only the highest quality lab-grown diamonds to create stunning engagement rings that require no new mining. So, how are lab-created diamonds made?
What Are Lab-Grown Diamonds?
When asking how are lab-grown diamonds made, it’s important to first know what a lab-grown diamond is. Lab-grown diamonds can be referred to as man-made diamonds, cultured diamonds, or lab-created diamonds, but all these terms mean the same thing. (Not to be confused with moissanite, cubic zirconia, diamond-coated CZ, or other diamond simulants.) Lab-grown diamonds are created in a highly controlled environment that mimics the conditions under which mined diamonds are made. They are made of the same element (carbon) as mined diamonds, so materially, there is no difference between the makeup of a diamond mined from the earth and the makeup of a lab-grown diamond. They are identical!
How Are Lab-Created Diamonds Made?
There are two main processes that are used to answer “how are lab-grown diamonds made?” The first process is called HPHT, and the other is called CVD. They both form diamonds through different methods but with essentially the same outcome. Let’s go over the two below.
HPHT stands for High Pressure, High Temperature. HPHT is the original method used for creating lab-grown diamonds that came about in the 1950s. During HPHT, the conditions that form diamonds in the earth are recreated using intense pressure and very hot temperatures.
How are lab-grown diamonds made through the HPHT method? They begin as a diamond seed, which is a very small diamond. This diamond seed is placed in carbon, which is the element that diamonds are made of. This seed is then placed under extreme pressure and extreme heat to simulate the process in which diamonds are created in the earth, melting the carbon and forming a larger diamond around the diamond seed. Temperatures of over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and pressure of about 1.5 million pounds per square inch create the rough diamond. The rough is then cut, polished, and graded in the exact same way as a mined diamond.
How are lab-grown diamonds made through the CVD method? CVD stands for Chemical Vapor Deposition. This method was created in the 1980s, making it a more modern method than HPHT. The CVD diamond-making process requires a tiny diamond seed (much like that used in the HPHT method) to be sealed into a chamber. The chamber is heated to over 1400 degrees Fahrenheit and then filled with carbon-rich gas. The carbon ionizes and attaches to the diamond seed and repeats until a full diamond is formed! The diamond is then cut and polished to create the brilliant, faceted gem you picture when you think of a diamond.
Which of the Two Methods Is Better?
How lab-grown diamonds are made and which method is superior are much-debated topics. The most important thing to know is that both processes can create beautiful, authentic diamonds! It would be impossible to tell the difference between HPHT diamonds and CVD diamonds with an untrained eye. Special equipment is necessary to distinguish the two. Grading labs that have this equipment can test for which type of crystal structure the diamond has. Both type II crystal structures (HPHT) and type IIa crystal structures (CVD) are found in natural diamonds as well as lab-grown diamonds. So to answer the questions: How are lab-created diamonds made? And Is there a difference between the two methods of lab-grown diamond creation? We would emphasize that both methods can provide you with a brilliant diamond that will last for generations.
What Is the Benefit of Buying a Lab-Grown Diamond?
Now that you can answer the question of how lab-grown diamonds are made, we hope you feel empowered to make the choice to buy a lab-created diamond engagement ring. Because of these scientific processes, you can feel confident in your purchase, knowing that you are supporting a more sustainable, ethical, and responsible practice. Diamond mining causes environmental ruin, the mistreatment of workers, and the devastation of communities–these things can be avoided by purchasing a lab-grown diamond.
Not only are lab-grown diamonds more sustainable and ethical, but with lab-grown diamonds, you can also get a bigger, higher-quality diamond for the same price you would spend on a mined one. One reason that knowing how lab-grown diamonds are made is great is because you now know why they often have fewer inclusions of minerals from the earth in them. The HPHT and CVD processes create diamonds that are often higher in their quality grades. They have fewer defects and more clarity as a whole. Because they are graded on the same scale as their mined counterparts, you can compare quality grades across the two categories.
Today, people are more conscious than ever about where the things they purchase come from. This is a compassionate and beautiful way to approach our life decisions.
At Taylor Custom Rings, we provide unique, ethical, and beautiful engagement ring options that are consistent with our mission to “love better”. So, when you hear someone ask, “how are lab-grown diamonds made?” you can not only answer them confidently, but you can also empower them to make decisions that are better for people and the planet.
Do you still have questions about how lab-created diamonds are made? If so, reach out to our diamond experts by email or by booking a consultation to get all of your questions answered. We are happy to help!