Laboratory-grown diamonds are diamonds created by the human mind, born above the surface of the earth!
Many scientists have been striving to create lab diamonds for sale since the theory that this was possible arose. Nowadays, the business of making such stones is very popular, since this is the only opportunity to fully satisfy the need for this mineral. Thanks to the work of the world’s great minds, the solution was found in the form of laboratory crystals.
Since large and “pure” crystals are quite rare in nature, it is not surprising that recently the process of creating laboratory diamonds has become quite important for human activity. Moreover, in this case, environmentally friendly technologies are used to create diamonds, which makes it possible to create diamonds with unique properties that are rarely or never found in nature, for example, rare colors.
A diamond obtained in the laboratory has absolutely all the properties of a stone extracted from the earth: strength, structure, brilliance, refractive index, specific gravity, thermal conductivity, and load resistance.
But there is an undeniable advantage of laboratory diamonds: there are fewer internal and external defects than in diamonds mined from the earth. This makes them an ideal material for jewelry and industrial purposes.
Calling laboratory-grown diamonds a copy of a natural diamond is incorrect. Wrong. They are the same mineral, just produced in different ways. It is worth noting that the only difference between them is the method of appearance. In one case, stones are born in nature, in the other, people have a hand in their creation.
When using high-quality technologies, it is difficult to distinguish a mineral mined from the depths of the Earth from a laboratory-grown one, even with specialized equipment.
In the scientific world, laboratory-grown diamonds are named by the type of technology involved in their production. There are two methods for growing diamonds: HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) and CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition). In the first case, high pressure and high temperature are used. In the second – the deposition of carbon from steam.
Like in its natural form, a diamond grown in a laboratory does not look attractive – just a dull stone. And only after cutting does it acquire aesthetic beauty and become truly valuable.
There should be a clear distinction between the concepts of “diamonds” (from diamonds mined from the Earth, as well as from diamonds grown in a laboratory) and “imitation diamonds.”
Existing imitation diamonds are not a complete copy of both natural and laboratory-grown diamonds in chemical composition and physical properties. But for some reason, incompetent sources often call these imitations “artificial diamonds.” The most common imitation diamonds are cubic zirconia, moissanite, and rhinestones (such as Swarovski crystals). But these imitations have nothing in common with diamonds, either from diamonds mined from the depths of the earth or grown in a laboratory.
Let’s talk about how many years have passed since the emergence of the hypothesis about the possibility of producing diamonds in the laboratory. For the first time, people started talking about this back in 1797, when they found out that the stone consists entirely of carbon. This idea was realized only in 1926, but even this cannot be called a complete success. The resulting sample was far from the original but became the starting point for research.
Only in 1941, after a long break, General Electrics became interested in the technology. In the process of obtaining diamonds, the company was guided by the “technology” that nature itself uses. Company specialists reasoned that natural diamonds are formed at a temperature of about, 1300°C and a pressure of about 50,000 atm, in the thickness of the planet’s mantle at a depth of hundreds of kilometers below the Earth’s surface. Various igneous rocks bring crystals to the surface. To simulate the described conditions in the laboratory, General Electrics specialists, heating carbon to 3000 degrees, used a press that compresses a cell under a pressure of 5 hPa, inside which graphite and an iron-nickel-cobalt melt were placed, acting as a catalyst and solvent. However, production had to be stopped due to World War II. It was possible to return to the research 10 years later. A high-quality diamond suitable for mass production was obtained only in 1954. However, its size was so small that it was not possible to use it in the jewelry industry.
The color range of laboratory stones
In nature, there are colorless and colored diamonds – yellow, green, blue, pink, brown. Many people are interested in what shades lab-grown diamonds take. Today, scientists can grow stones of different colors in the laboratory. But, as you know, colorless diamonds are the most popular, although their creation requires more time and effort.
It is difficult to obtain transparent laboratory-grown diamonds because it is necessary to carefully ensure that during the growth process, there are no sudden changes in pressure, temperature, or other factors that affect the growth of crystals. Stones created with such efforts are treated with the most reverence, and even small-sized samples of 1 carat are valued. Blue diamonds are made by adding boron. Their shades vary: from deep blue to pale blue. Nitrogen is used to produce yellow diamonds. Then the color ranges from acidic lemon to fiery orange. To obtain black stones in the laboratory, nickel is needed.
Diamond has unique properties that allow it to be used in many fields. This mineral is in demand in various fields. However, natural diamonds are very expensive, so there is a need to obtain minerals in laboratory conditions. It is important to note that created diamonds are not inferior to natural ones in their properties, which makes their use practical.
A huge demand for laboratory-grown diamonds has emerged in high-tech fields such as electronics, medicine, optics, construction, metalworking, science and technology. The industry consumes up to five million carats of laboratory crystals per year.
One of the main areas of application for laboratory-grown diamonds is the jewelry industry. The fashion for products with these diamonds is currently growing rapidly. In Europe and America, companies specializing in the sale of jewelry with laboratory-grown diamonds are already wildly popular today.
We tried to convey to you the most important idea – it is important to understand that a laboratory-grown diamond and a natural diamond are the same.
Let’s bring together all the important properties and compare them. A diamond grown in a laboratory and a diamond mined from the depths of the earth are identical. The time it takes to receive diamonds varies. Natural and laboratory growth take a fundamentally different time. While natural diamonds take millions of years to form, they can be obtained in a laboratory in a few days.