Laboratory Grown Diamonds
“Are lab grown diamonds real diamonds?” The answer is simply “YES!”
The only thing that makes a laboratory grown diamond different from a natural diamond is its origin. They are grown in a lab, instead of being grown underneath the Earth's surface.
A lab diamond is “grown” inside a laboratory using cutting-edge technology replicating the formation of a natural mined diamond. These lab created diamonds have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as a natural diamond. Laboratory grown diamonds are graded the same way as natural diamonds using the 4-C’s (colour, clarity, carat weight and cut).
Laboratory grown diamonds are not the same thing as diamond simulants like Cubic Zirconia or Moissanite.
Frequently Asked Questions About Lab Diamonds
How are laboratory grown diamonds created?
High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT)
Using one of three manufacturing processes, the belt press, cubic press, and the split-sphere press, an environment of extremely high pressure and temperature is created that is conducive to diamond growth. A HPHT diamond begins as a small diamond seed that is placed into carbon. The seed is exposed to a temperature of about 1500 degrees Celsius and pressurized to approximately 1.5 million pounds per square inch. The pure carbon melts and starts to form a diamond around the starter seed. Then it is cooled carefully to form a pure carbon diamond.
Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)
Starting as a thin slice of a diamond seed, the diamond slice is placed in a sealed chamber and heated to around 800 degrees celsius. This chamber is filled with a carbon-rich gas such as Methane and other gases. These gases are ionized into plasma. The ionization breaks the molecular bonds in the gases, and the pure carbon adheres to the diamond seed and slowly crystalizes.
How long does it take to create a lab diamond?
It takes approximately 7-10 days to grow a 1 carat lab diamond.
How can you determine if a diamond is naturally mined or laboratory grown?
Laboratory grown diamonds are almost impossible to differentiate from natural diamonds. Lab diamonds may exhibit different trace elements than natural diamonds but those elements do not affect the appearance of the diamond.
All laboratory grown diamonds are required by law to have “lab-grown" or "lab-created'' and a serial number inscribed on the girdle of the diamond. This is visible with a loupe. All laboratory created diamonds should come with a gem certification identifying them as laboratory grown.
Benefits of a laboratory grown diamond
Competitively priced - the price of a laboratory grown diamond can be anywhere from 20-35% less expensive than mined diamonds. This is due to a shorter supply chain and far less cost involved with maintaining the equipment needed to create diamonds in a lab vs. running a large scale mining operation.
Environmentally Sustainable - the way in which a laboratory mined diamond is created allows for much less land disturbance and mineral waste compared to a naturally mined diamond.
Conflict Free - a laboratory diamond is guaranteed 100% conflict free.