Lab grown diamonds are changing the jewelry industry with their superior qualities over natural diamonds. They’re perfect for any occasion and can be set into engagement rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Learn about how lab grown diamonds are made and what makes them superior to natural diamonds.
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A Brief History Of Diamonds
Diamonds became popular after the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. This event led to a diamond rush and boosted its popularity in society. However, not all diamonds were found on earth and some could only be found on meteorites. Scientists discovered that diamonds could also be created by exposing graphite to great amounts of pressure and heat which led to today’s lab grown diamonds. They replicate the process using a variety of techniques including high temperature, high-pressure (HPHT), chemical vapour deposition (CVD) and more.
Lab grown diamonds offer an alternative for those looking for an ethical purchase or those with allergies who can’t wear naturally mined diamonds because they contain nickel and cobalt, two substances that are known to cause skin irritations for people with sensitive skin or nickel allergies. For many years people have avoided purchasing jewelry because they did not know how it was made but as technology progresses more transparency is becoming available for lab grown stones too so consumers can make informed decisions about what they buy.
The Diamond Mining Process
The mining process begins with prospecting, which is the exploration of an area to find out if there is any diamond-bearing rock. If a deposit is found, exploration continues to find out how big and how valuable it is. If a mine gets approved, it’s time to start digging. In Africa, diamonds are often mined from deep within a craggy pit by workers who climb down in the darkness and carefully sift through piles of diamond-bearing earth. Once all of the valuable material has been extracted from that area, miners move on to other pits nearby where they repeat this process until every last diamond has been found.
Most of Africa’s diamonds come from its western regions near Sierra Leone and Angola.
The Problem With Mined Diamonds
Mined diamonds, which account for about 70% of the world’s diamond production, have a lot of problems. The largest issue is that they are mined from the earth and can leave an environmental footprint. Secondarily, mined diamonds typically come from areas where human rights violations occur. More than half of all diamonds sold in America come from Angola and Sierra Leone—countries with horrific records on human rights.
Mined diamonds also have problems because they’re not as uniform or as perfect as lab-grown ones. For example, mined diamonds will often contain small flaws or inclusions that make them less valuable than lab-grown gems. This is due to imperfections in the earth and other external factors like temperature variations while they’re being mined.
How Are Lab Grown Diamonds Made?
There are two different processes by which diamonds can be grown in a laboratory. The first is called chemical vapour deposition (CVD), and the second is called chemical vapour infiltration (CVI). In CVD, an inert gas such as xenon is used to help create a thin layer of diamond on a surface, such as tungsten carbide or steel. The other process, CVI, entails placing an object with a rough gem-grade diamond seed into a chamber containing both hydrogen and methane gases. The hydrogen reacts with methane at high temperatures to produce carbon and heat. Over time, this process leaves behind diamond crystals that grow larger and larger until they take over the entire surface of the object.
The Benefits Of Lab Grown Diamonds
Lab grown diamonds offer many benefits to jewelers as well as customers. They provide a great alternative for consumers who want a diamond but can’t afford one, or who don’t want to risk buying a conflict diamond. These man-made diamonds give jewellers more options in designing jewellery and also allow them to create one-of-a-kind pieces that they couldn’t produce before. Lab Created Diamond Manufacturer use several techniques to grow diamonds including chemical vapour deposition (CVD), high temperature and pressure (HPHT), electric arc-discharge lamp (EADL) and microwave plasma chemical vapour deposition (MPCCVD). The first three techniques typically take longer than MPCCVD. When it comes down to quality, CVD is most commonly used due to its ability to grow flawless diamonds with high clarity and sparkle.