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Article: What is a Lab Grown Diamond? Is it different than natural/mined diamond?

What is a Lab Grown Diamond? Is it different than natural/mined diamond?
fake diamond

What is a Lab Grown Diamond? Is it different than natural/mined diamond?

What are lab grown diamonds?

Lab-grown diamonds, also known as synthetic or cultured diamonds, are diamonds that are created in a laboratory environment rather than mined from the earth. These diamonds have gained significant attention in recent years due to their ethical, environmental, and economic advantages over traditional mined diamonds.

The process of creating lab-grown diamonds involves replicating the natural conditions under which diamonds form in the earth. There are two primary methods used: High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).

  • HPHT Method: This method simulates the high-pressure, high-temperature conditions that occur in the earth where natural diamonds are formed. A small diamond seed is placed in a carbon-rich environment and exposed to extreme temperatures and pressures, mimicking the natural diamond-growing environment. Over time, the carbon atoms deposit on the seed, and a diamond is formed.
  • CVD Method: In the Chemical Vapor Deposition process, a diamond seed is placed in a chamber filled with a carbon-rich gas, usually methane. The chamber is then heated to high temperatures, causing the gas to become plasma. This plasma breaks down the molecular bonds in the gas, and the pure carbon adheres to the diamond seed, slowly crystallizing into a diamond.

Lab-grown diamonds are identical to natural diamonds in terms of their physical, chemical, and optical properties. They exhibit the same hardness, refractive index, and range of colors as their natural counterparts. However, they often have fewer impurities and defects since the growing conditions can be more controlled than in nature. Which makes lab grown diamonds better than mined(natural) diamonds since most of the lab diamonds are colorless and very slightly included. 

The benefits of lab-grown diamonds are multifaceted:

  • Ethical Considerations: Lab-grown diamonds offer an ethical alternative to natural diamonds, which have been linked to various human rights abuses and conflict (often referred to as "blood diamonds").
  • Environmental Impact: The production of lab-grown diamonds is generally less environmentally destructive than traditional diamond mining, which can cause significant ecological damage.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Lab-grown diamonds are a lot more affordable than natural diamonds. This is partly because the supply chain for synthetic diamonds is shorter and more controlled. You can get a 3 carat lab diamond for the price of a 1 carat mined diamond. #3caratisthenew1carat

  • Customization and Variety: Lab-grown diamonds can be produced in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, offering more options for customization.

In conclusion, lab-grown diamonds provide a sustainable, ethical, and cost-effective alternative to mined (natural) diamonds. They offer the same beauty and durability as mined diamonds while addressing many of the environmental and ethical concerns associated with traditional diamond mining. As technology continues to advance, we can expect the popularity and acceptance of lab-grown diamonds to grow further.

Who/What can differentiate lab diamonds from mined diamonds?

Lab diamonds and mined diamonds are physically, chemically, and optically identical. Therefore no one, including jewelers, can differentiate them. The only way to tell them apart is by looking at their certificates. 

Certified diamonds are laser inscribed with their certificate number. By looking at a diamond with a 20X diamond loop, you can read the certificate number and from that number, you can access the certificate and figure out the diamond's origin. 

Is moissanite the same as lab diamonds?

No. Moissanite and CZ(cubic zirconia) are diamond simulants and they are different stones than diamonds. 

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