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Understanding Lab-Grown Diamonds

07th Aug 2019
Read Time:6.23 min
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  • Chemical Vapour Deposition
  • Diamonds
  • Lab-Grown Diamonds

The evolving humans found an alternative of the mined Diamonds, i.e. Lab-Grown Diamonds.

Eons ago, when humans were unknown about the precious treasures which were developing beneath the surface of the Earth. Bit by bit the carbon from all the dead life forms melted and compressed into durable substances. The million years of transformation beneath the Earth resulted in the most glorious and magnificent gems ever found. The existence of diamonds remain hidden upon the surface of the Earth and the stash in the Earth’s crust were safe in the lap of nature. The eruptions of nature would lead the diamonds to appear on the surface of the Earth.

As humans started evolving, they came in contact with these shiny stones and diamonds soon became an expression. An expression of wealth, power and love. The discovery of Diamonds led to the booming of the Diamond Industry.

The history of Mined Diamonds is not unknown. Over the years, as the industry grew and demand outsourced supply capacity of mines. These problems surged mankind for a better alternative.

The evolving humans found an alternative of the mined Diamonds, i.e. Lab-Grown Diamonds. An unknown name, Tracy Hall, from history rises up the top as a creator of the lab-grown diamond. Hall was working at GE (General Electronics) and with his efforts, the company on Feb 14, 1955, announced the first success of manufacturing synthetic(Lab-Grown) diamond. The Lab-Grown Diamonds are not synthetic substitutes of Earth-mined Diamonds but are optically, physically and chemically identical to the Earth-mined Diamonds. The introduction of Lab-Grown Diamonds quaked the jewelry world which led to several assertions about the Lab-Grown Diamonds.

People question the authenticity of Lab-Grown Diamonds. They believe that they are fake diamonds. Like plants grown in the nursery aren’t artificial, the same way diamonds grown in labs aren’t fake. Plants are given a simulated environment which enhances their growth and improvise their quality. Likewise, Lab Grown Diamonds are created in a specific environment which enhances their characteristics according to the required needs.

The million-dollar question here is how the Diamonds are grown in the lab and who put forth the Lab-Grown Diamonds. The roots of Lab-Grown Diamonds can be traced back in 1911, when a science fiction author, H.G Wells described in his book ‘The Diamond Maker’, a process which leads to the formation of diamonds inside the Earth’s mantle that can possibly be carried out upon the surface of the Earth. In the late 19th and early 20th century, there were many hesitant and doubtful attempts to create diamonds in the labs. In mid-1950s scientists started developing their own methods of synthesizing the gems. In 1970, the first experimental production of gem-quality diamond occurred. Until the early 2000s, the diamonds were quite small and often tinted with impurities, but since the last five years or so, the sector is booming and is producing large colorless Diamonds.

These Diamonds can be grown in two ways, i.e. the process similar to what happens beneath the Earth and the second is what scientists believe how the diamonds are formed in the outer space. The older-method that was inspired by the process beneath the Earth is HPHT – High-Pressure High Temperature. In this process, a carbon source, maybe graphite or a diamond seed is picked by the diamond experts and then placed on the Metal Disk with a cluster of other 15-30 pieces. The Diamond Growth Chamber is built with a highly controlled environment where the natural environment is imitated. The Temperature is increased up to 2600 Celsius. The High Temperature and Pressure may result in cracks at times, therefore it requires close supervision. The pure carbon then starts melting and forms around on the diamond starter seed. It is then carefully cooled down to form a pure carbon diamond.

The second method that is inspired by the formation of diamonds in the space. The scientists have found traces of Diamonds in the meteorites which led the curious minds to a bunch of hypotheses. Scientists discovered that it rains Diamonds on the ice-giants Neptune and Uranus. Both the planets have a high concentration of methane in its atmosphere. These led the scientists to experiment on how diamonds can be formed in the space.

The scientists used polystyrene which acted as a suitable stand-in for Methane and shockwaves were passed. When two shockwaves caught up with one another, it generated a huge amount of pressure and temperature, converting almost every plastic atom into diamond structures.

CVD which refers to as Chemical Vapour Deposition where Carbon plasma is created over the substrates upon which the Carbon atoms starts depositing to form a pure carbon Diamond.

Today, the industries across the globe are searching for efficient methods and technology to bring the cost and quality of these lab-grown diamonds to certain quality standards. The creation of a lab-grown diamond has lead to open up a gateway for industrial growth and better consumer opportunities.

Author Bio

Marketing manager

Alex is a marketing manager at SLTL Group with 10+ years of experience in Fiber Laser cutting and welding machines development expert in Robot programming and development of Robotic Laser cutting and welding machines.