Everything you need to know about Lab Grown Diamonds
What are Lab Grown diamonds?
Lab grown diamonds are created in a laboratory using various processes that mimic the conditions under which natural diamonds are formed in the earth's mantle. Unlike natural diamonds that form over millions of years, lab grown diamonds can be produced in a much shorter time period.
Lab grown diamonds have the same chemical and physical properties as natural diamonds and are virtually identical in appearance. They are composed of pure carbon atoms arranged in a crystal lattice structure and can exhibit a range of colours and clarities. Lab grown diamonds are increasingly popular as an ethical and sustainable alternative to natural diamonds and are used in a variety of jewellery applications.
How are lab grown diamonds created?
Lab-grown diamonds are created in a controlled environment using advanced technological processes. These diamonds are grown using one of two main methods: High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD).
HPHT is a process that mimics the natural formation of diamonds deep in the Earth's mantle. It involves placing a small diamond seed in a chamber and surrounding it with carbon. The chamber is then subjected to extreme pressure and temperature, up to 2,200 degrees Celsius and 1.5 million pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure, causing the carbon to crystallise and form a diamond around the seed.
CVD, on the other hand, involves creating a plasma ball by introducing a mixture of gases, including methane and hydrogen, into a chamber. This plasma ball generates a chemical reaction that deposits carbon atoms onto a substrate, such as a thin slice of diamond, to form a new diamond layer. The process is repeated layer by layer until a large diamond is formed.
Both HPHT and CVD methods result in diamonds that are virtually identical to natural diamonds in terms of their chemical and physical properties. The process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on the size and quality of the diamond being produced.
How long does it take to grow a lab-grown diamond?
The time it takes to grow a lab-grown diamond can vary based on the size and quality of the diamond, as well as the method used to grow it. Typically, the process can take anywhere from several weeks to a few months. The two most common methods used to grow lab-grown diamonds are High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD). The HPHT process involves exposing a diamond seed to carbon-rich gas in a high-pressure and high-temperature environment, while the CVD process involves introducing a diamond seed to a gas in a vacuum chamber. Both methods involve gradually building up the diamond's layers until it reaches the desired size and quality.
How are natural diamonds formed?
Natural diamonds are formed deep within the Earth's mantle under high pressure and high-temperature conditions over millions of years. Carbon that is subjected to extreme heat and pressure forms a crystalline structure. Most natural diamonds are formed in the Earth's mantle, which is located about 150 to 200 kilometres below the Earth's surface. The pressure in the mantle is approximately 51000 kilograms of force per square centimetre, and the temperature is around 1,200 to 1500 degrees celsius. Under these extreme conditions, carbon atoms bond together to form diamond crystals. Over time, the diamonds are brought to the Earth's surface through volcanic activity.
What is the difference in appearance between lab grown and natural diamonds?
Lab grown diamonds are virtually identical to natural diamonds in terms of appearance.
Both types of diamonds are composed of pure carbon atoms arranged in a crystal lattice structure, and both can exhibit a range of colours and clarities.
However, some experts suggest that trained gemologists can detect subtle differences in the inclusions and colour distribution of lab grown diamonds compared to natural diamonds.
For example, lab grown diamonds may have fewer inclusions or different patterns of inclusions than natural diamonds, and they may have a slightly different colour distribution due to the growth process.
In general, most people cannot tell the difference between lab grown and natural diamonds without specialised equipment or expertise.
How much do lab grown diamonds cost?
The cost of lab grown diamonds can vary widely depending on several factors, including the size, quality, shape of diamond and whether it is certified. Generally speaking, lab grown diamonds are more affordable than natural diamonds of equivalent size and quality, but they can still be relatively expensive depending on the specific diamond being purchased.
Additionally, it's important to ensure that any lab grown diamond being purchased comes with proper certification from a reputable gemological laboratory to verify its quality and authenticity.
Here at Diamond Elite all our lab grown diamond engagement rings have been through industry standard grading and analysis. Each diamond comes with matching certification to ensure authenticity.
Is a lab-grown diamond less valuable than a mined diamond?
Lab-grown diamonds are generally less expensive than natural mined diamonds, but the actual value of a diamond depends on various factors such as the quality, size, cut, and colour of the diamond. However, the value of a diamond is subjective, and it can vary depending on individual preferences and market demand. Lab-grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as natural diamonds and can be just as beautiful and durable. While some consumers prefer natural diamonds for their unique origin and rarity, others opt for lab-grown diamonds for their ethical and environmental benefits, affordability, and availability of larger or higher-quality diamonds at a better price when compared to natural mined diamonds.
Are lab-grown diamonds durable?
Yes, lab-grown diamonds are very durable and have similar properties to natural diamonds. They have the same hardness, toughness, and resistance to scratching and chipping as natural diamonds, which makes them suitable for daily wear.
Both natural and lab-grown diamonds have a hardness rating of 10 on the Mohs scale, which is the highest rating for any mineral. However, the durability of a diamond also depends on its cut, quality, and setting. A low-quality or poorly cut diamond may be more prone to damage or breakage, regardless of whether it is natural or lab-grown.
Can you insure lab-created diamonds?
Yes, lab-grown diamonds can be insured just like natural diamonds. In fact, many insurance companies provide coverage for lab-grown diamonds under the same terms and conditions as natural diamonds. It is important to ensure that your insurance policy explicitly covers lab-grown diamonds, as some policies may only provide coverage for natural diamonds.
Can lab grown diamonds be certified?
Yes, lab grown diamonds can be certified by reputable gemological laboratories just like natural diamonds. These certifications provide information about the diamond's quality, including its carat weight, cut, clarity, and colour, as well as its authenticity.
The most widely recognized gemological laboratory for lab grown diamonds is the International Gemological Institute (IGI), which has developed a specific grading system for lab grown diamonds. The IGI certification provides detailed information on the diamond's characteristics and quality, and it also includes a unique identification number that can be used to verify the diamond's authenticity.
At Diamond Elite you can rest assure that all our lab grown diamond engagement rings come with an IGI Certification.
How to clean a lab grown diamond?
Create a cleaning solution: Mix warm water with a mild dish soap or an ammonia-based cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the diamond.
Soak the diamond: Place the lab grown diamond in the cleaning solution and let it soak for about 20-30 minutes.
Gently scrub the diamond: After soaking, use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the diamond, focusing on the crevices and other hard-to-reach areas. Avoid using a toothbrush, as the bristles can be too harsh and can scratch the diamond.
Rinse the diamond: Rinse the diamond under warm running water to remove any remaining soap or cleaning solution.
Dry the diamond: Use a soft, lint-free cloth to dry the diamond, being careful not to rub it too hard or apply too much pressure.
What is the availability of lab grown diamonds?
Lab grown diamonds are becoming increasingly available as technology advances and demand for sustainable and ethical diamonds grows. They are produced by a growing number of companies around the world. Diamond Elite sources certified lab grown only from trusted suppliers based in the US.
Diamond Elite now offers both lab grown diamonds alongside natural diamonds, giving consumers more options when it comes to purchasing diamond jewellery. The availability of lab grown diamonds may vary depending market demand however we’d recommend popping by our boutique store located in Sydney’s North to check out our latest inventory of lab grown diamonds
Can lab grown diamonds be used for engagement rings and other jewellery?
Absolutely, lab grown diamonds can be used for engagement rings and other types of jewellery. In fact, lab grown diamonds are increasingly popular for engagement rings due to their affordability and ethical and environmental benefits.
Lab grown diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds, so they are just as durable and beautiful. They are also available in a range of colours, shapes, and sizes, so you can find a lab grown diamond that fits your style and budget.
Whether you choose a lab grown diamond or a natural diamond for your engagement ring or other jewellery, Diamond Elite is here to help. You can check out our availability of Lab Grown Diamond Engagement Rings and Lab Grown Diamond Jewellery by booking in an appointment to speak with our Diamond specialists at our Chatswood Boutique.