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Over the last few years, lab grown diamonds have become an increasingly popular alternative to naturally mined diamonds. With more couples choosing to be more environmentally conscious, lab grown diamonds provide the perfect eco-friendly engagement ring.
Lab grown diamonds (also called lab created, man made, engineered, synthetic or cultured diamonds) are chemically, optically and physically identical to earth mined diamonds, but are more ethical, beautiful and affordable than any diamond we will ever get out of the earth. We’re replicating the earth’s natural process by crystallizing carbon in a modern-day lab environment into brilliant diamonds that are priced up to 40% less, and are free of any environmental or humanitarian concerns.
One of the fundamental differences between natural and synthetic diamonds is that naturally occurring diamonds are formed deep within the Earth’s crust. The intense pressure and heat causes carbon atoms to crystallise, thus forming diamonds. Lab grown diamonds on the other hand are manufactured using two scientific processes, HPHT and CVD.
The first ever synthetic diamond was produced in the 1950s, far too small to be used in jewellery sets, these lab diamonds were extremely useful for industrial applications.
High Pressure High Temperature Diamond Process
This first process uses high pressure and high temperature (HPHT) to replicate nature’s process of diamond formation. The first step of the HPHT diamond process is to place a small ‘diamond seed’ into pure carbon.
The ‘diamond seed’ then goes through three manufacturing processes, the belt press, cubic press and split-sphere press. These three processes generate extreme heat and pressure, causing the carbon to melt and form around the seed – thus creating a diamond. This rough diamond is then polished up, making it perfect to fit into an engagement ring.
The HPHT method can also be used on diamonds you already have. The HPHT treatment process can be used on natural diamonds to enhance their colour permanently.
Many companies around the globe are experimenting with HPHT treatments, and not all are marking these enhanced stones with proper identification. Therefore, it is becoming more and more difficult for industry professionals and GIA researchers to differentiate between HPHT and natural diamonds. Researchers at the GIA continue to develop new techniques to identify HPHT gems, but keeping up with the developing technology is challenging.
If you’re buying a HPHT grown diamond, then you will find they are relatively more affordable than naturally occurring diamonds, this is because the supply chain of a lab grown diamond is much shorter than a natural diamond supply chain. Whichever you decide to choose, HPHT diamonds are just as beautiful and strong as natural diamonds.
CHEMICAL VAPOUR DEPOSITION DIAMOND PROCESS
Another man made diamond process is chemical vapour deposition (CVD). The CVD process was first introduced in the 1980s, as an alternative to the HPHT process. The CVD diamond process is more suited to gem-quality diamond production.
The CVD diamond process also begins with a diamond seed. This diamond seed is then placed into a growth chamber filled with hydrogen and carbon-containing glass.
The chamber is then heated to extreme temperatures, whilst a microwave beam causes carbon to stick to the diamond seed. The diamond is then regularly removed from the chamber, polished up and placed back in to grow further. To grow a diamond this way, it takes around three to four weeks, making it less labour intensive and less expensive than it’s HPHT counterpart.
No matter which process your synthetic diamond was created in, they will still sparkle as brightly as natural diamonds. They are also more eco-friendly than natural diamonds, making them a more environmentally friendly and cost effective option. It would make your life more attractive to choose our Provence Jewelry.