Evolution of lab grown diamonds in the 21st century

  • What are lab grown diamond?

Lab grown or man-made diamonds is a term that one frequently gets to hear these days, yet many are confused about what it actually means. Lab grown diamonds are just what the name suggests: diamonds that are grown in a lab, made by man. But that does not make them artificial or duplicates. They are as real as mined diamond. The chemical structure and atomic composition of lab grown diamonds is similar to mined or natural diamonds making them as real as they can be.

  • History of lab grown diamonds

Man has always wanted to prove his mettle to compete with nature and lab grown diamonds are one such attempt. Although it is unsure of the exact year when the first lab grown diamonds were made, they are estimated to be in existence around the 1940’s. In the year 1954, General Electric (GE) Company successfully made the first batch of lab grown diamonds. H Tracy Hall was the chemist who invented the first lab grown diamonds. Prior to that research and attempts had been made but were halted due to the advent of the Second World War. The first batch made was very small in size and of bad quality. They were only used for certain industrial purposes. Around 1970, these diamonds came to be sold as ornamental jewellery pieces in the market.

  • Process of creation

In order to create lab grown diamonds, scientists had to recreate the conditions similar to the Earth’s crust where natural, mined diamonds are found. After all, the base process is the same using high heat and pressurised atmosphere. Lab grown diamonds are mainly created by two processes: High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and the Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) Process.

In HPHT, as the name suggests, the diamond seed is subjected to high amounts of heat and pressure in an enclosed chamber. The heat and pressure helps to break down the molecular structure of the carbon and form the diamond.

CVD is also similar when it comes to the heat and pressure, but the addition here is the introduction of carbon-filled gases such as methane or hydrogen in the chamber. This helps the carbon to bond with the seed and create a newer and bigger diamond.

Diamonds made through the CVD process are larger than those made using HPHT.

  • Rising demand in market over the years

Over the years, the demand for Lab grown diamonds London has increased in the jewellery market. Earlier, people were hesitant assuming that these are artificial or fake diamonds, however with more clarity, the market picture changed majorly. People soon started falling out of love with natural diamonds and developed a longing for the lab grown diamond due to two main reasons:

  1. They are cheaper than natural diamonds. If you can get a real diamond for a lower price, why wouldn’t you opt for it? The price difference between natural and lab grown diamonds is significantly large.
  2. They are environment-friendly. Natural diamonds come at a big price. The Earth being drilled and mined into great depths causes major environmental issues such as soil erosion, loosening the Earth’s crust and all of this can have a terrible effect in the longer run. With lab grown diamonds, people feel that they are giving something back to the Earth. The sentimental value attached also makes lab grown diamonds more popular among people.

Over the years the process, appearance of lab grown diamonds has changed, yet one thing that remains constant is the fact that they are a cost-effective, authentic and sustainable alternative to naturally mined diamonds. Although many people consider lab grown diamonds as the first choice, the Sapphire engagement ring, the also rising in popularity.

Leave a Comment