Lab Grown Diamonds
Synthetic diamonds go by many different names—lab-grown diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, and even man-made diamonds. These names all point to the fact that man-made diamonds are created in laboratories or factories, rather than being naturally formed in nature and mined from the ground. Some synthetic diamond laboratories use advanced techniques to simulate the conditions under which natural diamonds form under the Earth's crust. This formation process is the main factor that distinguishes synthetic diamonds from natural diamonds, since synthetic diamonds are essentially identical in chemical, optical and physical properties and crystal structure to natural diamonds.
How can I tell the difference between a lab-grown diamond and a natural diamond?
To the naked eye, lab-grown and natural diamonds look identical. Typically, it can only be identified using specialized instruments at a gemological laboratory. These instruments can detect tiny differences in trace elements and crystal growth to determine whether a diamond is synthetic or natural.
How are lab-grown diamonds graded?
Synthetic diamonds are graded with the same rigorous process as natural diamonds. The international certifiers GIA and IGI both certify and, when a gemstone is received for grading, examine it to determine its identity and detect possible treatments. Analytical methods include observation of inclusions as well as fluorescence and phosphorescence. If a diamond is tested to be synthetic, a Lab-Grown Diamond Report is issued. As a further precaution to protect consumers, GIA and IGI also laser inscribe the diamond's girdle with its report number and a statement that the diamond is lab-grown. At HIamond, diamonds larger than 0.5 carats will be provided with IGI-certified grading certificates.
Synthetic Diamond Chronology
- 1950s: Synthetic diamonds are introduced, produced using the high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) method, mainly for industrial purposes, such as in telecommunications and laser optics, and as abrasive materials.
- 1970s: General Electric researchers create the first gem-quality synthetic diamond. They are clear enough and large enough to be used as gemstones in jewelry.
- Mid 1980s: Manufacturers begin producing gem-quality synthetic diamond crystals on a commercial scale. At first, these lab-grown diamonds were almost all small and yellow or brown in color, but their quality has continued to improve over the ensuing decades.
- 2000s: Diamonds are produced using chemical vapor deposition (CVD), which requires lower pressures and temperatures than HPHT.
- 2010: Colorless lab-grown diamonds available on a commercial scale in the jewelry market. HPHT and CVD remain the main production methods for synthetic diamonds.
- 2020: The United States, as the largest consumer of lab-grown diamonds, leads global consumers to choose more environmentally friendly synthetic diamonds as a substitute for natural diamond demand.
As a result, lab-grown diamonds are now a mainstream alternative for many, as they have the same beauty and properties as mined diamonds, and are available in larger carats for the same price. A more brilliant and beautiful diamond fire effect has been achieved.