How Are Laboratory Grown Diamonds Made?

Diamonds are distinctive not only because they are stunning, but also because they have many special characteristics. Diamonds, which are crystals of pure carbon, are highly prized gems due to their extraordinary shine, dispersion, and luminescence. Many people prefer to use diamonds for engagement rings, pendant necklaces, and much more due to their unique meaning.

As natural diamonds take years to be made, many scientists looked for alternatives so that they could increase production without compromising on quality. This new method is called “lab-grown diamonds.” This way, the diamonds are grown in a span of 6 to 8 weeks. They use a controlled environment to grow the diamond without compromising its quality or charm.

Many people must be wondering: Are lab grown diamonds real? The short answer is yes; they are real. They have the same properties as a natural diamond. You cannot tell the difference between natural and lab-grown diamonds. For this purpose, you will need an expert to tell the difference between the two. Isn’t it amazing? This is the main reason why people go for lab grown diamonds.

You must be curious about how they are produced and if there are any special methods. Yes, there are, and we will walk you through each and everything that you need to know.

Methods Used For Lab-Grown Diamonds 

Lab-grown diamonds are becoming famous because they take less time and provide the same quality. There are mainly two methods commonly used to make these diamonds. You can also go for fancy or simple diamond jewelry, as there are no restrictions and everything is available.

  1. CVD Diamond Method 

Chemical Vapour Decomposition, or CVD, is a process that produces excellent loose diamonds. This technique involves placing a substance inside a chamber with a clean, rich carbon plasma. Microwaves, photons, or a steamy filament are then used to heat the chamber to temperatures between 800 and 900 degrees Celsius. 

The heat source induces carbon to condense out of the mixture of gasses and adhere to the substrate. Here, it proceeds to crystallize into a diamond. In order to eliminate any graphite crystals around the diamond, technicians must regularly halt the CVD procedure.

Depending on the size and quality of the diamonds, CVD can take days or weeks. Hundreds of stones, though, can be formed at the same time.

  • CVD Treatment

Brown or yellow hues are the most common colors of CVD diamonds after they exit the chamber. These stones require heat treatment in order to be offered for sale as white or colorless diamonds. After they are made, CVD diamonds can also go through steps that give them a beautiful pink or red color.

Putting boron or nitrogen in the chamber during production could also make blue or yellow CVD diamonds look like something out of the ordinary.

CVD treatments are classified into four types based on the type of diamond to be produced. These types are given below:

  • Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapour Decomposition 
  • Low-pressure Chemical Vapour Decomposition 
  • Ultra-High Vacuum Chemical Vapour Decomposition 
  • Microwave Plasma Chemical Vapour Decomposition 

2. HPHT Synthetic Method

The first technique for creating diamonds was HPHT. The procedure starts with inserting a capsule containing carbon raw material, a metallic flux, and a tiny diamond seed into a machine. Graphite is a typical mineral made entirely of carbon. It is typically employed as the carbon starter material in this procedure.

The capsule is then squeezed until it reaches up to 59,200 atm of pressure, and then it is cooked at temperatures between 1,300 and 1,600 degrees Celsius. As a result, the carbon source is dissolved into the metallic flux. Iron, nickel, and cobalt are frequently included in metal fluxes. They assist in lowering the temperature required for diamond production.  

The dissociated carbon source can then travel through the liquid metal combination and condense around the diamond. It results in a lab-grown diamond. Depending on the size and quality of the diamonds, the HPHT process might take anywhere from hours to weeks. 

  • HPHT Presses

The presses that are frequently employed in HPHT diamond production are belt and cubic.

Cubic Press:

This produces high temperatures and pressures using pistons. The pistons are distributed across the machine and provide pressure in various directions. 

Belt Press: 

In this machine, two powerful pistons generate enormous pressure. These pistons exert an identical amount of pressure in both directions. 

Spilt Sphere:

They are used to create the maximum pressure by using the piston, and then the chamber accelerates the heat. This is the quickest way to make a diamond.

  • HPHT Treatments

Most HPHT diamonds will be subjected to additional heat treatments when they are extracted from the press. These processes will enhance their clarity and color, and they may even result in fancy-colored diamonds. Radiation procedures can also produce pink and red colors in HPHT diamonds.

CVD Or HPHT: Which One Is Better?

The main things that are to be taken care of are the color and clarity. They vary widely and thus require special consideration when selecting a diamond. Whether CVD or HPHT, they both offer the same thing. Because these diamonds are much less expensive than natural diamonds, many people sacrifice quality for price. Make sure that you do not fall prey to such things. 

Your diamond is likely made using the HPHT procedure if it weighs less than half a carat. In the range of 1-3 carats, CVD is most likely. But regardless of how it was created, ensuring that the diamond you purchase is a certified lab-grown diamond will guarantee that it is of the caliber you expect.

People who go for diamond engagement rings, pendants, or diamond stud earrings go for the HPHT method, as it deals with small diamonds.

On the other hand, diamond tennis necklaces and large rings go through the CVD method.

Final words 

For making this type of diamond, a regulated atmosphere and particular conditions are required. Lab-grown diamonds do not necessitate extensive mining, which impacts the environment, land, and plants. So it is environmentally friendly, and this is why this method is more famous. These man-made diamonds can be fashioned into any kind of beautiful diamond or used as loose diamonds.