Lab Grown Diamonds
WHAT ARE LAB GROWN DIAMONDS?
Lab grown or man-made diamonds, also commonly known as engineered or cultured diamonds, are created in controlled laboratories utilising advanced technology that duplicate the conditions under which diamonds would naturally form beneath the Earth’s crust. These man-made diamonds are made up of real carbon atoms arranged in the characteristic diamond crystal formation. Being made of the same materials they end up with the same chemical and optical properties.
Grand Diamonds lab grown diamonds are now readily available in a variety of ranges. Lab grown diamonds are also available in multiple colours that are considered very rare in for natural diamonds. Fancy coloured lab diamonds sell at comparatively reasonable prices compared to their natural coloured diamond counterparts.
LAB GROWN DIAMONDS VS. DIAMOND SIMULANTS
It is important to understand the clear difference between lab created diamonds and diamond simulants. Diamond simulants, such as cubic zirconia and moissanite, look similar to diamonds but are in fact not true carbon crystals. Simulants do not contain the same chemical and physical properties as lab diamonds and therefore sell at much lower prices than man made diamonds. Simulants are easy to distinguish from natural or lab grown diamonds using only the naked eye.
Natural and lab grown diamonds have thermal conductivity properties that distinguish them from cubic zirconia with a handheld diamond tester. Some lab diamonds, along with some natural coloured diamonds, may be incorrectly identified as moissanites when utilising certain diamond testers due to likeness in their electrical conductivity. Nevertheless, gemmologists can normally distinguish between diamond and moissanite due to their differing refractive properties, with moissanites being double refractive and diamonds being only single refractive.
HOW DO YOU CREATE LAB DIAMONDS?
Our lab diamonds are made from the carbon seeds of pre-existing diamonds. Using advanced technology – either extreme pressure and heat or a unique deposition process known as CVD – it mimics the natural process of diamond formation. Coloured lab diamonds are formed when small quantities of specific trace elements are present during the growth phase, just like in nature. In both types of diamonds, coloured and white, the exact makeup of trace elements may differ from their natural diamond counterparts. Lab diamonds can only be differentiated from natural diamonds using highly specialised equipment that can detect the minor differences in trace elements and crystal growth.
LAB CREATED DIAMOND RING SETTINGS
At Grand Diamonds, we offer many of our engagement ring settings with lab created diamond accents when set with a lab created centre diamond. For most styles, we match the type of accent diamonds with the type of selected centre diamond. If you select a lab created centre diamond, then the accent diamonds on your setting may also be lab created, as indicated in the product specifications.
LAB CREATED DIAMONDS VS. NATURAL DIAMONDS
Our lab grown diamonds have the same physical, chemical, and optical characteristics as natural diamonds, and exhibit the same intensity, sparkling, and vivacity. Using a jewellery loupe, man-made diamonds are nearly impossible to differentiate from natural diamonds. The only main disparity is that lab created diamonds may exhibit different trace elements than natural diamonds that do not affect the appearance of the diamond. These differences can only be picked up using highly specialised equipment. Grand Diamonds lab created diamonds available for purchase will always come with a gem certification identifying them as laboratory grown.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CVD & HPHT DIAMONDS?
There are several notable differences between CVD (Chemical Vapour Deposition) and HPHT (High Pressure, High Temperature) diamonds in manufacture process and quality.
HPHT-produced diamonds are produced with artificial conditions similar to how a diamond would naturally form over thousands of years in the Earth’s crust – with incredibly high pressure and temperatures. HPHT diamonds tend to be cheaper but of poorer quality than CVD-produced diamonds. Grand Diamonds utilises the higher quality CVD lab made diamonds.
Type IIA – CVC
CVD-produced diamonds are manufactured by using a slice of a diamond as a seed, filling a chamber with hydrocarbon gasses and breaking down molecular bonds with microwaves or lasers to bond to the seed and build into a larger crystal. These lab-grown diamonds are molecularly the same as natural diamonds, producing a brilliant shine that cannot be distinguished from a natural diamond from the naked eye. The diamonds produced with a CVD process are Type 2A diamonds, the grading for the most unique and purest form of a diamond devoid of imperfections.