The Lab Grown Diamond Process: How Lab Grown Diamonds Are Created

Sparkling. Durable. Valuable.

Do you know what we're thinking about? The lab grown diamond process. If you’ve been considering buying lab grown diamond jewelry, you may be interested in learning about how they’re created and what makes them so special.

Lab Grown Vs. Natural Diamonds

Diamonds are one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world and for a good reason. However, traditional diamond mining practices have been known to cause significant environmental and social issues.

If you've been a fan of Plum Diamonds for a little while, you've probably heard us talk about how man-made diamonds are the future when it comes to sustainability and bypassing social issues often associated with mined diamonds.

Have you been curious about the lab grown diamond process? Then you're in luck because this blog post will take you through the ins and outs of how lab grown diamonds are created.

Before we go straight into the how, here's a quick refresher on the what.

Labgrown or synthetic diamonds are diamonds. Unlike their diamond simulant counterparts, they are identical to their mined siblings.

How are they the same?

- Chemical Composition: both are pure carbon and have the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and physical properties.

- Physically: lab grown and mined diamonds are tough and durable, scoring a ten on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

- Optically: Lab grown and mined diamonds look the same to the naked eye. Even trained gemologists may have difficulty telling them apart without specialized equipment.

So, why would you pay more for a mined diamond attached to high costs for the earth and its people? That's precisely our point; you wouldn't!

How Are Lab Grown Diamonds Made?

(Wo)man-made diamonds are made in a lab.

Oh wait, that's not enough detail for you? Okay, let's get scientific about the lab grown diamond process.

First, it's essential to understand that lab grown diamonds are made using two methods: High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).

Overview: High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT)

HPHT is the more traditional diamond growth method that has existed since the mid-1950s.

It involves placing a tiny diamond seed in a carbon-rich environment and subjecting it to high pressure (above 870,000 pounds per square inch) and high temperature (1300-1600 °C) to replicate the natural formation process of diamonds in the earth's mantle. The synthetic diamond then starts growing.

Overview: Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)

Thankfully, we're never done innovating in the lab grown diamond industry. In the 1980s, Chemical Vapor Deposition was developed as a new method using less temperature and much smaller machinery.

The CVD method involves placing a diamond seed in a low-pressure vacuum chamber and introducing a gas mixture that contains carbon. The gas mixture is heated to 900-1200°C, causing the carbon atoms to bond to the seed and form a diamond.

Unlike HPHT, the created diamonds must be removed every few days to have the top surface polished. This removes any non-diamond carbon. They're then placed back into the environment to grow. It's a time-intensive process of between three and four weeks.

Due to the lower temperatures and pressures involved, the CVD diamond creation process is much less expensive.

HPHT Vs. CVD. Which Process is Better?

As a diamond consumer, you will never be expected to choose between lab grown diamond processes because what you're choosing is all about the 4Cs of diamond quality:

- Cut

- Clarity

- Color

- Carat

If the 4 Cs are right and the diamond is conflict-free and sustainable due to being lab grown, you have found yourself a winner!

Lab Grown Engagement Rings

Lab Grown Engagement Rings: A Deeper Look At Creating Diamonds In A Lab

Regardless of the method used, the lab grown diamond process involves several key steps. Gaining a deeper understanding of these allows you to make a more informed choice.

Step #1: Diamond Seed Selection

The first step is to select a high-quality diamond seed. This can be a natural diamond or a lab grown diamond already created. The size and quality of the original seed will determine the size and quality of the final lab grown diamond.

Step #2: Diamond Seed Prep

The selected diamond seed is cleaned and prepared for the growth process. This involves removing impurities and polishing the surface to create a smooth, even surface for the new diamond to grow.

Step #3: Into the Growth Chamber

The prepared diamond seed is placed in a growth chamber filled with a carbon-rich gas mixture (CVD) or graphite (HPHT).

Step #4: Time to Grow

The growth process begins by heating the chamber to the appropriate temperature and pressure for the selected method. Carbon atoms then start to attach to the surface of the diamond seed, building up layer by layer until a rough diamond is formed. It's a little like magic.

Step #5: Cutting and Polishing

This is our personal favorite step in the process, apart from seeing happy couples show off their forever lab grown diamond engagement rings.

Once the rough diamond has formed, it is removed from the growth chamber and then cut and polished to its final shape and size.

Step #6: Certification

Finally, the lab grown diamond is sent to a gemological laboratory for certification. This certification ensures that the diamond meets the same 4Cs of diamond quality standards as natural diamonds and can be graded and valued accordingly.

Both lab grown and mined diamonds undergo stringent certification processes. That way, you know you've got a sparkling winner on your finger–your very own lab grown diamond engagement ring.

About Plum Diamonds

We hope we've been able to demystify the lab grown diamond process. It is a lot of advanced technology and just a hint of industry magic.

These sustainable processes offer a more ethical and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional diamond mining. They are just as beautiful, durable, and valuable, offering an excellent opportunity for consumers to make a more responsible choice when purchasing diamonds.

Here at Plum Diamonds, we pride ourselves on creating one of a kind lab diamond rings for one-of-a-kind love stories. No cookie cutter diamonds in sight. All conflict-free. Always.

Unsure about how ordering something this important works without getting to try it on? Our find your diamond kit takes the guesswork out of your purchase and lets you figure out your favorite carat weight, diamond shape, and finger size. All in the comfort of your home!

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