Lab Grown Diamonds
What's Lab Grown Diamonds?
Lab Grown Diamond is an abbreviation for Laboratory Grown Diamond, which means "diamond grown in a laboratory".
While natural diamonds crystallize carbon in the mantle layer deep underground, lab-grown diamonds grow on earth by replicating the same carbon crystallization process in a facility.
It is a "genuine diamond" that is physically and chemically identical to a natural diamond.
Recognized as genuine diamonds by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, also many celebrities and Hollywood stars have chosen lab-grown diamonds as their new choice.
1. Genuine diamonds
Lab-grown diamonds have exactly the same "chemical" and "physical" properties as natural diamonds. It is the same carbon crystal, has the same hardness, the same crystal structure, and the same brilliance.
While CZ (cubic zirconia) and moissanite, which are called to be simulants, have different chemical properties from diamonds, lab-grown diamonds are completely the same substance as natural diamonds.
The relevance between natural diamonds and lab-grown diamonds is like wild orchids and house-grown orchids. Both are real, just grown up in different environments.
2. Pure diamonds
Diamonds are broadly classified into Type 1 and Type 2 depending on the presence or absence of impurities. Most natural diamonds that grow in a natural environment take in nitrogen that exists in the natural world, while lab-grown diamonds grow as pure carbon diamonds without taking in nitrogen. Diamonds that do not contain impurities are rare in nature and are traded at high prices due to their rarity and beauty, but all colorless lab-grown diamonds are Type 2 with this property.
Lab-grown diamonds are grown in facilities on earth and do not require extensive underground mining. Therefore, the impact on nature and ecosystems is extremely small. We do not engage in slave labor or automated labor, nor do we potentially finance conflicts or wars.
4. Price advantage
Lab-grown diamonds have less intermediate costs than natural diamonds, and stable supply is possible, so we are able to achieve reasonable prices. If diamonds are the same size and quality, the larger size, the bigger price difference with natural diamonds. Also, if you have the same budget, you can buy a diamond that is more than twice the size of a natural diamond.
*The figure above is a comparison image of the wholesale price in the loose stones.
How Lab-Grown Diamonds Grow
There are two main methods of growing lab-grown diamonds: HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) and CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition).
HPHT (high pressure high temperature) method
HPHT stands for High-Pressure High-Temperature, and is a method of artificially reproducing the ultra-high-pressure, ultra-high-temperature environment of the earth's interior mantle where natural diamonds grow.
A box containing materials is set in the center of the machine, which basically consists of a metal solvent, raw carbon, and a diamond seed crystal as a nucleus.
An ultra-high pressure of 55,000 atmospheres and an ultra-high temperature of about 1400°C are applied to crystallize it as diamond. If these conditions are not met, carbon will not crystallize as diamond and will become graphite.
There are various types of high-pressure presses, but the most common today is the cubic press, which can apply pressure uniformly from six directions.
CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) method
CVD stands for Chemical Vapor Deposition and is a method of growing diamond using gas and plasma energy.
The CVD method does not require pressure, and diamond can be grown under an environment of 1 atm.
Thinly sliced pieces of diamond are used as seed crystals for CVD growth. By arranging multiple seed crystals in the chamber, it is possible to grow multiple diamonds at once.
By injecting methane gas containing carbon into the device and applying microwave plasma energy, the diamond is gradually crystallized.
The quality of grown diamonds varies depending on the type of gas and very fine settings of the flow rate.