It was never expected that technology would be able to create a diamond, which would have the exact properties as that of natural diamonds. Technology has advanced to a great extent, there are many such achievements which at one point were considered impossible.
In the past decade, the popularity of man made diamonds has shot straight up, 9% people were aware in 2010 about man made diamonds, which increased to 51% by the end of 2018. There are numerous factors that support this growth; cheaper than natural diamonds, possess the same intrinsic properties, and eco-friendly.
To back all of this, the Federal Trade Commission revised its definition of a ‘diamond’ and removed the word ‘natural’ out of it. Stating that a diamond is a diamond whether it has been cultured in a lab or dug from beneath the earth. This furthermore empowered lab grown loose diamonds as ‘real diamonds’.
Jewellers, brands, and retailers are all now supplying and selling lab grown fancy diamonds in the market now. They have acknowledged the fact that customers have become more conscious and are acting on it.
What are man made diamonds?
Loose diamonds, fancy diamonds, white diamonds, colored diamonds or any other type of diamond that have been created in a lab by man made processes is known as man made diamonds. These lab grown loose diamonds are created in chambers under controlled environments, using CVD diamond & HPHT synthetic diamond making method.
These diamonds have the same physical, chemical and optical properties as that of natural diamonds. They are different than Cubic Zirconia (CZ) or moissanite stones; which are diamond simulants.
How is man made diamonds created?
There are mainly two methods which produce man made diamonds:
- CVD Diamond Method: CVD stands for Chemical Vapour Decomposition, it is used to create high-quality fancy diamonds. In this method, a tiny diamond seed is put inside a chamber in the presence of a pure rich carbon plasma. As soon as the process starts, carbon atoms start getting deposited on the diamond seed and results in the formation of a man made diamond. This whole process takes about 10 to 12 weeks.
- HPHT Synthetic Diamond Method: HPHT stands for High-Pressure-High-Temperature and is used to create man made diamonds. An HPHT Synthetic Diamond making machine can generate 60,000 ATM (atmospheric pressure) and raise the temperature up to 2500°C. Thus forming conditions similar to those found under the earth’s crust, which results in the formation of a man made diamond.
Both these methods produce lab grown fancy diamonds which are called real diamonds. These loose diamonds possess the same physical, chemical and optical properties as that of natural diamonds.
Different types of man made diamonds:
The classification of man made diamonds can be done into 4 types, based on the amount of impurities present.
Type 1a: Approximately 95% of all mined diamonds
Type 1b: All lab created yellow diamonds and 0.1% of all mined diamonds
Type 2a: The purest and rarest form of diamonds, almost all lab grown white diamonds.
Type 2b: All lab grown blue diamonds, or 0.1% mined blue diamonds
Things to look for when buying man made diamonds
Buying man made diamonds or diamonds, in general, can be a tricky process. There are many people out there who are ready to fool you and take your money. Diamond simulants look similar to diamonds but are not real diamonds, be sure not to get duped by them.
Man made diamonds are created by two methods; CVD diamond & HPHT synthetic diamond making method. These lab-grown loose diamonds after being formed are inscribed by a grading institution on the girdle. These diamonds are graded on the basis of the 4C’s (Carat, Cut, Clarity, Colour) If there is no such inscription than you might be buying a diamond simulant.
Look for best place to buy lab created diamonds that have been graded by authentic grading institutions. Some intuitions are the International Institute of Diamond Grading and Research (IIDGR), the International Gemological Institute (IGI), and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Sellers and retailers have to provide a proper certificate, along with the man made diamond. If a seller or retailer doesn’t provide a certificate, ask for one.
Reasons why man made diamonds are better than natural diamonds
- Man made diamonds do not fund conflicts and wars, unlike blood diamonds (natural diamonds).
- Man made diamonds are created in labs and do not cause pollution and environmental degradation, like the mining of natural diamonds.
- Man made diamonds are 20%-30% cheaper than natural diamonds.
- Almost all man made diamonds are Type 2a, which is very rare among mined diamonds.
- Man made diamonds do not have any fluorescence.
- Man made fancy diamonds and loose diamonds can meet the market’s supply.
- Lab grown loose diamonds are customizable.
- Lab grown loose diamonds are graded according to the 4C’s by grading institutions.
While man made diamond producers have had trouble in the past to prove, that these fancy diamonds are in fact real diamonds. They are progressing now and their popularity increased due to obvious reasons. Hence, man made diamonds in the future.