Where Are Lab Diamonds Created?
Lab-created diamonds are grow in specialized high-pressure and high-temperature facilities called chemical vapour deposition (CVD) machines. The first lab diamond machine was develop in the mid-1990s and cost millions of dollars to create, but today, it can purchase by anyone with enough money to buy one. To learn more about lab-create diamonds, see this article on how lab diamonds are create.
The History Of CVD
Created diamonds have a long history, even if they’re relatively new to mainstream jewellery. In 1927, scientists discover that when carbon was place in an ultra-high pressure chamber it transform into a crystalline structure remarkably similar to diamond. It wasn’t until 1975 that scientists perfected their technique and CVD diamonds became commercially available. Today, most lab-create diamonds are make using a process call chemical vapour deposition (CVD). CVD involves creating an environment inside of a vacuum chamber where methane is heat to produce large amounts of carbon and hydrogen atoms which attach to a plate on top of a diamond substrate.
Over time, these layers build up to create a diamond. The result is something that looks very much like a natural diamond—and often has similar physical properties—but can produce at a fraction of the cost. While there are several different types of lab-grown diamonds, all of them will display a grading report from one of two leading labs: GIA or AGS. These reports will detail exactly how your stone was grow as well as its composition and physical properties so you can be sure you’re getting exactly what you want!
Step 1 – Purification
Lab diamonds go through a purification process where they are melt down to liquid. This liquid is pour into a diamond casting tower, where it freezes and forms into diamonds at an accelerated rate compared to natural diamond growth. Natural diamonds take millions of years to form, but Lab diamonds take about an hour or two to grow. This freezing process is call nucleation. Lab diamonds start growing from a single point, or seed, which grows into multiple points as it freezes, creating a polycrystalline structure with rounded edges similar to a natural diamond’s (Figure 1). The polycrystalline structure gives lab-grown stones strength and durability that is similar to most natural rough diamonds but without all of their imperfections like colour and carbon spots.
Step 2 – Synthesis
The first step to creating lab diamonds is synthesis. CVD (chemical vapour deposition) and HPHT (high-pressure, high-temperature) are two common techniques use in synthesizing lab diamonds. Both methods involve reacting methane with a carbon source in a controlled environment where diamond formation is possible. Synthesis of Lab diamonds may take days, weeks or months depending on multiple factors,
but once complete, rough or large shapes are form that can be cut
and polish into specific diamonds for jewellery use. With larger stones
and more complex shapes, it may be necessary to repeat the synthesis process several times before obtaining a finished product.
Step 3 – Growth
Invest in a Work Ethic to Further Your Career. – Lab diamonds,
or culture diamond, is a type of synthetic diamond that is make by growing
and then applying high-pressure and heat (HPHT) to carbon-bearing gas. They were first discovered in 1965. Since then, scientists have found more than a dozen different ways to grow
these diamonds in lab conditions that mimic those on earth millions of years ago. The most common way to produce Lab diamonds today is through chemical vapour deposition (CVD).
The process begins with an inert gas like methane being place into a chamber where it’s heat to thousands of degrees Celsius. The extreme temperature causes atoms within the methane to break apart into smaller particles—these particles eventually form carbon atoms. Once formed, these atoms bond together with other single carbon atoms to create what we know as graphite—the soft material commonly used in pencil lead. However, if they continue moving through at a high enough rate and at such extreme temperatures, they can form into other types of materials—like a diamond!
The 4Cs Of Lab Diamonds
Did you know that diamonds in jewellery stores have modify in some way to improve their quality? These are know as lab-created diamonds, and they’re a popular choice for consumers looking for conflict-free, ethically sourced gems. But what do you need to know about these lab-grown options? To gain a better understanding of how CVD diamonds are make, it’s important to understand 4Cs: Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat. Below is a breakdown of each aspect; be sure to check back next week for our third instalment on durability!