Diamonds are among the top values of humanity. It is quite reasonable due to their glitter and shine. Another reason that makes diamonds so evaluated is that in nature, they are rare and hardly mined gems. But what about a new word in gemology that is man-made diamonds?
Let’s consider how is a man made diamonds made and if it has some peculiarities that distinguish it from the naturally mined one?
How Are Lab Diamonds Made?
A man-made diamond is a whole name used to sign stones that are looking similar to diamond by their structure being not a creation of nature but a result of human’s skills and knowledge. There are several kinds that are often named a man made diamond i.e. lab-created diamonds themselves, zircons, moissanitуs etc.
These gems are processed in labs and it is a fully artificial process. There are also several ways on how to create such a diamond. Naturally diamonds are processed at a depth of hundreds of kilometers below the earth’s surface, at high temperature and pressure, and then carried to the surface by igneous rocks.
This process has been tried to simulate in the laboratory since the 18th century when it became clear that diamond is carbon. But in reality, the first real laboratory diamonds came out only in the middle of the 20th century, in America.
To imagine the whole process on how are lab-grown diamonds made just take this scheme into account. A small cell, inside which there are graphite and an iron-nickel-cobalt melt, acting as a solvent and catalyst, is compressed using a press, creating a pressure of 50 thousand atmospheres inside, and at the same time maintaining a temperature of about 1300 degrees – approximately in such conditions, diamonds are nucleated in the bowels of the earth.
The result is really amazing because you can hardly understand whether it is a man made diamonds engagement ring or whether it is of a natural gem.
Are Man-Made Diamonds Real Diamonds?
We can definitely say ‘yes’ to answer the question. If you know what are diamonds made out of, you can consider that both laboratory and natural diamonds have a similar structure. They are both carbons. The nuance is only there are several gems that are called ‘man-made diamonds’. What are man-made diamonds called? They are diamonds themselves and high-quality moissanites and fianites that are actually not carbons but zirconium oxides. That is why we can say that part of lab-grown diamonds are real diamonds and part of them are not.
Discussions about what is better to use: a man-made diamond or a natural one are regularly held in society. We can highlight some reasons why it is better to use lab-grown diamonds instead of natural.
- Ecology matters. Mining natural diamonds cause harm to environment. And to buy man-made diamonds is eco-friendly.
- 4Cs are better for a man-made diamonds as its clarity and carat number will be higher for similar gems than of a natural diamond.
- The cost of a lab-grown diamond is several times lower. And it also matters, for example, if you want to get exclusive man-made diamond rings.
These facts are declaring that in man-made diamonds vs real diamonds confrontation the winner is a lab-grown gem.
How Long Does It Take to Make a Man-Made Diamond?
The process resembles the real natural process of creating diamonds but it is rather quick. If for nature, it takes billions of years to grow a diamond than in lab conditions the process takes only a fortnight to get one big or several small gems.
How Big Can Man-Made Diamond Be?
As there are few methods on how to get a diamond the size of a gem can vary. If they are made by HPHT technology, there is an opportunity to get 1-carat jewelry diamonds and even more up to 5-6 carats. For CVD technology, it is allowed to create a diamond up to 1 carat. So the size depends on how are diamonds made in a lab.
How Is the Identification of Man-Made Diamonds Held?
Special research methods have been developed that make it possible to identify synthetic diamonds with sufficient confidence and accuracy. Metal inclusions should be mentioned among the characteristic features of synthesis, and in non-ferrous diamonds, easily identifiable growth sectors. In addition, artificial stones obtained using HPHT, CVD technologies in UV rays, have a different luminescence pattern.
Are Man-Made Diamonds Cheaper Than Real Diamonds?
Of course, they are! If you compare the price of similar jewelry, you’ll be highly surprised with the lower cost of the man-made gem. That’s why man-made engagement rings are extremely popular today.
Finishing our man-made diamonds review, let’s make some conclusions. They are similar to natural ones by structure and they are grown similarly to natural processes but in rapid. Due to their ecology safety and low price combining with extra-clarity and color they are rising their popularity on the world jewelry market.