Lab-grown diamonds, also known as synthetic or cultured diamonds, are diamond crystals created in a laboratory setting using advanced technology such as chemical vapor deposition or high-pressure high temperature. They have the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds and are virtually indistinguishable from mined diamonds with the naked eye or even with a microscope. The main difference between the two is the origin and cost.
With the most recent innovations related to technology used in labs where experts can make lab made diamonds, we can get the same quality and a much bigger size than most of these gems found in nature. In this article, we will introduce you to the largest lab-made diamond.
What is the Current Record?
The year 2022 was revolutionary for the artificial diamond-making process. A special institution from Belgium is actively working in this field, and they achieved amazing results by making a diamond with a size of over 30 carats. So this gem also got a special name, the Pride of India.
There was a special event in Las Vegas where people could see it from a close range, along with two previous records, with a size of 20 and 27 carats. Also, the company that made them, IGI, plans to start with new experiments to achieve new records. To better understand the size of a 30-carat gem, you have to be aware that a 5-carat stone is more than 1 cm wide.
While these large models are made as part of the promotion, and an experiment for experts to see how far they can go, a 10-carat size is now quite common. The best part is that you can buy it for half the price you would have to spend on a natural model. A natural one can be over $2 million, while you can get the same quality and size for under $1 million. Some models cost under $200k as well.
How Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Made
As we already mentioned, there are two primary methods for growing lab-grown diamonds, the high-pressure high temperature (HPHT) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The first one involves recreating the high-pressure and high-temperature conditions deep in the earth, where natural diamonds form. In this method, a small diamond seed is placed in a chamber with carbon and subjected to extreme heat and pressure. The carbon atoms bond with the diamond seed, slowly building up a diamond crystal.
The second method involves depositing a thin layer of carbon atoms onto a substrate, such as a diamond seed, in a chamber that has been evacuated of air. The carbon atoms bond together to form a diamond crystal, which grows layer by layer.
What Are the Main Benefits?
The main benefit of lab-grown diamonds is that they are less expensive than mined diamonds. Furthermore, because they are created using advanced technological processes, lab-grown diamonds can be produced in large quantities, which helps keep costs down.
Additionally, lab-grown diamonds are more ethical and environmentally friendly than mined diamonds. The diamond mining process often involves displacement of local communities, forced labor, and human rights abuses.
Lab-grown diamonds also give consumers more options in terms of size and quality. Because these diamonds can be grown to specific specifications, they can create larger or have fewer inclusions than would be typically found in natural diamonds.
Comparison with Natural Diamonds
There are no visual or technical features that will make these two options different in any way. Therefore, they cannot be distinguished by the naked eye. However, the only way to identify a lab-grown diamond is by a certificate confirming it has been lab-grown.
It is possible to find lab-grown diamonds at a fraction of the price of mined diamonds of the same quality. As for quality, there is no major difference as long as it is certified. Another major point to consider is the environmental impact. Mining natural diamonds is associated with environmental damage while creating lab-grown diamonds is much more eco-friendly.
How to Choose the Right Model?
As we already mentioned, there are many advantages of lab-made options, and you will get the same quality and design. Also, besides the carat weight and whether it is natural or artificial, there are some other very important factors to consider. First, it is crucial to determine your budget and your limits.
Even though some of the models we mentioned are very expensive, you can buy a lab-made gem for around $10k and get a perfect piece of jewelry. When it comes to the design, you will have to pay more attention to the cut. When there is a well-made cut, the gem will appear larger even if it does not have too many carats.
There are some other details as well, and most of them are related to your preferences. For example, the appearance can be oval, round, square, and more. Keep in mind that the shape can affect the carat weight. For example, round models usually have the highest carat value.
Furthermore, we have to add that these experiments with large models are great for the market since that will make bigger gems standard, which could lead to higher supply and lower prices in the end. Therefore, if you are dreaming about wearing a large piece of diamond in your hand, it could become more affordable in the future.
The artificial process requires less than two months to create this precious stone, which is amazing when we compare it to the natural process. Moreover, we have to mention that this gem is not used only as a gem since it has various purposes in different industries. That is another reason why these artificial processes are important.
In the end, people are now more aware of the impact that mines have on the environment. There are some other reasons that make it highly unethical. Therefore, we expect that technologies will continue to improve in this area, and that lab-made gems will become a standard on the markets from all around the world.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism