How Lab Grown Diamond Are Made

Lab-grown diamonds are increasingly becoming a preferred choice for shoppers as they are more sustainable, more affordable and ethically sourced diamonds.

Let us uncover the secret, precisely science behind these marvels!

The trump card: Ethics

How many of you are environmentally conscious? We assume most of you are. Let’s first familiarise you with the mining of natural diamonds. Traditionally mining of diamonds used to have severe impact on both the natural environment and the local communities who were used to extract them & from which they were extracted. These communities were exploited and abused for the mining. Therefore, Lab grown diamonds offer the perfect alternative as they are deemed to have ethical sourcing (basically manufactured in lab) which clearly eliminates the potential for conflict and harms.

Science behind Lab-grown diamonds

All the curious enthusiasts, who wonder about a lot of if’s and but’s, here you go!

The science behind lab-grown diamonds hinges on mimicking the extreme environment deep within the Earth’s mantle. Diamonds are the hardest metal on Earth, made of Carbon Atoms. How peculiar it is that the weakest metal i.e; graphite and the hardest metal i.e;

Diamonds are made of the same element-Carbon. All that differs is the bonding structure, which reminds of how a strong bonding can lead to the most-strongest and lustrous relationships just like a diamond. You can choose to have a diamond or graphite bond. Choice is yours!

Well, coming back to the science of diamonds, in essence, lab grown diamonds are a result of immaculate scientific and technological achievement we’ve been able to achieve toady! In nature, intense heat and pressure deep underground force these tiny building blocks to lock together in a very specific way, creating the strong, sparkling structure of a diamond. But scientists have figured out a way to recreate this magic in a lab, and it all boils down to replicating those extreme conditions.

Common methods for creating Lab-grown methods

Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD): Essentially, we need to provide the exact conditions for diamonds to form as they require during natural formation. So, in lab for the carbon atoms to start bonding, we use the CVD process. This method uses a gaseous mixture of methane (a highly carbon-rich gas) along with hydrogen to create thin films of diamond. The gaseous mixture is exposed on a tiny seed of diamond in a chamber. On reaching a temperature of about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit or 1093 degree Celsius, the heat separates the carbon atoms (from methane, CH4) present in the gaseous mixture. The free carbon atoms tend to bond to the diamond seed, layer by layer forming new layers of diamond.

It takes a total of almost 4 weeks and wollah! you get a newly formed diamond.

High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT): Another technique used to manufacture lab-grown diamonds is HPHT. If you didn’t know, Natural diamonds form under intense pressure and heat, deep within the Earth’s mantle. So, HPHT method is used to replicate the conditions of underground Earth. In this method, unlike CVD method that uses a diamond seed, HPHT uses a piece of graphite (which is pure carbon) exposed to high pressure & temperature. The high pressure forces the carbon atoms in the graphite to rearrange themselves into the diamond crystal structure. It’s a more of traditional method of manufacturing lab-grown diamonds, but widely practiced even today.

Just like that, either of the techniques; using CVD technique on a diamond seed or HPHT technique on a graphite chunk, essentially showcases how beautifully carbon atoms are able to rearrange themselves in a crystal structure, layer by layer to become the mesmerising diamond pieces they are meant to be. The entire process is closely monitored and a high degree of precision is ensured to form a diamond piece as close as possible, as fine as possible. The jewellery items made from these lab-grown diamonds reflect the same luxury, luster and elegance as natural diamonds but do definitely, have none of the defects that many naturally formed diamonds may develop by being buried for billions of years under the earth’s surface.

If you picture this, the process is not so different from 3D printing. Well, just how heated plastic (in this case, Carbon atoms) is added layer by layer by the machine, resulting taking the desired shape and form. Just like that, lab grown diamonds are made, although conditions greatly-varies from 3D printing.

That was my effort to make you experience or imagine the meticulous manufacturing that goes behind lab-grown diamonds.

The Art of Precision Cutting & Polishing

After the diamonds grow to their desired size, precision cutting is followed by an expert to unleash its true potential. Factors like, brilliance, scintillation and beauty have to be kept at maximum to determine the best way (shape & size) to cut the diamond piece. This process is same for both natural and lab-grown diamonds. Cutting of diamond is an art of precision and none other than expert gen cutters carry out this process. The inclination angles and proportions are predetermined carefully for perfect execution. This process ensures that reflection and refraction of light (remember these concepts from our class 8th Science textbook, coming of use now! Definitely pun intended) takes place within the diamond for that mesmerizing sparkle you see in diamonds.

Once the cutting is done, the diamond undergoes polishing. Now, you may have a question as to why polishing, its diamond after all?

Dear folks, all the diamonds whether lab-made or natural once, have to go through this process. Tiny flat polished angles called ‘facets’ are made on the crown/ pavilion of the diamond, which contribute to the diamond’s distinctiveness and speciality. There are many ways to facet a diamond including, step cut, single cut, rose cut, etc. This helps to create that sparkle and shine, diamonds are known for.

The process is carried by an expert gem-cutter, who ensures the actual size, number and placement of these facets which play a crucial role in determining diamond’s ability to reflect lights.

A precisely-cut diamonds reflects similar, if not more brilliance as that of a natural diamond, making it a preferred choice for many shoppers.

From a tiny-diamond seed to beautifully-faceted diamond jewellery, every step of this meticulous process reflects the absolute craftsmanship that undergoes into creating these enchanting substitutes to naturally mined diamonds.

Lab-grown diamond Jewellery is a perfect choice for those who want to experience the timeless elegance of a diamond piece without the environmental and ethical challenges associated with mined diamonds. They offer the same statement of luxury and love as their mined counterparts.

What a journey! I’m sure, you’re as much thrilled reading about the process as much as I feel writing about it.

Lastly remember,

You are a diamond! Don’t believe anyone who says otherwise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *