What are Lab-Grown Diamonds?

Posted by Julie Turpening on

Lab-grown Gem-quality diamonds grown in a lab are in every way identical to mined diamonds; chemically, physically and optically, except they do not come from the earth and have no eco/ethical issues. Lab-grown diamonds (Synthetic) for use as gemstones are grown by CVD(Chemical Vapor Deposition) or HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature) methods, and currently represent approximately 2% of the gem-quality diamond market. They are available in yellow and blue, and to a lesser extent colorless (or white). The mined diamond industry has undertaken legal, marketing and distribution countermeasures to protect its market from the emerging presence of synthetic diamonds. Synthetic diamonds can be distinguished by spectroscopy in the infrared, ultraviolet, or X-ray wavelengths. Manufacturers inscribe their diamonds as "Lab-grown" or "LGXXX Serial number laser inscribed on the girdle.

 In May 2015, a record was set for an HPHT colorless diamond at 10.02 carats (shown above). The faceted jewel was cut from a 32.2-carat stone that was grown within 300 hours. Traditional diamond mining has led to human-rights abuses in Africa and elsewhere. The 2006 Hollywood movie Blood Diamond helped to publicize the situation. Consumer demand for synthetic diamonds is increasing, albeit from a small base, as customers look for stones which are ethically sound, and are cheaper.

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