You probably have an idea of how diamonds are mined. The large hole in the ground gives workers access to earth that could contain sparkling treasures. Companies and individuals have mined for centuries, but the natural diamond supply is not infinite and there are many problems associated with the diamond extraction process.
Lab grown diamonds are, in contrast, created in a controlled setting with fewer environmental problems attached to the procedure. Lab grown diamonds are more sustainable and linked to better human rights records and fair working practices. But how are diamonds created in a laboratory? Are lab grown diamonds real diamonds? Here’s some more information about grown diamonds and how they differ from the traditionally earth-extracted stones.
How Do We Make Lab Diamonds?
Diamonds from the earth have been created in the ground over billions of years. They are formed as the heat from the earth and the pressure combine to break carbon into atoms. These atoms bind together once more into a diamond structure.
Lab diamonds, on the other hand, are grown. Different processes exist to create diamonds in the laboratory setting. One procedure is called Chemical Vapour Deposition or CVD. This procedure replicates artificially the process that takes place naturally in the earth.
How Does CVD Work?
A technician places a diamond seed into a controlled chamber. They then heat this controlled chamber to a staggering 500 or 600 degrees C. The technician adds methane gas. The methane breaks down to carbon and hydrogen and the carbon builds upon the seed of the diamond. The stone grows as layer upon layer of atoms bond together, creating a standard-sized gemstone.
What are the Benefits of Lab Grown Diamonds?
It is difficult to retrieve natural diamonds from the earth. And it is getting more complicated every year. Volcanic eruptions pushed diamonds up towards the surface of the earth but it remains tricky to locate diamonds without extensive, disruptive mining efforts. Diamond mining is an unsustainable and at times unethical practice. Mines in developing countries are often under-regulated, resulting in poor working conditions, child labour exploitation, and degradation of the environment. “Blood diamonds” also refer to the fact that these gemstones have been associated with violence and conflict through control of the lucrative trade.
Lab grown diamonds are free from the problems of exploitation, environmental degradation and conflict. You can be sure that a lab grown diamond has not been shaped in an atmosphere of violence. You are also given absolute certainty about its origin.
Choosing a diamond is a personal decision. You need to follow your heart as well as your pocket when you are deciding on your perfect gem. You’ll find a wealth of choice in lab grown diamonds. You will also benefit from more easily accessible coloured diamonds. A natural coloured diamond is rare and very expensive. The lab diamond process is being refined and developed, resulting in more choice and lower prices in the future for these precious gemstones.