Lab-Created Diamonds

The news is on fire about lab-created diamonds these days. You are starting to see retailers – from small independent stores to major chains - promote them. On the other side of the issue are retailers refusing to carry them for a variety of reasons.

 

Lab-created diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, cultured diamonds, synthetic diamonds or man-made diamonds – no matter how they are referred to, the names are interchangeable.  They are created by man, using technology, to mimic one of Mother Nature’s most beautiful and most mysterious creations. 

 

Molecularly, structurally and optically Lab-Created diamonds are identical to the real thing.  Even the experts can have a difficult time separating the genuine from the lab-created without specialized testing and equipment. How can the consumer have confidence in their purchase? Selecting a knowledgeable jeweler is a great start. Seeking the services of a qualified Gemologist will also provide you peace of mind. Even then, submission to a sophisticated laboratory may be required.

 

Currently, there are two major methods of creating diamonds; Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) or High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT). Every year new developments in both processes are divulged. Sometimes, both methods are used along with irradiation to create specific colors.  Yes, lab-created diamonds come in a variety of qualities and colors just like their natural counterparts.  

 

As you can imagine, the lab-created diamonds cost less that genuine diamonds of the same quality; often 30 to 50% less!! Some believe that lab created diamonds don’t have the same environmental impact as their natural counterparts.  That is hard to verify as the machinery to create lab-created diamonds is made from steel, aluminum and other mined materials and the process requires a fair amount of electricity, often produced by coal, natural gas or other products. There is also concern by producers of natural diamonds that the sole revenue for artisanal miners will be diminished or eliminated leading to social hardships. It may be a few years yet for all of these issues to establish a balance in the market.

 

Available from the tiniest of sizes to over 5.00 carats, lab-created diamonds also come is every shape as their natural counterparts.  They are here and the processes and availability are sure to evolve.  Learning all you can before making a diamond purchase is extra important these days.  Seek the counsel of a qualified Gemologist to discuss the topic further.  The staff at Gemcorp stand ready to assist in any way we can.