Mined vs Lab Grown Diamonds

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”
― Albert Einstein

We’ve chosen to open with that quote because the purpose of this article is to provide information on these different diamond types and educate you to make an informed choice.  This article travels through the lifecycle of your diamond, from creation to it appearing in your treasured piece of Jewellery.

The life of a mined diamonds began between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years ago in the molten mantle of Earth, at depths 150-250 km deep with extreme temperature and pressure conditions to form pure carbon from which diamond can be derived via heat up towards surface as volcanic eruptions transport these precious gemstones throughout its fiery interior before deposition on some locations where all those necessary ingredients came together uniquely enough such that mine sites exist today!   The process of mining the diamond often comes with a social and environmental impact, especially in countries with poor environmental records.

This results in a Diamond of pure carbon that comes in a range of colors and may include defects which affect the clarity.

In the last few years, people have been using high pressure and temperature conditions to grow diamonds. They call this process “Lab-Grown” or Laboratory Grown Diamonds but most likely it will occur in larger manufacturing facilities capable of providing enough energy for these materials; two methods currently used are HTHP (High Temperate High Pressure) and CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition).

The HPHT diamond formation htps diamondprocess begins with a small diamond seed that is placed into pure carbon.   This is then exposed to high pressure and temperatures over 1400degC where the pure carbon begins to melt and forms around the complete diamonds, joining the chemical structure.   This process continues for up to two weeks when the diamond is carefully cooled.

CVD processing begins in a similar way with a diamond’s seed and this is placed in equipment that creates a vacuum and heats the chamber to 900-1200degC. 

cvd diamond Inside the chamber is a mixture of hydrogen and a carbon-containing gas.   A microwave beam then provides the energy to create plasm from the gas and the carbon precipitates and bonds with the seed to grow the diamond.

So what we know now is a few things.   Mined diamonds took a few billion years to be found and are extracted from mines which impacts the environment, while lab grown form in just weeks in a manufacturing facility.   The diamonds grow in different crystal shapes and are all made for pure carbon.   They all share the same chemical, optical and physical properties.

The next step in the process is to cut the diamonds into their finished shapes and this is where the processes come back together as no matter how the diamond was formed they are cut in the same way.   Diamonds are individually assessed and cut into the finished diamond to create the greatest value.

Once diamonds are cut, they go through a certification process.   At this point, there are strict controls around the diamonds to ensure they are correctly and clearly identified as either mined or lab-grown diamonds.   Such is the similarity of mined and lab-grown diamonds, many jewellers without specialised equipment would not be able to tell them apart.

The point of this article is to not sway consumers either way (as we sell both!), its has been written to provide information to help you decide what best suits your needs.

Hope it helped and happy shopping!!

Additional information is available from the links below

https://www.gia.edu/hpht-and-cvd-diamond-growth-processes

https://www.gia.edu/gia-news-research/difference-between-natural-laboratory-grown-diamonds

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