What is a Lab Grown Diamond?

What is a Lab Grown Diamond?

Lab grown diamonds are diamonds that are not mined. Instead, they are produced through highly specialised technology that replicates the process of how natural diamonds form. This replaces the need for large scale mining and allows more environmentally friendly resources to be used, such as clean nuclear energy, wind or solar. 

Are Lab Grown Diamonds Real Diamonds? 
One of the most common questions we receive is “Are lab grown diamonds real diamonds?”. And yes! Lab grown diamonds have the same structure of a mined diamond. Physically, chemically and optically, they are diamonds. As a matter of fact, Lab Grown Diamonds can only be differentiated from real diamonds through highly specialised machinery. 

How are Lab Grown Diamonds Formed?
There are currently 2 methods of creating lab grown diamonds.

HPHT-High Pressure-High Temperature 
When the HPHT method is used, a small diamond seed is placed into a piece of carbon. Then it is run through a belt press, cubic press or a split-sphere (BARS) press. The carbon is pressurised to approximately 1.5 million pounds per square inch and exposed to temperatures over 2,700 Fahrenheit. This pressure and heat begin to melt the carbon, forming a diamond around the initial diamond seed. The newly formed diamond is then carefully cooled. This is often used for melee diamonds. 

CVD-Chemical Vapour Deposition
Similar to HPHT, this process starts with a small diamond seed (often an HPHT diamond). This seed is placed inside a sealed chamber that is heated to over 1,400 Fahrenheit and filled with carbon-rich gases. Following which, these gases are ionised into plasma using a technology similar to microwaves. This technology breaks down the molecular bond of the gas which allows pure carbon to stick to the seed- causing a new diamond to form. Additional treatments may be used (heat or irradiation) to enhance or change the diamond’s colour after it is grown. This process is often used for larger diamonds. 

Benefits of Choosing a Lab Grown Diamond:  
The ethics of mined diamonds has been improved with the introduction of the Kimberley Process in the late 90s. While the Kimberly did a lot to determine a diamond’s origins, it did not account for human rights factors. This means that many mine workers can still be underpaid or not have access to safe working conditions. 

There are also the environmental aspects of mined diamonds. Diamond mines are some of the largest holes excavated into the earth. They require an immense amount of fossil fuels to extract the gemstone with heavy machinery. The Mirny Diamond mine in Russia is the second largest hole on earth, over a mile wide and 1,722 feet deep. The damage extends to ecosystems, affecting local fauna. One such mining project was scrapped in India to preserve the Bengal Tiger corridor, but would have otherwise required the removal of over 490,000 trees. 

Lab grown diamonds are made with green energy and do not require as much heavy fossil fuel reliant energy as their mined counterparts. In addition, these diamonds are currently 30% cheaper. There is a higher degree of quality control in lab grown diamonds, resulting in diamonds with fewer inclusions and much more control in the process, allowing the creation of fancy colour diamonds and speciality shapes with less diamond waste.

Gold and Setting Material
The gold we use is 99.9% guaranteed origin North American gold. We use North American gold as it ensures a high degree of social and environmental responsibility and can be traced back to its point of origin. On custom order, you can place an order for your rings to be made with platinum. Please contact customer service to place an order for a platinum ring. 

Please note that some special order findings and chains are manufactured in Europe.