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For centuries, diamonds have been revered for their unrivaled beauty and durability. But now, thanks to advances in technology, man-made diamonds are becoming increasingly popular as an eco-friendly and more affordable alternative to natural diamonds.
Lab-grown diamonds are created through a process known as chemical vapor deposition (CVD). A small seed diamond is placed in a chamber where it is exposed to intense heat and pressure. This causes carbon atoms to be deposited onto the surface of the seed diamond, gradually increasing its size and clarity.
While lab-grown diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties as natural diamonds, they are often priced 20-30% cheaper than their mined counterparts. And because they require less energy and resources to produce, they also have a much lower environmental impact.
In addition to being more affordable and eco-friendly, lab-grown diamonds also offer some unique benefits that natural diamonds cannot match. For example, because they can be grown in a controlled environment, lab-grown diamonds can be produced in nearly any color imaginable – something that is extremely rare in nature. And since they are not sourced from the earth, lab-grown diamonds do not support conflict or child labor – two issues that have long been associated with the diamond industry.
Whether you’re looking for a unique piece of jewelry or simply want to save money on your next diamond purchase, lab-grown diamonds offer an appealing option that is sure to grow in popularity in the years ahead.
Benefits of Lab Grown Diamonds
There are several benefits associated with lab grown diamonds. Perhaps the most obvious one is that they’re much more affordable than natural diamonds. This is because they don’t require all the mining equipment and manpower needed to extract them from the ground, so production costs are lower. Additionally, since they aren’t subject to import taxes (since they’re made in labs), prices are further reduced.
Another benefit of lab grown diamonds is that they’re environmentally friendly. The mining process can have devastating effects on local ecosystems, including water pollution and habitat destruction. By contrast, growing diamonds in a lab doesn’t have any negative impact on the environment whatsoever.
And finally, lab grown diamonds offer greater clarity than natural ones since there’s no risk of them being included with other impurities such as minerals or rocks during extraction. As such, you can be sure that your diamond will be purer and sparkling when you purchase it
Price of Lab Grown Diamonds
While lab grown diamonds are more affordable than natural ones, they’re still not exactly cheap. The price will depend on the size, quality, and other factors, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per carat. That said, prices are falling as production costs continue to decrease and more companies enter the market.
Rarity of Lab Grown Diamonds
Despite being created in a laboratory, lab grown diamonds aren’t exactly common. In fact, they’re still quite rare since the technology required to produce them is expensive and there’s only a handful of companies in the world that can do it. Additionally, it takes time to grow a diamond, so production rates are relatively low compared to mining natural diamonds.
Mineral Content of Lab Grown Diamonds
All diamonds — whether natural or lab grown — consist of carbon atoms arranged in a lattice structure. However, impurities can be present in both types of diamonds. For example, natural diamonds may contain trace amounts of nitrogen while lab grown ones may have boron impurities. These impurities don’t affect the quality or appearance of the diamond but can be used to tell them apart.
History of Lab Grown Diamonds
The first lab grown diamond was produced in 1955 by General Electric using high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) methods. This process involves subjecting a small piece of carbon material to extreme pressure and temperature until it turns into a diamond crystal. HPHT methods were later improved upon by Bell Labs in 1970 who developed chemical vapor deposition (CVD), which is the most commonly used method for growing diamonds today.
Since then, the production of lab grown diamonds has continued to increase. In 2018, global production was estimated at around 1.9 million carats, valued at $29 billion. This is still a fraction of the natural diamond market (estimated at over $100 billion), but it’s growing quickly as more people become aware of lab grown diamonds and their many benefits.