Lab-grown diamonds as the name suggests, are diamonds grown in a laboratory. They are made under similar conditions as mined diamonds, which are formed within the Earth’s surface.
Lab diamonds have become popular in recent years but have existed since the mid-1950s. First introduced by General Electric, these diamonds were of poor aesthetic quality and more suited to industrial use. Breakthroughs in technology mean lab diamonds now rival the beauty and quality of mined diamonds at a fraction of the price.
There are two methods for creating a lab-grown diamond. Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) and High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT). Both take a diamond seed and put it through conditions that replicate the environment beneath the Earth’s crust. What emerges is a diamond with the same beauty, chemical composition and properties as any mined stone.
The HPHT process starts with a diamond seed deposited in pure carbon. After exposure to intense pressure and heat, the carbon melts and a rough diamond forms around the seed. After cooling, it is ready to work on by cutting and polishing before being released into the diamond market.
The CVD process begins with a diamond seed deposited into a sealed chamber. It is then heated to an incredibly high temperature and filled with carbon-rich gas. Under this heat, the gas ionises breaks down, and the molecules land on the diamond seed. This building process continues for weeks, crystalising until a complete, rough diamond forms. This diamond is ready to be professionally cut, polished, and graded before entering the diamond market.
Like mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds can have natural imperfections and inclusions. So we apply the same grading criteria used for mined diamonds, the 4 C’s.