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Diamond Lesson 102: How are Lab Grown Diamonds Made?

Diamond Lesson 102: How are Lab Grown Diamonds Made?

Jul 28th 2022

Congrats, fashionista! Now that you know the differences between natural and lab grown diamonds, you’re well on your way to becoming a diamond expert. So, it’s time for another lesson!

We’re here to tell you all about how lab grown diamonds are made. Then, you can get back to eyeing those incredible diamond bezel drop earrings. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

First, let’s recap a few things. Lab grown diamonds may be known as “synthetic,” “man-made” or “engineered,” but these beauties ARE real diamonds! They’re made of carbon and have all of the same qualities as natural diamonds – even look, durability and that fab sparkle. They’re simply grown in laboratories vs. mined underground. In fact, these stones look SO similar to the natural versions that only trained gem experts can tell them apart with the help of special tools!

Still don’t believe us? Just a few short years ago, the Federal Trade Commission officially ruled that a diamond can be formed underground or in a laboratory. That means lab grown gems go through the same strict grading process (aka the 4 C’s) and are sold with certified reports. Take that, naysayers!

So, how can diamonds possibly be made in labs?! Let’s get scientific for a bit. Two procedures are typically used: HPHT, which stands for “high pressure, high temperature,” and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).

High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) Procedure

With the HPHT process, conditions that formed natural diamonds beneath the Earth’s surface a zillion years ago are recreated with high pressure and high temperatures. What does that look like? We’ll break it down for you!

  1. A tiny diamond seed is inserted into a piece of carbon. The carbon molecule is then placed inside of a chamber that was specifically designed for the diamond growth process.
  2. Now, an insane amount of pressure – about 1.5 million pounds per square inch – is applied to the growth chamber. It’s also heated to more than 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit!
  3. These extreme conditions cause the carbon molecule to split into little pieces and fall onto the tiny diamond seed. As a result, a diamond starts growing around the seed!
  4. This new diamond is cooled, polished by a diamond cutter and eventually placed into your favorite ring, earrings or necklace!

Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) Procedure

Under CVD, molecules of a carbon-rich gas, like methane, are broken down into carbon and hydrogen atoms. Here’s what that process looks like:

  1. A tiny diamond seed is sealed inside of a vacuum chamber.
  2. The chamber is then exposed to temperatures greater than 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit and usually filled with methane and hydrogen.
  3. A microwave beam deconstructs the gases, releasing carbon. These carbon pieces stick to the diamond seed and ultimately start creating a new diamond crystal!
  4. Every few days, the developing diamonds are taken out of the chamber and polished to remove excess carbon. They’re returned to the chamber to complete the growth process.
  5. When the stones are ready, they’re cut, perfected and fashioned into jewelry. But some CVD-grown diamonds may need additional heat treatments to enhance or alter their color.

Cool, right? Both procedures are typically able to produce diamonds in less than a month. And technology improvements have resulted in larger gems!

Some in the jewelry industry also consider lab grown diamonds a more eco-friendly option. Since these stones aren’t mined, they have less impact on nearby wildlife, fertile land and water supply.

So, what are you waiting for?! Get yourself a lab grown diamond ASAP!

About grace von

grace von is a female-founded and led brand committed to offering the highest quality and craftsmanship in every design. Our fine jewelry celebrates women and features bold and playful pieces crafted entirely of real 14k and 18k gold paired with natural and lab-grown diamonds and colorful gemstones.

From tennis bracelets to diamond studs, pearls and Zodiac-inspired pieces, grace von allows women to commemorate their own unique stories and experiences with every piece.

Shop our collection at our in-person showroom in Chicago’s vibrant River North Gallery District. We offer no-credit-needed financing – feel free to apply and get your approval within 24 hours!