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Pressure makes diamonds
15/06/2021

Pressure makes diamonds

Are lab-grown diamonds real? 

Let us be very clear, lab grown diamonds (also called lab created, man made, synthetic or cultured diamonds) are the real deal. They’re neither fake nor artificial. Chemically, optically and physically they are identical to earth mined diamonds. By sight, an expert can’t tell the difference between a natural or a synthetic one, they would need very special equipment only available in gemological laboratories to tell the difference between both .  

In addition, the Federal Trade Comission (FTC) defines a diamond as “ a mineral consisting essentially of pure carbon crystallised in the isometric system”. The word “natural” was dropped in 2018 since both have the same chemical composition, meaning that lab-grown diamonds are considered diamonds. 

Grown instead of mined: how does it work?

The process starts with presses who mimic the natural conditions that occurred billions of years ago to create rough, unique man-made diamonds, they are then cut and polished by hand to ensure the ultimate sparkle.

Laboratory created diamonds are made through various processes creating a controlled environment of extremely high temperatures allowing the diamond to grow.

The two main techniques for growing diamonds are HPHT or CVD:

With HPHT (high pressure, high temperature), a tiny diamond seed is placed inside a dedicated press, with graphite inserted on top of them. The temperature is increased to 1600°C and pressurised to approximately 70,000 times the pressure at sea level. Imagine a  large pressure cooker blending graphite and little diamond seeds. This entire process is mimicking the conditions occurring millions of years ago forming natural diamonds.

With CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) the process starts with a slice of diamond seed placed in a vacuum plasma reactor. By heating that reactor to 800°C and blending it with a mixture of hydrogen and methane, gasses are activated and form a diamond cube.

What are the benefits?

Lab-grow diamonds are cultured, rather than mined, therefore less scarce. This means they come at a fair price. In addition, its practises and processes are sustainable and kind to our planet. At idyl we believe diamonds should be accessible to all and shouldn’t cost the Earth, which is why we chose to use lab-grown diamonds in all our jewelry.

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