Lab-grown diamonds started as a project in the 1940s. Since then, more and more diamonds have been made in a lab instead of mining naturally in the earth. Since then, scientists have been experimenting with many different processes to make diamonds faster in a lab.
Lab grown diamonds represent a small portion of today’s diamond industry. However, the popularity of these diamonds is growing because of how much cheaper they are than natural, mined diamonds. Many love the ethical sourcing of lab grown diamonds as well. Here is a full history of lab grown diamonds.
The History Of Lab Grown Diamonds
GE first experimented with lab-grown diamonds in the 1940s, but World War II led to the project being pushed back. Scientists used high-pressure belt presses and subjected seeds of crystals to temperatures of 1,600 degrees Celsius and pressures of 100,000 atm. The graphite was dissolved in metals like iron, nickel, and cobalt to accelerate the transformation process. Eventually, when the stone broke the scientist's tools, they successfully created a diamond.
The issue with the GE diamond was that it was too small to be used in any jewelry. In 1971, GE changed its methods by using a tube to add heat and pressure to the seed in the center to make the diamond grow. Many of the early lab-grown diamonds were yellow and contained a lot of inclusions.
Since then, two new methods of diamond growing have evolved. These methods are known as HPHT (high pressure, high temperature) and CVD (chemical vapor deposition).
CVD Diamond Growing
The process of CVD full-term is Chemical Vapor Deposition. Under this process, a “seed crystal” is placed in a chamber. Gasses fill this chamber and are heated to a high degree so that layers of carbon begin to form on top of the seed. The seed will constantly grow and create a square-shaped crystal.
HPHT Diamond Growing
This process is called the High-Pressure High-Temperature method. This process replicates the way the earth creates diamonds. Natural graphite is placed in a large machine where it is crushed with high amounts of pressure at an extremely high temperature. The graphite slowly begins to turn into a diamond.
Shopping for diamonds for your engagement ring? With Acredo, we have a wide selection of both natural and lab-grown diamonds for you to choose from. Contact us today to set an appointment to create the diamond ring of your dreams.