Various technologies used to create Lab grown diamonds
History is proof that man has always wanted to conquer nature by trying to invent and produce as much as possible himself. Somewhere during that journey, he stumbled upon diamonds by mining and years later thought he could make them on his own as well. This was the birth of what we today call lab-grown diamonds. They are physically and atomically identical to organic diamonds; so similar in composition that they cannot be distinguished from each other by the naked eye, even by experts.
Lab-grown diamonds are gaining popularity lately because of their affordability and striking resemblance to organic diamonds. However, there are still questions in the minds of people regarding how they’re made. After all, everyone wants to know where their rock comes from.
There are majorly two techniques that are used in creating lab-grown diamonds.
- High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT)
Natural, organic diamonds are found deep underground. They are formed in natural conditions in very high temperature and high ground pressure. The first attempts at making man-made diamonds in a laboratory were based on imitation of nature’s technique of making diamonds. This method uses three different typed of manufacturing processes. They are: belt press, cubic press and split-spheres (BARS) press. However, all the processes follow the same logic of creating high temperature and pressure for diamond creation.
It all begins with placing a diamond seed in a piece of carbon. The carbon is pressures along with the diamond seed to 1.5 million pounds per square inch. Further it is also exposed to almost 2000 Fahrenheit temperature. Both the extreme temperature and pressure work to compress the carbon and seed into forming a diamond, similar to what nature does way underground, out of man’s reach. So far the biggest lab grown diamond ukhas been produced using the HPHT technique.
- Chemical Vapour Deposition
This technique has been developed recently. However, its first step involves using a diamond seed from the HPHT technique itself. CVD technique creates diamonds from a hydrocarbon gas. A small piece of the diamond seed is first kept inside a chamber. Its temperature is then increased to almost 800 degree Celsius. Methane is then added to the chamber along with a few other gases rich in carbon. A technology similar to lasers or microwaves ionizes the gases inside the chamber into plasma. As plasma is formed, the molecular bond of the gases is weakened and broken. The carbon then glues itself to the diamond seed and slowly a new molecular structure develops that forms the crystal.
Which process is better?
Both techniques work very differently, so it is actually difficult to declare one a winner. However, the CVD technique requires lesser temperature and pressure as compared to the HPHT. Having said that, the HPHT technique can create diamonds much larger in size.
There has been a lot of scientific advancement in the field of growing diamonds over the last few decades. As the demand for lab-grown diamonds increases because of their advantages over organic diamonds, so does their production increase. Hatton garden jewellery shops offer a huge variety when it comes to lab-grown diamonds in UK.