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Man-Made (Cultured) Diamonds – Myths vs Reality, 2007

The potential to grow real gem-grade diamonds in a lab has been a protracted status purpose of technology and enterprise, and one that has been carried out on a constrained foundation during the last five years.

Unfortunately most media publications are typically designed to sell articles, and consequently often do not offer consumers with a real photograph of the economic fact and availability of lab-grown diamonds. Further, many sellers of diamond simulants (stones that look much like diamond, but are not actual diamond) exploit this knowledge hole as a way to deceptively sell their simulants as ‘lab-grown diamonds’. As the president of a business enterprise that has been worried with each lab-grown diamonds and diamond simulants for over seven years, and having seen the confusion a lot of those much less than authentic articles have prompted, I wanted to assist provide customers with an enterprise insider assessment of what’s and is not commercially to be had, and help teach folks who are indeed trying to purchase a real lab-grown diamond. Thus, we begin a quick tour of delusion vs. Fact in the lab-grown diamond marketplace (circa 2007).

First and important, lab-grown diamonds (actual diamond, but not mined) are in fact to be had for earrings purchase, however on a constrained basis. The tremendous catch though is this – whilst the majority think about a diamond, they routinely consider white diamonds. As of October, 2007, no person is presently able to provide white (colorless) lab grown diamonds on the market on any sort of manufacturing foundation. Regardless of what various reporters write, the reality is handiest fancy color diamonds (predominantly yellow, and to a far lesser degree, crimson and blue) are to be had.

The purpose for that gap among what clients need (white lab-grown diamonds) and what labs can deliver (on the whole yellow lab-grown diamonds), is because of both industrial value and natural boundaries. Lets speak the natural barrier first – yellow diamonds are yellow because they include nitrogen into their crystal structure. White diamonds are white (or clear) due to the fact they have got a whole lot less nitrogen in their crystal shape. When growing diamonds, however, nitrogen is a catalyst – it drastically quickens diamond increase, and in addition reduces defects. Thus, you may develop a 1ct (completed) yellow in roughly one week, as opposed to growing the same size white (by way of proscribing nitrogen) can take you four-6 weeks (the use of BARS method, the default approach currently). In different words, nitrogen assist you to develop as much as 6x as much yellow diamond as white inside the identical amount of manufacturing time. That’s a tough herbal barrier.

The industrial barrier, is that yellow herbal diamonds are worth much greater than white herbal diamonds. In nature, there are kind of 10,000 whites for every fancy yellow. Thus, fancy yellows command a far higher price in step with carat. Lab grown diamonds commonly promote at a reduction however are nonetheless pegged to their herbal counterparts, and seeing that yellow diamonds are worth greater than whites, absolutely the selling fee for lab grown yellows is higher than what the market pays for lab grown whites.

Now, if you combine the truth that labs can develop yellows a great deal extra speedy and without problems than whites, and that yellow diamonds (lab grown and natural) further command higher fees than whites, you could see you’ve got a excessive dis-incentive to supply white diamonds with the modern generation. White diamonds can and have been produced by labs (we’ve a few pattern snap shots on our website) but they’re no longer charge competitive with herbal white diamonds presently. Hence, a completely large motive for why there are presently no white diamonds to be had for commercial sale.

These essential motives are normally not explained in most published articles about lab grown diamonds, and many articles usually depart the reader with the complete opposite impression, that white lab grown diamonds are ample and cheap (consider the $five/ct quote from Wired mag?). Various unethical simulant (CZ) makers have applied this confusion to deceptively promote it their imitation diamonds as being “perfect man-made diamonds”, “perfect lab-grown diamonds”, etc. Eager about the low rate of $100/ct. And based on emails we’ve acquired from clients, people have been tricked into buying undeniable CZ, after being informed it become a ‘lab grown white diamond’ and having visible articles discussing the appearance of lab-grown diamonds being available.

There are easy methods to avoid being suckered into unethical advertising and marketing like that. First of all, the fee. To cut a 1ct finished diamond, you want among 2-three carats of hard diamond to start. Cutters price via the carat for his or her slicing paintings, and $100-$a hundred and fifty/ct is a common price. That means although the diamond fabric were free, a seller could nevertheless ought to rate at the least $two hundred-$450/ct just to break even on the slicing price. And obviously, the lab grown cloth isn’t always free and the seller would love to make a profit as opposed to destroy even, so in case you see a dealer promoting ‘cultured diamonds’ or ‘man-made diamonds’ for less than numerous hundred dollars in keeping with carat, you could be confident it is not actual lab grown diamond, regardless of what claims they make. Currently, lab-grown yellow diamonds are promoting for round $four,000/ct. And bear in mind, yellows are produced up to 6x quicker than whites, so that you are not going to peer lab grown white diamonds selling for tons less than that within the destiny until someone figures out a miles faster way to grow diamond.

The 2nd manner to defend yourself, for lab-grown diamonds of any size (i.E. .30ct and higher), is to handiest purchase a lab-grown diamond that incorporates a certificates from an unbiased lab. Just like herbal diamonds, surely all predominant gem labs now offer grading reviews for lab grown diamonds (together with, as of this year, the GIA). They are essentially the identical reviews as they trouble for herbal diamonds, however with the beginning indexed as “lab-grown”. If there’s no certificates with a ‘man-made diamond’ of any actual length (i.E. .30ct or larger), and the seller declines to offer one when asked, then you may additionally be quite positive its a simulant being called a lab-grown diamond.

Checking for the price and the grading certificate can make certain you are managing an moral dealer of lab-grown diamonds. We’ve visible many a clients whose hopes have been dashed when we explained that the $one hundred fifty pair of ‘man-made diamond’ jewelry they bought have been in reality nothing greater than deceptively advertised CZ. Don’t fall into that trap.

Another not unusual delusion approximately lab-grown diamonds is that every one lab grown diamonds are ‘ideal’ or faultless. As cited, the modern default generation for growing diamonds (BARS method) is clearly replicating the high-stress and high-temperature gift beneath the earth, and doing it above floor (every now and then with additional catalyst to decrease the essential temperature/stress required). And simply as diamonds from underneath the earth have flaws, diamonds grown above the earth additionally have flaws. It is a greater accurate analogy to think about growing diamonds (using contemporary technology) as diamond-farming, in preference to diamond production. Just like farming, you plant a seed, and attempt to optimize the growth conditions, but you no greater get an ideal diamond than a farmer usually receives a perfect tomato. In fact, from time to time after per week is up, the chamber is opened and no diamond has grown in any respect…So it is no wherein near the ‘push a button, out pops a perfect diamond’ that many humans think. Similarly, labs cannot personalize how the diamond grows to be a special shape (i.E. Pear or emerald reduce) – you get what you get, and reduce to optimize the yield of every crystal.

That being stated, it is proper that maximum lab grown diamonds (in particular yellow diamonds) are slightly harder than their equal natural diamonds. In yellows, that is because of the nitrogen being greater flawlessly dispersed, and Carbon-Nitrogen bonds are slightly stronger than Carbon-Carbon bonds. This is likewise one manner labs with Raman device can discover man-made as opposed to herbal yellows – in yellow naturals, nitrogen is clumped, versus it’s miles quite calmly dispersed in lab-grown yellow diamonds.

The next fable – lab grown diamonds can constantly be produced, so their fees will continue to drop vs. A herbal diamonds will keep going up. Currently, gem grade, lab-grown diamonds are in reality drastically rarer than natural diamonds if you evaluate every year production. While white diamonds are being mined in tens of hundreds of thousands of carats in keeping with 12 months, lab grown whites are definitely non-existent besides for studies samples, and yellow lab grown diamond production is measured in hundreds of carats. And because growing lab diamonds remains difficult, costs for lab grown diamonds have slowly long past up, now not down because there may be handiest a lot manufacturing available even as call for has extended because of public focus.

One more reality approximately lab grown diamonds – size. Currently, maximum natural diamond price boom chambers are not able to develop larger than 3ct piece of rough (occasionally 4ct) and hence, after cutting, most lab grown diamonds are 1.5ct or smaller (regularly smaller after accounting for flaws being cut out). The cause for that is that on the way to develop a diamond the use of the standard HPHT (excessive strain, high temperature) generation, you need to area a place under extraordinarily high stress and temperature. The larger the area you are attempting to hold these intense conditions, the harder it gets..Exponentially tougher, in truth, due to the fact the strain on the center is magnified due to leverage. The elements applying the strain themselves have a constrained lifespan, as they may in the end crack and fail, and require steady alternative. Thus, most labs have no longer attempted to go beyond the 3ct length boom chamber because it does get exponentially more difficult to maintain the equal pressure for a larger location, and this is one motive why no person is presenting 6ct finished yellow diamonds on the market.

With the truth check done, we will cease this article on a fantastic be aware – inspite of all of the problems, expenses and issues that still bog down lab-grown diamond production, coloured lab-grown diamonds do provide people the potential to personal and put on extremely high-end, fancy coloration, actual diamonds at a fragment of the herbal rate. We’ll emphasize that these are still actual diamonds – chemically, optically, physically, and of direction will bypass any take a look at for being diamond (due to the fact that it’s far diamond, the region in which it become grown is the distinction). Most lab grown colored diamonds are brilliant in color, which means they’re among the maximum treasured color grades compared to herbal colored diamonds. For example, one of the first lab-grown diamonds we ever offered turned into graded a ‘fancy vivid orangy yellow’, and became to start with appraised as a natural diamond, valued at $sixty five,000 by a main lab (we had informed them we had been submitting a lab grown diamond btw). We then acquired a very panicked name tomorrow from the equal lab, who after strolling a Raman evaluation on it realized it was a man-made and no longer natural diamond (because of the nitrogen being so flawlessly dispersed). We offered that same diamond for $3500. Similarly, maximum of our purple lab-grown diamonds also grade fancy brilliant crimson, and in the event that they had been mined in preference to lab-grown, may want to sell for as high as $one hundred fifty,000/carat…We promote them for around $five,000/ct, but regrettably because of low supply (manufacturing difficulties) are bought out maximum of the year. Nevertheless, the lucky few clients who do purchase a lab-grown red have quite a few fun walking into their community rings store and seeing the jaws drop. It is also normally the first time their jeweler has seen a actual lab-grown diamond in person, again due to the relative rarity of genuine lab-grown diamonds. They are very lovely and leave most herbal fancy color diamonds (who’re commonly less intensively coloured) looking pretty bland with the aid of contrast.

Technology keeps to enhance, and with any luck over the next few years, there might be additional breakthroughs in lab grown diamond era. One of the maximum promising regions is growing diamonds by way of mimicking how they (theoretically) grow in outer area. This is with the aid of the usage of ultra-low strain, plasma and excessive temperature, frequently known as plasma vapor deposition. Because it does not require the high pressure, chamber sizes are an awful lot large and in theory, plenty larger pieces of diamond can be grown. Conditions are more controllable as nicely, because of the diamond developing by in a extra nano-technology like environment (carbon-wealthy fuel is shredded at the molecular degree, and the carbon atoms then reassemble at the diamond seed underneath). The alternate off is the machines to do this regularly run among $500,000-$800,000 every, and a number of additional problems no longer present in excessive stress growth regimes come into play in this new boom environment..However with any luck inside the destiny those will offer a brand new approach for growing lab-grown diamonds.

Now which you are armed with industry insider understanding, you will be capable of quite simply avoid the scams that so many unethical diamond simulant dealers use by means of gambling on the publics (and even the medias) lack of knowledge of the realities of man-made diamonds. Hopefully, you may also realise that the steady claims that DeBeer’s or other forces are to blame for the dearth of lab-grown white diamonds are not actual (there are in reality actual natural and commercial boundaries to it). Finally, you may with any luck have an appreciation for the tough paintings and attempt that many scientists have placed into turning the previous dream of lab grown diamonds into fact on your finger, although it nonetheless has many constraints as to what sorts, sizes and colorations of lab-grown diamonds are available.

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