A NEW CULTURE: LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS
“Cultured” was one of the first controversial terms applied to what is now known as “Lab-grown” diamonds. This adjective has not been totally lost, instead it may describe those who buy them.
Since the Dark Ages, man has observed and studied the natural world. Innovation and research continue to transform the previously unimaginable, giving birth to the future. Man-made diamonds are no different. In the 1950’s General Electric exposed carbon to very high temperature and high pressure (HPHT) and Union Carbide introduced the Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) method. Both produced small, dark, badly flawed, industrial quality diamonds. These have evolved into the sizable, coloured, or icy white, perhaps flawless gems of today.
PHYSICAL COMPARISON OF MINED DIAMONDS AND LAB-GROWN DIAMONDS
Both diamonds from the earth and those created in labs are considered real. To be told apart advanced testing in a gemmological laboratory would be required. Laboratory-grown diamonds have the same chemical, optical, crystal structures and physical properties as natural diamonds. (https://4cs.gia.edu/en-us/laboratory-grown-diamond/ 01/09/2022)
Besides their origin, there is no difference. Both types are as hard, sparkling, and everlasting as each other.
Photo by Dominik Vanyi on Unsplash
LAB DIAMONDS VS MINED DIAMONDS
Lab diamonds prevent the turmoil of man and earth. No deforestation, no erosion, no environmental impact, no funding of civil war.
“Blood diamonds” have financed conflicts and rebellions. Regulations have been formulated to prevent this and not all of those that occur naturally are responsible for crimes. War is a worldwide phenomenon and atrocities occur mostly with no relation to diamonds at all. Conditions for workers in all types of mines have not been ideal, however millions of bellies have been filled.
Lab-grown diamonds as they are growing in a plasma reactor.
A PERSONAL PREFERENCE: ROOM FOR BOTH
Mined: Formed over billions of years, cannot be disputed to being the first. Possibly, providing a sense of authentic connection to the natural world. Insinuating foreverness when set in engagement rings or gifted in romantic gestures.
Lab gems: A wonder of modern science. Mans ability to mimic nature in this regard is profound as will be it's effects on our environment and the future of our planet. More cost effective than the mined variety will ensure that diamonds be within reach to most of the population and not just a select few. Little wonder their popularity is increasing exponentially.
Then there are simulants:
Simulants such as cubic zirconia and moissanite are a completely different story and have no relevance to the topic. They are not diamonds, not even close.
The ability of man to replicate nature to perfection offers choices as never before, providing an optimistic future for the planet and mankind.