Diamonds grown in laboratories are created by two methods: High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). What are these two methods?
When lab-grown diamonds were first discovered in 1956, the HPHT method was used to produce them. Post that, scientists and innovators had been trying to find new ways to create diamonds. It was only in the 1980s that the CVD process of creating diamonds was fully established and realized. Some names of the first creators of CVD diamonds are: W.G. Eversole, Derjaguin and J. C. Angus.
According to an article by Robert Linares, Integrated Diamond Technologies, LLC, on the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) website, “the earliest CVD growth chambers enabled growth on only one seed at a time. Although reactor seed capacity is a closely guarded industrial secret, some CVD manufacturing systems are reportedly capable of growing on 50 or more seeds simultaneously. That number is expected to increase.” Improved CVD technique: Another report by the GIA reveals, the CVD technology has enhanced over the years and innovators are rapidly improving techniques to produce large, high-quality, near-colorless diamonds. In 2016, a 3-carat, the largest CVD synthetic diamond was tested by GIA, after which a 5 carat diamond was tested.” The ability to minimize, control and manipulate defects in CVD diamond has grown rapidly over the last 20 years.
The CVD process of producing diamonds, like the name suggests, includes chemicals – a mixture of hydrocarbon gas and hydrogen. This mixture is introduced in the diamond growing temperature at low pressure. Here, some of the hydrogen gets converted to atomic hydrogen, which aids in the formation of the diamond. With the help heat, atomic hydrogen reacts with the hydrocarbon gas to form pure carbon, which is the diamond.
The CVD process has a number of advantages over the HPHT process of producing diamonds. Here are some:
CVD diamonds are cut and polished in the same manner as mined diamonds and at the same cost. The diamonds can be laser inscribed on the girdle so that buyers can identify it as a lab-grown diamond.
HPHT or CVD, buyers are now leaning towards buying lab created carbon diamonds as opposed to mined diamonds. Lab created diamonds give buyers the possibility of creating their own unique diamond: from size, shape, cutting, polishing and designing your piece of jewelry, you can do it all with the HPHT or CVD-created lab-grown diamonds. Who would have thought this would be possible. And because it is possible, why go for the super expensive, conflict mined diamonds?
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