For many lovebirds looking to seal the deal by getting engaged, getting a diamond ring is their preferred choice. Diamonds are shiny and timeless – the best item to use to define such pure love and commitment. However, very few shoppers realize that there are several diamonds types to choose from.
In recent times, the industry has experienced a disruption with manmade diamonds making their entry into the market. These stones have created such a buzz with many wondering what they are and whether they are counterfeits or not. There is a lot of myths and misconceptions about lad diamonds doing rounds on the internet.
The fact that there is little information regarding these diamonds doesn’t help the situation. In this piece, we take it upon ourselves to demystify these stones. Have an open mind as we learn more about this technology.
What are manmade diamonds?
Manmade diamonds are also known as lab-grown diamonds. They are simply engineered diamonds. They are grown in labs with highly controlled environments. Experts used super advanced tech processes to duplicate the conditions in which diamond forms naturally in the earth. These diamonds are made up of carbon atoms that are arranged similarly to diamond crystals. Given that these lab-grown diamonds are made using the same material as natural the natural diamonds, they possess similar chemical and optical properties.
Are Lab Grown Diamonds Real?
Just in case you are wondering, no lab-grown diamonds are not fake. They are as real as natural diamonds. The only difference is their origin. Actually, it’s impossible to tell these two diamonds apart, expert geologists cant! The only way you know a diamond is natural or manmade is by the price. Manmade diamonds are typically cheaper. They offer the same brilliance and durability as natural diamonds for 30% cheaper.
Types of Lab Grown Diamonds
Manmade diamonds are available in two forms – synthetic and simulant. Before you head out to buy a diamond ring for your loved one, you should know about these two. Though they are both manmade and sound pretty similar, they are different. They come several different forms and have varying price tags.
Let’s dive into the details.
These are also known as irritation diamonds. These diamonds are similar to natural diamond. However, their chemical properties are not like those of natural diamond. There are three types; Moissanite, diamond nexus simulant, and cubic zirconia.
This diamond is colorless. It is zirconium but in crystal form. To a newbie, a new Cubic Zirconia looks very similar to the natural diamond. For this reason, it is the most popular alternative to natural diamond – especially because it retails for a fraction of the price of a natural diamond. Cubic Zirconia (CZ) diamond goes for about $40 for a carat! Of all the manmade diamond types available, this CZ is by far the cheapest. But here’s the caveat – it doesn’t last long.
Natural diamond earns a 10 on the hardness scale (Mohs). However, CZ has 8. This makes it more durable in comparison to most gemstones. However, if you are after the strength of diamond, CZ is not your best choice. Over time, CZ absorbs oil which causes it to yellow and dull.
These lab-grown diamonds don’t have a similar chemical composition as natural diamonds despite them looking similar. Most jewelers describe the Nexus as an upgraded form of CZ. Since it features some additional components, Diamond Nexus doesn’t absorb oil and yellow over time. On the Mohs Hardness Scale, the diamond rates 9.1.
The real Moissanite stone is rare and expensive. So to avoid confusion, the one we are about to discuss is manmade. Now, Moissanite is beautiful. It possesses the beauty and brilliance of a diamond. However, its flash and fire are exaggerated. To many, the exaggerated fire and flash is a turn-off. They think it makes the stone look like a disco ball. On the flip side, there are those who seem to appreciate the brilliance. With a 9.2 rating on the Mohs Hardness Scale, Moissanite is harder than CZ and Diamond Nexus. It’s also more expensive than both of them.
Asha diamonds are not so common. Their production is relatively new. For this reason, there’s very little information about this manmade diamond type. Asha diamonds are a CZ upgrade.
Now before you start thinking they are Diamond Nexus, I should point out that Asha diamonds are chemically protected. These diamonds use pure diamonds to infuse the CZ top layer. The result is a fire and brilliance that can only compare to that of natural diamond. It has a hardness rating of 9.5. Despite this hardness rating, it is more cost efficient than Diamond Moissanite.
These diamonds are split into two depending on the method of manufacture. These types include CVD and HPHT.
HPHT (High Pressure, High Temperature)
The acronym itself describes the process of creating the manmade diamond. This process recreates the natural prevailing conditions leading to the formation of diamond in the earth’s crust. This process yields diamonds that are consistently colorless.
CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition)
Tough the process is a little technical and expensive; the diamonds are of high value. In this method, carbon gas is released into a special chamber with high temperature. There’s also a power source which manipulates carbon particles to align and also form the diamond structure.
Between the two HPHT is the preferred process of creating manmade diamonds.
Conflict Free Diamonds
Diamond mining in most African countries has led to a lot of conflicts, wars, and bloodshed. There are regulations on how natural diamonds are mined, although experts argue that it is hard to track where diamonds actually come from once they are all pulled together. These conflict diamonds finance rebel groups that fight the governments.
On the flip side, conflict-free diamonds are simple lab-grown diamonds. They are environmentally friendly and ethical.
Where to Buy From
A simple search ‘where to buy lab-grown diamonds’ will yield numerous results. This is because there are lots of sites online selling lab-grown diamonds – though few manufacture them.
Take Your Pick
Natural and lab-grown diamonds have the same chemical composition even though the qualities are judged differently by experts. Invest in a diamond that oozes your personality. If it doesn’t speak to you, leave it and move to the next piece.