In terms of composition, laboratory grown diamonds are the same as natural diamonds, but are fundamentally different from zircon and moissanite; In term of customer groups and pricing, they fill the consumption gap between natural diamonds and cheap artificial diamonds with around 1/3 the price of natural diamonds.
The diamonds are called laboratory grown diamonds, which literally mean “diamonds grown in a laboratory”.
Lab grown diamonds are synthesized by artificially simulating the crystallization conditions and grown environment of natural diamonds, and share the same physical, chemical and optical properties. The diamond-like mossanite is composed of mossanite, while the zircon uses cubic zirconia, which is fundamentally different from natural diamonds.
As for production time, it takes as long as 100 million years for natural diamonds to grow, while it only takes a few weeks for lab grown diamonds to form, and these lab grown ones are no different with natural diamonds in terms of color, grain and clarity.
With sufficiently developed synthetic technology, the quality of lab grown diamonds are able to be identified and graded by the "4C" standard of natural diamonds. 4C stands for carat, color, clarity and cut.
At present, there are two main methods for producing lab grown diamonds: high pressureand high temperature (HPHT) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The basic principle of the HPHT method is to simulate natural diamond crystallization conditions and growth environment, using graphite powder and metal catalyst powder as the main raw materials, and maintaining constant ultra-high pressure and high temperature conditions through hydraulic devices to synthesize diamond crystals. The principal of HPHT features in fast growth and low cost of producing lab grown diamonds, but these diamonds are slightly less pure than the natural ones. The HPHT method is mainly adopted in China and it contributes half of the world's output of lab grown diamonds.
The basic principle of the CVD method is that the mixture of carbon-containing gas and oxygen is excited and decomposed at high pressure and temperature below standard atmospheric pressure to form activated diamond carbon atoms. By controlling the deposition and growth conditions, it promotes the deposition and inter-growth of activated diamond carbon atoms on the substrate and the atoms finally form lab grown diamonds. The CVD method of producing lab grown diamonds features in long cultivation period, high cost, and color alteration, but the purity is high.
When promoting lab grown diamonds, we often mention some keywords such as “environmental protection” and “non-conflict”, which can be regarded as an important selling point of the lab grown diamonds.
The so-called "non-conflict" means that the lab grown diamonds are not "blood diamonds". In other words, the production of the diamonds should not involve in mining from the war zone, labor exploitation and child labor employment and other issues. In the past, many beautiful diamonds shown on markets and at auctions were criticized as "blood diamonds" because they were hiding behind the costs of unknown blood, war and exploitation. That’s why lab grown diamonds are advantaged by the production technology as they claim to be more noble and sustainable than natural diamonds.
In terms of environmental protection, lab grown diamonds are keeping up with "carbon neutrality", which is the hottest issue at present. Guosen Securities Research Report shows that the impact of lab grown diamonds on environment is only 1/7 of that of mining the natural diamonds.
It is vital for lab grown diamonds to develop with the support of the international appraisal institutions such as IGI. According to data from the jewelry industry consulting company MVEye, 56% of consumers attach great importance to the certificate grade of lab grown diamonds, especially diamonds of larger carats.