Synthetic diamonds are grown in laboratories and have essentially the same chemical composition, crystal structure, and physical properties as natural diamonds. They're real diamonds and not 'fakes,' but they are not the same as natural diamonds.
Yes, synthetic diamonds now come in as high a quality and nearly as wide a variety of sizes and colors as natural diamonds. Many major retailers offer colorless laboratory-grown diamonds, and Lightbox, part of the De Beers Group, offers a line of colorless, pink and blue lab-grown diamond jewelry, with each diamond marked to identify it as lab-grown
1. High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT): With the HPHT method, synthetic diamonds are produced in laboratories through equipment that mimics the high pressure, high-temperature conditions that produce natural diamonds in the earth. The result is synthetic diamond crystals with flat bases and octahedral and cube faces. The color of HPHT synthetic diamonds has evolved over the years as technology improved. Synthetic stones submitted to GIA labs have gone from orange-yellow, yellow, and yellow-orange to colorless, near-colorless, and blue. HPHT and other post-growth treatments of diamonds, whether synthetic or natural, can also turn stones pink, blue, and other colors.
2. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD): This newer technique involves breaking down carbon-containing gasses inside a vacuum chamber and having the carbon molecules crystallize onto diamond seed plates. The resulting crystals are tabular in shape and are sometimes edged with graphite. Often brown or yellow in color, these crystals can become near-colorless through subsequent HPHT treatment. "Colorless" CVD diamonds chosen to be polished as gems tend to have slightly higher clarity than their natural counterparts, with most receiving grades in the VVS2 to VS1 range. Most natural diamonds in the D-N color range receive clarity grades in the VS2 to SI1 range.
Looking to add a pop of color to your sparkle? Lab-grown diamonds come in a wide array of stunning hues made to suit your mood—whether you're looking for a stone that's dazzling in classic white, blushing with pink, or as beautifully blue as a cloudless sky. This is achieved when a gas mix is added to the CVD reactor and combined with treatments that are incorporated at the end of the synthesis process. The result is stoned rich with color that are extremely rare in natural diamonds.
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