Man-Made (Cultured) Diamonds – Myths vs Reality, 2007
The potential to grow actual gem-grade diamonds in a lab has been a protracted status intention of technological know-how and enterprise, and one which has been performed on a restricted foundation during the last five years.
Sadly maximum media publications are usually designed to sell articles, and consequently frequently do no longer provide customers with a true photograph of the commercial fact and availability of lab-grown diamonds. In addition, many sellers of diamond simulants (stones that look just like diamond, however aren’t actual diamond) make the most this knowledge hole as a way to deceptively sell their simulants as ‘lab-grown diamonds’. Because the president of a organization that has been concerned with each lab-grown diamonds and diamond simulants for over seven years, and having visible the confusion many of these much less than real articles have induced, I wanted to help offer clients with an industry insider evaluation of what is and isn’t always commercially available, and assist teach folks who are indeed looking to buy a true lab-grown diamond. As a consequence, we start a brief excursion of myth vs. Truth in the lab-grown diamond market (circa 2007).
First and foremost, lab-grown diamonds (real diamond, but now not mined) are in fact to be had for rings buy, however on a constrained foundation. The extensive seize although is this – whilst the majority think about a diamond, they automatically think about white diamonds. As of October, 2007, nobody is currently capable of offer white (colorless) lab grown diamonds on the market on any sort of production basis. Irrespective of what diverse newshounds write, the truth is only fancy colour diamonds (predominantly yellow, and to a miles lesser diploma, crimson and blue) are to be had.
The cause for that gap among what clients need (white lab-grown diamonds) and what labs can supply (in general yellow lab-grown diamonds), is due to each business cost and natural boundaries. Shall we discuss the herbal barrier first – yellow diamonds are yellow due to the fact they incorporate nitrogen into their crystal structure. diamond 4c White diamonds are white (or clean) because they’ve a whole lot less nitrogen of their crystal structure. When growing diamonds, but, nitrogen is a catalyst – it substantially speeds up diamond increase, and further reduces defects. Hence, you can develop a 1ct (completed) yellow in kind of one week, as opposed to developing the same length white (by limiting nitrogen) can take you 4-6 weeks (the usage of BARS approach, the default approach currently). In different words, nitrogen will let you grow as much as 6x as an awful lot yellow diamond as white in the equal amount of production time. That is a hard natural barrier.
The economic barrier, is that yellow herbal diamonds are really worth plenty greater than white natural diamonds. In nature, there are kind of 10,000 whites for every fancy yellow. As a consequence, fancy yellows command a far better charge consistent with carat. Lab grown diamonds generally promote at a discount however are still pegged to their natural counterparts, and because yellow diamonds are well worth extra than whites, the absolute selling price for lab grown yellows is better than what the marketplace will pay for lab grown whites.
Now, in case you combine the fact that labs can develop yellows a lot extra fast and without difficulty than whites, and that yellow diamonds (lab grown and herbal) similarly command higher prices than whites, you may see you’ve got a excessive dis-incentive to provide white diamonds with the contemporary era. White diamonds can and were produced with the aid of labs (we’ve a few pattern photographs on our website) but they’re no longer rate aggressive with herbal white diamonds at the moment. As a result, a totally large cause for why there are presently no white diamonds available for business sale.
These fundamental reasons are normally now not explained in maximum posted articles about lab grown diamonds, and many articles commonly go away the reader with the exact opposite impact, that white lab grown diamonds are plentiful and cheap (don’t forget the $five/ct quote from stressed mag?). Numerous unethical simulant (CZ) makers have applied this confusion to deceptively put it up for sale their imitation diamonds as being “faultless man-made diamonds”, “best lab-grown diamonds”, and so forth. Involved in the low price of $one hundred/ct. And based on emails we have received from clients, people were tricked into buying simple CZ, after being instructed it become a ‘lab grown white diamond’ and having seen articles discussing the appearance of lab-grown diamonds being to be had.
There are clean methods to avoid being suckered into unethical marketing like that. First of all, the fee. To cut a 1ct completed diamond, you want among 2-3 carats of tough diamond to begin. Cutters price by means of the carat for their slicing paintings, and $a hundred-$a hundred and fifty/ct is a not unusual price. That means even supposing the diamond cloth have been loose, a seller would nevertheless need to charge as a minimum $2 hundred-$450/ct simply to break even at the reducing price. And manifestly, the lab grown cloth is not unfastened and the seller would love to make a income in place of damage even, so in case you see a vendor selling ‘cultured diamonds’ or ‘guy-made diamonds’ for less than numerous hundred bucks according to carat, you may be assured it is not actual lab grown diamond, no matter what claims they make. Currently, lab-grown yellow diamonds are promoting for round $4,000/ct. And bear in mind, yellows are produced as much as 6x faster than whites, so you are not likely to peer lab grown white diamonds selling for an awful lot much less than that inside the future until someone figures out a miles quicker manner to grow diamond.
The second one manner to shield your self, for lab-grown diamonds of any length (i.E. .30ct and better), is to best purchase a lab-grown diamond that incorporates a certificate from an impartial lab. Much like herbal diamonds, really all principal gem labs now provide grading reports for lab grown diamonds (inclusive of, as of this year, the GIA). They are basically the same reviews as they problem for natural diamonds, but with the beginning indexed as “lab-grown”. If there is no certificates with a ‘guy-made diamond’ of any real length (i.E. .30ct or larger), and the seller declines to provide one when requested, then you may additionally be quite positive its a simulant being referred to as a lab-grown diamond.
Checking for the rate and the grading certificate can make certain you’re managing an moral dealer of lab-grown diamonds. We’ve seen many a customers whose hopes were dashed once we explained that the $one hundred fifty pair of ‘guy-made diamond’ earrings they sold had been in truth nothing greater than deceptively advertised CZ. Don’t fall into that entice.
Any other common fantasy approximately lab-grown diamonds is that each one lab grown diamonds are ‘perfect’ or wonderful. As mentioned, the present day default technology for growing diamonds (BARS approach) is clearly replicating the excessive-stress and high-temperature present below the earth, and doing it above ground (every so often with additional catalyst to lower the necessary temperature/stress required). And just as diamonds from below the earth have flaws, diamonds grown above the earth also have flaws. It’s far a greater accurate analogy to consider developing diamonds (using cutting-edge technology) as diamond-farming, as opposed to diamond manufacturing. Similar to farming, you plant a seed, and try to optimize the growth situations, but you no extra get a super diamond than a farmer continually receives a really perfect tomato. In truth, once in a while after a week is up, the chamber is opened and no diamond has grown in any respect…So it is no in which close to the ‘push a button, out pops an ideal diamond’ that many people think. In addition, labs cannot customise how the diamond grows to be a distinct shape (i.E. Pear or emerald reduce) – you get what you get, and cut to optimize the yield of each crystal.