When we think about a diamond or imagine a certain diamond; size is an important factor. Lab-grown diamonds are the epitome of science and technology. Not only they are similar to the naturally grown diamonds in terms of their physical, chemical, and visual properties. They can also be produce in various shapes and sizes according to the requirement or need. But we sometimes can get a little bit more curious, can’t we? One might just think about how big can a laboratory cultivated diamond tends to be?
If such are the questions that are arising in one’s mind, then here we would be stating the answers to such questions. But, before that, one must enlighten himself about the different growth processes of lab-grown diamonds.
General Idea of lab-grown diamonds
“Lab-Grown Diamonds” as the term suggests are those diamonds. That are grown inside artificial labs under expert supervision and jurisdiction. Modern technology has enabled the scientists to exactly replicate the natural phenomenon required to form the mined diamonds, in laboratories inside closed containers. Moreover, the period of diamond cultivation has also become extremely fast. If one is curious about the time it takes to grow out a lab-grown diamond- it just takes them three to four weeks.
In a simpler sense, carbon seeds are put in extreme conditions of pressure and heat inside closed containers. And gradually they grow out to form beautiful diamond stones. Let us go in further details of the lab diamond creation processes.
HPHT or High-Pressure High-Temperature method
In this particular method, the exact natural conditions are replicated inside laboratories to form the diamonds. Mechanical presses such as cubic press or split-sphere are used particularly to create extreme pressure and high temperature.
All the factors included here are precisely control and scrutinize by expert scientists and gemologists. And this in result enables them to form diamonds without having many flaws and inclusions. Although the exact mimic of the natural diamond formation process. This process has been rather cross over by a more commercial and efficient process. Which is known as Chemical Vapor Deposition.
Chemical Vapor Deposition or the CVD method
This method similar to the previous method uses a diamond seed to grow out to a full-fledged diamond. But here, instead of using extreme heat and pressure as the previous process. Vapor gases in low pressure and heat is typically used.
In this process, carbon gas is typically used to fill the chamber or the CVD reactor. And then it is heat up to an extreme level of temperatures. These gases are ionize to form plasma and this ionization breaks down the gaseous molecules. And makes them stick to the diamond seed present inside. Gradually, the diamond starts to grow and in a short period, (three to four weeks to be precise) the diamonds are form.
How much big diamonds can be grown inside labs?
To answer this question, we must give out a rational idea about the growth to size ratio. One must understand the fact that; the bigger the size of the diamond, the more time it takes to grow out. It has typically been concluded that the HPHT process has a slight advantage in this criteria over the CVD process. Though both the processes can be used to grow out big diamonds. Diamonds that are grown with the help of the HPHT process can grow out to sizes even more than 10 carats. The CVD process has been proven to grow out diamonds of 6 to 9 carats and is not that far behind.
By comparing the upper scenarios it is a difficult task to prioritize any single one of the above processes. As both can provide diamonds of big enough sizes.
This also interestingly, brings us to a conclusion that there may potentially be no cap about how big a diamond can be grown. This is because both the processes as time advances are being perfected to be more efficient and productive. And such is the case for growing out bigger diamonds. For the consumers and buyers, this is great news as they get access to a whole new possibility of selecting any shape and size of the diamonds according to their preference.
Growing a diamond inside a lab is a very methodological process. And hence by providing certain growing conditions. Scientists can grow such big diamonds, but it is not the same case for the naturally grown diamonds. The thing is that natural diamonds though being as beautiful and astonishing of a thing that it is. Are not precisely checked and scrutinized during their time of growth and take a very long time to form.
Examples of the largest lab-grown diamonds
In the case of the CVD or Chemical Vapor Deposition process,
In the year 2018 WD lab-grown diamonds located in Maryland did successfully produce a CVD diamond of 9.04 carats. And not only was this a record-breaking achievement, but it is also a beautiful and remarkable one as the diamond was of ideal cut and VS2 clarity. Now that is what the HPHT process can’t offer.
HPHT is the oldest of the method to produce a diamond. And hence are typically use to form industrial-quality diamonds. In the year 2015, a diamond manufacturing company from Hong Kong declared. That they have been successful in creating a diamond which is not big but also is of admirable quality. The diamond was of 10.2 carats and had an E color grade and VS1 clarity.
By just looking at the above examples we can just imagine what incredible feats technology can lead us into. The things which were a dream almost 10 years ago can now be done and built. Such is also the case for the diamond manufacturing industry. These sizes of 10 carats and 9 carats were something of a dream, let alone the idea of creating diamonds artificially. Science has been constantly ever-evolving and accelerating. The cost of the stones keeps on lowering up and their qualities increasing.
Chances are within the next 10 or 20 more years we may even get to hear about diamonds of 20 or 30 carats to be produce, who knows. As is the advancement of science and technology, lab-grown diamonds are also sure enough to be better in terms of their quality and size and those times are not far enough.