The methods which are used to create a lab-grown diamond. Are the methods that replicate the process of the mined diamonds. Today we will discuss in detail lab-grown diamond types.
What is the Difference Between Diamond Simulant and Cultured Diamonds?
Mainly, there are two different lab-grown diamond types and also has further sub-types. Which are mentioned with the following.
1: Diamond Simulants (Lab-Grown Diamond Types)
Basically, diamonds Simulants are also known as diamond imitation or imitation diamonds. The diamonds Simulants are composed of different materials and manufacture to appear like diamonds. The materials which are used to create diamond Simulants are cubic zirconia (CZ) and moissanite. The CZ is the crystal form of zirconium oxide and the moissanite is an alternative to CZ.
Both materials are durable and cheap with the gemmological characteristic similar to those of a diamond. The term “Simulants” are well define from the term “synthetic diamonds”. Synthetic diamonds are the actual diamonds which has identical properties as the natural diamonds.
The characteristics which lend the Simulant to define as imitation are due to hardness, dispersion. And the properties of the material which clearly differs from the diamonds. Only the trained gemmologists can distinguish the synthetic diamonds and the natural diamonds from all diamond Simulants.
Diamond simulants are form in the lab and the difference probably cannot be distinguish with the naked eye. Between the natural diamonds and the diamond Simulants. The chemical and physical properties of a diamond Simulant are different from the natural diamonds. The components which are used to make the diamond Simulant are as follows:
Diamond Nexus Simulants
Diamond Nexus Simulants are an alternative stone. Which appears to be the same as a diamond without any ethical problems and flaws. The element of diamond nexus Simulants is made of carbon along with other additional ingredients. They are not the same as the lab-grown diamonds are made with the only element which is carbon.
Unlike the other Simulant lab-grown diamonds, diamond nexus is also grown in the laboratory. Though the CZ and nexus diamonds are both technically diamond Simulants, diamond nexus are ranked higher than the CZ. The diamond nexus is durable and stays brilliant forever whereas the CZ degrades and loses its sparkle over time.
Cubic Zirconia Simulants
CZ or Cubic Zirconia is the diamond Simulant. As we have discussed before that a diamond Simulant is not a real diamond it only appears like a diamond. The manufacturing of CZ was stated in the year of 1977. And chemically the CZ is known as Zirconium dioxide (ZrO2).
CZ is least durable, cheaper, and is very similar to the appearance of a diamond. These CZ Simulants are normally colorless. But to obtain color cobalt obtains the blue color and the Iron obtains the yellow color and is also used in cheap jewelry.
Moissanite is a gemstone discovered by Henri Moissan the French scientist in the year 1893. This gemstone was born from the stars and is durable and thus they are priced highly. These diamond Simulants are synthesized from silicon carbide. The natural moissanite is extremely rare so they are created in the laboratory.
The durability, brilliance, and color are different from the natural diamonds. As the moissanite are created to give the illusion similar to the diamonds. They are visually and compositionally different from the real diamond.
2: Cultured Diamonds (Lab-Grown Diamond Types)
There is a huge distinction between the diamond Simulants and the cultured diamonds. The lab-grown diamonds are human-made diamonds. Lab-grown diamonds are created by the carbon atoms. which are arranged around the crystal structure of the diamond. The lab-grown diamonds are created in the laboratory by using the same method. Which is identical to the creation of the natural diamonds.
A lab-grown diamond has the same chemical, physical, and optical properties which are exactly identical to the natural diamonds. Sometimes, the lab-grown diamonds are nearly unidentified from the natural diamonds by using the professional gemmological equipment. As they can only be identified with the specialized equipment and by extensive scientific testing.
The certification of the lab-grown diamonds comes with the gem certification which identified the diamonds as the laboratory-grown. Whereas, the Simulants don’t have the same physical or chemical properties comparing to the diamonds. As they just appear to be like diamonds but they are not diamonds. Therefore, the Simulants are cheaper than the lab-grown diamonds or cultured diamonds.
The creation of the cultured diamond or the lab-grown diamonds is form in an environment. That replicates the formation of natural diamonds in the mines. The methods which are used to create the lab-grown diamonds are the CVD & HPHT. These diamonds are specially inscribed with the number for insurance and resale purposes. And to identify that they are not the natural diamonds.
High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT) is a method that was invented in the year the 1950s to create lab-grown diamonds. The diamonds created by the HPHT method and are made from scratch in a controlled lab environment. Which is exactly identical to the environment for the creation of mined diamonds.
The cubic press, the belt press, and the split-sphere press are the three major press designs. Which are mainly used to supply the temperature and the pressure to create lab-grown diamonds. The physical and chemical properties are exactly identical to the natural diamonds.
The HPHT method replicates the process of growing natural diamonds. Which takes millions of years to form when exposing to great pressure and heat deep within the mantle of the Earth’s crust. The HPHT process of the formation of the lab-grown diamonds begins with the diamond seed placed into pure carbon. Then it is expose to intense pressure and heat, where the carbon melts and a diamond begins to form around the seed. Then it is cooled carefully to form a rough diamond which is then shaped and polished like the natural diamonds.
CVD refers to Chemical Vapor Deposition. The diamonds which are created with the CVD method in the laboratory. Are exactly identical to the mined diamonds and cannot identify the difference between the two. CVD diamonds are not CZ or any other diamond Simulants as they are 100% pure man-made diamonds.
In 1955 the first lab-grown diamond was created by General Electric. Later on, this technology disappeared for many years. While the DeBeers diamond was grown by using the HPHT method. Later on, advanced technology leads to the creation of CVD diamonds which became the realistic approach in the 1980s.
CVD diamonds relies on a unique and innovative process. In the CVD process, a thin diamond seed is placed inside a sealed chamber and subjected to high temperatures around 800⁰C. Then the carbon gas mixtures like hydrogen and methane are introduced into the chamber. The pure carbon gets attached itself to the diamond seed. when the gases are ionized to break their molecular bonds. For the formation of a new diamond, the carbon is built up and forms atomic bonds with the diamond seed. Which is exactly identical with the natural diamonds.