Lab Grown Diamonds | Boca Raton, FL

Lab Grown Diamonds | Boca Raton, FL

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LAB GROWN DIAMONDS

If you’re purchasing a diamond today, you’re likely to face an important choice when it comes to picking the stone that’s right for you. That choice can be between natural diamonds, which originate in the earth, and a man-made product called “laboratory-grown”, “synthetic” or “laboratory-created” diamonds. By now, you’ve probably heard the phrase “lab grown diamond” a few times, if not more. Over the last few years, lab grown diamonds have been a hot topic in the diamond jewelry world. Yet, even if you are familiar with these stones, you may be unsure of whether a lab grown diamond is a fit for you — possibly because so many rumors and competing beliefs about lab grown diamonds often overshadow the facts.
If you’ve ever considered wearing lab grown diamonds, you’ve probably had questions, too: Are they actual, real diamonds? Will other people notice my ring has a lab grown diamond? Why are these diamonds less expensive? And what the heck does “lab grown” even mean? Since the decision on which stone you choose has implications on the up-front cost and long-term value, it’s important to understand lab grown diamonds so you can be prepared before you make a purchase.
diamonds

THE MOST COMMON QUESTION: ARE LAB GROWN DIAMONDS REAL DIAMONDS?

When it comes to lab grown diamonds, a lot of people have the misconception that lab grown diamonds are not real diamonds, but they are 100-percent real diamonds. They are not fake or simulant diamonds, nor are they moissanite or cubic zirconia. Lab grown diamonds may also be referred to as lab created diamonds or man-made diamonds (the terms are interchangeable) — but, no matter what they’re labeled, they are as “real” as diamonds that are mined from the earth. It’s a fact that lab grown diamonds are made of the exact same physical, optical, and chemical properties as earth created diamonds. The sparkle is the same, the only difference is the origin of the diamond; natural diamonds grow in the earth, while lab created diamonds are grown in a lab that mimics the growing conditions of the earth. Laboratory-grown diamonds do not look any different than earth-mined diamonds. Even an expert gemologist cannot recognize the difference between the two with the naked eye, and lab diamonds will test positive on a diamond tester, as they should. 

HOW ARE LAB GROWN DIAMONDS MADE?

A lab grown diamond has the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as an earth-mined diamond, except instead of growing in the Earth, it has been grown in a highly-controlled laboratory environment. The process of creating a lab grown diamond is rather quick and can be made in as little as under a month. They are categorized as either high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) or chemical vapor deposition (CVD) diamonds, depending on the method of their production. These methods artificially replicate natural conditions found in the Earth, forcing carbon atoms into a crystal structure. Both processes produce a diamond that appears identical to a natural diamond when examined by the naked eye.

The difference between the two methods of production for lab grown diamonds:
  • With the traditional diamond growth method, called High-Pressure High Temperature (HPHT), synthetic diamonds are produced from carbon material in apparatuses that mimic the high pressure, high temperature conditions of natural diamond formation in the earth. This dissolves the carbon into a diamond seed.
  • The newer method, Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) , involves filling a vacuum chamber with carbon-containing gas that crystallizes on a synthetic diamond seed. This method uses lower temperatures and pressures than HPHT.

Both methods are currently popular methods of diamond growth. The CVD diamond growth method requires a lower upfront equipment cost than HPHT but may require subsequent treatment to improve the color of the diamonds grown.

  • Diamond seed is placed in a specifically designed press.
  • The growth chamber is heated to 1300-1600 °C with pressures above 870,000 pounds per square inch.
  • The molten metal dissolves the high purity carbon source.
  • Carbon atoms precipitate on a small diamond seed crystal, and a synthetic diamond begins to grow.
  • The lab-grown crystal is then cut and polished by a diamond cutter.

In greater detail, HPHT diamond growth takes place in a small capsule inside an apparatus capable of generating very high pressures. Within the capsule, a carbon starting material, such as graphite, dissolves in a molten flux consisting of metals such as iron (Fe), nickel (Ni) or cobalt (Co), which lowers the temperature and pressure needed for diamond growth. The carbon material then migrates through the flux towards the cooler diamond seed and crystallizes on it to form a synthetic diamond crystal. Crystallization occurs over a period of several days to weeks to grow one or several crystals.

  • Diamond seed crystals are placed in a diamond growth chamber.

  • The chamber is filled with carbon-containing gas.

  • The chamber is heated to about 900-1200°C.

  • A microwave beam causes carbon to precipitate out of a plasma cloud and deposit onto a seed crystal.

  • Diamonds are removed every few days to have the top surface polished to remove any non-diamond carbon before being put back in to grow. Each batch of diamonds may require several stop/start cycles, and the entire growth process can take three or four weeks.

  • After the synthetic diamond crystals are removed, they are ready to be cut and polished into the final product.

In greater detail, CVD diamond growth takes place inside a vacuum chamber filled with a hydrogen and carbon-containing gas, such as methane. A source of energy — such as a microwave beam — breaks down the gas molecules, and the carbon atoms diffuse towards the colder, flat diamond seed plates. Crystallization occurs over a period of weeks, and several crystals grow at the same time. The exact number depends on the size of the chamber and the number of seed plates. The tabular crystals often develop a rough edge of black graphite that needs to be cut away. They also display a brown color that can be removed by heat treatment prior to faceting. Most CVD-grown colorless material on the market were probably once brown crystals that have been decolorized by HPHT annealing. Like the HPHT diamond growth process, the CVD method continues to improve and allow manufacturers to offer larger sizes with improved color and clarity.

diamonds

HOW CAN YOU DISTINGUISH A LAB GROWN DIAMOND FROM A NATURAL DIAMOND?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires lab grown diamond manufacturers to use a qualifier that clearly distinguish lab grown diamonds as man-made and not of natural origin. It is essential that laboratory-grown diamonds can be identified because consumers need to know what they are buying, and because there are often significant price differences between them and natural gemstones.
Because laboratory-grown diamonds are essentially chemically and optically the same as their natural counterparts, traditional gemological observations and old-style “diamond detectors” are not able to tell them apart. Identification at a professional gemological laboratory or using sophisticated devices are the only reliable methods to separate them from natural diamonds.
Carbon is the main element in both natural and lab grown diamonds. The only chemical difference between lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds is that most natural diamonds contain tiny amounts of nitrogen, and lab grown diamonds do not. This lack of nitrogen is one way gemologists can identify lab created diamonds vs natural diamonds. Laser inscription and unique fluorescence are other identifying features of lab grown diamonds.

WHY BUY CERTIFIED LAB GROWN DIAMONDS?

Anyone looking for loose diamonds has many questions before they make their purchase which can profoundly affect their buying decision. Important factors like, is color more important or clarity? They often are confused with questions like is G VS2 better than H VS1? There are many false assumptions and rumors that can misguide a buyer. Only way a buyer can know the authenticity of a diamond if it is certified. It is important to purchase a diamond that is certified because it tells you the value of your lab grown diamond and tells you everything you need to know about it; along with a peace of mind. 
These labs are the most common for lab grown diamond certification:
International Gemological Institute - IGI
Gem Certification & Assurance Lab - GCAL

Gemological Institution of America - GIA 

 Lab grown diamonds are graded in similar fashion just as mined diamonds considering all 4C’s (color, cut, clarity and carat) and hence no differentiation of grading is required for each. The best way to know the authenticity of a diamond is when they are certified by the renowned laboratories mentioned above.

diamond bangle bracelet

WHY CHOOSE A LAB GROWN DIAMOND?

At Devon's Diamonds & Decor, we believe that both natural and lab grown diamonds are excellent options. Still, there are a few unique benefits you should know that come along with embracing a lab grown diamond — and how important these perks are to you depends on your one-of-a-kind situation.

Of course, diamond jewelry is always going to come with a price tag, but with lab-created diamonds that price tag is much lower; we're talking half the price of natural diamonds. That is because the supply chain is much shorter and the process is renewable. This gives customers the ability to purchase jewelry with higher carat total weights at an accessible price point. The affordable luxury appeal of lab grown diamonds crosses all generations from Gen Z to Baby Boomers. So whether you're a newly engaged couple on a budget or you would like a bigger look with better quality for less money, opting for a lab grown diamond is the way to go. 

 Since lab grown diamonds and natural diamonds are indistinguishable, many people feel there is just no reason to pay more money for a natural, mined stone. Other people like knowing that their lab grown diamond did not need to be mined from the Earth. This can be due to their preference that the Earth be left in its natural state, or because they want diamonds free from conflict.
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LAB GROWN DIAMONDS IN BOCA RATON

The primary benefit of offering lab grown diamond jewelry to customers can be defined with one word: choice. At Devon's Diamonds & Decor, we offer both natural and lab grown diamonds, explain each to the customer, and allow them to decide.

 Within the last few years, lab grown diamonds have been growing in popularity and more and more of our customers have been inquiring and purchasing lab grown diamonds. Whether you are looking to custom design an engagement ring, purchase a lab grown diamond tennis necklace or even a pair of lab grown diamond stud earrings, the simplistic beauty of lab grown diamonds makes it easier to come by a higher quality that fits into all types of budgets. Call or stop by our family-owned and operated jewelry store in Boca Raton today to design your next piece of lab grown jewelry.

devons diamonds and decor