Let’s be honest, Lab grown diamonds have a terrible name.
One that implies they are synthetic mass produced fake diamonds.
However, a lab diamond is a diamond, just by no means grown over the course of time deep within the earth’s mantle.
For many people this might be a predominant factor to loving their diamond.
A gift from the earth created by the magic of nature is special indeed.
That being said, looking at what a lab diamond is, in comparison to what a mined diamond is, how do they compare?
Structurally they are composed of the same elements.
They look the same, are processed, cut and polished the same way.
Lab diamonds are created as the name indicates in a laboratory.
This feat in scientific marvelry can be done via two different methods.
HPHT High Pressure / high temperature, or CVD Chemical Vapour Deposition.
In CVD a diamond seed is placed in a controlled environment including the required gasses, heat and pressure needed to simulate a sped up version of nature’s force, stimulating the growth of a rough diamond. This rough diamond block is then cut, polished and graded as a mined diamond would be.
This production method is in some ways similar to a cultured pearl, where man deliberately places a grain into the oyster to force it to produce a pearl. This is deemed as an environmentally conscious choice to not deplete or eradicate fresh water pearl mussels which are an endangered species.
Which brings me to the thought.
If I call a lab diamond a cultured diamond would it change how it’s perceived?
Mining diamonds has long been a controversial issue, the Kimberly process has helped us buy conflict free diamonds but can only go so far.
If Eco consciousness is a predominant factor when choosing your jewellery. If I call a lab diamond, a cultured diamond or a conservation, fair trade Eco friendly diamond, would you prefer one over a mined diamond?
Is perhaps the conversation about lab diamonds a philosophical conundrum about personal values and perceptions, rather than chemistry?
I would consider neither a right or wrong choice but rather two perfectly equal opponents in a world of options.