Lab Diamonds: How Are They Made?

At codebyEdge, we take pride in only using exceptional lab diamonds that are both sustainable and exquisite. Have you ever wondered how these remarkable lab-grown diamonds are brought to life? Join us on a journey into the heart of lab made diamonds.

The Sparkling World of Lab Diamonds

CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition): A Glimpse into Brilliance

CVD stands as one of the most common methods employed in the creation of lab-grown diamonds within a controlled laboratory environment. Here's a closer look at this fascinating process:

1. Seeding Brilliance:

A tiny diamond seed is carefully placed within a vacuum chamber, marking the inception of a remarkable transformation.

2. The Dance of Hydrogen:

Hydrogen gas is introduced into the chamber, where it is heated to a range of 700-900 degrees Celsius, setting the stage for the creation of something truly extraordinary.

3. Methane Magic:

Methane gas joins the performance, its molecules breaking down under the chamber's heat. As carbon atoms separate, the journey to lab diamond creation unfolds.

4. A Gem in the Making:

These carbon atoms gently settle onto the lab diamond seed, forming intricate layers that gradually evolve into a radiant lab diamond crystal.

5. From Rough to Refined:

The crystal undergoes a cooling process, emerging as a rough lab diamond. Skilled hands then cut and polish it, crafting the lab diamond into its desired shape.

For the Science Enthusiasts: Methane gas (CH4) plays a pivotal role in the CVD process. When introduced into the vacuum chamber, the heat orchestrates its transformation into its constituent elements. Carbon atoms, freed during this process, find their place on the lab diamond seed, while hydrogen atoms are released as gas.

The Chemical Symphony: The chemical reaction at play during CVD reads as follows: CH4 (methane) → C (carbon) + 2H2 (hydrogen). The resulting lab diamond crystal is a masterpiece composed entirely of carbon atoms, embracing the characteristic lattice structure that defines lab diamonds.

The Dance of Atoms: In a lab diamond crystal, each carbon atom forms four strong covalent bonds with its neighbours in a tetrahedral configuration. This intricate web of bonds provides lab diamonds with their extraordinary hardness, high melting point, and light-transmitting prowess.

The Role of the Lab Diamond Seed

The lab diamond seed, central to the CVD process, can hail from various sources, including natural mined diamonds or lab-grown diamonds created through the High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) method. These carefully selected seeds serve as the foundation for the growth of larger lab diamond crystals. Their quality and size play pivotal roles in shaping the final lab diamond's properties, making the seed selection process a critical step.

An Alternative Journey: HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature)

HPHT stands as an alternative path to crafting synthetic lab diamonds within a laboratory setting. Let's delve into this intriguing process:

1. Seeding Transformation: Just like in CVD, a small diamond seed takes its place, this time within a chamber filled with a blend of graphite and metal catalysts.

2. The Crucible of Heat and Pressure: The chamber is subjected to extreme conditions, with temperatures soaring up to 2,500 degrees Celsius and pressures reaching up to 1.5 million pounds per square inch.

3. The Art of Growth: As heat and pressure intertwine, graphite dissolves, and carbon atoms form bonds with the lab diamond seed, creating layers of carbon that gradually accumulate into a captivating lab diamond crystal.

4. A Timeless Transformation: Over the course of several days or weeks, the crystal slowly cools, expanding into a larger, brilliant lab diamond.

5. From Raw to Radiant: The resulting lab diamond is then expertly cut and polished, revealing its inner beauty in the desired shape.

Decoding the Difference: Graphite vs. Lab Diamond

While both graphite and lab diamonds consist solely of carbon atoms, their atomic arrangements paint vastly different portraits. Let's unravel their distinct characteristics:

Graphite: In graphite, carbon atoms adopt layered structures, stacked atop each other. These layers feature hexagonal lattice formations, where carbon atoms share covalent bonds. Weak van der Waals forces hold the layers together, allowing them to glide smoothly, granting graphite its slippery texture—a trait perfect for lubrication. More information on the creation of natural diamonds can be found in our article. VIEW ARTICLE HERE

Lab Diamond: On the other hand, lab diamonds showcase a three-dimensional crystal lattice structure. Each carbon atom forms four covalent bonds with neighbouring atoms in a tetrahedral configuration. These strong bonds between carbon atoms create the exceptional hardness, high refractive index, and unique properties of lab diamonds, setting them apart from all other gemstones.

Time and Transformation

The duration of these processes varies, spanning from several weeks to a few months. The end result is a lab-grown diamond that is chemically and physically identical to its naturally occurring counterpart. In conclusion, lab diamond creation is a remarkable blend of science and artistry, yielding exquisite gems that captivate hearts with their brilliance and beauty. At codebyEdge, we take pride in offering these lab-grown treasures, crafted with precision and passion.

To view some of our beautiful lab grown diamonds, explore our Amanti Collection.