What are cultured or lab grown diamonds?

Unlike geological diamonds which are formed under extreme pressure and temperatures deep within the earth’s core, cultured diamond are grown in a laboratory.

It took laboratory professionals almost 60 years to developed technologies that duplicate nature’s magic but today they are able to grow real diamonds larger than one carat in a controlled environment.

Natural diamonds take billions of years to grow whereas cultured diamond grow significantly faster. Cultured diamonds share the same crystal structure and physical and chemical characteristics as mined — or geological — diamonds.

How can you tell the difference between lab grown diamonds and geological diamonds?

Cultured diamonds share the same crystal structure and physical and chemical characteristics as mined diamonds. Even diamond experts can’t tell the difference with a microscope, only an ingenious high-tech machine can and every gemological laboratory has one.

How are lab grown diamonds manufactured?

There are two types of cultured diamonds: lab grown diamonds produced by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) without any extra treatment, which is the most common way. And lab grown diamonds produced with the high pressure high temperature (HPHT) treatment.

CVD produces high-quality type IIa diamonds. They are quite rare in nature and have almost no impurities. In this process the diamond seed is placed into a reactor with a combination of gases. The gases are heated until they become plasma and the atoms are separated from each other. The free carbon atoms are deposited onto the diamond seed. New layers of diamond will grown onto the diamond seed.

The HPHT process imitates the way diamonds are formed under the earth’s crust. A diamond seed is placed in a controlled room with carbon in the form of graphite and a metal catalyst. Under enormous pressure and high temperature the metal catalyst dissolves the graphite and the carbon atoms bond with the diamond seed. This way it grows into a bigger diamond. The tiny diamond seed can be a lab grown (man-made) or a geological diamond. HPHT is sometimes used to improve the colour of lab grown diamonds with grades from G to Z.

How can you tell the difference between CVD and HPHT?

Recently they launched an ingenious high-tech machine and a lot of diamond trade offices already adopted it because it comes at an affordable price. With this machine diamond trading companies and retailers can identify HPHT diamonds.

What are the different names for cultured diamonds?

Cultured diamonds can be referred to as man-made diamonds, laboratory created diamonds or laboratory grown diamonds. They all refer to the same product.

Who manufactures lab grown diamonds?

There are a few laboratories in The United States, Singapore, Russia and China that have the technology and the necessary knowhow.

Will a lab grown diamond ever change?

No, a cultured diamond is identical to a geological diamond and cannot change over the course of time.

Will a lab grown diamond hold its value?

Just like geological diamonds the prices of cultured diamonds may fluctuate according to supply and demand. Experts believe that the demand for cultured diamonds will only grow over the next years.

Will the insurance company cover lab grown diamonds?

Yes, they will insure your cultured diamonds or jewellery with cultured diamonds in the same manner that they insure geological diamonds and other jewellery.

Who started manufacturing lab grown diamonds?

The first company to create cultured diamonds was General Electric in the 1950’s. Thanks to technological breakthroughs we are able to create cultured diamonds that have the exact same characteristics as geological diamonds.

What colours and clarities are available with lab grown diamonds?

We offer a range of D-coloured to M-coloured diamonds but also fancy coloured diamonds. The beloved pink and blue diamonds are a curiosity in nature and very expensive – yet the cultured counterparts are more affordable, but just as unique.

Nearly every diamond has microscopic natural imperfections. They blend into the diamonds colour and have a relatively low impact on the diamond’s value and appearance. The variety of imperfections is subdivided in different levels from flawless (FL), internally flawless (IF), very very slightly included (VVS1 & VVS2), very slightly included (VS1 & VS2), slightly included (SI1 & SI2) to included (I1, I2 & I3). Flawless or internally flawless diamonds are extremely rare and therefore come with a much higher cost.

How do I clean my lab grown diamond?

Just like any other jewellery you own. A lab grown diamond doesn’t need special care.

Where can I buy lab grown diamonds?

We are happy to put you in touch with our authorised retailers. Please contact us for a retailer near you.

Which gemological laboratory certifies lab grown diamonds?

Each Vow diamond is certified by I.G.I, H.R.D. or G.I.A. We guarantee our diamonds come from a conflict-free source and no fragile ecosystems were destroyed. The diamonds are laser inscribed with the certificate number and the words “Lab Grown” on the girdle so you know exactly what you buy.

Are lab grown diamonds legal?

Yes, every cultured diamonds has to come with a certificate disclosing the nature of the diamonds being sold.

Looking for a retailer near you?

We are happy to put you in touch with our authorised retailers.

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