Articles >> Crystals & Jewelry

Man-made Diamonds and Real Diamonds

By moissanite

Have you ever wondered how different man made diamonds are when compared to their genuine, earth mined relatives? Here is a post that will try to clear up that dilemma. While some replacement stones, like moissanite diamonds or cubic zirconia, are also intended to simulate real diamonds, they are of completely different composition and structure, so we will focus our attention only on the artificially created diamonds.

Additional names for these man made stones are cultured diamonds, created diamonds, or lab diamonds. These Diamonds are produced in today's modern laboratories, and they have been around for quite some time now. There are two principle methods for their production:

  • chamber for hpht diamond production Using high pressure and high temperatures. These are exactly the conditions in the so called HPHT chambers. The HPHT method tries to mimic nature, since we know that real diamonds were created in the distant past of our planet, when high temperatures and pressures were readily available.

  • chamber for chemical vapor deposition diamond production Growing crystals layer by layer in the so called CVD chambers. CVD stands for chemical vapor deposition. These are special devices whose goal is producing flawless, high performance solid materials.

The first method is currently being used by some big names and important players in the synthetic diamond industry. One of the most important is the Gemesis corporation. The second method of growing diamonds is used for example by the Boston based Apolo company.

gemesis yellow fancy color created diamond ring

It seems that the resistance of the general public to man made diamonds today is not as great as it used to be a couple of years ago. This holds true for both the dealers and diamond buyers. Let us see what the reason for this change might be?

First, who buys synthetic diamonds nowadays? Mostly the environmentally conscious people looking for conflict-free diamonds, the new generation of tech-literate individuals and those who would like a more affordable diamond alternative.

And, who are the cultured diamonds retailers? Mostly those who are forward looking, open minded, and web savvy business owners, willing to take the risk and try something new.

But, what are the limitations of cultured diamonds versus real diamonds? The bottom line is as follows. On the one hand there is a size limitation. Most diamond items are limited to stone sizes up to 3/4 or 1 carat, whereas people have unrealistic expectations and want them to be easily obtainable in the 5 carat range. There are probably 2 carat specimens, but the waiting list is often too long.

On the other hand you have the issue of price. People are often under the wrong impression that man-made diamonds are cheap. They are NOT. Some of the buyers are looking for $500 man-made diamonds, while the price is at least one order of magnitude higher. Don't get me wrong, even that price can be great if you consider the price of fancy naturally colored carat size real diamonds, which can easily reach 6 figures.

What are some of the pros of synthetic diamonds vs the natural ones?

Lab-created diamonds are virtually indistinguishable from their earth mined relatives. They are produced to have same cubic crystal structure, the same density, refractive index, hardness and dispersion. This is not quite the case with the other simulants, like for example moissante diamonds – they are completely different spices.

The other huge advantage is the variety and range of color the artificial diamonds can be obtained in. These gemstones really expand the notion of what fancy colored diamond can look like, regardless of the cut. While many natural colored diamonds are pale, the colors of the cultured diamonds can be vivid and intense, starting from pink, via blue to yellow. As an example, look at the color of the fancy yellow created diamond above. Also, take a look at the vivid blue Gemesis created diamond below. Real diamonds of such color size and clarity would cost top dollar.

Last but not least, people increasingly resort to man-made diamonds because they are conflict free and virtually indistinguishable from the real ones. They are generally less expensive, more colorful and will certainly bring the same amount of joy and good mood, if not even more. Cheers!

created diamond ring
Gemesis Ring: Vivid Blue Created Diamond

Your Comment: