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Purchasing a diamond ring? Man Made (lab-created) Diamonds are now Colorless
Years ago (2003) I read in an article in Wired Magazine that two small companies, “Gemesis” down in Sarasota Florida, and “Apollo” in Boston, had perfected the art of making lab-created diamonds. REAL DIAMONDS. The article displayed perfect yellow diamonds, that were so perfect the jeweler mentioned in the article could not tell the difference, and offered 10-15k for each stone (which, according to the author, only cost a few hundred dollars to make). At that time, that company, “Gemesis” was getting set to make all sorts of colored varieties of diamonds. Not artificial diamonds or any similar substitute, they had perfected the art of making Real diamonds, in a lab. But, they could not produce a “colorless” diamond – until now.
In this hub I will explain the methods involved in creating a man-made (lab-created) diamond (the FTC frowns upon the word “synthetic” since it implies that these may be “fake” or “artificial”, when in fact , they are real diamonds), and what De Beers has done to help protect it's long held monopoly on the billion dollar diamond industry. (monopoly).
There are a few ways to create diamonds in a lab, but only two methods are currently being used in production for jewel grade gems. The different methods are as different as the two companies I am discussing -- SCIO DIAMOND (who acquired Apollo) and Gemesis.
- HPHT - High Pressure Temperature. The method used by Gemesis. Diamonds are made in chambers that simulate geological conditions -- in 3 days.
- CVD - Chemical Vapor Deposition. The method used by SCIO DIAMOND (who recently aquired Apollo in 2011). Diamonds are formed when a Plasma cloud rains carbon into wafers. They literally "grow" the diamonds!
Lab-Created colorless diamonds are just emerging on the diamond market, Gemesis just announced they finally had created them in mid March 2012, and Scio diamond, from what I've read on the internet, had put their equipment (reactors) in place in South Carolina last April and plans to start producing colorless diamonds this summer.
For now, If you want to look at the selection offered, you can buy directly from Gemesis' website. They are a bit cheaper, around 30% I would approximate, and are worth a look.
What's the difference?
What's the difference? Not much. Lab-Created are Real diamonds. But because they are man-made, Gemesis puts small inscriptions on each diamond (for now).
De Beers, who saw this coming years ago, has launched massive ad campaigns and has equipment in jewelry stores all over the world that can tell a natural made from a lab created diamond. The machines use ultraviolet light and can tell how long it took the diamond to grow - a few days or millions of years. De Beers of course, has had a monopoly on the 50 Billion dollar diamond industry for over a century.
What will be the future of the colorless diamond? Time will tell. I will update this hub as I learn more about this emerging market, and if you have anything to share please feel free to leave a comment!