Looking at Man Made Diamonds

Nothing shines like diamonds. This is not a statement many people will choose to argue with. Yet, for centuries, these rare stones have been too expensive for anyone but the richest to own. The reason for their rarity is the process by which these gemstones are naturally created, which takes hundreds of millions of years and can only occur in specific places inside the earth’s crust.

These gems are made by natural forces over many millions of years. They are created so deep inside the earth, that the pressures and heat they are subjected to make it impossible for anything to survive. The only way that humans are able to get to these natural gems is when they are brought to the earth’s surface by volcanic eruptions.

However, since early twentieth century, it has been possible to create man made diamonds that are every bit as good as the original. In fact, today’s man made diamonds are so well made that only sophisticated chemical testing can tell the created gem from the nature-made one. In fact, the only way it is able to tell is that natural diamonds do have tiny imperfections, while man made diamonds are perfect.

The key difference between the two is, unsurprisingly, the cost. Man made diamonds are much cheaper than the natural kind for obvious reasons. It can take a few weeks to create a batch of lab-grown diamonds while geological forces can take many millions of years to produce a sparkling gem. As such, these gems will be far cheaper than the real ones.

There is nothing else that will distinguish them as they are, in fact, diamonds. There are two major methods for manufacturing these synthetic gemstones. The first and the most widely method is called HPHT, or high pressure, high temperature method. This method seeks to reproduce the natural conditions for gemstone creation.

The HPHT method is widely used due to its relatively low cost. The process here means placing into a belt type of a press graphite dissolved into molten iron, cobalt, or nickel. The metals acted as a catalyst which helps the dissolution of carbon and its eventual conversion into a diamond. This method is used primarily in making diamonds for use in manufacturing, and not jewelry.

Chemical vapor deposition, or CVD, is primarily used for gem-quality diamonds due to its ability to control to a great extent the chemical purity and the ultimate qualities of the produced gemstone. With the CVD method, a thin wafer of diamond is placed into a special container. Various gases are then fed into the container, and ionized to produce a plasma which then rains down onto the substrate, literally growing a diamond from the ground up.

Man made diamonds have been developed to be a true rival to the shine and beauty of the real diamonds. In fact, the only difference remains simply that these marvels of technological advancements are more affordable than natural rarities can be, and therefore, more approachable.

 


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