In this article, we're diving deep into these beautiful stones—you’ll learn about the process used to create laboratory-grown diamonds, understand the differences between laboratory-grown and mined diamonds, and get tips on making an informed diamond purchase. Welcome to Diamonds 101. You’ll be a star pupil in no time.
What are diamonds?
Diamonds are exquisite gemstones renowned for their unparalleled beauty and exceptional durability. Composed of carbon atoms arranged in a crystal lattice structure, these minerals are nature's masterpieces, reflecting and refracting light with dazzling brilliance.
How are diamonds formed?
In nature, diamonds form deep within the Earth's mantle under immense pressure and extreme temperatures over millions of years. Carbon atoms bond together to create the unique crystal structure of diamonds. Volcanic eruptions then bring these precious gems closer to the Earth's surface where they are mined.
Scientists can also replicate the natural diamond-growing process in laboratories using one of two methods—Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) or High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT). Laboratory-grown diamonds are an extraordinary representation of human ingenuity. Through science, we can now replicate nature’s beauty and create diamonds that are optically, chemically, and physically identical to mined diamonds, without any of the negative implications that come with historical mining practices.
BRUNA’s laboratory-grown diamonds are formed using the CVD method. During this process, a small diamond “seed” is inserted into a vacuum chamber filled with gases that include carbon atoms. The chamber is then heated to very high temperatures, causing the gas molecules to break and the carbon atoms to crystallize on the diamond seed. Gradually, beautiful diamond crystals form—almost like seeing snowflakes fall from the sky on a magical winter’s night!
What are the differences between mined and laboratory-grown diamonds?
The key difference between mined and laboratory-grown diamonds lies in their origin. Mined diamonds are extracted from the Earth through mining processes—usually in large-scale open-pit or underground mines—whereas laboratory-grown diamonds are cultivated in a controlled laboratory setting.
Mined diamonds typically require significant land disruption, energy consumption, and water usage. On the other hand, laboratory-grown diamonds are considered to have a lower overall environmental footprint. Their production eliminates the need for large-scale mining operations, reducing habitat disruption and carbon emissions, while also avoiding the human rights risks traditionally associated with diamond mining practices.
Make no mistake. Our laboratory-created diamonds are real diamonds, full stop. From a quality and beauty perspective, they possess the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as mined diamonds. Laboratory-grown diamonds are also subjected to the exact same grading process as mined diamonds, which assesses the “Four Cs” of diamond quality: carat, color, clarity, and cut. When you’re choosing your perfect jewelry piece, these are the four things you want to look out for!
What are the four Cs?
Diamond quality is determined by the famous "Four Cs": carat weight, color, clarity, and cut. Carat weight refers to the size or mass of the diamond, while color grades range from colorless to various shades of yellow and brown. Clarity assesses the presence of any internal or external flaws, which are known as inclusions or blemishes, respectively. The cut of a diamond refers to how well it has been faceted to maximize its brilliance and sparkle. A well-cut diamond will exhibit exceptional light performance and breathtaking fire. Together, these characteristics contribute to the overall quality and value of a diamond, allowing you to choose a diamond that suits your personal preferences and budget.
At BRUNA, we also like to add a fifth “C” to our list—consciousness.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are laboratory-grown diamonds real diamonds?
Yes, laboratory-grown diamonds are real diamonds. They have the same chemical composition and crystal structure as natural diamonds, resulting in the same physical and optical characteristics. In fact, laboratory-grown diamonds are nearly impossible to differentiate from natural diamonds without specialized equipment.
2. What are diamond simulants?
Diamond simulants are not real diamonds. The term diamond simulants refers to materials, such as cubic zirconia and moissanite, which look similar to diamonds but are not true carbon crystals. Simulants do not have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as natural and laboratory-grown diamonds.
3. Are laboratory-grown diamonds responsible or conscious?
Laboratory-grown diamonds are considered to have an overall significantly lower environmental impact compared to natural diamonds. Their production eliminates the need for large-scale mining operations, which reduces habitat disruption and carbon emissions.
4. Can laboratory-grown diamonds be used for engagement rings and fine jewelry?
Absolutely! Laboratory-grown diamonds are a popular choice for engagement rings and fine jewelry. They offer the same beauty, durability, and brilliance as natural diamonds, allowing you to celebrate special moments with a stunning stone that meets your conscious lifestyle.
5. How do I care for and clean my diamonds?
To keep your diamonds sparkling, a little care goes a long way. Treat them like precious treasures, shielding them from harsh chemicals such as cleaning agents and chlorine. When it's time to clean your diamonds, start by soaking them in warm water with mild dish soap followed by a gentle scrub using a soft brush. Give them a thorough rinse and gently pat them dry with a lint-free cloth. For more information on cleaning and caring for your gems, visit our Jewelry Care page.