Each laboratory-created diamond is grown by placing a diamond ‘seed’ into a chamber of heat and pressure. This chamber mimics the natural growing process. Crystallization occurs allowing the lab-grown diamond to mature within six to ten weeks. It is then cut, polished and graded by the same world-renowned labs that certify earth-mined diamonds. The following technique are most commonly used by laboratories, and will be the same techniques used for any lab grown diamonds in Vancouver:
CHEMICAL VAPOR DEPOSITION (CVD)
Chemical Vapor Deposition, or CVD, is a process used to create gem-grade diamonds as well as optics and semiconductors. The CVD process uses ultra-pure carbon-rich gasses in a controlled chamber. Carbon-based gasses, such as methane, are heated until they break apart allowing the carbon atoms within the gas to separate. These tiny carbon atoms fall onto a diamond substrate and build up layers resulting in a rough diamond crystal. This process takes between six to ten weeks and yields gem-grade Type IIa lab diamonds. In recent years, CVD research has gained popularity and now modified versions of CVD are being used. These processes differ in the means by which chemical reactions are initiated. Some of these variations include:
Low-pressure CVD (LPCVD) Ultrahigh vacuum CVD (UHVCVD)
Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD)
Microwave Plasma Vapor Deposition (MPCVD)
Ultrahigh vacuum CVD (UHVCVD)
It takes approximately 2-3 weeks to grow a rough diamond in a diamond lab that will yield a 1ct polished gemstone. This size of stone is just about perfect for lab diamond engagement rings, or lab made diamond rings in general.
Cutting and polishing may take another 4-8 weeks, especially for a lab diamond ring. The longer a rough is left in the reactor, the greater chance of developing more inclusions or cracks. So, now you know! The next time you see a lab grown diamond for sale, or a stunning lab created engagement rings in the jewelry store, you’ll know how they were made!