3 Important Facts to consider about CVD or Lab Grown Diamonds before buying your engagement ring…

Due to the high environmental costs and humanitarian impacts, young people are falling out of love with mined diamonds. So, how do their alternative, lab grown diamonds, measure up?

Due to the advantages of Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) over traditional mining, lab grown diamonds are becoming more prevalent in the market. However, they are not as natural as the natural diamonds that are mined.

Diamond CVD started becoming popular in the market around a decade ago. This process involves introducing a gas, usually methane, into a vacuum chamber and breaking down its molecules using microwaves.

CVD synthetic diamonds produced by Gemesis. The 0.39 ct. round brilliant on the left was graded F color and VVS2 clarity; the 0.83 ct. sample on the right was graded J color and VVS2 clarity. Image © GIA – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_diamond

Humble Beginnings to now…

The High Pressure Hot Honey process, which General Electric first used in 1954, is a method that involves exposing carbon to extremely hot temperatures and pressure inside the Earth. This produces diamonds with a brownish or yellow appearance.

The creators of CVD lab grown diamonds thought that they could produce high-quality, cheaply-made diamonds quickly. However, due to the inconsistent quality, their expectations were not met.

Over the past decade, producers of CVD equipment have learned how to improve the color of their synthetic diamonds by using a purer type II diamond as a seed crystal. They also discovered how to remove the brown coloration that appeared on their earlier models.

In 2012, Gemesis Corporation started selling CVD-equipped synthetic diamonds. They are the first company to do so using the HPHT process.

16 CVD diamonds were purchased by GIA researchers. Most of them had very high colors, ranging from F-G to I-J. The largest cut was a rectangle cut L.

The GIA company’s experts carried out a variety of tests on the synthetic diamonds. They were able to gain a unique spectral signature, which can be used to determine their composition. They also performed standard gemological tests to check for unusual features.

The quality of CVD-grown diamond samples has improved significantly since they were introduced a decade ago. However, they still require the use of advanced spectroscopy techniques to separate them from natural diamonds.

Despite the challenges of spotting lab grown diamonds, the researchers at the Gemological Institute of America were able to find unique optical signatures using the DiamondViewTM instrument.

GIA continues to make synthetic diamonds a top research priority so it can identify and report on the latest developments of these lab-created stones.

Environmental & Humanitarian Considerations have attributed to the rise in CVD Lab Grown Diamonds

On January 1, 2019, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle stepped out in London in a smart coat and heels. While she was walking, she was spotted with a pair of diamond drop earrings that had been grown in a lab.

It took just five days for the diamonds to grow on Markle’s ear, according to the co-founder of Kima who produced these earrings for the Duchess.

Despite their family histories in the diamond trade, Warch and Neuhaus decided to break away from traditional diamonds due to the environmental and humanitarian concerns of extracting them.

Millennials and now Generation Z – who together are the main purchasers of diamonds for engagement rings – are moving away from conventional diamonds, with nearly 70% of millennials considering buying a lab grown alternative.

So, why are Lab Grown Diamonds really a more sustainable alternative to traditional mined diamonds?

A lab grown diamond is a type of diamond that has been produced using the same chemical process as mined ones. It exhibits the same optical and physical properties as a mined diamond.

Lab-grown diamonds are also created using extreme pressure and heat, but inside a machine rather than the bowels of the Earth.

CVD Lab Grown Diamonds method of production…

There are two ways to grow a lab diamond – One method involves growing a flat diamond seed, while the other involves creating a more complex structure using a high-pressure high temperature system. The first diamond that was made was created using this method.

Another recent procedure involves heating a chamber containing carbon-rich gas to 800 degrees Celsius and placing the seed in it. Through this process, the atoms of carbon are formed by the gases.

The rapid emergence and evolution of lab grown diamonds has allowed companies to produce higher-quality, cheaper diamonds. This has caused a competitive advantage to be used by miners and lab grown diamonds. Today, it costs around $500 per carat to produce a CVD lab grown diamond, compared with $4,000 per carat in 2008. The retail cost of a CVD Diamond is 20% to 30% less than a mined diamond of similar size, color and clarity.

Despite the environmental footprint, it can be argued that lab-grown diamonds are not entirely free from their energy consumption. There are other ways to source them which are more sustainable.

One of the ethical issues that lab-grown diamonds raise is the disclosure of the difference between a mined stone and a lab-grown one. In practice, it can be difficult to tell the difference between a mined stone and a lab-grown one, and this is where the ethical issue comes in.

For a while, there was concern that unethical colleagues would pass off lab-grown diamonds as mined ones. This has not happened yet, but it is still possible that this could happen in the future.

So Which is Better, Moissanite vs Lab Grown Diamonds?

It depends. It matters what you value.


People who want:

  • A white stone with a high level of sparkle that exceeds that of a diamond.
  • An extremely hard & durable choice for their engagement ring being 2nd to diamonds.
  • To save 90% of the cost of a mined diamond, with the ability to opt for higher carat size due to affordability.


Couples who want:

  • The hardest choice for their engagement ring.
  • Bragging rights of owning a genuine “diamond ring.”
  • To save 20-30% off the price of mined diamonds.
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