Man Made Diamonds, are they the way of the future?
In recent times almost every industry has either gone through or is about to go through massive disruption, on a scale never seen before. The diamond industry is by no means immune to the changes that are coming with man made diamonds.
We have seen a marked increase in the enquires around created diamonds in the last month. Some is general curiosity, but most are as a genuine interest in purchasing a man made diamond. Up until recently, there has been little information about them to give a client the complete confidence in their purchase choice. The important thing to remember is that is exactly what it is – a choice. I honestly don’t believe that one will replace the other, just as Uber hasn’t completely replaced Taxis. If you are making an informed decision, you can be comfortable with whichever choice you go for.
How are Man Made Diamonds created?
Before going into the characteristics of laboratory created diamonds, it is important to understand that there are two main ways to create a man made diamond. High Pressure / High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapour Disposition (CVD). HPHT process mimics the high pressure that created diamonds in the earth crust. It uses a metal catalyst (graphite/carbon) to dissolve the carbon onto a diamond seed, essentially drawing the carbon out of ferrous metals. Whereas the CVD process in contrast uses low pressure but employs a vacuum which is fuelled with hydrogen and methane. Which means that it derives its carbon source from a vapour. The CVD method starts with a diamond seed crystal to grow the diamond, much the same way you might have grown crystals as a child at school in your science experiment.
You can watch how an Altr created diamond is grown here.
Diamond crystal types
Diamonds naturally occur in nature as either a Type 1 (a/b) or Type 2 (a/b) crystal. The most purist and transparent form of Carbon crystal in the world is the Type 2a crystal, it has almost no impurities which leads to the colourlessness and only accounts for 1.8% of the world’s supply and is a rare quality gem.
Every Altr created diamond begins with a Type 2a seed crystal and is guaranteed to be only a CVD diamond, so it’s quality can be assured. Type 2a diamonds have much less nitrogen so they face up looking whiter and crisper, which is in line with their “Shine Brighter” campaign.
So that is most of the technical information out of the way. The simplest take way is that Altr created diamonds have;
- Same physical hardness as a mined diamond
- Same optical properties as a mined diamond
- Same Molecular structure as a mined diamond
- Will never have any fluorescence
- Will give you around a 20% bigger diamond for the same budget
- Often a cleaner diamond with less inclusions.
- Are completely certified and laser inscribed by the one of the worlds forensic laboratory (only 2 in existence), that even has a money back guarantee, if the stone hasn’t been accurately graded.
When I am showing a client an Altr created diamond, the first thing I will say is one was created below the ground, the other was created above the ground. That is essentially the only difference. Just like if you had two siblings, one was made by IVF and the other through the traditional way, you wouldn’t look at your sibling and call them a synthetic human. They just had a different start, but they are identical to you as a human in every way.
What a Man Made diamond is not.
A man made diamond is a very different stone to a Cubic Zirconia or a Moissanite stone, both of which are softer and have different optical properties. Both a cubic and a moissanite are known as stimulants, which means that they are like a diamond, but not the same.
What to watch out for in a created diamond.
The first thing to look out when shopping for a Laboratory created diamond is whether there is accurate disclosure around the way that it was created. Cheaper versions are made through either straight HPHT, or a combination of HPHT and CVD. If the stone you are looking at purchasing can’t guarantee the method of its creation, then it is most likely a cheaper combination creation stone.
Where your Laboratory created diamond is certified
The second thing to look out is for where the diamond was certified. If it is certified by IGI (International Gemmological Institute) it will be a cheaper stone, as the grading parameters for IGI are not as strict as the GCAL (Gem Certification and Assurance Lab). An IGI laboratory has been known to be a colour &/or clarity grade out compared to that of a GIA laboratory. Also, an IGI cert won’t tell you whether your diamond was created through HPHT or CVD.
As mentioned previously the GCAL is one of the strictest grading laboratories’ in the world and completely stands behind their grading. A GCAL cert in addition to the normal 4C’s information also has several additional features
- A Gem print – which is a unique optical fingerprint of your diamond
- Photomicrographs – which are actual photographs of your diamond, so you can see the actual incisions and faceting of your diamond.
- Optical Brilliance analysis – which is the overall amount of white light being returned to the viewer
- Optical Symmetry analysis – showing a coloured optical symmetry of the diamond, showing you a visual representation of the proportions and facet alignment.
Man Made diamonds GCAL certificate
Minimal Carbon footprint for a Man Made Diamond.
All Altr created diamond presses are powered by the earth’s natural wind cycles through the power of wind turbines. This renewable energy source creates the power required to form these amazing gems, ensuring that there is minimal impact on the environment.
Metallic inclusions for a created diamond.
Because HPHT created diamonds derive their carbon from a metallic source like iron, the inclusions found in them are often metallic in nature. These inclusions are often easily distinguishable and can even result in the diamond having a magnetic attraction to a magnet.
At the end of the day whether you choose a mined diamond, or a laboratory created diamond, will just come down to your own personal preference. Ultimately the choice will come down to whether it is more important to you that the diamond was created below the ground or whether you would rather have a larger diamond for the same budget. At the end of the day, the best way for you to decide is to compare them side by side and make the choice for yourself. So why not book an appointment and see the diamonds first hand and see if you can tell the difference.
We even have a special promotion on at the moment to celebrate the launch of the Altr created diamonds. You can WIN a .50ct F Colour VS clarity Altr created valued at $2900. All you need to do is book an appointment to come in and see them, to go in the draw to win this amazing diamond.