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Synthetic Diamonds

Not everyone can afford a real diamond. Most diamonds are not within the reach of the masses. This is precisely where synthetic diamonds step in to allow even the lower echelons of society to be the proud owner of one.

What are Synthetic Diamonds

Synthetic diamonds are artificially created or manmade diamonds. They refer to a class of manufactured products that possess the same atomic structure, chemical composition and physical properties that real diamonds have. The entire process of manufacturing them is done under manually controlled temperature and pressure in a laboratory setting. In recent times, these diamonds are being put to use for their effectiveness as heat sinks in the semiconductor business and also for their physical attributes which make them well-suited in the production and manufacture of cutting tools. High volume production is the target here as the emphasis is on their industrial use rather than their purchase as a piece of jewelry.

Laser Inscription for Synthetic Diamonds

It is extremely tough to spot any difference between mined and man-made diamonds. Only a highly sophisticated and expensive method that aids the process of reading a laser engraved inscription that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) requires every synthetic diamond to be labeled. This will give the synthetic diamond away. If this doesn't work, the only other option available to establish a difference between the two is to use scientific machinery that studies and records the characteristic crystalline structure of diamonds.

Synthetic Diamond Production

The first synthetic diamonds were developed in Russia approximately thirty years ago. They used the CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) method to manufacture these 'cultured' diamonds. Under very low pressure and temperature conditions, in the vapor phase diamonds are formed from their individual building blocks to create polycrystalline structures that eventually look like diamonds. Some examples of CVD include hot filament deposition, microwave plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition, combustion flame deposition and plasma jet deposition.

This technological process creates a synthetic diamond apart from another process that is commonly referred to as HPHT (High Pressure High Temperature). Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. In the CVD method, the diamonds can be 'grown' on all kinds of substrates, the level of chemical impurities can be fine tuned and they spread over a relatively larger area which, in turn, helps produce larger diamonds. High pressure conditions are also not needed unlike the HPHT method. However, this method is not suitable for the large-scale production of diamonds. Despite all these advantages, the HPHT method is the more preferred method. The main reason is this method is excellent for the industrial-scale production of synthetic diamonds.

What are Simulated Diamonds?

Learn more about diamonds with our diamond certification lexicon.

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