We know that diamonds are women’s best friends, and how cannot? They are beautiful, bright, make us look elegant and give us a lot of confidence. But are synthetic or artificial diamonds as beautiful as natural ones? The answer is yes, and you probably have some at home.
Not to scare you. These man-made diamonds are spectacular and have nothing to envy to natural diamonds, in my opinion.
If you didn’t know, diamonds are originally nothing more than carbon. They have the same components as the graphite found on the tips of the pencils. That means that, the diamond, the hardest substance known to man, comes from a material as soft as carbon. Just a few small differences when combining the atoms of these substances, create a spectacular consistency.
How did man come to create a synthetic diamond?
Their first clue come from the volcanoes. Scientist observed that under enormous pressures diamonds were created in a matter of days. Finally, on the 50’s, General Electric joined an scientific team for this duty. They could convert graphite into diamond. The problem was that those diamonds had not enough quality for their use in jewelry.
Those advancements made jewelry companies to be alert and even defensive. Concretely the company De Beers, which handles more than 50% of the total worldwide diamond commerce. At the beginning those diamonds were not a problem, because they could only be used for industrial purposes as cutting stones.
That started to happen in the 90’s, in the post communist Russia, where a pioneering scientist by modest means could create enought machinery to make “grow” natural diamonds on laboratory. He based his accomplishment on the pressure General Electric method, adding the concept of “grow”. Results were very interested as they obtained colored diamonds. They also exist in nature, and are very difficult to be found and therefore very expensive. At that time, in Russia it was difficult to get the right equipment, and those diamonds were not produced on mass.
You can see the creation process here:
Near the year 2000 the situation changed. And by a casual meeting one scientist sold the technology to an American company. That technology needed to be perfected, and so they did and the first man created diamond line was created. Their prices were about a quarter to the ones of the real diamonds. Now it became a threat for the jewelry industry, if those pieces could not be identified. Diamonds take generally millions of years to be produced and now the could be produced in a weekend in some laboratory in the states.
De Beers could made a machine to detect them. That was not an easy task, and they had to make an atomic analysis of each piece. At the same time those sytetic diamonds were colored, white the real market for De Beers were the colorless. And in addition, teh company producer marked each piece with the letters “Genesis Created” so there was not confusion.
Soon appeared a new company in the synthetic diamonds market. It was not a jewelry company, but a semiconductors company. During the time of creating semiconductor materials, they discovered how to create high quality and colorless diamonds. Their technic is not fully known, but we know that it is based in the process of making the diamond grown atom by atom. The same that happens in nature, but now in short period of times. They make without using graphite, but just small diamonds and gases (oxygen mixed).
Finally diamonds with same quality or even better that the ones in nature were done. And with a much lower market price. What is more, without need to destroy nature to get it, and without blood conflicts.
We can see the natural diamond has slow down the steady increase of prices that had in the last 60 years. (source: statista.com)
At the same time, the price of the synthetic diamond has been decreasing year after year about 10% annually.
The present level of production of the artificial diamond is still low for jewelry. It is just about 3% of the market, and it is expected to be around 5% in the year 2025.
Nowadays, the demand for artificial diamonds is quite low. And is that, of course, many people prefer natural to artificial diamonds, because their value is much greater.
However, if we speak of diamond for industrial uses (cutting machines, etc) we can see how nowadays the synthetic diamond copes 99% of the market. And it is expected to continue with this market domination.
Source: Production data of diamonds
Although they also say that a diamond is a diamond, it doesn’t matter if it has been created in a laboratory or found in a mine. It should also be noted that these new diamonds are also not economical, since much of the final price of diamond comes from the work of carving.
Artificial diamonds are as beautiful as the natural ones, and both have the same goal: to embellish our day to day with its brilliance and to make us feel sophisticated. Just remember that both satisfy different markets, as long as artificial diamonds are identified as such.
What seems to be great to me about this creation is that it does not invade or harm nature or hundreds of working people to find so-called blood diamonds.