How are lab-grown diamonds made?

Laboratory diamonds, often unknown to the general public and neglected by the major luxury brands, nevertheless represent an ethical and sustainable alternative to diamonds from mines. Optically, chemically and physically identical to the latter, synthetic diamonds, otherwise known as "cultured diamonds", have the advantage of being more respectful of the environment and of the social working conditions of the miners working in the large deposits.

This crucial difference comes from their manufacturing process. The process of extracting diamonds from mines is very hazardous and polluting, often under very difficult working conditions. Laboratory diamonds, on the other hand, are produced in special incubators that reproduce the natural phenomena of diamond formation.

There are two ways to do this:

  • CVD: chemical vapour deposition - this method uses a concentrate of gases, such as methane and hydrogen, which allows carbon atoms to be deposited in crystalline form on a substrate placed in the pressurisation chamber. These atoms are deposited layer by layer, atom by atom, until a synthetic diamond is fully formed.
  • HPHT: high pressure and high temperature - a similar process whereby very high pressure and temperature (above 1400°C) are applied directly to a diamond 'seed', i.e. graphite, thereby growing cultured diamonds under pressure.

The CVD is often preferred because it allows more flexibility in the manoeuvre, with for example the creation of larger diamonds, difficult to find in nature.

Concerned about ethical issues, AGUAdeORO has decided since 2016 to offer its customers to decorate their jewelry with cultured diamonds. AGUAdeORO is committed to continue its efforts to become more eco-responsible and ethical while offering the best quality to its customers. The latest step is the use of Fairtrade gold in all our jewelry.

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