How a Diamond is Made?
Carbon is the substance that’s transformed into diamonds. Geologists explain that the natural diamond-creation process goes something like this:
- Carbon must be present deep in the Earth’s crust.
- Heat reaches about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Intense pressure of approximately 725,000 pounds per square inch is applied to the carbon.
- Diamonds rise to Earth’s surface to cool.
Advanced Technology Used to Create Laboratory-Grown Diamonds
Modern equipment and expertise enables the creation of authentic diamonds equal in chemistry and appearance to natural diamonds. No longer must people rely on the processes of the Earth that may take thousands of years and the devastating effects of diamond mining to enjoy a gorgeous, authentic diamond.
Laboratory-grown diamonds undergo processes that mimic the natural elements that create diamonds deep beneath the Earth’s surface. Currently, two methods exist for the creation of a diamond in the laboratory setting.
How High-Pressure High-Temperature (HPHT) Diamonds are Made
Synthetic diamonds created by the HPHT method is the closest process that mimics Earth’s natural diamond-creation process. In short, the process involves subjecting carbon (often in the form of graphite or extracted from the cremated remains or hair of a person) to extreme temperatures and pressures. A typical HPHT diamond-creation process goes something like this:
- If human hair or ashes is being used for the process, the carbon is extracted from the sample and placed on a diamond-growing foundation.
- The mixture is placed in the center of a HPHT machine. This complex machinery creates diamond-growing conditions found deep within the Earth. Temperatures in excess of 3,632 degrees Fahrenheit and pressures in excess of 870,000 pounds per square inch are applied to the sample.
- After the carbon has grown into its complex crystalline formation, it is then cut and polished by industry experts in the same manner a natural diamond would be handled.
How Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) Diamonds are Made
Rather than using intense pressure, the other method to create diamonds, chemical vapor deposition or CVD, grows diamonds from a hydrocarbon gas mixture without intense pressure. Because more flexibility and simplicity is involved in the CVD process versus the HPHT process, it’s receiving a lot of intensive worldwide research. Furthermore, the CVD process allows for diamond growth over a large area and on various substrates. The typical CVD-diamond creation process goes something like this:
- A diamond seed (which is a tiny piece of diamond with a repeating pattern of carbon atoms like all diamonds have) is placed inside a microwave plasma oven.
- Natural gas is zapped into a plasma of carbon which sticks to each diamond seed, thus building a diamond one atom at a time.
- Once the synthetic diamond is grown, it is then cut by a high-power laser into rough shapes.
- Professional diamond workers then cut and polish the synthetic diamond in the same manner they would work with a natural diamond.
Cremation Diamonds Made from the Carbon of a Loved One
As mentioned above, diamond creation can be taken to a level of personalization and remembrance by having the carbon extracted from the cremated ashes or hair of a loved one. The first process mentioned above, HPHT, is performed in laboratories worldwide using the organic material from real people, therefore turning loved ones into diamonds. The trend of modern cremation jewelry further increases the demand for eco-friendly, laboratory-grown diamonds.