The History of Lab-grown Diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds which are the diamonds grown in a laboratory. Natural diamonds were formed 3.3 billion years ago. Different from the long history of natural diamonds, cultivated diamonds were born in the middle of the last century, and the development history of cultivated diamonds is full of scientific and technological sense. The following will take you to understand the development process of cultivated diamonds.

At the end of the 18th century, French chemist Lavoisier discovered that diamond is a simple crystal composed of carbon elements formed under the conditions of high pressure and high temperature deep in the earth, which provided a theoretical basis for the later generation of diamond cultivation technology.


In 1952, William Iverso, a scientist at the United States Federal Silicon Carbide Corporation, used chemical vapor deposition (Chemical Vapor Deposition, referred to as CVD) to continuously deposit carbon-containing gas on the diamond seed crystal, gradually accumulating and hardening to form diamonds.


In 1954, Dr. Hall, the head of General Electric's "Super Pressure Project", led a team to make a breakthrough in the field of cultivated diamond technology, and the so-called "high temperature and high pressure" (HPHT) diamond was born in the industry.


In 1963, China's first man-made fine-grained diamond was born, which was developed by the Institute of Geochemistry, the Institute of Physics, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Zhengzhou Sanmo Research Institute and the Academy of Geological Sciences.


In 1970, General Electric Company (GE) of the United States cultivated the first batch of high-quality synthetic diamonds that reached the jewelry level, but the manufacturing cost of these high-temperature and high-pressure synthetic diamonds is much higher than that of natural diamonds, so it is difficult to commercialize them.


In 1985, Japan's Sumitomo Electric Industries Co., Ltd. synthesized yellow gem-quality diamonds, representing the beginning of human beings' formal entry into the field of synthetic colored diamonds. Although the synthesized colored diamonds are beautiful enough, scientists are all working toward the ultimate goal of synthesizing gem-quality colorless diamonds.


In 2012, Gemesis announced that it has mastered the synthesis technology of type IIa colorless diamonds, which can be described as a major breakthrough in synthetic diamond technology.


On May 22, 2015, Russia announced a lab-grown diamond weighing 10.02 carats, which was polished from a record-breaking 32.26 carat lab-grown rough diamond and took more than 300 hours to manufacture.


In 2016, the International Grown Diamond Association (IGDA) was established, which is the world's first international non-profit organization for the lab-grown diamonds industry. The main purpose is to promote the development of laboratory-grown diamonds.


March 16, 2016 - Basel, New Diamond Technology (NDT) presented a 5.03 carat, VS1 clarity, emerald cut Type IIb high temperature and high pressure (HPHT) cultivated blue diamond.


In August 2018, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revised the definition of diamonds in its latest guidance document, recommending the use of terms such as “lab-grown” and “cultured” to describe grown diamonds.


On July 1, 2019, GIA lab-grown diamond reports and grading reports will no longer use the word "synthetic" and instead use terms such as "lab-grown diamond."


In January 2020, at Paris Haute Couture Week, Swarovski announced the first batch of lab-grown colored diamonds, covering 16 colors, including red, orange-pink, turquoise and other rare shades in natural diamonds.


At present, more and more companies have joined the ranks of cultivated diamonds. The synthetic technology of lab-grown diamonds has also achieved a qualitative leap in the last ten years, making the quality and cost of gem-quality lab-grown diamonds reach a level that can be produced commercially. In the future, as the technology of cultivated diamonds gradually matures, the characteristics of high cost performance and environmental protection of cultivated diamonds will support the large-scale entry of cultivated diamonds into the market.

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