The Development History of Lab Diamonds

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When it comes to diamonds, people always associate them with love. Due to their pure composition and high reflection rate,  carefully crafted diamonds refract, reflect, and disperse light to emit a dazzling radiance.Under the blessing of love, they radiate an irresistible charm.

The price of diamonds has remained high, with each carat of natural diamond selling for tens of thousands of dollars. The larger the diamond, the rarer it is, and the higher its value per carat, making it a necessary element in luxury goods.

The price of diamonds has remained high, with each carat of natural diamond selling for tens of thousands of dollars. The larger the diamond, the rarer it is, and the higher its value per carat, making it a necessary element in luxury goods.But have you noticed the many consumer-grade diamonds appearing on the market in recent years, priced very friendly? What's the story behind this?

The raw material of diamonds is called diamond, which is the hardest substance in the world. In the late 18th century, after thoroughly burning several diamonds and many other experimental materials.the hardest substance naturally existing in nature. In the late 18th century, after completely burning several diamonds and many other experimental materials, French chemist Lavoisier not only discovered the element oxygen and the principle of combustion but also inferred the nature of the diamond - a carbon single crystal formed in a high-pressure, high-temperature environment over billions of years.

Diamonds are natural minerals, and many people believe that they are scarce mineral resources like gold. However, this is not the case. As we all know, the most abundant element on Earth is carbon.In the high-pressure and high-temperature environment, diamonds are not rare.The difficulty lies in how to obtain them - diamonds are brought to the surface area only after specific types of volcanic eruptions, becoming exploitable  deposits.For example, the Argyle mine in Australia, with a total production of 865 million carats, almost monopolized 1/3 of the world's known natural reserves. It closed in 2021 after 37 years of mining.

Anyone who has seen the movie "Blood Diamond" knows that natural diamond mining has severe working conditions, lacks safety protection, causes irreversible damage to the surface environment, consumes a lot of water and energy, produces waste water, waste gas, and solid waste, and destroys the natural environment. Currently, the annual global production of natural diamonds is 90-100 million carats, 80% of which can only be used industrially, and only 20% reach gem quality, monopolized by giants in the diamond industry.

Since we know the composition of diamonds and that they are formed under high temperature and high pressure, can we create diamonds in the laboratory by simulating this environment? In fact, as early as the mid-to-late 20th century, the industry has been constantly trying to cultivate artificial diamonds, and various technologies with different directions have evolved.In 1952, scientist William Eversole from the United States Federal Carbide Corporation first used chemical vapor deposition to continuously deposit carbon-containing gas on diamond seeds, successfully synthesizing diamond. In 1954, Dr. Hall of General Electric led a team to successfully develop "high-temperature, high-pressure synthesized diamonds", mimicking the high-temperature, high-pressure environment in which diamonds naturally form, which is more cost-effective and widely used by successors.

The formation cycle of a natural diamond lasts billions of years, while producing a cultured diamond of the same size only takes a few recent years, colorless diamond cultivation technology has can achieve no difference with natural diamonds in terms of color, particle size, and clarity. Only professional testing institutions can distinguish the difference between the them.n 2018, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued jewelry guidelines, deleting the word "natural" from the basic definition of diamonds, indirectly recognizing that cultured diamonds are also diamonds, and their status has been instantly elevated.If you don't pursue the so-called "natural purity," the price of a 1-carat cultured diamond rough stone is only about 35% of that of a natural diamond. With the increase in carats, the price advantage of cultured diamonds grows exponentially. Even De Beers, the world's largest natural diamond miner, couldn't resist this attraction and officially entered the lab-grown diamond industry.

In October 1960, Professor Wang Guangzu of Zhengzhou Abrasive Grinding Research Institute received a national research task of  synthesizing artificial diamonds. On the evening of December 6, 1963, in the high-pressure test laboratory of Beijing General Machinery Research Institute, Wang Guangzu and his colleagues used domestically produced ultra-high-pressure equipment to successfully synthesize a sparkling yellow-green crystal . This is China's first artificial fine-grained diamond.

Fast forward to 2020, China's man-made diamond production has exceeded 20 billion carats, accounting for over 95% of total global production. The global production of gem-quality rough diamonds is around 6-7 million carats, with China accounting for about 50% of capacity. As the birthplace of superhard materials in China, over 80% of cultivated diamonds come from Henan Province,In the eyes of young consumers, diamond jewelry has gradually disconnected from love. Faced with cost-effectiveness, whether natural or cultivated no longer seems so important. What you like is the best - "buy your own flowers and wear them yourself." I sincerely hope that diamonds can return to their original value - a pure and beautiful ornament, a gift of self-expression and self-reward for everyone.

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