What Diamonds Are Made Of?

Diamonds are considered the symbol of love, and are the most coveted of all gemstones. When we see diamonds at a jeweler, these look brilliant and sparkle from being polished to perfection. But, the look we see at the jewelry store is a far cry from the diamond’s humble beginnings. Do you really know what diamonds are made of?

Diamonds are Carbon, Right?

Most people know that diamonds are formed from carbon. The carbon is often referred to as “coal“, though that term isn’t exactly correct. However, turning carbon into diamonds is as much about the process as about the carbon. It’s a process that scientists still don’t truly understand. Read Also: Are Diamonds Organic?

Diamonds Were Formed Billions of Years Ago

The carbon dioxide that forms diamonds is buried about 100 miles inside the earth. Extreme pressure and heat are the forces that turn the carbon into a diamond. The required heat is about 2200 degrees Fahrenheit, and the pressure about 725,000 pounds per square inch. Then, the diamond must move closer to the surface of the earth quickly, in order to cool.

This process requires precision in each step, making diamonds a true wonder of nature, and explaining why the stones are so valuable.

What are Synthetic Diamonds Made Of?

Today’s scientists produce synthetic diamonds, too. There are two methods for making synthetic diamonds. The first mimics that natural process very closely. Pieces of graphite are turned to diamonds using extreme pressure and temperatures, as well as electricity. This process turns graphite into diamond over several days, though these diamonds are not as pure as the natural stones.

The second process uses a tiny piece of diamond to create a much larger “sheet like” diamond. The small piece of diamond is depressurized and then, using natural gas, and microwaves, it is heated to about 2000 degrees. This creates new carbon atoms that stick to the diamond, adding to its size. This type of synthetic diamond is often used in computers, as it is extremely heat tolerant.

Read more: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/artificial-diamonds.html
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Is My Jewelry Made of Lab-Created Diamonds?

Synthetic or Lab Created diamonds are becoming very popular among today’s consumers. These diamonds are not fake and cannot be compared to “simulated” diamonds, like cubic zirconia. These are actual diamonds, with the only difference being that these were created in a lab rather than in the earth. Only professionals, using special equipment, can tell the difference between a lab-created diamond and a natural diamond. (Read Also: What Are Lab Grown Diamonds?)

Lab-Created diamonds cost about thirty percent less than natural diamonds, making them a great choice for many consumers. However, it is important to note that when you are buying a synthetic diamond, this fact must be disclosed to you from the jeweler.

Now that you have a better understanding of what diamonds are made of, you can use this information to help you choose the perfect diamond for you. Whether you choose a natural diamond or one that is lab-created, you can be assured that a diamond is the perfect choice for a one of a kind piece of jewelry you’ll treasure forever.

Carl Jones

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist (GIA GG) and the lead writer behind the Diamond Insider. He specializes in writing about tips, reviews, and advice for buying Diamond Jewelry. He has decades of experience and a wealth of knowledge about diamonds, and he is here to share that knowledge with you.

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