Did you know that some diamonds are born in laboratories? Scientists have been trying to make synthetic diamonds since the 1870s, though the first confirmed cultured diamond was made much later, in 1954. Jewelry grade synthetics are usually made through high pressure, high temperature methods, or with the aid of hydrocarbon gas. Advances in technology make these diamonds increasingly difficult to distinguish from natural stones.
Like natural diamonds, cultured diamonds are pure carbon with trace elements, such as nitrogen, influencing their color. Depending on the machinery, fancy hues may be quicker and easier to produce than their colorless counterparts.
With natural fancy diamonds selling for millions of dollars, such as the 2014 auction of the Graff Pink, there’s a risk of dishonest vendors selling synthetic stones at natural diamond prices. To combat this possibility, the diamond industry has developed specialized machinery to help determine a jewel’s origin. Independent grading labs such as the Gemological Institute of America use different certificates for mined or cultured diamonds to further reduce confusion.
If you want to be sure of your diamond’s provenance, reports from an independent laboratory is the best confirmation.