Frequently Asked Questions
Cultured Diamonds - Additional Information
A cultured diamond is a diamond that is created through a controlled man made process, rather than a gemmological process beneath the earth’s surface. Cultured diamonds have the same physical, chemical and aesthetic structures as mined diamonds.
No trained gemmologist nor any jeweller can tell between a cultured and mined diamond by using everyday jewellery tools (i.e. a loupe or a diamond tester).
However, gemmological labs (e.g. GIA, IGI, or HRD) can use very advanced and expensive machinery to spot slight differences in growth structures due to the respective environments of each diamond's formation process. This is like comparing DnA of two different individuals – each will have unique characteristics but still be made up the same chemical elements.
A lab grown diamond is the most widely used term to describe diamonds that are grown with science and human intervention.
Other names include man made diamonds, lab created diamonds, above ground diamonds, cultivated and cultured diamonds.
All of the globally renowed gemmological labs issue lab grown diamond reports that clearly states the "identification" of the diamond as "laboratory-grown". The diamond is graded for its colour, cut and clarity. To see an example of such a report - please visit the Gemmological Institute of America (GIA).
As the process of grading is both time consuming and expensive, gemmological labs only offer reports for diamonds weighing 0.15 carats or more. Currently, all our diamonds are smaller than this threshold. However, if you make a custom order with diamonds over 0.15 carats we will be more than happy to supply you with a certificate.
Cubic zirconia is a simulate – it is made to look like a diamond but it’s chemical, optical and physical properties are not the same as a diamond. It is less durable and has less brilliance than a natural and cultured diamond.
Moissanite is also a simulate or imitation, and is rarely found in nature so most moissanite is man made - it is the second hardest material after diamonds. Moissanite also refracts light differently, so its sparkle can look quite colourful – almost like a rainbow effect. In terms of price, moissanite is significantly cheaper than cultured and natural diamonds.
There are two ways to make cultured diamonds - HPHT and CVD. Read about each technological process below:
HPHT (High Temperature High Pressure) mimics the environment that a natural diamond undergoes beneath the Earth’s surface. Temperatures exceeding 1300 degrees Celsius and 50,000 atmospheres of pressures are required to turn a carbon source into carbon atoms that start to form into a rough diamond crystal.
CVD (Chemical Vapour Deposition) is a process whereby a hydrocarbon gas is placed into a vacuum chamber over a tiny diamond seed. Carbon gasses are heated to 800 degrees Celcius, causing them to break apart from their carbon atoms which then form on top of the diamond seed, slowly growing into a rough diamond crystal.
It can take 3-6 weeks to grow a cultured diamond rough – sometimes longer.
When using a diamond tester, cultured diamonds test as real because their physical and chemical properties are exactly the same as a mined diamond.
No - that is why the most reputable grading labs (ie. GIA, HRD, IGI) will also grade cultured diamonds for its colour, clarity and cut.
Not at all! Just like natural diamonds, cultured diamonds are grown with various clarity characteristics that cannot be controlled. This makes each rough crystal unique as a result of their own growth journey.
Cultured diamonds only make up about 3-4% of all diamonds in the market. This means that they are still relatively rare within the industry.
Fun fact: Cultured diamonds were invented by General Electric in the 1950s and have been responsible for huge industrial advancements in telecommunications, optics and health care.