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Published on : Apr 11, 2016

Synthetic diamonds that are also known as cultivated or cultured diamonds are grown in highly controlled laboratory environments using sophisticated technological procedures duplicating the conditions under which diamonds are grown naturally beneath the Earth’s crust. Once synthetic diamonds are created, cut, and polished, the appearance of these diamonds is similar to natural diamonds and exhibit the same chemical composition as those obtained through mining.

Discovered in 1796 to be carbonic in composition, it took more than 150 years for the first diamond to be developed synthetically. The finding was pursued by many scientists, nevertheless, it was not before 1950s, when diamond was developed simultaneously by American and Swedish researchers. The process needed pressures as high as 55,000 atmospheres and temperatures more than 1400°C, and molten iron to ebanle the change from graphite to diamond. 

Over the past five decades, with soaring uses of diamonds and advancements in synthetic production, this has opened opportunities for novel applications of the commodity. In a recent research published by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), projections have been made for the entry of a significantly large number of high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) cultured diamonds in the market.

Subsequent to a recent visit to a diamond factory in China, researchers from GIA gathered 50 crystals in the range from 0.5 carats to 1.2 carats. These crystals were studied using the same instrumentation and procedures as those applied to natural diamonds that are submitted to the organization for gradation. As a result of this, the crystals exhibited distinguishing features of HPTP growth and were identified as synthetic. Concluding this, GIA reiterated that while total volume production of synthetic diamonds remain unclear, the discovery is undoubtedly significant and the production capacity is likely to expand in the years to come.

In 2014, Asia Pacific was the largest market for synthetic diamond due to rapid upsurge in mining activities in China, India, and ASEAN countries.