Man made (also called “lab grown” or “engineered” or “cultured”) diamonds are a relatively new invention. If you are considering buying a man made diamond for an engagement ring, you are in the right place.

General Electric first started trying to create man-made diamonds in the 1940s. The first successful synthetic diamond was created in 1954. Since then, diamond creation has continued to evolve and develop. Now these diamonds are readily available. If you are considering purchasing a man made diamond for your engagement ring, here is some more information to inform your purchase.

Can I Buy a Man Made Diamond for An Engagement Ring

Yes! Man made diamonds have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as occurring diamonds. The average consumer will not be able to tell the difference between a man made and a natural diamond. Even experts have difficulty telling the difference and have to resort to advanced tests to distinguish man made diamonds from naturally occruing.

Providers such as Clean Origin and Brilliant Earth have a beautiful selection of diamonds for engagement rings to choose from.

How A Diamond Is Made

Let’s start with covering how a diamond is made. A diamond is created from carbon by adding a lot of heat, unbelievable pressure, and time. In short, lab grown diamonds are real diamonds and have all the same characteristics of real diamonds, they are just created in a lab and not the earth’s crust.

Creating Natural Diamonds

Natural diamonds begin growing about 100 miles underground. Carbon molecules located underground are under high heat and pressure. The molecules naturally bind together to create an extremely strong 3D pattern. But it has to be the exactly right environment for this to happen naturally: between about 2100 degrees and 2200 degrees Fahrenheit and between 50 to 70 kilobars of pressure.

Naturally occurring diamonds have been growing for an extremely long time (some are 4 billion years old!). After cooking for millennia, volcanic eruptions bring these diamonds to the surface where they can be found and mined.

Creating Man Made Diamonds

There are two ways to create man made diamonds.

The first method is called High Pressure/High Temperature (HP/HT). This process mimics how diamonds are made in nature. HP/HT begins with a diamond “starter seed,” which can be either a natural diamond or a lab-grown diamond. Next, a chemical mix iron, nickel, and cobalt is put under extreme hydraulic pressure to create an environment that encourages the starter seed to grow.

The second method to create a man-made diamond is called Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Under this process, a diamond starter seed is heated to extreme temperatures while in a sealed chamber. The chamber is then filled with a carbon-rich gas. The carbon gas is broken down with methane which forces the pure carbon molecules to join and grow the diamond seed. Creating a CVD diamonds typically takes 14 days.

Beware of Diamond Simulants

Diamond simulants like cubic zirconia and moissanite are not diamonds and should not be confused with lab grown diamonds.

These simulants are stones designed to mimic the look of real diamonds. They do not possess the same physical, optical, and chemical properties of real diamonds and are much cheaper.

Benefits of Buying A Man Made Diamond

Man made diamonds are increasingly being used to make engagement rings There are several benefits to buying a man made diamond. Here are some benefits of a man made diamond in an engagement ring over a natural diamond:

Greater Purity and Quality

Man made diamonds are purer than natural diamonds. Man made diamonds do not have any dirt or impurities ingrained in them, which naturally occurring diamonds do. Man made diamonds also have fewer defects, and show fewer signs of strain in their crystal structure, because they are made under carefully controlled conditions. The result is increased purity and brighter, better, and whiter diamonds.

Conflict-Free Origins

Man made diamonds come from a 100% clean and conflict-free source. Unfortunately, many natural diamonds come from conflicted regions and the purchasing of the diamonds may fund armed conflicts, civil unrest, child labor, and human rights violations.

Environmentally-Friendly

Man made diamonds are much more environmentally-friendly than naturally occurring diamonds because there is no mining required. Mining for natural diamonds can damage the earth substantially by consuming vast quantities of fossil fuel and creating huge pits in the earth’s core.

Man Made Diamond FAQs

Are man made diamonds real?

Man made diamonds are real diamonds. They have the same chemical, optical, and physical properties as natural diamonds. The only difference between man made diamonds and natural diamonds is their point of origin. 

Can people tell the difference between natural and man made diamonds?

No. It is extremely difficult for consumers to tell the difference between man made and natural diamonds. Some professional jewelers need advanced testing in order to distinguish between a man made and man made diamond.

Are man made diamonds the same as simulants like cubic zirconia and moissanite?

No. Man made diamonds are real diamonds. Diamond simulants are stones that look like diamonds.