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2008 diamonds natural vs synthetic

New Technique May Simplify Synthetic Diamond Process

November 2008

Researchers at the Carnegie Institution have developed a new technique for simplifying the process of making high-quality diamonds, reports say.

Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory's method uses chemical vapor deposition to grow synthetic diamonds. Then the team annealed the diamonds at temperatures up to 2,000° C using a microwave plasma at pressures below atmospheric pressure. The crystals, which are originally yellow-brown if produced at very high growth rates, turned colorless or light pink.

Researcher Chih-shiue Yan said, "It is striking to see brown CVD diamonds transformed by this cost-efficient method into clear, pink-tinted crystals."

The team also noted that the new annealing process can treat crystals of unlimited size.

At the Diamond Registry, we have seen a lot of talk about methods that can produce synthetic diamonds with cheaper and cheaper methods. We were amongst the first to examine gem-quality synthetic diamonds in the 1970s. We have no doubt that they will one day be synthetic gem diamonds on the market. However, because the methods keep getting cheaper, these diamonds will not hold their value the way natural diamonds do.

In addition, natural diamonds have a different kind of value — emotional value. They stand for love, because they truly are "forever." Synthetics are not. They were made in a factory instead of naturally. They may be nice, but, like a copy of a Picasso, they are not the "real thing."


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