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Lab Grown Diamonds
By: Diamond World News Service
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Feb 20 2016 1:26PM
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Reference: 12712  

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Ethically lab-grown diamonds are slowly picking up in the market for various factors like: a nice and affordable alternative for natural diamonds, growing awareness about the conflict diamonds, environment friendly and more. On the other side, complete acceptance of lab-grown diamonds is yet to come; there is always a threat of mixing unnatural with the natural diamonds, challenges to build a solid market and more. Hence, Kunjal Karaniya brings various aspects of this nascent yet growing industry.

These lab-grown diamonds, also incorrectly referred to as synthetic diamonds, are 100 per cent real diamonds and have started taking the spotlight lately. Being 30 to 70 per cent cheaper, environment friendly and conflict free, lab-grown diamonds have found increased acceptance among the consumers. Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio foreseeing the immense potential in this sunrise industry has along with some prominent Silicon Valley billionaires invested in a California-based Lab-grown diamond start-up.

The nature of business in the Indian subcontinent is also quite encouraging. Talking about 2014 estimate, lab-grown diamond is around 0.1 to 0.5 per cent of the total sale of mined diamonds for end applications. It's expected to grow in the next five years to 1 to 3 per cent of the total diamond sales. According to a recent study of Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), rough diamonds trade in, in India between April-May 2015 valued about Rs 17,040 crore, a drop of 20 per cent compared to Rs 21,135 crore during the same period previous year.

GIA (Gemological Institute of America), in the past bought 16 of these CVD-created, round-brilliant, neutral diamonds for testing in dimensions extending from 0.24 carats to 0.86 carats. The ensuing report, titled ‘2012: The Year Synthetic Diamonds Made Their Mark’ ruled that the stones were comparable to top natural diamonds. Presently, lab grown diamonds are created by less than half a dozen companies worldwide. However, even collectively, they account for barely 2 per cent of the total international market for diamonds.

To get an insight, Kunjal Karaniya spoke to few of the leading names across the globe:

Nikolay Khikhinashvili –Director General, NDT
Nitul Shah, Managing Director, Green DTC
Ashish V Jain, CEO, PDC Limited
Niraj Johri, Designer and Director of Sparkling Hues

ABOUT LAB GROWN DIAMONDS

Nikolay Khikhinashvili –For more than five centuries people have mined and polished diamonds, ever since they have found first diamond in Golconda and this entire time people have dreamed to create something similar to the natural diamond. People are dreaming to turn one type of carbon – graphite to another type - diamond. And finally the brightest minds of the world have found the way! The obtaining of man-made diamonds gives you the feeling of satisfaction that at least indirectly you will not be involved in the wars in Africa and death of people. You will feel the joy that you save our planet's nature, flora and fauna. You can be sure that your diamonds were produced using the highest achievements of science and technology of the century.

Nitul Shah -Lab grown diamonds are produced by utilizing two gem-quality diamond creation processes: High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). In both processes, a small diamond seed is placed in an environment that contains carbon. Under suitably controlled conditions, the diamond grows, atom-by-atom, layer-by-layer, recreating nature’s process.

Ashish Jain - Lab Grown Diamonds are REAL DIAMONDS. The only difference is point of Origin. The simplest way to explain Lab Grown Diamonds is to understand the concept of a typical greenhouse. The diamond growing process begins with diamond seeds (which are also diamonds grown from carbon) being placed inside a growth chamber. In this growth chamber, which is also known as the Diamond Greenhouse, a carbon-rich diamond-growing environment is conditioned and maintained for about 12-14 weeks. At the end of this period, diamond seeds have undergone natural crystallization — just as they do below the earth without any human intervention, resulting in a rough Type IIa diamond.

Niraj Johri - Lab grown gemstones including lab grown diamonds are grown in a controlled setup mimicking the earth's natural environment where gemstones are made.

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