Types of Diamond: Man- Made Diamonds

Natural Diamonds are today considered a symbol of relationships. Like relationships, no two diamonds are alike. Created by mother nature mined by humans and brought to their real charm, allure and brilliance by the gemstone industry.

Because of the huge shortage of industrial diamonds in war and other areas, ASEA, GE and De Beers embarked into the world’s most wanted scientific breakthrough of producing synthetic diamonds in 1956.

A large proportion of the world’s industrial diamonds are synthetic, with the advances in high quality single crystal growth of diamonds. Synthetics are also now a growing segment of the gem diamonds.


Synthetics are made in either of two ways- the high pressure and High Temperature(HPHT) route, or the Chemical Vapour Deposition ( CVD) technique.  Gemesis, one of the world’s synthetic diamond manufacturers, uses both the HPHT as well as CVD method, while the Scio Diamond Technology Corporation, which bought over synthetic diamond trail-blazer Apollo Diamond Inc., uses the CVD method. New Diamond Technology Russia are synthesizing colorless IIa diamonds using HPHT technique.

De Beers Group, one of the world’s leading natural diamond miners, is well advanced with synthetic diamond technology-its  wholly-owned element six uses both HPHT as well as CVD techniques. Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation continues to manufacturers large crystal synthetic   diamonds today. Research establishments like the Carnegie Institute also produce more synthetic diamond production facilities in Russia, China and Malaysia.

While HPHT methods mimics the condition found in nature to produce a diamond, CVD system uses relatively lower temperature and pressure to grow on substance a flat sheet of diamond that can be allowed to grow thick. While these flat sheets can be cut into gemstones later,  the CVD technique biggest potential lies in the high-end and military electronics market as advanced heat-sinks and microchip substrates. In value terms, the potential electronics application market dwarfs gemstone market.

Gemlabworld.com gem testing laboratory has identified several synthetic diamonds that have been manufactured by both the HPHT as well as CVD techniques. Several very large cut synthetic stones ranging in size from 0.20 to 0.95 carats have been certified as such by the gemlabworld.com.

At this indicates, dealing in synthetic diamonds is a perfectly legitimate activity.  The threat to the industry lies in undisclosed stones. It is infact difficult to spot synthetic once they have been set in jewellery. Recent developments in instrumental methods make it possible to detect IIb synthetic diamonds in studded jewellery.

The best way for a dealer to safeguard himself is to use some commonsense procedures to begin with:

if you are a dealer in loose diamonds or a manufacturer of diamond studded jewellery, have a laboratory test a random selection of between 5 and 10 stones from the packet of diamonds you intent to buy.

If you are buying diamond-studded jewellery ask your supplier to give you an undertaking stating that all the diamonds set in the jewellery are natural and not synthetics.

If the diamond jewellery is being certified, insist that the laboratory first identify whether or not the diamonds are synthetic before going ahead with grading.

If a piece of studded jewellery is being certified, insist that the laboratory clearly states on the certificate that no determination has been made about whether or not the diamonds are natural or otherwise.

Deal with suppliers who are reputed and whom you know well. Do not purchase diamonds from unknown suppliers without proper certificates from a reputed laboratory.

Be aware of what is happening in the market! Currently, CVD diamonds in the Indian market tend to either in the G-H or L-M color ranges. They are mainly in sizes upto 1.5 carats.

Verify the certificate with the laboratory.

A basic understanding of synthetic diamonds can reduce the risk of inadvertently trading in synthetics.

To begin with, it is important to know that 98 percent of world’s natural diamonds belong to a category known as type Ia. All synthetic diamonds however are either type Ib( HPHT) or Type IIa (CVD). Recent developments are making it possible to mix HPHT synthetic IIb and IIa to get into supply chain. Quick check developed by gemlabworld.com can detect these with the 100% confidence level. A diamond dealer could purchase and use instruments like the diamond sure made by De Beers and Diamond spotter made by the Swiss SSEF lanoratory, which will indicate what type the diamond is.

There are also several relatively low-tech methods for a diamond dealer to check a diamond.

If the diamonds in questions are yellow or fancy yellow-orange in colour, they could be HPHT synthetics. If a strong magnet put into the parcel attracts any of the stones. It indicates the string probability that the parcel contains synthetics.

If a stone is white, using the D- screen, marketed by HRD Antwerp, may help identify a synthetic. The De Beers diamond view helps in synthetic identification through the indication of fluorescence image and a cross-growth pattern for both HPHT s well as CVD synthetics.

However, it takes a gem-testing laboratory with sophisticated instrumentation to make a positive determination of whether or not a diamond is synthetic. The Gemlabworld.com is fully equipped with all the state-of-the-art and advanced and advanced instruments such as FTIR spectrometer, Raman Spectrometer, UV visible spectrometer, EDXRF, etc to detect all type of synthetic diamonds. Once again, it is important to note, however, the sure-shot identification is only possible for loose stones. Once set in jewellery, even a laboratory will have a difficult time spotting a synthetic.

The Indian gem and jewellery manufacturing, distribution and retailing sector must now take the threat of undisclosed synthetic diamonds very seriously if it is to maintain consumer confidence and survive and thrive in the future.