- Home /
- Lab-grown diamonds
How are lab created diamonds made?
Lab-grown diamonds are produced by two methods: chemical vapor deposition (CVD) or high pressure, high temperature (HPHT).
HPHT is more costly and less energy efficient. The thermodynamic process involves placing a diamond seed into pure carbon, then exposing it to intense pressure and heat. The carbon attaches to the diamond seed in 14 different directions and forms a rough diamond with a complex cuboctahedron shape.
CVD is a more economical and sustainable process, using vacuum chambers to convert carbon-heavy gasses into plasma with less energy consumption. Kinetics allow the carbon atoms inside the chamber to build on top of the diamond seed in a single vertical direction so the rough diamond grows into a cleaner square shape.
The VRAI created diamonds are lab-grown diamonds created using the CVD method.
A thin sliver of diamond is placed within a plasma reactor. The process then begins when carbon is atomized within the reactor. One by one, the carbon atoms stack on top of the slice until it grows into a pure, jewelry-grade diamond of gem size. The original sliver of diamond can be sliced off and reused as starting material again and again.
Once a VRAI created diamond is fully formed, it is cut and polished to the most exacting standards by master craftspeople in our international workshops.
VRAI created diamonds are sustainably grown diamonds. Our foundry is hyrdropowered by the Columbia River. This means that our foundry produces zero emissions and is able to sustainably grow diamonds with renewable energy in America’s beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Choosing just a carat of VRAI created diamonds vs. mined diamonds, you save: * 250 tons of earth * 2,011 ounces of air pollution * 143 lbs of carbon dioxide released into the air.
A lab-grown diamond takes approximately one month to grow. It is then cut and polished before being sold as loose diamonds or set in fine jewelry.
Can you tell a lab-grown and mined diamond apart?
Lab-grown and mined diamonds are nearly impossible to tell apart. Both are identical in appearance and chemical composition. Their few subtle differences come from their growth process and are not a reflection of their quality. These differences can only be found by specially-trained gemologists with advanced tools designed for that very purpose.
The main difference between mined and lab-grown diamonds is their morphology — their natural shape before cutting and polishing.
Mined diamonds grow as an octahedron. HPHTdiamonds grow as a cuboctahedron, while CVD diamonds such as VRAI created diamonds grow as a cube. Their natural morphology does not affect their appearance once cut and polished into their desired shape.
Mined diamonds also contain trace amounts of nitrogen from the ground they were formed within.
Both mined and lab-grown diamonds have inclusions, which occur naturally during the growth process. Both origins occasionally produce flawless diamonds, which are rare and very valuable. Both mined and man-made diamonds must be graded for their clarity on a scale from Flawless to Included.
Diamond simulants, such as cubic zirconia, do not have these inclusions and therefore cannot be graded for clarity. This is related to their chemical composition, not to the lab-grown process.
Lab-grown and mined diamonds “sparkle” in the same way — because they are both real diamonds. The term jewelers and gemologists use to describe sparkle, however, is brilliance.
A diamond’s brilliance comes from its ability to bend or refract light. Light enters a diamond and is then reflected off its interior surfaces, called facets. This light interacting with the diamond’s multiple surfaces is its brilliance. The display of white light inside a diamond is an indicator that a diamond is real, regardless of its origin.
Brilliance depends on a diamond’s cut. A poorly-cut diamond will not shine as brightly as one with a high-quality cut. Diamond simulants, such as cubic zirconia, do not refract light in the same manner and will have little to no brilliance at all.
Rainbow or colored light is referred to as a diamond’s “fire.” A diamond’s fire should only appear on a diamond’s outer surfaces, however, whether man-made or mined. If you look closely at a stone and rainbow colors appear within, it is likely synthetic.
Moissanite and cubic zirconia are known for reflecting back lots of rainbow-colored light. Although some love this colorful display, the “disco-ball effect” that happens when either is exposed to natural light is one of the easiest ways to identify them as simulants, not real diamonds.
Best-selling lab-grown diamonds
Our best-selling selection of fine jewelry and engagement rings features modern, timeless designs that are versatile enough for every style and designed to be loved for a lifetime.
The Signature Solitaire and Classic engagement ring are VRAI’s two best-selling lab-grown diamond engagement rings, followed by the Three Stone setting. Round Brilliant, Oval, and Emerald shaped VRAI created diamonds are the most popular diamond shapes and are most often featured in platinum or 18k solid yellow gold settings.
Solitaire Studs are often the most popular lab-grown diamond earrings; seven VRAI created diamond shapes are highlighted in your choice of a yellow, white, or rose gold setting to reflect your personal style. Pavé Huggie Hoops and Bezel Drop Huggie Hoops are also well-loved because of their versatility and style.
A Bezel Bracelet or Bezel Station Bracelet are popular lab-grown diamond bracelets because they are available in customizable shapes and metal colors and perfect for everyday wear.For milestone celebrations or events, a classic Tennis Bracelet is ideal for gifting or receiving