At The Diamond Authority, we often get questions from our readers about how diamonds are made. A lot of the time, they are not referring to mined diamonds, but other types of diamonds such as man made diamonds, colored diamonds, synthetic diamonds or diamond hybrids. We would like to help clear up any confusion on these different types of diamonds and hopefully help our readers feel more comfortable and knowledgeable when they start the buying process.
Man-made diamonds are real diamonds and are created using carbon—just like the earth-mined diamonds. The only difference is that they are created in a controlled laboratory setting using High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) technology which re-creates the same extreme pressure and heat as found deep in the earth. These diamonds are more of an advantage than mined diamonds for several reasons. First, they are literally perfect. Mined diamonds have flaws and inclusions while man-made diamonds are created in a perfect environment. Second, they are 30% less expensive than mined diamonds. And third, they are completely conflict and blood free whereas the vast majority of diamonds in the world come from Africa using child labor, violence and harmful environmental and humanitarian practices.
Before the late 1990’s, all colored diamonds were naturally colored and came in reds, pinks, blues, yellows and greens. They were and still remain incredibly valuable, rare and expensive and are known as “fancy colored diamonds.” Most people are unable to afford naturally colored diamonds. Fortunately, with the improved technology, all are able to buy a lab created or lab treated colored diamond. Lab created colored diamonds are man-made diamonds (see above) but with colorful hues. Lab treated diamonds with color are lighter hued diamonds with color treatment to intensify their natural color.
Synthetic diamonds are also known as man-made diamonds (please see the information above).
Diamond hybrids are a complicated gemstone. Simply put, they are mostly not diamonds but claim to create a diamond out of a “seed” or chip of a mined diamond. From that “seed” they coat and add material to create a diamond-look alike. Generally, the material used to create a diamond hybrid is a form of cubic zirconia. These diamonds hybrids are significantly more affordable than mined or lab created diamonds, but sometimes overpriced considering it relies so heavily on cubic zirconia. Having said this, these revolutionary stones are surprisingly realistic and cut to diamond specifications so many people are beginning to turn to them as beautiful diamond alternatives.