Friday, February 5, 2010

conflict free diamonds

I wanted to buy a man-made diamond because I would know with certainty that it was not a conflict or blood diamond. I never saw the movie Blood Diamond, but even just reading about conflict diamonds on the internets is disheartening. From what I read about the Kimberly Process, the Kimberly Process had flaws that conflict diamonds could potentially still make their way in.

From my internets research, I found two types of synthetic or man made diamonds that the consumer could buy.  No difference can be seen under a microscope, although the companies are being pressured to etch serial numbers in the diamond, so under inspection it would be known to be man made. Structurally these diamonds are exactly the same as diamonds found in nature. Diamond stimulants, on the other hand act like diamond, look like a diamond, but are not diamonds.

a big fancy diamond!

The two types of methods for making diamonds were high pressure high temperature, HPHT, or chemical vapor disposition, CVD.  HPHT basically uses a lot of heat and pressure to squeeze out a diamond and CVD grows one out of gases. CVD does a better job of controlling the impurities, so they are able to produce flawless, colorless diamonds. Impurities is what gives diamonds color - and is extremely rare in the natural world, hence the high cost for pink, yellow, green, blue, etc. diamonds.

Here are the places I found that sell man-made, cultured, lab-grown, synthetic, whatever you want to call it diamonds. Colored diamonds (using HPHT) were easier to find than colorless (using CVD). Since diamonds are also used industrially, the CVD shop only sold diamonds (at the time) .5 carat or less with a setting :P The colored diamonds (which are vibrant) can be found as loose stones.

Conflict Free Real (man-made) Diamonds! (HPHT, range of colors) (HPHT, yellow stones, look for the pure carbon stones {real} vs. stimulant{fake}) (CVD, colorless with settings, .6 carat or smaller) (colored & colorless, or ethically sourced, recycled metals) (HPHT, yellow, pink, blues, look for man-made vs. stimulant)

Here's a paper on the whole diamond industry shin-dig. Apparently DeBeers had control of all the diamonds in the world at one time.


  1. Apollo uses a process called Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Watch out because Diamond Nexus Labs sells simulants (fake diamonds), not synthetic diamonds. Another company that grows white, blue and yellow via HPHT is D.NEA

  2. I’m all for eco-friendly diamonds…I just wrote this article on a company that creates them, with a twist. They use the personal carbon (a lock of hair or a small amount of cremated ashes) for the diamond seed. They create the diamonds as memorials to remember a loved one (or pet) that has passed…or to celebrate special occasions, like for a wedding engagement ring, the bride and groom can combine their hair. It’s such a unique idea and it creates such a precious keepsake. Here’s the article:

    And be sure to check out DNA2Diamonds website too!

  3. My engagement ring is from Diamond Nexus Labs and I couldn't be happier. I get compliments still to this day (8 months engaged) from people in airports and on the streets. Miss USA and Miss Universe use this company now as well.

  4. Thanks for the post about the Oracle Academy. I just learned something new!
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