Shape: Princess
Carat: 1.34Ct
Cert.: LPC*
Asking: $ 7000 (VIC)
Shape: Round
Carat: 0.83Ct
Cert.: DCLA
Asking: $ 2009 (QLD)
Shape: Round
Carat: 1.54Ct
Cert.: AGS
Asking: $ 10000 (QLD)
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Synthetic Diamonds

The most recent and successful synthetic diamonds are real gem grade diamonds, but have been created using a process called: High Pressure, High Temperature (H P H T).

It takes thousands or millions of years for the natural diamond to be created in nature but through diamond synthesis it only takes about a week, by replicating nature in a laboratory.† The extreme conditions used in the laboratory mimic nature but millions of times faster. Diamond synthesis was documented between the late 1800ís to the late 1920ís . Systematic research began in Russia, Sweden and the United States from the 1940ís. Back then it was never possible to replicate gem grade diamonds, but instead synthetic diamonds were used for industrial purposes as they still are till this day. There have been a number of different techniques for producing synthetic diamonds but for gem quality HPHT technology is the most successful.

Now synthetic diamonds of a gem quality are produced in the United States, perfected by Gemesis diamonds, founded in 1996 by Retired U.S. Brigadier General Carter Clarke, which he initially came across this technology in the Soviet Union in around 1976. These days the rough is grown and cut by Gemesis as well as being sold as rough to other diamond cutting factories around the world. They specialize in the intense fancy yellow to orange colours.

Another company in the United States, called ďSundance DiamondsĒ specializes in using HPHT technology to change the colour of an existing† natural diamond instead of growing it from a carbon seed like Gemesis does. Sundance use this technology mainly on natural diamonds. Colours produced are: yellow, orange, greenish-yellow, green, pink, and purplish colors.

White is one of the hardest and costliest colours to create through HPHT method, which is why itís one of the rarest colours available in gem grade synthetic diamonds. Whites do not have the same appeal as fancy coloured diamonds for growers as their production cost is high. In the current climate itís a lot more appealing for producers of synthetic diamonds to concentrate on fancy colours as they have a much stronger market and are more profitable.

For example:

If a natural white diamond was priced at $5,000 then an identical synthetic diamond would need to be priced at around $2,500 to have strong market appeal. The same situation for a fancy coloured diamond is a different ball game altogether.

For example:

If a natural intense yellow diamond was worth $25,000 then an identical synthetic diamond would be priced at around $5,000. Thatís one fifth of the price, and thatís very appealing to consumers. Growers of synthetic diamonds also benefit as they spend less money to produce an intense yellow diamond than producing a white diamond, and they can still ask $5000 for it and get a strong consumer demand while producing a white diamond costs more and they have to mark it down to $2500 (halving their profit) while still having a much weaker consumer demand. Quiet simply it doesnít make sense to growers and cutters focusing on producing white synthetics at the moment, however in the future when creating whites is much less expensive then white synthetic diamonds will become very popular.

Pink Synthetic Diamonds

The pink and purplish colour range still has not been perfected like the other fancy colours yet. All the other fancy coloured diamonds are like a natural diamond, which shows the same colour all the way through the stone.

The pink and purplish pink is only coloured part of the way, so the core is not coloured the same. So if re-cut the pink colour will no longer show.

In the future they most likely will perfect the pink so the colour is consistent throughout the stone and when that happens itís going to be a big hit as pink diamonds are the most prized of all the diamonds and all the gemstones for that matter.

Imagine being able to own your own intense pink 1 carat synthetic diamond for around $10,000, that is identical in every way to itís natural counterpart that will usually cost between: $500,000 - $1,500,000.

More information about HPHT coloured diamonds

Synthetic Diamonds vs Diamond Simulants

Unfortunately there are some businesses exploiting the true meaning of the word "synthetic". They are selling simulants, like cubic zirconias and other look alikes which don't sparkle anything like a diamond or are anywhere near as durable. Yet they are calling these simulants as "synthetic diamonds" and claiming to look as good and even better than a real diamond. Well if the diamond was poorly cut then a perfectly cut simulant may give it a run for it's money, otherwise cut for cut there is no contest. To claim that a diamond simulant is as bright as a real diamond is like saying a 6 year old boy can beat Usain Bolt in a 100 metre sprint. Diamond simulants are much less expensive than natural and synthetic diamonds.

The Super Simulant

There is a new kind of diamond simulant, which is close to the brightness of a natural diamond. The manufacturers claim that it's identcal to a real diamond but we haven't verified that yet. This new kind of simulant isn't common yet in Australia but it should be readily available in the future. It is partly grown in a laboratory, the best way to describe it is like a diamond coated cubic zirconia. So it's a simulant on the inside but with a lab grown diamond skin on the outside.

The process of how this new super simulant is created is the same principle that is used to create cultured pearls. Although this simulant may look as bright as a diamond, it is heavier so it doesn't have the same specific gravity. It can still be detected as a simulant by a gemmologist and by some jewellers under close observation. I still haven't confirmed whether it will test positive with standard diamond testing machines.

The super diamond simulant only has the advantage over standard simulants as far as look is concerned but like all the other simulants it hasn't got anywhere near the same durability as a diamond. Simulants can get easily damaged or scratched during manufacturing or servicing of jewellery containing them, eg: when resizing a ring. They are much more sensitive to heat than a diamond. It would be important to let the jeweller or diamond setter know as to not treat it like a diamond and take the same extra care as when setting a less harder gemstone, like setting an emerald for example.

Copyright 2010. Author: M K