"They're both diamonds, they have the same chemical properties, the same physical properties."
— John King, Chief Quality Officer of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
Rather than selling diamonds dug out of massive holes in the Earth, Ada Diamonds proudly offers only laboratory-grown diamonds in our fine jewelry. Ada's diamonds are sustainably cultured by recreating the extreme pressure and temperature required to convert carbon into a diamond crystal structure.
Ada's diamonds have the same exact same crystal structure, chemical composition, optical properties, and physical properties as a mined diamond - carbon atoms arranged in a cubic crystal structure. Ada's diamonds are not fake, simulants, or cheap substitutes. Ada's diamonds are the hardest material on Earth and are approximately 10 times harder than sapphire and 100 times harder than cubic zirconia.
The process to grow diamonds is one of the most precise and difficult manufacturing techniques that humans have ever achieved. It took almost 60 years of effort to develop the precision to grow gemstone quality diamonds larger than one carat.
Ada's diamond gemstones are graded on the exact same criteria as mined diamonds (the Four Cs), by the exact same independent gemological laboratories that grade Earth-extracted diamonds. Compared to mined diamonds, Ada's diamonds have fewer impurities and fewer defects in the crystal structure. Our white diamonds are greater than 99.99999% pure carbon. This makes Ada Diamonds whiter, brighter, and stronger than the vast majority of mined diamonds.
How Do you Grow a Diamond?
To grow a diamonds, we are re-creating the conditions in nature. As a result, there are still variations in color and clarity. Not all lab grown diamonds are colorless and flawless.
Diamonds can be grown in a lab in two ways. The first is called High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) and the second is called Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Each process is best suited for certain types, sizes, and shapes of diamonds.
High pressure, high temperature diamond production occurs when a diamond seed is packed into a growth cell with pure carbon (graphite). A diamond press then heats up that growth cell to 1500 degrees C and exerts 1 million psi (90,000 atmospheres) of pressure. As the cell rapidly cools it forms into a rough crystal: our favorite form of carbon, also known as diamond!
The Chemical Vapor Distribution method requires placing a diamond seed into a vacuum chamber, adding gasses, and microwaving. This creates a reaction that deposits more and more carbon on the seed, building the diamond up layer by layer.
Dispelling Common Misconceptions
MISCONCEPTION #1: LAB DIAMONDS ARE CHEAP to MAKE
This is the most common misconception and is completely false. De Beers self-reported costs to mine diamonds was $104 per carat (for rough diamonds) in 2015. The marginal cost to grow each diamond in a laboratory is many times the cost for De Beers and other mining operations to dig diamonds out of the earth, even if you ignore the fixed costs of the machinery required to culture diamonds in a lab. The costs to cut, polish, and grade diamonds is exactly the same, regardless of the origin: grown or mined.
MISCONCEPTION #2: LAB DIAMONDS ARE ALL COLORLESS AND FLAWLESS
The process to grow diamonds in a laboratory is very similar to the geological growth process. The same types of inclusions and imperfections present in mined diamonds can also occur in lab diamonds. If the diamond crystal grows too fast, there can be minuscule cracks (feathers) in the diamond. There can also be small inclusions of trace elements or other growth defects that cause the diamond to be near-colorless or slightly included. Lab diamonds are independently graded on the exact same criteria as mined diamonds by the exact same independent gemological laboratories that also grade mined diamonds.
MISCONCEPTION #3: THEY ARE GOING TO FLOOD THE MARKET
There are approximately 25 million carats of diamond gemstones that are mined, cut, and polished every year, with billions of carats more in existing mines. De Beers estimates its current diamond reserves at 479.7 million carats. To build production facilities large enough to generate one percent of the current mined supply would take hundreds of millions of dollars of capital expenditure to build the facility and tens of millions of dollars a year to run the facility. It will take many years before lab diamonds are anything but an extremely small portion of the total diamond market.
MISCONCEPTION #4: THEY REDUCE THE VALUE OF MINED DIAMONDS
This misconception hinges on three incorrect assumptions:
- Diamonds are rare (see below)
- There will be enough diamonds grown in a labs around the world to reduce that rarity (see Misconception #3)
- That it is cheaper to grow diamonds than it is to mine them (see Misconception #1).
While mined fancy colored diamonds and large investment grade diamonds are quite rare, there are currently over one billion carats of diamond gemstones owned globally. Experts estimate that the Baby Boomer Generation in the United States owns over 500 million carats of diamond gemstones which will be inherited or resold in the next few decades. Ada believes the much larger threat to the value of mined diamonds is the recycling and resale of previously mined diamonds, a space that De Beers recently entered.
An Investment in The Future
The purpose and main goal of the lab grown diamond industry is not alchemy; it is not to grow a 100ct cut and polished diamond. The main purpose of the lab diamond industry is for high tech applications of diamonds such as laser lenses, surgical knives, water purification devices, high pressure anvils, semi-conductors, and more. Those grown diamonds that are not perfect enough for high tech applications are cut and polished and sold to consumers as gemstones.
When you purchase a lab grown diamond, you are investing in the future of humanity. Your purchase of a lab grown diamond directly funds research and development efforts to improve the use and efficiency of lab diamonds in the next generation of technological advancement and achievement.
Fancy Colored Diamonds
Ada offers lab grown diamonds in a rainbow of colors including pinks, yellows, blues, grays, reds, and black. Intentionally adding elements during the growth process helps to create these gorgeous shades. For example, adding nitrogen creates yellow diamonds; adding boron creates blue. What can we create for you?