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Why are Most Cultured Diamonds Produced in Colors Rather than Colorless


About 2.5 billion years ago microorganisms living in the oceans died and sank to the floor. After decomposition, what remained was pure carbon. When this carbon is put under intense pressure and extreme heat over thousands of years, the end result is crystals, better known as diamonds. When the process is interrupted by infusions of other elements such as sulfur or nitrogen, the crystals that are formed will be colored.

When the pressure and heating process is not perfectly even, but without inclusion of other elements, the end result is a “flawed” colorless, or often called white diamond. Whether the crystals formed are colored, flawed, or perfect, we do know this process creates the hardest crystals known to man.

Scientists formulated the process to create man-made or cultured diamonds years ago. In fact, most of the industrial diamonds currently in use are man-made. In 2004, scientists working at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory, using a gas mixture, produced gems that were harder than other crystals. These lab created crystals were made in less than one day and are in fact, real diamonds.

When most people think of crystals they often envision white diamonds. As of October, 2007, there was no laboratory capable of creating colorless crystals, or as these they are commonly known, white diamonds. That problem has been solved now in 2010, but because the carbon has to be pure to create the “white” color, lab created crystals are primarily colored yellow diamonds (the easiest and least expensive to produce).

“Fancy colors,” such as blue and pink are being more available now as well. The yellow coloration is the result of nitrogen in the crystal structure. Laboratories can easily incorporate nitrogen into their gem creations, and do so because nitrogen is a catalyst which also significantly speeds up the growth of the gems. In nature, there are approximately 10,000 white diamonds for every yellow or fancy one, which is why the mined natural colored gems command a considerably higher per carat price.

Interestingly deformities in structure which occur during the formation of a crystal can also be the reason for the crystal’s color. Geologists have actually discovered the conditions and elements that produce yellow, purple or blue crystals however there is no reason or source found for chocolate or brown diamonds yet or for the rarely found pink ones. In order to produce those colors, irradiation is used, much as it has been used with topaz and other gems to create some of the stunning colors in those stones.

One of the benefits of man-made diamonds over natural crystals is that unlike natural diamonds which are rarely flawless, those that are created are formed in a controlled environment which makes it possible to consistently produce crystals of the highest quality, including flawless diamonds.

The differences between naturally mined crystals and synthetic ones are so minimal in appearance and quality that even jewelers and gem experts find it difficult to distinguish between the two even when they have sophisticated equipment.

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Stephen Daniels is an acclaimed SEO 2.0 researcher of practices, products, and services for a variety of industries. For beautifully colored man made diamonds at competitive prices, he recommends Jewelnet.com.