CVD Diamonds: Behind Our Choice
November 11, 2020
We want to explain why we choose to use CVD diamonds instead of earth-mined diamonds. There are positive and negative aspects to any decision; below, we present the pros and cons and where we would like to go from here as a company.
There are multiple ways to “grow” diamonds. The type we use is called CVD, which are anatomically identical diamonds to earth mined diamonds. Read on to learn more.
What are CVD diamonds?
CVD stands for Chemical Vapor Deposition, which is the process of growing a diamond from hydrocarbon gas. Diamonds are pure carbon, and humans have been attempting to recreate the natural process that happens in the earth for decades. We finally have the technology to grow diamonds in a lab. Basically, the lab utilizes a controlled environment from a diamond seed that is cut from a natural diamond. A controlled setting recreates what happens under the earth’s core. The final product is then cut the same way an earth grown diamond would be.
Exact technology behind them:
Here is a video that explains the process:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzkS7rXSkS0
Why CVD over regular diamonds?
We like the option of CVD diamonds because mining is not involved. From an environmental standpoint, the entire process of growing diamonds in a lab is far less energy intensive than the alternative. Frost & Sullivan conducted an analysis comparing the impact of earth mined versus lab grown diamonds. This is just one chart from their study comparing the environmental impact:
In addition, unfair labor conditions are less likely to occur because the process takes place in a controlled lab that requires contracts and traceability. No one should die for your right to wear a diamond.
Why haven't you heard more about this technology?
The diamond industry doesn’t want you to find out about it for obvious reasons. This technology is truly disruptive to that business, because now we can regrow one of the strongest materials on Earth.
Can you tell the difference?
Spectroscopic devices have been developed to tell the difference between the two, but even the human eye cannot tell the difference looking under a microscope.
In general, CVD diamonds are currently 20-30% cheaper than the earth-mined counterparts.
Most information available on CVD diamonds has been published by people who use them, unfortunately creating a bias. Although reports show that CVD diamonds are less energy-intensive than earth-mined ones, there is limited data available on the industry’s impact, cradle to cradle. Because it’s a new industry, there is also less monitoring.
Another potential downside to lab grown diamonds is the impact on the job market. Due to the nature of producing them in a lab, there are fewer jobs needed. Earth mining, when done with a lot of regulations and supervision, has the potential to create many jobs in low-income areas. However, the reality right now is that the proper regulation does not exist, which has led to unfair labor conditions.
Where we are headed as a company:
Finding a supplier that uses alternative energy to power their labs is our priority. Currently, we use small diamonds that do not meet this demand, but we are always looking. If you have information on carbon neutral CVD diamond suppliers, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is where our value of radical transparency comes into play. We are looking to push the jewelry industry to change, and we are asking for help.
We want to keep you informed as we continue to make decisions based on our values.