Under Pressure: How to Make Diamonds in a Microwave


While diamonds are revered for their rarity and status, they may soon become both more affordable and more accessible. Man-made diamonds increasing in popularity, especially with raised awareness of the existence of blood diamonds and rising costs due to inflation.

According to an article in Bloomberg Business: “Unlike imitation diamonds such as cubic zirconia, stones that are “grown” (the nascent industry’s preferred term) in labs have the same physical characteristics and chemical makeup as the real thing.”

They’re grown in microwave chambers from carbon seeds, superheated into a plasma ball, which causes the crystallization. The process can take 10 weeks, but the payoff is real–the stones are physically and chemically identical to organically mined diamonds.

Around 45% of Americans from ages 18 to 35 still say they prefer real diamonds. However, it’s worth noting that man-made stones still comprise only a very small fraction of the $80 billion global market (less than 0.25%). But the growing demand may spur a change in the market very soon, and as consumers become more conscious of their purchasing decisions, a conflict-free, lab-grown diamond may soon be the way to go.

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