Does it mean that everyone can grow their own bling?
What: Perfect single-crystal diamonds of more than two carats (the average engagement ring is less than a carat) churned out in a day. Scientists create the gemstones using a process called chemical vapor deposition (CVD), which grows diamond crystals one carbon atom at a time.
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- But arenâ€™t they fakes?
No. Created stones have the same atomic structure as diamonds that form inside the earth, so they are real diamonds in every sense. They are optically, chemically and physically identical. In fact, since scientists start with seeds of the purest stone and carefully control the growing environment, they can systematically produce colorless rocks with far fewer impurities than most mined diamonds.
- Are synthetics faster to grow?
No one knows for sure how long it takes diamonds to form inside the earth. Geologists do know, how-ever, that it takes millions of years for the earth to trans-port them to the surface, where they can be mined.
- Why would anyone want a synthetic?
Man-made diamonds are cheaper and have fewer flaws than most mined diamonds. Also, some people are uncomfortable supporting companies that prop up the African warlords that control many of the diamond mines.
- How cheap?
Apollo is already selling near-colorless synthetics that are a quarter of a carat in size for as little as $500 (versus $750 for a mined gem), and prices of bigger stones will plummet as mass manufacturing gets underway. Engagement-ring-size colorless diamonds will be up to 30 percent cheaper than their mined equivalents.
Watch Slideshow on how to grow a Diamond.