Yes, They're Real!
Technically speaking, anyone can mine diamonds. But Robert Linares and his son Bryan can GROW them. In a process known as "chemical vapor deposition", the Linareses spray heated carbon gas over diamond chips. Under extreme pressure, the carbon atoms settle on the chips and conform to the structure. Wait a week or two, open the lid, and take out a fistful of diamonds of a size and quality almost impossible to find in nature.
A microwave plasma tool at the Naval Research Lab, used to create diamonds for high-temperature semiconductor experiments.Put pure carbon under enough heat and pressure - say, 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit and 50,000 atmospheres - and it will crystallize into the hardest material known. Those were the conditions that first forged diamonds deep in Earth's mantle 3.3 billion years ago. Replicating that environment in a lab isn't easy, but that hasn't kept dreamers from trying. Since the mid-19th century, dozens of these modern alchemists have been injured in accidents and explosions while attempting to manufacture diamonds.
To grow single-crystal diamonds using chemical vapor deposition, you must first divine the exact combination of temperature, gas composition, and pressure - a "sweet spot" that results in the formation of a single crystal. Otherwise, innumerable small diamond crystals will rain down. Hitting on the single-crystal sweet spot is like locating a single grain of sand on the beach. There's only one combination among millions. In 1996, Linares found it.
Last June, he finally received a US patent for the process, which already is producing flawless stones. The price per carat: about $5.
Note from Technophile: By the end of 2007, Apollo aims to be producing flawless 1-inch by 1-inch diamond cubes that could drive research in areas such as neurological implants (diamonds are bio-inert), high-density holographic storage (with many times the capacity of Blu-Ray or HD-DVD), and precise, efficient optical switches in Internet routers. Within 10 years, the company plans to be growing diamond wafers the size of DVDs for use as semiconductors!:: Source: [Apollo Diamond, Inc.]
:: Available: 2016
:: Innovation: Because diamond has a much higher melting point than silicon, Apollo's diamonds could be used to make much smaller, faster processors than are currently available (instead of a "Silicon Valley", we could have a "Diamond Valley").
Note from Dan Lelevier, ET (Extreme Technology) Consumer Product Advisor: Jewelry Television offers fine jewelry, watches, loose gemstones, castings, jewelry-making tools and related books. Jewelry Television is one of the largest retailers of loose gemstones in the world and their online store is incredible. You will be very pleased with their wide selection of "gotta have" items, and you will LOVE their amazing prices! This site is a true "gem" of the Internet.
:: FOLLOW UP from Technophile:
These diamonds are being called "immitation", "cultured", "synthetic", "real synthetic", and just plain "fake". Folks, these are real diamonds. These are not Cubic Zirconia or Moissanite, which are made to pass as diamonds. Lab-grown stones are the real thing. It's just that instead of the millions of years it takes to create natural diamonds, they're grown by man in a matter of days.
Even the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the foremost diamond research and grading body, acknowledges that these are diamonds. "To say it's not diamond is really false," says William Boyajian, gemologist and GIA president. "It's just man-made diamond."
I also prefer to call them "man-made", or "manufactured" diamonds, as opposed to "natural" or "mined" diamonds. Of course, right now, I would only refer to the diamonds coming from either Apollo or Gemesis as being the real thing.
Gemesis uses High Pressure, High Temperature presses (HPHT) to create colored stones such as "fancy yellows". He uses Russian designed presses.
Apollo uses Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) to create colorless diamonds. The process came out of research at MIT into developing diamonds for computer chips.
What is not generally know is that Apollo diamonds are thin, and they are brown to grey. After production, they need expensive HPHT processing to remove the color.Beyond Gemesis and Apollo, one company is convinced theses diamonds are real: De Beers Diamond Trading Company. The London-based cartel has monopolized the diamond business for 115 years, forcing out rivals by ruthlessly controlling supply. But the sudden appearance of multicarat, gem-quality synthetics has sent De Beers scrambling.
Several years ago, it set up what it calls the Gem Defensive Programme - a none too subtle campaign to warn jewelers and the public about the arrival of "manufactured" diamonds. At no charge, the company is supplying gem labs with sophisticated machines designed to help distinguish "man-made" from "mined" stones.
In its long history, De Beers has survived African insurrection, shrugged off American antitrust litigation, sidestepped criticism that it exploits third world workers, and contended with Australian, Siberian, and Canadian diamond discoveries. The firm has a huge advertising budget and a stranglehold on diamond distribution channels.
But there's one thing De Beers doesn't have: retired brigadier General Carter Clarke. Clarke, 72, has been retired from the Army for nearly 30 years, but he never lost the air of command. When he walks into Gemesis - the company he founded in 1996 to make diamonds - the staff stands at attention to greet him.
His lieutenants have 27 diamond-making machines up and running -- with 250 planned -- at this factory outside Sarasota, Florida. Looks like De Beers is in for a war!
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A similar design is also available on Baby Doll Tees, Spaghetti Tanks, Cap Sleeve Tees, Camisoles, Thongs, Women's Tanks, Raglans, and other Tees. And you can have it printed on Framed Art Prints, Hats, Teddy Bears, Aprons, Mugs, Pillows, and Mousepads.
It features a man-made diamond inside of a 3d heart shaped box (very cool)!