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The Art of Technology: Lab Diamonds & Cryptocurrencies

The Art of Technology: Lab Diamonds & Cryptocurrencies

Diamonds have always been a part of popular culture. How could we forget the intricate jewelry that the elite wore in the times of antiquity? Religious texts are laden with stories of great kings and queens who held a hefty bounty of precious stones. 

Times might have changed, but the desire for diamonds is still the same. It is estimated that the value of polished diamonds in the market is somewhere around 29.2 billion dollars. 

The diamond market is reasonably complex, and not all diamonds are the same. Apart from retail sales of polished diamonds to the public, diamonds are also traded at an industrial level. Since diamonds are the hardest substance on the Earth, they make for great cutting tools at an industrial level. 

Diamonds are not only mined; they can also be manufactured in the lab. Lab diamonds (as they are commonly called) enjoy the lion’s share of global industrial diamond sales. Lab diamonds are not only cheaper to manufacture and distribute; they are also ethically manufactured and sold. 

The diamond industry is known for conflict stones. Lab diamonds are conflict-free stones that are ethically produced, and many industrial companies are now opting for these diamonds instead of mined diamonds. 

The technological revolution of the diamond industry does not end with lab diamonds. The diamond industry now uses blockchain technology to track diamonds from mine to customer. Who would have thought? Jewelry and blockchain in perfect harmony. It truly is a brave new world. 

How are Lab Diamonds Made?

Lab-grown diamonds or synthetic diamonds are diamonds that are manufactured in a controlled environment. The process used to manufacture synthetic diamonds is no different from the process that naturally occurring diamonds go through before they are created. 

What’s particularly interesting about synthetic diamonds is that they take weeks to create, whereas natural diamonds are slowly formed over a long time. The former is excellent because businesses can control output more accurately; and the consumer pays less. 

Synthetic diamonds are created using two specific methods. The first method used to create lab diamonds is the High Pressure-High Temperature (HPHT) method and the second method used is Chemical Vapor Deposition. 

High Pressure-High Temperature Method

The HPHT method begins with a small diamond called the seed diamond. The seed diamond is placed in a carbon-filled environment and is exposed to high levels of heat and pressure that mimic the Earth’s crust conditions. 

Chemical Vapor Deposition Method

Unlike the HPHT method, the Chemical Vapor Deposition method uses carbon gases instead of heat and pressure to create diamonds.

The CVD process begins with a seed diamond, just like the HPHT process. The seed diamond for this process is usually narrow-shaped, and the CVD method uses seed diamonds cut from stones made using the HPHT method. 

The seed diamond is put inside a sealed container. Hydrogen and methane gases are then introduced to the seed diamond inside the sealed container. Heat is then introduced into the sealed container, which breaks down the hydrogen and methane gases so that the carbon atoms attach themselves to the seed diamond, and thus a new diamond is born. 

The CVD method is significantly cheaper and is a newer method of production. The process uses less heat and less expensive machinery. There is a trade-off though, the diamonds usually come out either black or brown, and the HPHT method is used to treat the diamond so that it is colorless and sparkly. 

The CVD method keeps getting better and better, and some lab growers who use this method can get clear diamonds without using the HPHT method to treat the diamonds post-creation. 

Synthetic vs. Mined Diamonds: An Ethical Dilemma 

Conflict diamonds still fund dictatorships, and reputable dealers often find themselves aiding and abetting this illicit trade unknowingly. Thanks to lab diamonds, it is now easy to source ethically manufactured diamonds. 

Conflict stones continue to ravage West and Central African countries. The argument made by yesteryear dealers was that mined diamonds are hard to track, and certification is the only reliable method available to track a diamond’s origin. 

Horrid stories of certification bodies selling certificates to the highest bidder circulate the internet to this day. The unethical escapades of a few unscrupulous characters have affected an entire industry’s reputation. 

Lab-grown diamonds offer ultimate peace of mind to the conscious consumer. How, you may ask? It’s pretty simple, with mined diamonds, conflict diamonds can easily slip through the cracks because, as previously alluded to, dealers sometimes buy certifications for diamonds with unknown/unclear origins. 

The former could never be the case with synthetic diamonds, as they are created in a controlled environment free of war interests. 

How Blockchain Technology is Revolutionizing the Diamond Industry

Blockchain is a recent technology that was brought to market in 2008. Satoshi Nakamoto pioneered blockchain technology to ensure the validity of bitcoin trades and transactions. Blockchain technology has gone on to find other valuable purposes across multiple industries, including the diamond industry. 

A Blockchain can be viewed as a decentralized open ledger. Each blockchain within a network is made up of individual nodes that need to reach a consensus before an action is taken within the said blockchain. 

The significance of the above passage cannot be understated. Where previously an individual or company could collude and defraud, blockchain groups together random nodes within a network who all need to reach consensus for the diamond to move along the supply chain.

The blockchain innovation within the diamond industry does not end with it’s supply chain management applications. You can now visit a Marks Jewelers outlet in the US and not have to ask yourself : can I buy loose diamonds with cryptocurrency? As cryptocurrencies continue to grow in popularity, diamond companies are now adopting cryptocurrency as a valid form of payment. 

You might be asking yourself: How do I pay with cryptocurrency? Cryptocurrency is a digital currency so all transactions involving cryptocurrency are fulfilled digitally. 

Can I Buy Loose Diamonds With Cryptocurrency?

As cryptocurrency continues to grow in popularity, the demand for marketplaces that accept bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment method continues to grow. This means that you can now buy luxury diamonds with bitcoin

Marketplaces like Spendabit allow you to buy diamonds with cryptocurrency. Besides using cryptocurrency to pay for jewelry, you can now buy a host of items online using crypto. 

Conclusion

Much like blockchain technology, lab diamonds are a new technology that seeks to address ethical issues related to capitalism. Blockchain was created with the purpose of democratizing information and trade. Likewise, lab diamonds attempt to create ethical stones for the consumer market, thereby curbing wars funded by conflict diamonds.