Diamonds / Industry

Lab-Grown Diamonds Setting New Size Records


The International Gemological Institute (IGI) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) labs have recently examined the largest lab-grown diamonds they have ever seen grown with the high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) methods.

In January, the IGI announced it had seen a record-setting lab-grown blue crystal piece of rough (shown at top), which weighs 150.42 cts. and measures 28.55 mm x 28.25 mm x 22.53 mm. This is believed to be the largest lab-grown diamond ever produced.

It also saw a second gray crystal weighing 141.58 cts. that measures 28.9 mm x 28.5 mm x 20.75 mm.

“The acceleration of technology in the lab-grown diamond sector is significant,” said IGI senior director of education John Pollard in a statement. “In addition to record-setting weights, they’re type IIb crystals, a semiconducting category associated with diamond-based electronics.”

Both diamonds were grown in Ukraine with HPHT by Alkor-D, a subsidiary of Meylor Global. Meylor had set the prior record for the world’s largest lab-grown diamond, which weighed 115 carats.

At last year’s JCK Las Vegas show, Meylor Global CEO Yuliya Kusher told JCK her company was working on a 200 carat diamond.

“I don’t think CVD can do that,” she said. She added that while most Chinese producers use HPHT, “they are making a lot of melee, [not even] 1 ct.”

Meylor Global is the official distributor of diamonds created by New Diamond Technology, the grower based in Russia known for producing record-setting diamonds. It is owned by Ukrainian national Timur Mindich.

In addition, the GIA recently examined the largest known polished lab-grown diamond it has ever seen produced by CVD.

The 16.41 ct. princess-cut diamond was grown with the CVD method by Shanghai Zhengshi Technology Co., which has been working on CVD technology since 2002.

GIA CVD diamond
This is the largest CVD diamond the GIA has ever seen (photo courtesy of Gemological Institute of America).

The diamond evidenced no post-growth treatment and was graded G color, VVS2 clarity, GIA said.

“The first CVD diamond I examined in 2003 was a 0.23 ct. pear shape, with clear brown color,” said Dr. Wuyi Wang, GIA vice president of research and development, in a statement. “This 16.41 ct. laboratory-grown diamond demonstrates the advances in CVD growth technology.”

Most U.S.-based companies, including WD Lab Grown and Diamond Foundry, as well as Indian companies, grow diamonds using the CVD method.

Top: The 150 ct. lab-grown diamond (photo courtesy of International Gemological Institute)

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By: Rob Bates

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