There appears to be yet another new method of creating synthetic diamonds, joining HPHT (high-pressure, high-temperature) and CVD (chemical vapor deposition.) Researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China have developed a new method that grows diamond crystals using magnesium carbonate. It requires a much lower temperature than previous methods and could eventually produce synthetics at much lower cost than they are being produced now, says a report in China Daily.
The method evolved from an earlier announced technique that involved growing diamonds out of carbon dioxide. (See “Can CO2 Become VS1?” JCK, October 2003, p. 48.) The new technique is considered more practical, because preparing solid carbon dioxide can be costly and inconvenient.
The method is still in the experimental phase, and no gem-quality stones from it are expected to come to market anytime soon. The largest crystal is reported to be only .51 mm in size and not gem quality.
Antwerp’s Diamond High Council says its scientists are in touch with the Chinese researchers. “The new method … cannot at this stage be considered as posing a threat to the gem-quality-diamond market,” the council said in a statement.