Author Topic: Man-kind creates what nature took 150 million odd years to achieve!  (Read 1352 times)

Offline Dresden

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so now we are in the year 2017, technology in all areas is advancing and its hard to say how much more advanced it can go BUT now that the world has come to a point where human-kind can create DIAMONDS that are chemically, physically and optically the same as ones that earth took 150-odd million years to complete...one would say we have advanced very far, maybe too far???

okay, so that human-kind has now toyed with an ancient rock that has captivated the world since forever by its dazzling array of fire and sparkle, which no other mineral on the planet compares too, how do we feel about this?

some people will think its amazing that human kind has been able to compact 150 million-odd years into a few weeks, how long it takes to grow these Diamonds made of carbon, others will be horrified that its seems almost sinful to create something that took so long to create within earth and yet oh we can make that in a few weeks if thats what you want :)

from my point of view i think it is quite exciting that human-kind can grow a real Diamond over a few days or week but at the same time i am horrified that it seems to make real Diamonds seem like they were inefficient and a waste of time  ;D

sooooo, what this probably means is that the real earth-mined Diamonds will hold an ever more special place in a thoughts as they are something so old and not created in a lab by man or woman in a few days or weeks or will this mean that we no longer value the real earth-mined one and think more of the Lab created...

the whole selling point of the lab one's seems mainly to that earth was not harmed during the mining of these...as a green alternative...or a cheaper alternative.


we now have a choice...the Diamond that man or woman created for us in a few days or weeks or a Diamond that was created by chance and took many, many millions of years to form deep within the earth...we are spoilt for choice  ;D ;D
« Last Edit: April 15, 2017, 09:52:40 PM by Dresden »

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Man-kind creates what nature took 150 million odd years to achieve!
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2017, 06:20:17 PM »
Um, I don't know, Dresden - synthetic diamonds have been made repeatably since the 1950s, and are commercially available to the public since at least the late 1990s (maybe even earlier). Differently to what happened to pearls and corundum (but curiously not spinel or alexandrite), the availability of synthetics seems to have left prices of natural diamonds pretty much unaffected, at least so far. They have gone up, come down, gone up again, but all in blissful ignorance of the synthetic market.

On the "greenness" of synthetics, I am also relatively doubtful - it does take a huge amount of energy to synthesise a diamond, though it is perhaps a valid argument for coloured diamonds (especially blues, that can be grown with pretty much the same energy expenditure as colourless, but are much rarer naturally, requiring significantly more excavation work to find). This said, I have never seen an "energy balance" for either natural or synthetics, and it is very possible that synthetics hold the energetic upper hand, especially with the newer production methods (CVD) and considering exhaustion of natural sources.

Finally, AFAIK only colourless, yellow and blue can be synthesised "fully naturally". All the other colours require post-synthesis treatment like irradiation or HPHT. Size is also a problem, though there seem to be claim after claim of large (20+ ct) products, commercially available samples are rarely over 1.50 ct once cut. Perhaps the energy equations tilts the other way for very long production times?

The really interesting part about synthetic diamonds, for me, is the ability to produce monocrystalline sheets that can be used as a replacement for silicon or other materials (Ge, GaAs) as semiconductors in electronics. Unfortunately, I think we are still a couple of decades away from that...
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 06:21:39 PM by oldmancoyote »

Offline Dresden

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Re: Man-kind creates what nature took 150 million odd years to achieve!
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2017, 09:07:05 PM »
Thanks OMC - brilliant post and wonderful to hear your thoughts!