One carat diamond ‘grown’ in lab in one week

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/30 17:18:41

Photo: IC

 Chinese scientists claim they can make a one carat diamond in their lab in just one week, leading netizens to wonder if the value of expensive diamond jewelry might plummet.

The lab-created diamond's hardness and purity is similar to natural ones, but costs just one-sixth of a mined diamond, experts from the Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology and Engineering of Chinese Academy of Sciences in East China's Zhejiang Province told the China Central Television (CCTV) on Tuesday.

Li He, who is in charge of the project, said that cultivating an artificial diamond is just like planting grain, which needs to germinate and nutrients to grow. Artificial diamonds require a "seed" from   a piece of natural diamond and while the nutrient is methane gas.

Li said the artificial diamond can "grow" 0.007 millimeters per hour and will reach one carat within a week.

The sensational news has aroused wide attention on Chinese social media. Netizens said when the technology becomes more mature, it will impact the diamond market. "It's a potential bomb for the diamond market," commented a Sina Weibo user. 

Many netizens said the lab-grown diamonds appear to be no different from natural diamonds, and their reduced cost makes them more attractive.

According to a report by Zhejiang TV, a company that uses the diamond growing technology has had an annual output of more than 50,000 carats from a single diamond, and its products have been sold to countries including Japan, India and the US.

"Natural diamonds actually cannot hold their value, especially broken diamonds, while gold and jade can increase in value and are worth more than diamonds. The diamond is the greatest hoax of the 20th century," a Weibo user wrote.

In addition to making jewelries, artificial diamonds can also be used in precision instrument, and scalpels made with the diamonds will remain sharper for longer, CCTV reported.

Global Times

Posted in: SOCIETY

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