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When Did Lab Grown Diamonds Start?

by Adriana Perez-Nakamura
Last updated on September 10, 2023
when did lab grown diamonds start

Lab grown diamonds are genuine diamonds produced in a lab under intense heat and pressure, which mimicks the way natural diamonds form in the earth. They are physically, chemically, and optically identical to mined diamonds but don’t cause any undue harm to the environment or people. Lab diamonds are an amazing innovation that are sure to only continue growing in popularity. But when did lab grown diamonds start? Who discovered the method to produce them?

Learn all about the origins of lab created diamonds, here.

How Long Have Lab Grown Diamonds Been Around?

People have been trying to produce synthetic diamonds ever since the late 1700s when French chemist Antoine Lavoisier discovered diamonds are made of pure carbon. Following Lavoisier’s discovery, many people claimed to have created diamonds but those claims were never confirmed.

It wasn’t until the 1950s that scientists were actually able to successfully produce diamonds in a lab setting. William Eversole of Union Carbide was the first to create a synthetic diamond using the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. And after him, the Swedish company ASEA created a synthetic diamond using the High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) method in 1953.

However, despite these earlier, proven innovations, H. Tracy Hall of General Electric gets the credit for creating the first lab grown diamonds 2 years after ASEA.

The History of Lab Grown: Howard Tracy Hall and His Belt Press

In 1954 chemist Howard Tracy Hall created the first lab grown diamond using a press he constructed. The diamonds Hall made were very small and better suited to industrial uses, but he was able to recreate his process and get the same results each time. His ability to recreate his process and grow diamonds proved his method worked and wasn’t just a fluke.

The first lab grown diamonds were far from the gem quality diamonds we love today. Instead, they were small and of poor quality–they would not have been suitable for jewelry. Instead, they were better suited for industrial use. These diamonds were used to create cutting and drilling tools.

How Lab Grown Diamonds Are Made Today

Arielle Ring. When did lab grown diamonds start.

The two most widely used methods for creating lab grown diamonds are High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).

The High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) Method

With HPHT, diamonds are created with a diamond seed. That seed is exposed to incredibly high pressure and high temperatures, the same conditions under which a natural diamond forms deep within the earth. The final result is a genuine diamond.

HPHT was the method H. Tracy Hall used to create the first lab grown diamonds.

Features of High Pressure High Temperature Diamonds


While lab grown diamonds are known to have inclusions like natural diamonds, high pressure high temperature diamonds are known for their exceptional clarity. Since they grow in a controlled environment, they can be created with a lesser degree of inclusions.


And although their clarity ratings can compete with some of the most beautiful mined diamonds, it’s their outstanding color that sets high pressure high temperature diamonds apart. Overall, they tend to be much whiter, brighter, and just more striking in appearance.

The Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) Method

Round blue studs. When did lab grown diamonds start.

Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) is a newer method for creating lab grown diamonds that came about in the 1980s. It is a method by which most lab grown diamonds are made today.

To create diamonds with the CVD process, a diamond seed is first placed into a chamber. Next, carbon-heavy gasses fill the chamber and are heated to incredibly high temperatures. The gasses turn into plasma which builds itself, in layers, onto the diamond seed. Those layers continue to build until a diamond forms.


As with HPHT diamonds, CVD diamonds can have excellent clarity because they’re grown in a controlled environment. But unlike HPHT diamonds, CVD diamonds come in a wider selection of colors.


CVD diamonds do come in brilliant white, but they also range from yellow to brown and even other fancy colors.

The Growing Demand For Lab Grown Diamonds

More and more consumers are aware of the damange that diamond mining does to the earth. They’re also aware of the devastating impact the mined diamond industry has had on the people who live in the communities where diamond mining occurs. For these reasons, as well as rising diamond prices, people are questioning whether earth mined diamonds are worth the both the high moral and financial costs.

According to Clean Origin co-founder Alexander Weindling, “Lab grown diamonds put people and the planet before profits. They are 100% diamond but without the human tragedies or environmental destruction and pollution associated with mining.”

Lab grown diamonds give consumers the option to purchase beautiful diamond jewelry they can feel good about owning. In fact, they’re truly the only diamonds that can be 100% conflict-free.

Lab Diamonds: The Affordable Option

Mined diamonds cost anywhere from 30-50% more than their lab created counterparts. When you choose a lab diamond, not only do you have peace of mind knowing your purchase didn’t harm people or the environment, you also make your money go further.

With lab grown diamonds, you can get a larger stone for much less than you’d pay for a mined diamond that is the exact same carat weight, clarity, color, and cut. This is especially good to know if you’re shopping for diamond engagement rings.

You can use the money you save to upgrade your ring setting or metal color. Or maybe put that money toward your wedding band. You can even buy an additional piece of jewelry (think studs, bracelets, or even pendants) to wear on your wedding day or give as a gift to your partner.

Shop Lab Grown Diamonds With Clean Origin

1 carat solitaire pendant

If you’re looking for the best quality lab grown diamonds at the most affordable prices, we have just what you need. From lab grown diamond bridal sets to certified diamond stud earrings, we offer a wide selection of loose diamonds and diamond jewelry you are sure to love.

Don’t know where to start? Start here, with our most popular diamond jewelry gifts. Hoping to stick to a diamond budget of under $500? We have options for that, too. And if you have additional questions, be sure to schedule a virtual appointment with one of our diamond experts. They are available to help answer any questions you have and guide you to find the perfect jewelry piece.