Lab-Grown Diamonds Are Forever. Aren’t They? – by Murray Clark (Esquire U.K. – November 13, 2020)

It can take millions of years to grow a diamond, and technology can now do it much quicker in a traceable, ethical way. But not everyone is convinced

“I like the idea of a process – of nature – creating this crystal; how it’s survived this journey from deep within the Earth under geological circumstances; how it makes it to the surface and have man realise the beauty of it.

This whole process has a certain amount of romance to it,” says Jim Vernon, founder and CEO of US jewellers RockHer. Indeed, the very business of romance is diamond-encrusted, and one prone to gushing: a beaming bride-to-be on the wall of every high street jewellers, rock-heavy hand dainty and willowy upon the shoulder of a strapping groom. Happiness, like a diamond, is forever!

And yet, for all the usual Splenda, Vernon isn’t at all saccharine. He speaks steadily and calmly over the phone, a hard-to-place deep American timbre hinting at real appreciation as opposed to pre-made talking points.

Because diamonds are impressive. Largely formed way down in the Earth’s mantle and sent to the surface by deep-source volcanic eruptions, it requires temperatures that soar in the thousands and intense pressure to cause carbon atoms to crystallise, thus, creating diamonds.

According to a 2006 interview with the Smithsonian’s diamond expert, that process can take up to millions of years. Or at least it did. For man has learnt to mine diamonds without natural mechanics: diamonds can now be grown in labs specially built to recreate the conditions deep under our feet.

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