The industry is just now getting hold of how to use terms like diamond as opposed to lab-grown diamond. There's no time for a breather before the next complexity comes along. Now there's a diamond hybrid. Natural-synthetic hybrid diamonds will be on the market and it's important to understand just what in the world they are, so we can ensure customers are properly educated.
How Is a Diamond Hybrid Made?
A diamond hybrid is a composite. It's part natural diamond and part synthetically grown. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) identified a “0.64-carat fancy grayish-greenish blue cushion modified brilliant” as being a natural diamond with CVD synthetic diamond overgrowth.
If that's confusing to you, you're not alone. Basically, the natural diamond contained yellow beneath its substrate. By growing a gray and blue CVD synthetic layer over the natural diamond, it combined with the natural diamond to create a new color, while adding extra weight.
This was the second such diamond hybrid assessed by the GIA. The prior diamond identified by the GIA was a 0.33-carat fancy blue from May 2017. It was also a Type IIb with a similar CVD layer. The big difference between the two diamonds is that the newer one has a much thicker CVD layer (200 microns vs. only 80).
Identifying Natural-Synthetic Stones
It's a good sign that the GIA was able to identify each of the components of these natural-synthetic hybrid diamonds. There are still indicators that the diamond was synthetic, but the presence of natural features as well means that testing will need to keep a step ahead. While there's a clear line of demarcation between the natural and CVD layers, the technology and process that produce diamond hybrid stones will likely become more subtle.
Already, these hybrid stones achieve a natural photoluminescence – something that often reveals CVD diamonds. This is just another reason why the GIA assesses diamonds in such a wide variety of ways – what one testing process might overlook, another won't.
Maintaining Trust and Quality of Product
The GIA as always maintained their clients' privacy. They didn't give information on whether the two diamonds came from the same client, or if the stones were submitted as natural or natural-lab composites. While this information would satisfy some curiosity, evidence of the GIA consistently prioritizing privacy is far more important.
It's likely we'll see more diamonds that grew in the earth yet have lab-grown layers added over them. As always, it's of paramount importance that customers – and those who sell to them – have complete knowledge of the nature of their diamonds. This is why the team at K. Rosengart submits all melee parcels for analysis. It's still the most thorough way to ensure the quality of every diamond.