shape
carat
color
clarity

Blue Lab Grown Diamonds- boron?

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,851
Hi All!
Continuing the discussion about Blue Lab Grown Diamonds:
I had an interesting visit yesterday- from a dealer of Lab Grown Diamonds.
We've purchased a bunch of colorless rounds from the guy.
I believe him to be trustworthy in regards to the goods he carries.....

Yesterday he mentioned he had some extra cheap colorless rounds- but they were a bit blue.
My ears perked up!
What was the reason?
His explanation: the goods were polished from Chinese grown rough- and due to seasonal climate issues, the rough came out with a blue tint.
It is very slight- I'll see if I can capture the color in a picture.
Is he correct?
Again, I trust the guy, but I would not be comfortable guaranteeing his answer.....but....

1) the goods are slightly blue
2) they are substantially less expensive than the colorless goods he's showed us ( about 30% less)- he claimed the tint made the rough cheaper.

I asked about Boron .....and he didn't seem to think it was possible......
So, this isn't an answer, but it does raise more questions.
 

Diamond Girl 21

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 26, 2017
Messages
1,458
This is interesting. Thanks for sharing. Would you know how they make pink colors?
 

m-cubed

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
148
Hi All!
Continuing the discussion about Blue Lab Grown Diamonds:
I had an interesting visit yesterday- from a dealer of Lab Grown Diamonds.
We've purchased a bunch of colorless rounds from the guy.
I believe him to be trustworthy in regards to the goods he carries.....

Yesterday he mentioned he had some extra cheap colorless rounds- but they were a bit blue.
My ears perked up!
What was the reason?
His explanation: the goods were polished from Chinese grown rough- and due to seasonal climate issues, the rough came out with a blue tint.
It is very slight- I'll see if I can capture the color in a picture.
Is he correct?
Again, I trust the guy, but I would not be comfortable guaranteeing his answer.....but....

1) the goods are slightly blue
2) they are substantially less expensive than the colorless goods he's showed us ( about 30% less)- he claimed the tint made the rough cheaper.

I asked about Boron .....and he didn't seem to think it was possible......
So, this isn't an answer, but it does raise more questions.

That sounds kind of nuts to me. So I’m not a chemical engineer, but I’ve got a chemistry background. I would guess that during either CVD or HPHT production processes, they are controlling the atmosphere in the chamber pretty carefully. I would be shocked if it was done under regular atmosphere (i.e. normal air with moisture) rather than either under a vacuum or maybe some sort of Nobel gas or something.
 

DejaWiz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
1,102
It's almost gotta be boron...Type IIb rough.

They will be electrically conductive, which can be tested and confirmed with a digital multimeter.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,851
I can't speak from a position as a scientist- rather a pragmatist.
Can we agree that not all of the lab grown stones are D-E color. Particularly in larger sizes, but not exclusively.
Why aren't they making all D Flawless stones?
Multiple sources have told me it's due to temperature variation during production.
Therefore- based on the market, evidence suggests it's not currently possible to perfectly control the color of Lab Grown Diamonds in larger sizes and fancy shapes. Temperature control seems as likely a culprit as any.
I know- totally un-scientific, just postulating....we're not going to get hard fast answers from growers.

Blue Lab grown stones are relatively rare in larger sizes, fancy shapes. But I've seen quite a few regardless.
Based on my experience, they are all irradiated blue diamonds. Of course, I could be wrong, so this doesn't prove anything.
A dealer who has shown me more blue lab grown diamonds than any other confirms they are irradiated. He lets me know that they've gotten better sources for colorless rough, so now blue diamonds are special order. He starts with colorless rough and irradiates them.
IN the past larger sizes ( 3-5ct) blue Lab Growns were priced on par with low colored non blue Lab Growns....that might change, but it has been my experience.
This is also no proof specifically....but this all points to likelihood that the blue LG diamonds on the market as stones that were irradiated, from lower color rough.
This is a dollars and cents business- and a lot of my experience is borne out by the NY market.


It's almost gotta be boron...Type IIb rough.

They will be electrically conductive, which can be tested and confirmed with a digital multimeter.

I'll submit one of these puppies to IGI
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
11,883
Warning take this with a grain of salt not as verified facts.
Just what I have picked up here and there, HPHT can produce boron blues but in larger sizes there was a problem with the crystal formation when it was added.
That's why unnuked blue mmd were in smaller sizes.
I do not know if they have fixed that or not.
As far as I have heard all cvd blues are nuked but some are further treated to change the typical nuked look to something closer to boron blues.
The thing is the technology behind them is rapidly changing so that may no longer be true so take this with a grain of salt.
So in other words..
No factual information to add.. just rumors.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,851
It's pretty easy to see in these pics.We purchase the stone on the left ( from the same grower) and submitted to IGI. The stones on the ring are about 30% less. It's true they are a bit more imperfect...but the dealer claimed they were cheaper due to the blue tint.
boron.jpg boron2.jpg boron3.jpg
 

DejaWiz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
1,102
I am so anxiously awaiting the report results.

If this isn't blue nuance/light blue due to boron doping, then we may be in for another interesting in-depth conversation!
 

Sprinkles&Stones

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
1,156
OOO can't wait to see what they say! this is so cool
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,851
Update....
IGI sends a summary of the results before they print the report. I got that yestrday
The color came back as G.
I could not see, from the email, if there was any mention of blue.
I asked via email and was informed Blue was mentioned in the comments.
I'll have them print the report and give more detailed answers next week
 

DejaWiz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
1,102
Update....
IGI sends a summary of the results before they print the report. I got that yestrday
The color came back as G.
I could not see, from the email, if there was any mention of blue.
I asked via email and was informed Blue was mentioned in the comments.
I'll have them print the report and give more detailed answers next week


I'll be darned - this is definitely looking to be a clear cut case of boron inducing blue nuance.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,851
@DejaWiz ...
Here's the thing....
The blue tint should make the diamond more desirable- and therefore more costly.
IN this case, the opposite is true, in terms of price....meaning that it does not seem possible that the blue was introduced on purpose.

If there was "boron doping" to introduce blue, they were successful. The grower, knowing we carry blue diamonds, would/should have come to me asking MORE for these stones........of course, it's all supposition at this point. But numbers don't lie:)
 

DejaWiz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
1,102
@DejaWiz ...
Here's the thing....
The blue tint should make the diamond more desirable- and therefore more costly.
IN this case, the opposite is true, in terms of price....meaning that it does not seem possible that the blue was introduced on purpose.

If there was "boron doping" to introduce blue, they were successful. The grower, knowing we carry blue diamonds, would/should have come to me asking MORE for these stones........of course, it's all supposition at this point. But numbers don't lie:)


Is that because it was graded on the normal color scale and deemed to be slightly polluted with blue, instead of being graded as a fancy color deemed to be saturated with blue?
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,851
Is that because it was graded on the normal color scale and deemed to be slightly polluted with blue, instead of being graded as a fancy color deemed to be saturated with blue?

We are in a whole new world here!!!
Seriously, I am just as mystified as anyone!!
If it was an Earth Mined ( sorry Garry) diamond, submitted to GIA, it would definitely be faint blue!!
I'm eagerly awaiting the finished report....
 

DejaWiz

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
1,102
We are in a whole new world here!!!
Seriously, I am just as mystified as anyone!!
If it was an Earth Mined ( sorry Garry) diamond, submitted to GIA, it would definitely be faint blue!!
I'm eagerly awaiting the finished report....

I am 99% sure that it's a boron blue.
The evidence is already pointing to it: G or worse color with faint blue/blue nuance notated on the report...that's pretty conclusive for deciphering IGI's dealings with IIb diamonds.
 

aisak901

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2021
Messages
52
When in comes to HPHT diamonds, based on copious amounts of articles I've read and youtube video's I've watched over the past year (I had a lot of time on my hands due to covid lockdowns), every single one has attributed blue in HPHT diamonds to boron. Ada diamonds has a nice summary of the info as a story highlight on their instagram called "Blue Nuance", it goes something like this:

Blue nuance is a blue tinge in HPHT diamonds resulting from excess boron, HPHT diamonds are grown exposed to our atmosphere which is 78% nitrogen, they are not grown in a vacuum, nitrogen causes diamonds to be yellow, growers figured out that they can add a "getter" to the press that trapped the nitrogen, the easiest and cheapest is boron, if you add a lot of boron, you get fancy color diamonds, but these are protected by patents and not commonly found in the market, just a little bit of boron and you get blue nuance, blue is not binary but rather on a scale of good to bad... full story highlight can be found here:


From a chemistry standpoint this also makes sense:

Boron reaction with nitrogen​

2B + N2
→
2BN​

Boron reacts with nitrogen to produce boron(III) nitride. This reaction takes place at a temperature of 900-1000°C.
Source: https://chemiday.com/en/reaction/3-1-0-693

GIA also seems to think it's boron: https://www.gia.edu/hpht-and-cvd-diamond-growth-processes

The addition of boron in the growth process results in blue crystals. Other colors — such as pink and red — can be produced by post-growth treatment processes that involve radiation and heating, but they are less common.

For info on blue diamonds and boron in this article:

I'm of the opinion that the majority of lab blue diamonds are from boron treatment during the growth phase rather than post growth radiation, or it's the best kept secret in town!?!
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,851
I very much appreciate the science..... IN the interest of an open discussion, please excuse my skeptisism.
There are still questions:
1)
Blue nuance is a blue tinge in HPHT diamonds resulting from excess boron, HPHT diamonds are grown exposed to our atmosphere which is 78% nitrogen, they are not grown in a vacuum,

Yet, from their site
HPHT diamond growth occurs within massive pressure cookers. Small diamond seeds are placed into a growth cell and graphite is inserted on top of the diamond seeds. The pressure cooker is heated to 1500°C and pressurized to approximately 70,000 times the pressure at sea level.

Pressure cooker certainly seems to exclude them being exposed to the atmosphere....Again, I'm not a scientist......but...

2)
if you add a lot of boron, you get fancy color diamonds, but these are protected by patents and not commonly found in the market,

This would mean growers are respecting patents....seems unlikely.
With diamonds being grown all over the world, exactly which patents apply in both the US and India ( for example) to say nothing of China and Russia.
Both statements seem more promotional than factual.

I'm of the opinion that the majority of lab blue diamonds are from boron treatment during the growth phase rather than post growth radiation, or it's the best kept secret in town!?!

THis would mean that growers are keeping this secret from their customers... This makes zero sense. I've had in depth discussions with major growers. According to real market info, the majority of blue lab grown diamonds are irradiated - and I believe it's well over 99%
It seems to me that if someone was growing Fancy Vivid Blue diamonds with no post growth treatment, they'd be shouting about it. GIA was making a big deal about a single stone.....

I am so very curious about this.....
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
11,883
While there is still speculation going on I'm wondering if they were diamonds that failed to go pink or red under treatment instead coming out a light blue.
Since the treatment for pink/red involves nuking them its in theory anyway possible.
No proof, just a thought I had.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
11,883
I very much appreciate the science..... IN the interest of an open discussion, please excuse my skeptisism.
There are still questions:
1)


Yet, from their site
HPHT diamond growth occurs within massive pressure cookers. Small diamond seeds are placed into a growth cell and graphite is inserted on top of the diamond seeds. The pressure cooker is heated to 1500°C and pressurized to approximately 70,000 times the pressure at sea level.

Pressure cooker certainly seems to exclude them being exposed to the atmosphere....Again, I'm not a scientist......but...
At one time I recall right it was argon based mixture but either way the gas is tightly controlled and not just room air.
The gas content was why the majority of them were orangish in the early days.
These days its a tightly held trade secret just what they are using.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,851
Since the treatment for pink/red involves nuking them its in theory anyway possible.

These days its a tightly held trade secret just what they are using.

Back in the "old days", when someone wanted an irradiated blue diamond, they nuked a brown stone- and it came out blue.
Brown diamonds were always low on the price totem pole, so this made sense.

To re-relate a story I told here recently....
A supplier who carries a lot of LG blue diamonds was telling me how they irradiated LG stones that had a brown tinge- resulting in very pretty, and desirable blue Lab Grown diamonds.
Then he related how their growth process has improved so much that they don't end up with a lot of brown diamonds. This means less blue diamonds as well ( from this [major] grower)
As it turns out, you can also irradiate colorless diamonds and end up with blue- which is exactly what they had to do to fill an order for blue, 1/2ct emerald cuts.

The intersection between Lab Grown and Natural Mined Diamonds is fascinating to me.
Some Lab Growers were not involved in the diamond business before.
There's a remarkable level of trust in the Earth Mined Diamond business. Dealers routinely make million-dollar diamond deals based on a simple signature.
Many are still bull$hit artists in other areas for sure....
But the guy selling these blue tinged stones... and the guy telling me about having to irradiate stones to fill an order......my gut tells me they're both telling the truth.
I'd be willing to bet people are trying to make no post-growth blues and pinks.....and boron was my first thought as well....
When it comes to controlled use of Boron to produce LG BLue diamonds......I just don't think we're there yet.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,851
To add to the totally unscientific "diamond detective" work...
How come we are not seeing very many Fancy Yellow Lab Grown diamonds?
Just add nitrogen, right?
Yet that must not be working...because if I find yellows ( rare)- they are generally orangy- and never seem to be less saturated than Intense.....light yellow Lab Growns are pretty much nonexistant.
 

Ibrakeforpossums

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
722
Not trying to divert this wonderful thread, but: There's a remarkable level of trust in the Earth Mined Diamond business. Dealers routinely make million-dollar diamond deals based on a simple signature.
How does this work in this world where no one is accountable anymore, not doctors, not CEOs, not the police, your Town Board or Congress. Is this a case of "you burn someone and you're done."?
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
11,883
To add to the totally unscientific "diamond detective" work...
How come we are not seeing very many Fancy Yellow Lab Grown diamonds?
Just add nitrogen, right?
Yet that must not be working...because if I find yellows ( rare)- they are generally orangy- and never seem to be less saturated than Intense.....light yellow Lab Growns are pretty much nonexistant.
I dont think your being serious but the answer is that it takes very specific conditions for the diamonds to grow into usable crystals.
The argon based gas with hpht is one of the reasons for the orange.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,851
I dont think your being serious

I'm being totally serious Karl- the fact is that of all the fancy colored LGD's (over .25cts), I'd be surprised if more than a few percent were Yellow...
They're just not out there.
I never meant to oversimplify the reasons they don't exist....just speculating that it's seemingly not as simple as adding nitrogen.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
8,851
How does this work in this world where no one is accountable anymore, not doctors, not CEOs, not the police, your Town Board or Congress. Is this a case of "you burn someone and you're done."?

A great question that totally deserves its own thread...but simple answer: The pool of dealers/cutters is so small that if someone farts, everyone can smell it:)
Seriously- it's a self interest thing.
If cutter/dealer A asks cutter/dealer B about cutter/dealer xyz, it makes sense for them to be honest- because next week, it dealer B will be asking Dealer A.
And the small pool of dealer/cutters means that reputable dealers will generally be able to find some common connection.
This aspect probably really makes it tough for newcomers.....

This aspect has served us well when it comes to Lab Grown Diamonds.
In NYC most of the Lab Grown people are related to Earth People:)
Although it seems clear some people that are involved with Natural Diamonds, are against LGD's- and vice versa, there's still commonality. People who believe in both.
I think it's bound to increase as doubters finally give in.
 

Ibrakeforpossums

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
722
Rockdiamond, thank you for that great answer. A man's word.

You say you've seen orangey yellow LBD but not light yellow. I haven't seen anything orange-ish in LBD on your website and I'm there a lot. Are they not beautiful?
 

elle_chris

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
3,335
I purchased an HPHT Blue from Brilliant Earth two years ago.
Specifically asked about post growth treatment for color and was told "none" for the Blues I asked about - that they were grown Blue.

Are you saying vendors are lying? Because if 99% of Blues are irradiated, then someone, somewhere is lying to their customers.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
11,883
I purchased an HPHT Blue from Brilliant Earth two years ago.
Specifically asked about post growth treatment for color and was told "none" for the Blues I asked about - that they were grown Blue.

Are you saying vendors are lying? Because if 99% of Blues are irradiated, then someone, somewhere is lying to their customers.
HPHT boron blues have been made for years.
How big is it?
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    A Hesse Horror - The Hesse Strawberry Leaf Tiara
    A Hesse Horror - The Hesse Strawberry Leaf Tiara - 10/22
    Kourtney Kardashian's Engagement Ring
    Kourtney Kardashian's Engagement Ring - 10/20
    Pink Diamonds for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
    Pink Diamonds for Breast Cancer Awareness Month - 10/18

Holloway Cut Advisor



Top