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How Do Blue MMD's Get Their Color?

Discussion in 'Laboratory-Grown Diamonds /Man-Made Diamonds (MMD)' started by elle_chris, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. elle_chris
    Ideal_Rock

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    by elle_chris » Jul 8, 2019
    Hi guys -
    This is my first venture into MMD's, specifically fancy colored MMD's.
    Can someone give me a quick lesson on how they get the color? Specifically Blues (a true blue color without any green)?
    Are they grown Blue? Or do they undergo additional treatment? And if there's other types of treatments involved, are they permanent?

    I'm very interested in a few of the Blues from Brilliant Earth, but I want a "real" Blue diamond - meaning, mined or man made is irrelevant to me, but the color has to be part of the chemical structure of the diamond, not "added" at a later date via dyes or what not.

    Thanks for any info. you can give.
     
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  2. Antique Chic
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Antique Chic » Jul 8, 2019
    Most lab-grown blue diamonds are grown with a seed of boron which is how mined natural blue diamonds are formed.

    Some *may be radiated* but I haven't seen that often with lab-grown stones that were intended to be blue. It also won't fade since it penetrates through the diamond and isn't a surface treatment, although if exposed to extreme heat it could change. Usually it's used on off colored diamonds (ie N-R color grade that aren't colorless but aren't yellow).

    Your diamond should come with a report that discloses it was lab-grown and if it has been treated. I just got a beautiful 1.6ct blue Asscher from Brilliant Earth. They supply an IGI report and it specifically says if there are any enhancements. Just be sure to ask!

    ps- You most likely save 40-60% over a mined natural blue.
     
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  3. MelloYello8
    Rough_Rock

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    by MelloYello8 » Jul 8, 2019
    The blue diamonds as I recall were on the market several years before the white diamonds because it was difficult to grow white diamonds in a vacuum. The blue ones could be grown because of the introduction of boron to the process which creates the blue color and as an added fun fact, the blue diamonds are semiconductors. The yellow diamonds have nitrogen but I don’t remember if that needed to be pure or if the nitrogen rich ambient air worked. I think it’s the pink and other colors that are irradiated. I don’t know if irradiated stones are identical to fancy color natural diamonds on a molecular level. Maybe the experts can elucidate.

    That said there are characteristics of mmd that would make them discernible from natural diamonds with expensive instrumentation. They are very close though, and no dyes are involved.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
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  4. Athena10X
    Shiny_Rock

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    by Athena10X » Jul 8, 2019

    I found the following via a quick google search. They have a section specific to your inquiry. In short, appears to be due to boron atoms in the carbon lattice that creates the unique blue color. So, it’s chemically same as mined and should be permanent.

    https://www.miadonna.com/pages/stone-guide-lab-grown-diamonds

    I am also familiar with mined diamonds going through color enhancement treatment via HPHT (which is another method for creating MMD), and this, too, is permanent since it changes the chemical structure or bonds to make the visible color more intense.

    If you’re going with a MMD colored diamond, I’d recommend asking the vendor what processes were used to grow the diamond (CVD or HPHT) and if additional color enhancement treatment was applied post-production (typically HPHT). Either way, I don’t think you have to worry about permanence.
     
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  5. MelloYello8
    Rough_Rock

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    by MelloYello8 » Jul 8, 2019
    If it helps I’ve had an ice blue Chatham mmd for almost 13 years and it still looks exactly the same as when it was new.
     
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  6. elle_chris
    Ideal_Rock

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    by elle_chris » Jul 8, 2019
    Thanks everyone.
    I sent an email asking about the any color enhancements and such after it was grown, like @Athena10X suggested.
    Also I did find information on their page about their lab created diamonds - they say the following:

    "Our lab created diamonds are grown from the tiny carbon seeds of pre-existing diamonds. Advanced technology – either extreme pressure and heat or a special deposition process known as CVD – mimics the natural method of diamond formation. Some lab diamonds grown through deposition may also undergo pressure and heat treatment after they are grown.
    Lab grown fancy colored diamonds are formed when small amounts of specific trace elements are present during the growth phase of the diamond,
    just like in nature. In both white and fancy colored lab diamonds, the exact composition of trace elements may differ from their natural diamond counterparts. Lab diamonds can only be distinguished from natural diamonds using specialized equipment that can detect the minor differences in trace elements and crystal growth."

    They do mention that some diamonds undergo additional treatment after they're grown. But then they say that lab fancy colored happen at the growth phase. So I'm not sure what to think?
     
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  7. elle_chris
    Ideal_Rock

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    by elle_chris » Jul 9, 2019
    So the MMD's I'm interested in are both HPHT and they're both grown Blue. No after growth treatment done. Perfect, that's what I wanted.
    They sent me a pic of the pear, still waiting on the cushion, but what do you guys think of it? I think the color is pretty spot on for what I wanted. Just wondering how different it's going to be in real life.
    It's graded a VS1, Fancy Intense Blue.

    still.jpg
     
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  8. BMI
    Rough_Rock

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    by BMI » Jul 9, 2019
    Well, I'll tell you what I think of it .........
    :love: :love: :love:
    It's GORGEOUS!!!!! And I LOVE the color!!!
     
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  9. OoohShiny
    Ideal_Rock

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    by OoohShiny » Jul 10, 2019
    I like the colour - I am no expert but it doesn't look like an irradiated, artificial blue to my eyes :)

    It's also cut pretty nicely - not too 'window-y' at tilt angles, no dark bow-tie across the centre, and actually performs pretty decently in terms of light return.
     
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  10. MelloYello8
    Rough_Rock

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    by MelloYello8 » Jul 10, 2019
    I love this shade of blue.
     
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  11. elle_chris
    Ideal_Rock

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    by elle_chris » Jul 10, 2019
    I think I'm going to get it.
    They sent me a pic and another video of the cushion but I prefer the pear.

    It's going to be used in a stationary three initial pendant. Set sideways, to the left of the first initial.
    I also have an antique cushion diamond that's just under a 1/4ct. Thinking of how I can incorporate that as well. Maybe as part of the clasp somehow.. hmm..
     
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  12. elle_chris
    Ideal_Rock

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    by elle_chris » Jul 22, 2019
    So not sure if I'm going to keep it or not. I'm much smaller when compared to a .53 ct pear. I realize there's a .12 point difference in weight, (the mmd blue being .41) but visually the difference is much bigger than I expected.
    Here's a video I did. Sorry in advance for my poor recording skills.

    Pic is of an F colored (GIA graded) .53ct Pear in comparison to the .41ct Blue Pear

    Pear Compare.jpg
     
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