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View Full Version : Man Made diamonds are on the horizon



Exhaust Port
08-15-2003, 10:02 AM
The New Diamond Age (http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.09/diamond.html)

It's a long article but I found it very interesting. Bascially there are 2 workable methods for producing man-made diamonds. The first can produce a diamond that is only detectable as man-made by using expensive equipment. The second method produces a diamond that is flawless and is detectible as a man-made diamond since it is flawless, no natural impurities.

Obviously the DeBeers company is doing what they can to kill there use. Why would you want to buy an expensive 1 carat diamond when you can get a 2-3 carat for half the price?

There is an interesting, possibly more important, result of this technology. It seems that man-made diamonds as pure as these could be or will be the key to diamond processors for computers. Their thermal properties will cure the heat issue at faster processor speeds. Pretty cool!

What do you think? Do you even care where the diamond comes from?

I don't care one bit honestly and would love to see the price of "rare" minerals drop. I think most people root for the underdog and I have to admit that I would love to see the DeBeer empire take one in the keester. They bully the diamond industry to create a monopoly that they control for no other reason then to maintain inflated prices on these not so rare diamonds. Give me my cheap diamonds!

I also think that DeBeers actions against this technology could hurt us more than just keeping cheap diamonds out of our hands. If they succeed they could hurt the computer industry. One can only push silicone so far.

icatch9
08-15-2003, 10:30 AM
Interesting. Where was this when I was looking for an engagement ring. I could of gotten one as big as a ring pop for $50 :D.

Seriously, it is interesting as far as the computer world goes. Don't forget out the drill bit industy too. I'm sure they'd love to make bits that are diamond hard for a fraction of the price. Sand paper too, or should I say diamond paper.

DeBeers is probally a scarey company. Anytime a company with billions is threated bad things happen.

EricRG
08-17-2003, 09:48 PM
Diamonds are overrated. Why do people feel they MUST buy a diamond in order to get married? It's silly tradition...and a bloody one at that. The diamond trade kills many people. I don't see the attraction. And a fake diamond? That's silly as well because it's a, well, forgery of a silly tradition. At least it might cut into the diamond death trade. But probably not. But diamonds for making faster computers...now that sounds cool.

icatch9
08-18-2003, 09:44 AM
Because girls want a diamond ring. If you find one that doesn't, than hold on to her for dear life. As she's a rare one.

Same reason why girls spend hundreds of dollars on a wedding dress they will only wear once. But a man who is required to wear a Tux many times in his life rents one every time.

mabudonicus
08-18-2003, 10:19 AM
Yeah, diamonds are pretty goofy as far as traditions go, specially since anyone can get one if they have the bread.... I prefer things that no-one else could possibly have unless they made it themselves, that kind of thing has meaning to me...
And I'm glad Jedielf don't want no diamond ring... looks like getting married in some form is on the horizon, not too far off ;)
And sandpaper... and files and crap like that.... modelling tools could get pretty sweet if this technology takes off...

EricRG
08-18-2003, 11:35 AM
Or perhaps computers made from DNA?

http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/ptech/08/18/biological.computing.ap/index.html

LusiferSam
08-18-2003, 12:49 PM
Here's the thing, pearls, rubes, sapphires, ect. can man made or cultured. But look at the price difference. Go a high end jewelry store and compare the price of natural pearls to cultured or a natural rear flawless ruby to a man made one. Diamonds would be no different.
But as I understand the technology (I haven't read the article yet) they still a making dust and not full blown gems. Last I heard it was very expensive to make diamonds because of the pressure needed and the return was small.
And as you guys have pointed out diamond dust has many industrial uses. One of the cooler future uses that I have hard about is one ships. The U.S. Navy is looking into coating the hulls of their ships with diamond dust as away of reducing drag.y (I haven't read the articel yet) they still a making dust and not full blown gems. Last I heard it was very expensof to make diamonds because of the presure needed and the return was small.
And as you guys have pointed out diamond dust has many industral uses. One of the cooler futuer uses that I have hard about is one ships. The U.S. Navy is looking into coating the hulls of their ships with diamond dust as away of redueling drag.

InsaneJediGirl
08-18-2003, 01:47 PM
Sounds very cool,hopefully it will happen:)It would be great for industrial purposes,and of course the average person.Who in their right mind would buy the real thing if a fake is just as good?

bobafrett
08-18-2003, 01:52 PM
Well, seeing as I have no plans on ever getting married and I don't wear any jewelry myself, I don't care if they make diamonds out of garbage.

icatch9
08-18-2003, 02:40 PM
Sounds very cool,hopefully it will happen:)It would be great for industrial purposes,and of course the average person.Who in their right mind would buy the real thing if a fake is just as good?

Try explaining to a girl on a wedding day that her diamond is fake or man made. Wait you are a girl. What's going on here :crazed: ???

EricRG
08-18-2003, 06:49 PM
Why does it matter if it's "natural" or "man-made" when it's the EXACT same substance (and likely of higher quality if man-made)???

Any "girl" (or guy) who frets about that is totally brain-washed.

Why are diamonds valuable? Because of their hardness (and because of DeBeers near monopoly). A man-made version would be just as hard as a natural one and have less questionable roots.

mabudonicus
08-18-2003, 07:35 PM
There are dozens of ways to quote that last post, but I don't need to get banned even temporarily ;)

LusiferSam
08-18-2003, 09:11 PM
Great article. Thanks for pointing it out Exhaust Port. I had no idea that the ability to make diamonds was so advanced. I feel bit stupid for saying that they were making dust when its 3 carat sized stones.
As for real vs. man made, real. It just like real or cultured pearls. Most people I know would choose the real over the cultured. But the cultured fit the budget. As for man made diamonds, I defiantly think they should be on the market. But like cultured pearls or other man made gem the consumer should know what they are buying. In this aspect I think DeBeers will succeed. In fact it might diver the cost of real diamonds up. If the market is flooded with man made stones, DeBeers might hold backs its real stones and be able to ask a greater price for the real thing.
And final as to why people are so fascinated with diamonds, all I'm going to it's the same thing that fascinates people with gold.

Exhaust Port
08-18-2003, 10:37 PM
Who knows what the future holds for this. I can imagine DeBeers letting this technology slide by for industrial uses but I'm sure they'll fight it with a heavy hand if it enters the gem marketplace. For all of us the real interest is the gem marketplace as the prices are so uber-inflated. As others said, a diamond is a diamond no matter if it was made in the earth or in a lab.

We as consumers only care about the bottom line, the cost. It seems to be in the interest of society though to have a prestigious material. Whether it's gold, diamonds or wine, even if someone could make a cheap version that is just as good at the original people still want to have something that is rare and there for expensive. Ford could turn out 50,000 Ferrari GTO's a year but that's not what makes them a Ferrari. I hate to admit it but DeBeers will most likely maintain it's grip on the diamond gem market with the blessing of the populous.

Looking at my grandmothers wedding ring she left my family I see it as a symbol of extreme sacrifice from on behalf of my grandfather to provide a token of their relationship. It's not a big rock but it means a lot that he gave so much to provide it for her. Now if this technology could wipe out the diamond market and lower the price to pennies on the dollar it would decrease the implied sacrifice of a diamond ring. Now I would never spend $xxxx for a diamond ring but I don't mind spending $xxx for a gem that will show the same level of sacrifice/commitment to my future grandchildren that my grandfather purchased showed me.

I know this is a complete 180 from my first post but I spent some more time thinking about it. Call me sentimental....I must be getting soft in my old age. ;)

Jargo
08-18-2003, 11:13 PM
The uses for this stuff in science, medicine and the white collar trades like building and maintenance or railways are many, technology like computers, it will save a huge fortune.
Personally I find gemstones in their cut state to be tacky. I much prefer them in their natural dirty raw state, still in the ground. I'd rather the world adopted fake diamonds as the better alternative if the world simply must insist on having diamonds.
As I understand it most women want a flawless diamond if they're going to have one. How are they going to know if it's manmade? All we need now is for someone to figure out how to fake gold and we're set. Junk jewellery that'll make less of a dent in the wallet but still look a million dollars.

My grandfather sweated blood and tears to get my grandmother a gemstone ring of either the green or red variety. Lord knows why, it meant the family starved for months. I don't see it as a token of toil that shows true dedication and feeling I see it as a show of stupidity and selfishness, a self agrandisement and a self martyrdom. He was foolhardy to attempt to make such a big show of attesting his feelings toward my Grandmother when he had children to feed but this is precisely the sort of ridiculous lengths people will go to in order to make the grand gestures. My feeling is that if it takes a far too expensive gift to say that then there can't be any depth to the relationship to begin with. It's more a gesture of buying affection than anything else. True relationships don't need that because they stand up on their own without the need for bribes.
Killing the diamond market dead would be an absolutely wonderful thing to happen. It can't happen a moment too soon as far as I'm concerned.

jeddah
08-19-2003, 04:27 AM
One word to all you misanthropic curmudgeons; romance. :D :p

Of course it is a silly and ridiculous notion that an expensive diamond or mineral is so desirable but part of the human condition is to set up nonsensical institutions and habits.

To wit; table etiquette; using green to mean goand red as stop; cars painted colours other than red - or even any colour; fridge magnets; champagne; the gold-plating of consumer audio cable connections; designer labels and so on ad astra.

We all have our foibles. To some the lavish display of wealth is the main motivaiton for buying gems whilst for others, it is the sense of romance.

I am like EJ in that I love gems and minerals in their raw state. I collect them and find them far more beautiful to behold than a highly faceted stone that could be glass at first sight. I would much rather have an icy pink chunk of rose quartz or a rilled fragment of moldavite over a table diamond any day.

:)

jeddah

InsaneJediGirl
08-19-2003, 11:17 AM
Try explaining to a girl on a wedding day that her diamond is fake or man made. Wait you are a girl. What's going on here :crazed: ???

You dont have to tell the person you give the ring to.After all,igorance is bliss.You keep your dough,she thinks you spent thousands on the real thing ;)

Mandalorian Candidat
08-19-2003, 02:43 PM
You dont have to tell the person you give the ring to.After all,igorance is bliss.You keep your dough,she thinks you spent thousands on the real thing ;)

WOW, IJG! You must be a real treasure! I'd give you a cubic zirconium anytime. ;)

This discussion reminds me of something I heard in a chemistry class. We were talking about electrochemistry and converting metals from their ionic form to their nonionic state. It seems that several decades ago aluminum was a very valuable metal because purifying it and getting it to its actual standard metallic state from bauxite ore was difficult and expensive. People actually had "silverware" and other goods made out of pure aluminum and kept them as a sort of a treasure because of their great expense. Finally a scientist discovered a simple process of converting the oxidized metal from the ore into the actual metal and boom, the market fell overnight.

I liken this application of diamond manufacturing to the aluminum purification process. People lost fortunes due to this advancement but in the long haul we've reaped huge benefits from soda cans to cheaper and lighter alloys.

Science changes society. It's a matter of fact. We want to do and make things cheaper and faster. While some of what we come up with is very detrimental (weapons of mass destruction) but I would say most things are done with the express intent on helping people out.

If artificial diamonds cause my wife's wedding ring to tumble in value, so what. I didn't buy it as an investment cause it'll never get sold. It's the feeling behind it that counts the most.

icatch9
08-19-2003, 02:53 PM
Hey MC,

Better watch it. Your wife finds out you're makeing time with ISG you'll be on the couch for sure ;) :D.

You make good points about value behind a ring more than any price tag. Still, you know a lot of girls want that big rock to show off. It's just human nature.

I can't imagin haveing a treasure chest of alluminum. Sounds like the plot to some funny comedy movie. Interesting to say the least. I never knew alluminnium was valuable. Fun :).

Jargo
08-20-2003, 12:10 PM
I remember years ago reading a reprint of some old comic books from the fifties and they were talking about Aluminium being valuable and the aliens were exploiting the earth for the Aluminium resources, seemed really far fetched at the time I read it but I suppose it makes sense given a historical and scientific explanation. Let's not forget too that once glass was a rare commodity and as valuable to society as gold. flat clear Window panes were a rarity and a real sign of affluence. Electricity too was a rarity once and how we take advantage of it now.