Research published by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has predicted a “significant” rise in the number of high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) synthetic diamonds to enter the market.
The announcement follows a visit in early March 2016, where researchers visited a diamond factory in China and obtained 50 crystals ranging from about 0.5-carats to 1.2-carats.
All of the crystals – which were examined using the same instrumentation and techniques applied to diamonds submitted to the association for grading – exhibited the typical characteristics of HPHT growth and were identified as synthetic.
The crystals were basically colourless with only a few metallics inclusions observed, the GIA said.
In the report published on its website, the GIA said: “High-pressure, high-temperature technology for gem diamond synthesis has made rapid progress in the last few years.
“It is now being used to produce many melee-size diamonds around 2–3 mm in diameter and large colorless single crystals, all with significantly improved quality and growth rate.”
The GIA added that while the total production volume remains unclear, the discovery is “undoubtedly significant” and capacity is “likely” to expand in the near future.