The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.

Pure Grown Lab-Created Diamonds as heard on KNBR with Bob Fitzgerald.

We are proud to be the San Francisco Peninsula's exclusive distributor of Pure Grown Diamonds and have radio host Bob Fitzgerald help us let KNBR listeners know about the availability of this technological breakthrough. Please visit us at Topper's in Burlingame to view these beautiful diamonds for yourself. Pure grown diamonds are getting an ever increasing amount of attention. Check out this interview with Russ Caplan about the technology with the studio team of KTVU news.

How are Pure Grown Diamonds made?

Pure Grown diamonds are grown in Singapore in the largest "Diamond Growing Greenhouse" in the world.

  • The process starts with placing a small wafer of diamond, known as the "diamond seed," in the bottom of a low-pressure microwave chamber.
  • Hydrogen and methane gases are released in the chamber.
  • Energy is introduced in the chamber, igniting a plasma ball.
  • From this firestorm, carbon molecules hail down on the seed and start to build up into a diamond.
  • The diamond crystal "grows" on the seed and is then cut into the beautiful finished diamonds we sell.
  • The process takes 6-10 weeks and once matured, the diamonds are cut, polished, and certified.

Examples from our large selection of Pure Grown Diamonds* vs a similar natural mined diamonds* from our inventory:

  • .79 ct. F color, SI2 clarity $2200 .80 ct. H color, SI1 clarity natural $4500.
  • 1.02 ct, H color, SI1 clarity $3500, 1.02 ct., G color, SI2 clarity natural $5500.
  • 1.42 ct., H color, SI2 clarity $4000. 1.40 ct,, H color, SI2 clarity natural $7600.
  • 1.73 ct., G color, SI1 clarity $8900. 1.71 ct., H color, VS2 clarity natural $17,500.
  • 2.53 ct H color, SI1 clarity $12500. 2.30 I color, VS2 clarity natural $23,400.

Note, all diamonds are certified and are Excellent cut grade. All diamonds are one of a kind and availability is subject to prior sale. If sold, a similar diamond can be substituted at a similar price. All diamonds are certified. Natural diamonds have GIA or AGS. Additional detail furnished upon request.

Fancy shape Pure Grown lab created diamonds* from our inventory. Comparable Natural stones would be approximately 40% more.

  • 2.02 carat H color, VS1 clarity cushion cut $13,500.
  • 2.00 carat H color, VS1 clarity oval cut $13,200.
  • 1.73 carat I color, VS1 clarity princess cut $5150.
  • 1.58 ct. F color, VS2 clarity cushion shape $8600.
  • 1.51 ct. H color, SI1 clarity princess cut $6600.
  • 1.42 ct J color, VS2 clarity cushion shape $3900.
  • 1.09 ct. E color, VS2 clarity emerald cut $4300.
  • 1.05 ct. G color, SI1 clarity princess cut $3800
  • .75 ct. I color, SI2 princess cut diamond $1400.

Diamond Earrings* (Set in a 14 karat white gold basket setting.) Comparable natural diamonds would be 4% more

  • .72 carat total weight, J color, SI2 clarity $1000.
  • 1.00 ct. total weight, J color, SI2 clarity $1900.
  • 1.20 ct. total weight, J color, SI1 clarity $ 2150.
  • 1.47 ct total weight, J color, VVS1 clarity $2800.
  • 2.04 ct. total weight, I color, SI1 clarity $6800.

*Note, All diamonds are certified and all are subject to prior sale. While each diamond is unique, similar diamonds are available at around the same price if sold.

From Russ, Topper's Diamond Buyer:

"I've been a diamond buyer for our family business since the early 1980s. While lab-created diamonds were first invented in the 50's, until very recently only diamonds for industrial use were produced in any kind of quantity. Gem quality stones have only recently become a reality.

"Lab-Grown diamonds ARE diamonds. They are crystallized carbon with the same chemical composition, and the same sparkle, fire, and brilliance as earth grown diamonds."

"They are not simulants, they are Diamonds. Lab-Grown diamonds and mined diamonds have identical properties. Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, White Sapphires, and YAG are stones often used to simulate diamonds. All of those stones have a different refractive index, dispersion, hardness, and density than diamonds. They may look similar to a diamond, but because they have different properties (as seen in the chart below), they do not have the same sparkle, hardness, or density."

"Lab-grown diamonds have many compelling benefits over earth grown diamonds. Consider the following:

  1. They are high-tech. (Turning carbon gas into crystals is a very compelling bit of modern alchemy.)
  2. They are environmentally friendly. (There is no chance these came out of an ugly strip mine.)
  3. They are conflict free.
  4. They do not rely on subsistence level workers
  5. They are 30-40% less expensive than earth grown diamonds."

Can anyone tell a Pure Grown diamond apart from a natural earth grown diamond?

Each Pure Grown diamond is laser inscribed with "Lab Grown" and a serial number which will read "LG," followed by a number. Apart from these inscriptions which can only be seen under magnification, the gems are indistinguishable from earth grown diamonds, Without the inscriptions, even a trained expert using magnification can't tell them apart. The only way to definitively tell them apart from natural stones is with Gemological grade equipment that identifies the growth patterns of the stones.

If I come into Topper to see the diamonds, what shapes and sizes will be presented?

We feature loose diamonds that are most commonly used in engagement rings, and matched pairs of diamond stud earrings. We also mount lab-grown diamonds in pendants, bracelets, or other jewelry items where our clients want a beautiful diamond that is conflict free, environmentally friendly, and a strong value.

When I visit Topper, will I be able to compare them to Earth Grown diamonds?

Yes, we also specialize in beautifully cut earth grown diamonds at great prices. You will be able to view them side by side, and see what you think. We believe that looking at fine quality lab created diamonds next to their natural counterparts is a very important part of the buying process.

When can I visit Topper Jewelers?

We're open Monday through Saturday 10-5:30 PM PST. Topper Jewelers is a third generation family run business that started in 1940. Our entire team is dedicated to doing our best to make your experience with us fun and satisfying. We hope you'll be impressed not just with our loose diamonds, but also with our large selection of designer and custom rings. You'll be able to view Tacori, Danhov, Steven Kretchmer, True Romance, Scott Kay, Marco Bicego, Roberto Coin and many other brands. We look forward meeting you!

The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.