Pencil lead is made of graphite, which is a type of carbon. Under intense heat and pressure, graphite can transform into diamonds. So, it stands to reason that you could microwaves pencil lead to make diamonds, right?
Wrong. Microwaving pencil lead will not turn it into diamonds. In fact, it will probably just ruin your microwave. So, if you’re looking for cheap diamonds, you’re going to have to look elsewhere.
- From Pencil Lead in Microwave to Diamonds – Is It Possible?
- How Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Made?
- Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Cheaper Than Natural Diamonds?
- Can You Turn Peanut Butter Into a Diamond?
- Lab-Grown Diamonds vs Natural Diamonds?
- What Happens When You Test a Lab-Grown Diamond?
- What Can Go In The Microwave?
- The Wrap Up
From Pencil Lead in Microwave to Diamonds – Is It Possible?
No can do, chief. At least it isn’t possible at home. Microwaves were made to work with water molecules, not the graphitic carbon in pencils.
Plus, microwaving a pencil would probably cause a fire (wood and graphite won’t work well in a microwave). And finally, the temperature of boiling water doesn’t even come close to comparing to the amount of heat you would need to turn graphite into diamonds.
No matter how high temperatures your microwave can generate, typical lab-grown diamonds require gas such as methane. This one is a big NO! Kids, do not try this at home.
How Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Made?
Here’s the funny thing. Some lab-grown diamonds ARE made in a microwave. But not the kind of microwave you have at your house.
And not even the kind of microwaves they have at Applebees. We’re talking about high-temperature lab microwaves that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Diamonds are grown in a lab by placing a small amount of carbon (diamonds) with a methane gas mixture. There are no pencil tips involved.
The gas mixture is heated to high temperatures in the microwave to produce a plasma ball. Inside this, the gas breaks down and the carbon atoms crystallize and accumulate on the diamond seed, causing it to grow.
Lab-grown diamonds are also made using a process more typical of how they are formed naturally in the earth. Carbon is placed in a controlled environment and extreme heat and pressure are applied to mimic the process that happens underground.
The process of making lab-grown diamonds can take up to 10 weeks, but it’s so effective that experts reportedly can’t tell the difference between them and natural diamonds sourced from mines.
Are Lab-Grown Diamonds Cheaper Than Natural Diamonds?
Lab-grown diamonds can be up to 50% cheaper than natural mined diamonds. We compared some available diamonds to test this out. And the results were about what we expeected.
Full carat lab grown diamond earrings for a fraction of the cost of real diamond earrings.
These lab-grown diamonds are a fraction of the price of similar size and clarity natural diamonds below. Both are would make a great gift, but you do still pay extra for natural diamonds.
Natural Diamond Earrings
Can You Turn Peanut Butter Into a Diamond?
Peanut butter is a carbon-rich food. Diamonds are made from extremely high temperatures and pressure. In theory, if you had a lab you could turn peanut butter into a diamond. The same could be said about the graphite in pencil lead.
The process could take weeks or months, but it is possible. The real problem is that the type of microwave you need to buy to do this process will cost much more than just buying a diamond itself.
Microwaves are sensitive – Find out more here: Can You Put A Metal Bowl In The Microwave?
Lab-Grown Diamonds vs Natural Diamonds?
Lab-created diamonds are created in a fraction of the time it takes for natural diamonds to form (weeks vs millions of years). They are made from extremely high-temperature carbon growing and compressing.
Lab-grown diamonds often have a better shape and more clarity. This is because the in-lab process can easily control the quality of the diamond whereas mined diamonds experience a much rougher process.
What Happens When You Test a Lab-Grown Diamond?
After so much talk about lab-grown diamonds being affordable such a great deal, a nightmare scenario popped up in my head. What if someone bought their significant other a lab grown diamond, only to have it tested by someone with a device like below. What would the result be?
Rest easy lads. A genuine lab-grown diamond will still test positive since it is a REAL diamond. Just because the process is different doesn’t mean that it isn’t real.
A diamond tester checks a stone’s thermal and electrical conductivity. A stone like cubic zirconium would test negative using the diamond tester above. However, a lab-grown diamond would still test positive. The GIA even grades lab-grown diamonds, and they have been since 2007.
What Can Go In The Microwave?
Definitely not candles. If you’re wondering whether that dish you just pulled out of the oven is microwave safe, don’t worry – most glass, ceramic and heatproof dishware is just fine.
The same goes for oven cooking bags, baskets made of straw and wood (without metal), wax paper, parchment paper and vented plastic bags. Just be sure to check that any paper products you’re using are specifically approved for microwave cooking.
The Wrap Up
Microwaving pencil lead will not turn it into diamonds. In fact, it will probably just ruin your microwave. Plus, microwaving a pencil would probably cause a fire (wood and graphite won’t work well in a microwave). It isn’t even close.
We talked about lab-grown diamonds and the process behind. Some things are best left for the professionals.