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Lab-Grown Diamonds (LGDs) and Upanishads


During the PM of India’s inaugural state visit to the US, he gifted the US President, Biden, and his wife with several presents. These gifts included a 7.5 carat lab-grown diamond and a first edition print of the book The Ten Principal Upanishads, published in 1937.


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What are lab grown diamonds?
  2. How are LDGs produced?
  3. What are Lab-Grown Diamonds (LDGs) used for?
  4. Upanishads

What are lab grown diamonds?

  • Lab grown diamonds are diamonds that are produced using specific technology which mimics the geological processes that grow natural diamonds.
  • They are not the same as “diamond simulants” – LDGs are chemically, physically and optically diamond and thus are difficult to identify as “lab grown.”
  • While materials such as Moissanite, Cubic Zirconia (CZ), White Sapphire, YAG, etc. are “diamond simulants” that simply attempt to “look” like a diamond, they lack the sparkle and durability of a diamond and are thus easily identifiable.
  • However, differentiating between an LDG and an Earth Mined Diamond is hard, with advanced equipment required for the purpose.

How are LDGs produced?

  • The most common (and cheapest) is the “High pressure, high temperature” (HPHT) method.
  • As the name suggests, this method requires extremely heavy presses that can produce up to 730,000 psi of pressure under extremely high temperatures (at least 1500 celsius).
  • Usually graphite is used as the “diamond seed” and when subjected to these extreme conditions, the relatively inexpensive form of carbon turns into one of the most expensive carbon forms.
  • Other processes include “Chemical Vapor Deposition” (CVD) and explosive formation that creates what are known as “detonation nanodiamonds”.

What are Lab-Grown Diamonds (LDGs) used for?

  • LDGs have properties similar to natural diamonds, including their optical dispersion which gives them the diamond sheen.
  • They are often used for industrial purposes in machines and tools due to their hardness and extra strength.
  • LDGs have high thermal conductivity but negligible electrical conductivity which makes them valuable for electronics.
  • With the depletion of natural diamonds, LDGs are becoming a replacement for the precious gemstone in the jewelry industry.
  • The growth in production of LDGs does not affect India’s established diamond industry that involves polishing and cutting of diamonds.


  • Categories of Hindu Sacred Texts: Hindu sacred texts are divided into two main categories: shruti (the revealed) and smriti (the remembered).
  • Authority of Shruti: Shruti texts are considered the most authoritative and include the 4 Vedas (Rig, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva) along with accompanying texts such as Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads.
  • Less Authoritative Texts: The second category, smriti, is derived from shruti but is considered less authoritative. Examples include the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, Dharmashastras, and Puranas.
  • The Upanishads/Vedanta: The Upanishads, dating from 800-500 BC, mark the end of the Vedic period and are philosophical texts that delve into concepts such as transmigration, which are central to Hindu tradition today.
  • Atman and Brahman: The Upanishads explore the relationship between the atman (the individual’s distinct, unchanging self) and the brahman (the ultimate reality in the universe).
  • Conduct and Birth: According to the Chandogya Upanishad, those who exhibit good conduct in life will attain a good birth, such as that of a brahman, kshatriya, or vaishya.
  • Significance in Hindu Theology: The Upanishads gained particular importance in Hindu theology through the interpretations of 8th-century scholar Adi Shankara, who synthesized the Advaita Vedanta tradition.
  • Principal Upanishads: There are ten main or principal Upanishads, including Esha, Kena, Katha, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya, Aitareya, Chandogya, and Brihadaranyaka.

-Source: Indian express

June 2024