Even us guys like to to sparkle now and then. Catering for men is one of the driving forces behind the current success of the diamond industry. But with this...

But bling’s love of sparklers may be about to be overturned. Everyone will be able to bling soon, because the man-made diamond (no, not diamante) has arrived. While their rarity, together with a tightly controlled supply, has ensured that real diamonds have remained covetable, new technology is allowing diamonds to be synthesised for the first time. Microwave plasma tools more typically used to create diamonds for high-temperature semi-conductor experiments have now been employed to mimic the conditions – around 2,200degF in temperature and 50,000atmospheres of pressure – that crystallises humble lumps of carbon in the expensive sparklers. Scientists, and entrepreneurs, have been attempting to do so since the 50s, when tiny diamond crystals were first produced to coat cutting tools.

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