Modern chemistry and physics are full of attempts to imitate natural events in a lab. Everything from lightening to giving life. In some cases, the desire is to advance science by gaining understanding. In other cases, there is a financial drive. One of the most basic (and futile) attempts to create wealth by imitating nature was the drive to generate gold.
In the Middle Ages, alchemists tried to turn lead into gold. Lead was an inexpensive metal, while gold was and remains very valuable and a traded commodity. Success meant creating wealth. Similarly, scientists made serious efforts to imitate the natural process that creates diamonds. In the late 19th century, some of these efforts garnered some success. However, the important breakthroughs came only in the mid-20th century at the labs of General Electric in New York, where the first High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) machine was invented by Tracy Hall.