Recent trends in the preparation of synthetic diamonds, relying on the influence of surface forces exerted by the diamond seed crystal on the carbon deposition processes, are discussed. Epitaxial synthesis can occur from carbon-containing gases or from molten metals. Foreign publications and patents are discussed as well as the work of Soviet scientists. The preparation and properties of filamentary and of isometric diamond crystals, prepared at low pressures for the first time, are also discussed. 22 references.