Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) creates diamonds that use a carbon-containing gas and oxygen. The mixture is excited at high temperatures and pressures to create the diamond’s active diamond carbon atoms. These carbon atoms are deposited on a substrate and grow into polycrystalline diamonds in alternating directions. These diamonds are chemically identical to natural diamonds, despite their name.
A diamond’s cut, color, clarity, carat weight, and fluorescence are all graded during CVD processing. CVD diamonds, like natural diamonds, can develop flaws during the growing process. As a result, finding a completely flawless CVD diamond is extremely rare. Some are heavily included and have minor flaws that are not visible to the naked eye. The structure of a CVD diamond can range from colorless to having slight inclusions. As a result, purchasing a certificate to confirm its type is required
The development process is time-consuming. A seed, a small slice of diamond or graphite, is used in the CVD diamond process. After that, a chamber is filled with specific gases, and the diamond’s surface will be formed using these gases. A third-party laboratory will cut, polish, and certify the diamond. After that, the CVD diamond is sold on the diamond market. When you buy a diamond from a jeweler, they will scrutinize it and look for the best diamond possible. Jewelers look for diamond beauty and value in addition to its official certification.
Diamonds are created by CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition). CVD diamonds are often met with blank stares and raised eyebrows from those unfamiliar with the term; most people have no idea (or an incorrect understanding) of what CVD diamonds are. This is because CVD is not an acronym that most people outside of the diamond industry are familiar with. And that’s a shame because CVD diamonds are worth looking into for anyone interested in diamonds, their environmental and social impact, and their cost, among other things.
We’ve put together this CVD-Diamond FAQ to help you out. The information provided here will explain what makes these stones unique and how to select the best CVD-diamond option for your specific requirements.
Some diamonds are mined from below ground, while others are mined from the surface. CVD diamonds are diamonds that humans have created. CVD diamonds are grown in laboratories instead of natural diamonds, which are formed deep beneath the Earth’s surface over billions of years. CVD diamonds, to be precise, are created through a unique process known as Chemical Vapor Deposition (or CVD).
CVD Diamonds Cost
Everything is relative when it comes to cost. So, when we say CVD diamonds are inexpensive, they cost about 20%–30% less than mined diamonds. So, for the same price as a 1.5-carat mined diamond, you could get a 2-carat CVD diamond instead. This is due to three factors in particular. The exorbitant cost of digging deep holes in the ground.
The extended supply chain that comes with mined diamonds and the history of monopolistic pricing manipulation. Natural diamonds must be found, extracted from the ground or seabed floor, shipped and sold to cutters, wholesalers, jewelry fabricators, and finally distributed through independent retailers and large diamond chains with large rents and advertising budgets. In 2020, the Diamond Producers Association planned to spend more than $180 million persuading consumers to buy mined diamonds instead of lab-grown diamonds. The costs rise dramatically due to all of these steps on the way to you. CVD diamonds avoid most of this, resulting in a much lower price tag.
That isn’t to say that CVD diamonds aren’t valuable; they most certainly are. After all, these are diamonds in every sense of the word. CVD diamonds are frequently used in engagement rings and other jewelry pieces to stunning effect. Check out how Clean Origin compares to other artificial brands below to get a better idea of how much you can expect to pay for CVD and other lab-grown diamonds.
The Advantages of CVD Diamonds
- Compared to the cost of mining and transporting a natural diamond — not to mention the additional human and environmental costs associated with diamond mining — creating a CVD diamond is significantly lower.
- The cost of mining diamonds from the ground exceeds the value of the diamonds themselves. The environmental and ethical issues associated with diamond mining have a long-term negative impact on people and the environment worldwide. Mined diamonds, sometimes referred to as “conflict diamonds” (or even “blood diamonds“), may be illegally traded to fund conflict in war-torn areas. Some diamond mines are operated under appalling working conditions, resulting in worker injuries and even human rights violations in some cases.
- Must also consider environmental concerns; for every carat of natural diamond extracted from the ground, nearly 100 square feet of land is disturbed, and nearly 6000 pounds of mineral waste is produced.
- CVD diamonds are not mined; they are created in laboratories. They are not being used to finance armed conflict. Furthermore, they generate almost no mineral waste. Therefore, they provide some pretty significant advantages over natural diamonds (even if these advantages are only visible under a microscope).
Lab Diamond Clarity
- Despite the fact that they are not formed in the earth’s crust, lab diamonds are every bit as beautiful as their natural counterparts. Their physical, optical, and chemical properties are identical in both instances. As a result, distinguishing between the two can be nearly impossible!
Diamonds, both naturally occurring and grown in a laboratory, are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Traditional white diamonds (which are actually clear diamonds) are particularly popular, despite their appearance. These glistening gems can be found in jewelry such as necklaces, earrings, and rings (especially engagement rings).
- The method by which laboratory diamonds are created can have an impact on the clarity of the gem. To get a better understanding of how high-quality jewels are created, let’s take a look at the creation process. HPHT (High Pressure, High Temperature) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) are the two methods available (CVD).
- HPHT diamonds are manufactured using one of three different manufacturing methods, which are as follows. The belt press, the cubic press, and the split-sphere (BARS) press are all types of presses that are used to generate the high pressure and temperature necessary to promote diamond growth in the laboratory.
- A CVD diamond begins as a sliver of a diamond seed that has been vaporized. In order to warm the seed, it is placed in a chamber that is approximately 800 degrees. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, such as methane, permeate the chamber as a result of this. In the following step, plasma technology is used to ionize the seed, after which the addition of pure carbon causes it to crystallize.
- Although HPHT and CVD diamonds have distinctly different gemological compositions, both processes result in the creation of a one-of-a-kind stone. CVD diamonds may contain silicon inclusions, and HPHT diamonds are rarely completely colorless due to the nature of the process.
CVD Diamond Engagement Ring 14K White Gold Leaf Flower Ring Lab Grown Diamond Ring
This CVD diamond engagement ring was designed by Camellia Jewelry. This floral Engagement Ring with a 0.50 Ct. round cut lab-grown diamond by Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is the perfect balance of style and grace. It can be worn as a modern fashion statement or as a promise ring for the life that is yet to come.
Are CVD Diamonds and Cubic Zirconias the Same Thing?
To put it bluntly, CVD diamonds are not the same as cubic zirconias. CVD diamonds are atomically identical to mined diamonds and are composed entirely of pure crystalline carbon. CVD diamonds are the most valuable type of diamond. On the other hand, Cubic zirconias are merely imitation stones that are designed to appear to be diamonds on the surface only. Cubic zirconias are made from zirconium dioxide, synthetic zirconium dioxide rather than carbon. Cubic zirconias may appear to be diamonds to the untrained eye, but they do not sparkle nearly as brightly as a diamond when viewed under a microscope. CVD diamonds are diamonds, no matter what.
Cubic zirconia is not the same thing as a diamond, and it is merely a diamond simulant, meaning it has a similar appearance but is not identical to a diamond. Cubic zirconia contains no carbon, whereas diamonds (both mined and grown) are entirely composed of the chemical element carbon.
What is the Process of Creating CVD Diamonds?
CVD diamonds are created through a process that is both unique and innovative. Chemical vapor deposition is when a thin diamond ‘seed’ is placed inside a sealed chamber and subjected to extremely high temperatures (generally around 800 degrees Celsius). It is then introduced into the chamber with a carbon-rich gas mixture (typically a mixture of hydrogen and methane). The gases are ionized, causing their molecular bonds to break down, allowing pure carbon to attach to the diamond seed and grow into a diamond. After a certain amount of carbon has built up, it forms atomic bonds with the seed diamond, resulting in the formation of a new, larger diamond that is entirely identical to the diamonds found in nature.
What is the Growth Rate of CVD Diamonds?
The CVD process allows carbon atoms to attach to the seed diamond layer by layer, allowing the diamond to grow in size. This results in a stunning, natural diamond of exceptional quality. Nonetheless, the process is laborious and slow, moving at a rate of 0.1-10 microns per hour for larger surfaces on average (smaller surfaces grow at slower rates). Various estimates have been made, but it is generally agreed that it takes approximately one month to grow a 1ct CVD diamond.
Is it True that CVD Diamonds are Flawless?
You’d think that a lab-grown CVD diamond would naturally be flawless. After all, it’s made under controlled circumstances. Even though the average CVD diamond is likely to be of higher quality than the average mined diamond, CVDs still have a wide range of quality. This is because the processes that produce diamonds in nature are essentially the same in the lab. And, just like natural diamonds, there’s a certain amount of chance involved.
As a result, once CVD diamonds have completed their growth, they undergo the same certification process as mined diamonds. Qualified diamond certification labs measure and grade the diamonds’ color, cut, clarity, and carat (the 4 Cs), and each diamond is given an overall grade.
What are CVD Diamonds, and are they Real Diamonds?
The carbon atoms and natural gas that make up natural diamonds found deep within the Earth’s crust are combined to form a CVD diamond. Even though CVD diamonds are synthetic, they are chemically identical to naturally occurring diamonds. A natural diamond is composed of carbon and is the hardest natural substance known to man on the planet. Natural diamonds are formed over one to three billion years, at a depth of at least 85 miles below the surface of the Earth’s mantle, under natural conditions of extremely high pressure and extreme heat.
Are CVD Diamonds Prohibitively Expensive?
They’re virtually identical in appearance, and they’re both equally durable. Diamonds mined from the Earth are formed over millions of years, and diamonds grown in a laboratory can be formed in as little as 6 to 10 weeks! That manufacturing foot is extremely expensive due to the high cost of the machinery, materials, and highly skilled personnel required.
While lab-grown diamonds are still expensive when compared to, for example, an iPhone, they are approximately 50% less expensive than a comparable mined diamond in terms of price. For example, a 2-carat lab-created diamond might cost around $10,000, while a 2-carat mined diamond might cost $22,000.
CVD diamonds are made using a highly specialized scientific process that has taken decades to perfect. It can produce diamonds of high quality while using very little energy. A diamond seed crystal is placed in a vacuum chamber to start the process. After that, natural gas is pumped into the chamber, decomposing into carbon atoms. Carbon atoms are deposited on the diamond seed crystal by these carbon atoms. The crystal is subjected to high temperatures and pressures to remove any coloration. As electrodes, CVD diamonds can be used. Element Six has already created a simple prototype device using a p-type diamond, an excellent semiconductor. The production of n-type diamonds is much more difficult. Boron-doped single-crystal diamond wafers, on the other hand, are a tremendous p-type semiconductor. Because n-type diamonds are much more challenging to make, they have not yet been used in electronics.