Lab created diamonds, also known as man-made diamonds, have been around for decades and are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to mined diamonds. The two main types of lab created diamonds are CVD diamonds and HPHT diamonds. While these two types are both lab grown, they are very different in appearance and other factors such as price and the method of production used. The following guide will help you understand the differences between CVD and HPHT lab created diamonds, so you can make an informed decision on which one best fits your needs.
CVD diamonds are created in a lab diamonds through a chemical vapor deposition process that essentially melts carbon under extremely high pressure. The process then allows solid diamond to form and harden on an existing diamond seed crystal. As a result, CVD diamonds come with all of the same certifications and quality standards as mined diamonds. There is one important difference between CVD diamonds and mined diamonds—and that is cost. A CVD diamond will typically cost less than half as much as its natural counterpart because they're created in mass quantities within labs around North America and Europe. In addition, most mined diamonds are not 100% white but instead have other hues mixed into them, usually blue or yellow; lab-created diamonds are pure white without any impurities.
When you start your research on lab created diamonds, you’ll quickly learn that there are two main types: CVD and HPHT. But what exactly do those letters mean? CVD diamonds—or carbon vapor deposition diamonds—are formed in a vacuum chamber where carbon atoms are deposited onto a seed diamond or other synthetic material. The HPHT process is similar to CVD but involves placing a small stone inside a horizontal pressure chamber and then heating it up with hydrogen gas while stirring. Both processes take time, though they vary depending on budget: $200K-plus is common for high-quality CVD stones, while HPHT costs between $60K-$100K per carat in smaller sizes. With price tags like these, lab created diamonds can get pretty expensive!