The Difference Between HPHT and CVD Diamonds:
What You Need to Know
When you are shopping for diamonds that are not earth mined, you will likely come across two different types: HPHT and CVD. But what are the similarities and contrasts between these two types of diamonds? And which diamond is right for you?
In this blog post, we will discuss how HPHT and CVD diamonds are alike and dissimilar, as well as provide you with some tips on how to choose the right diamond for your needs.
What is a lab-grown diamond?
A lab-grown or man-made diamond is created using two different methods, High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) or Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).
HPHT diamonds arise from a process similar to how a natural diamond is created. Meanwhile, CVD diamonds are created through the interaction of chemical components.
Compared to naturally occurring or mined diamonds, lab-grown diamonds have a variety of benefits.
Lab-grown diamonds are environmentally friendly because they do not require mining. Over the last several years, consumers have become more aware of issues surrounding natural diamond mining
If you are concerned about your diamond’s origins, lab-grown diamonds may be a good choice for you.
They also tend to be less expensive than natural diamonds. The technology for growing them is also constantly improving. This means their color and clarity have the ability to match that of natural diamonds.
The difference between lab grown and natural diamonds
Both HPHT and CVD lab grown diamonds are physically, chemically, and optically identical to natural diamonds. High quality lab grown diamonds can be so similar in appearance to mined diamonds that even experts need to look at them under a loupe to tell the difference.
This is why it may not be strictly accurate to refer to lab grown diamonds as fake or synthetic. They just weren’t taken out of the ground.
This means they are not like cubic zirconia or moissanite, which have different chemical structures to mined diamonds.
They also use the same 4C categorization system of mined diamonds: Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat.
Perhaps the most significant advantage they have over the natural diamond is that they take weeks to a few months to make instead of millions of years to form.
What does this mean?
This signifies two things. The first is that a lab created diamond will be cheaper than a natural diamond. That’s because they can be produced much faster than natural ones.
The second is that this has implications for future value of the diamonds. Because of the supply of natural diamonds is relatively limited, they retain their value over time better than lab diamonds.
How are HPHT diamonds made?
HPHT stands for high pressure, high temperature. This, in essence, the way they are made. In the HPHT process, diamonds are created by subjecting a small diamond seed to high pressure and high temperature.
The diamond seed is placed in a chamber, which is then exposed to temperatures of around 1500 degrees Celsius and pressures of around 60,000 atmospheres. The conditions mimic those found deep in the Earth, where natural diamonds are formed. Over a period of weeks or months, the HPHT diamond grows larger as more pure carbon is added.
How are CVD diamonds made?
CVD diamonds are created in a controlled environment using plasma technology.
A small diamond seed is placed in a chamber and exposed to a stream of carbon-containing gas. In the CVD process, this gas breaks down and deposits thin layers of carbon onto the diamond.
These slowly build up over time into a larger diamond.
Lab grown diamonds: What's the difference between HPHT and CVD
Not all lab-grown diamonds are created equal. HPHT and CVD diamonds differ in a number of ways.
Firstly, HPHT diamonds tend to be of a higher quality than CVD diamonds. This is because it is easier to control the conditions during the HPHT development process.
In fact, labs often use the HPHT process on CVD diamonds after they are developed to improve them further.
When coming to color and clarity, an HPHT diamond will also often be superior to a CVD diamond. This is because an HPHT diamond grows in 14 different directions, while a CVD diamond grows only in one. This affects the ability to refract light.
Because of these factors, HPHTs tend to be more expensive than CVD diamonds. While the process to make them may be easier to control, it is still more difficult and time-consuming.
HPHT diamonds are also typically smaller than CVD diamonds.
Meanwhile, CVDs are more widely available than HPHT diamonds because the CVD process is less expensive and easier to scale.
Which one should you get?
Now that you know the difference between HPHT and CVD, it’s time to decide which one is right for you. Here are a few things you can keep in mind when you’re ready to go looking:
CVD diamonds tend to be less expensive than HPHT diamonds, so if you’re working with a tight budget, CVD may be the way to go.
The quality of the diamond
If you’re looking for a high-quality diamond, then HPHT is the better option.
The size of the diamond
If you’re looking for a large diamond, then CVD is the way to go. The chemical
The availability of the diamond
CVD diamonds are more widely available than HPHT diamonds.
A diamond by any other name shines just as brightly
Ultimately, the decision to get an HPHT or CVD diamond comes down to your personal preferences. Consider what’s important to you and make your decision accordingly.
Do your research and ask a lot of questions before making a purchase. With lab-grown diamonds, you have the opportunity to get exactly what you want without breaking the bank.
Picking your jeweler
When you’re considering where to get your diamonds to commemorate that special occasion, don’t forget the jeweler matters. Here are some tips to help you pick a company you’ll have a great experience with:
Make sure your jeweler is registered
You would go to a doctor who wasn’t a certified practitioner in his field. You wouldn’t eat at a restaurant that wasn’t certified by the Board of Health. Why go to a jeweler who isn’t registered with a reputable organization?
You can ask your jeweler who they are registered with. However, most companies have their certification publicly displayed.
Reputable companies will often have an online presence. Their real-world contact details will be clearly stated. If they have social media or a blog, it also tends to be regularly updated.
Check out their website and social media to see if their values align with yours. If you don’t feel comfortable after viewing, the company may be wrong for you.
Look for transparency
A good jeweler will be open, honest and transparent about where their diamonds come from and how they are sourced.
They should also have a returns policy in place in case you’re not happy with your purchase.
They are not about the hard sell
Have you ever been to a store and got the distinct impression that they didn’t care about you? They were just focused on trying to sell you something, preferably the most expensive thing they could get you to buy.
A quality jeweler will respect what you want and will advise you on what to purchase based on your requirements, and not what they believe you need.
They have a good reputation
When coming to things like jewelry, people tend to buy based on word of mouth. Ultimately, you go with the person your friends and family speak most positively about.
It pays to listen since they have what you don’t: experience. If someone says they’ve had a bad experience with a jeweler, chances are, it’s not an isolated incident.
They’ll help you understand
HPHT vs CVD … chemical vapor deposition … are they really similar to a natural diamond … These are all terms and questions that a quality jeweler will explain and answer for you.
This is good, especially in case of CVD and HPHT diamonds, where there can be a lot of misconceptions.
The “Finer” things in life …
When it comes to lab-grown diamonds, the most important thing is that you end up with a diamond that you love and will cherish for years to come.
Here at Finer Custom Jewelry, you can have the finest in both HPHT and CVD diamonds. Whether you’re thinking about getting a wedding ring, or an engagement ring, we’re sure to have the perfect diamond for you.
We only work with the best in the business to bring you diamonds that will last a lifetime. Our team will work with you to craft a piece of jewelry that is as unique as you are.
Visit our website or give us a call today to learn more about our lab-grown diamonds and how we can help you find the perfect one for your needs.
Still have more questions? Our experts are here to help. Contact us today at Finer Custom Jewelry and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions.