How to Make CVD Diamonds

Carbon "rains" onto diamond seeds
Carbon "rains" onto diamond seeds (Image: Apollo)

You make CVD diamonds by growing them, and it takes about a day. That's right, a day to grow your very own bling. But you probably won't be doing that, unless you can duplicate the scientific process called Chemical Vapor Disposition which makes diamonds grow from seeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Contaminant control outfit
  • Boots
  • Hair cap
  • Goggles
  • CVD reactor
  • Hot filament or plasma
  • Gases
  • Diamond seeds or wafers

Protect yourself by wearing a contaminant control outfit including goggles, a hair cap and boots.

Place a diamond seed crystal in the CVD reactor. (It's okay to use a synthetic diamond.)

Inject methane and hydrogen gas to flow through the chamber.

Produce heat in the chamber with a microwave-generated plasma or a hot filament to cause the hydrogen gas to split into atomic hydrogen, which will then react with the methane. This will free carbon to form a plasma cloud.

Wait for the plasma cloud to rain carbon onto the diamond wafers or seeds.This will form new diamond bonds, carbon to carbon.

Allow the diamond wafer seeds to gradually grow into diamond minibricks. Every day, they will build up about a half a millimeter.

Remove diamond minibricks from the chamber. Slice them into wafers for industrial use as semi conductors or cut gems and polish them for use in jewelry.

Tips & Warnings

  • CVD stones have identical atomic structure to earth-formed, mined diamonds. They are real diamonds, physically, optically and chemically. In fact, they have fewer impurities than diamonds pushed out from the center of the earth over eons.
  • Do not think of CVD diamonds as "fakes." The DeBeers diamond cartel has controlled the supply of natural, mined diamonds for over a hundred years, to keep prices up. The advent of CVD diamonds can drastically lower the value of natural diamonds. Industry groups are trying to get the Federal Trade Commission to require that CVD diamonds be labeled "synthetic," which they are not.

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