A CVD diamond also known as Chemical Vapour Deposition diamond or a lab grown diamond is made with the help of a synthetic process as opposed to Natural Diamond or mined diamond which is generated with the help of a physical process. It is a method of producing diamond at a lesser cost. On the other hand the diamond which is finally produced is no less than the diamond obtained through the geological process also knows as the natural diamond.
The answer is a big NO. They are very much like real diamonds i.e. mined diamonds. The only difference is that they are produced above the earth’s crust in Laboratories and the mined or natural diamonds are formed below the earth’s crust. Both of them contain same chemical, optical and physical properties.
There are two methods of producing a CVD Diamond. One method is the HPHT or High Pressure High Temperature process and the other is the CVD or the Chemical Vapour Deposition method. The HPHT method is relatively costly when compared to the CVD method.
It is quite true that a natural diamond goes through hundreds of years through a remarkable geological journey before it reaches your ring finger. In the other case the Lab grown diamond or the synthetic diamond is also a painstaking effort in laboratories and goes through very complex processes before it is converted into a synthetic diamond.
The former process is almost the natural process. The equipment used in this process is costly. Diamonds which are produced by this method are mostly brownish or yellowish in colour. In the CVD method use of moderate temperature and pressure takes place which also requires tools which are less costly. It produces Yellow or Blue CVD diamonds if boron or nitrogen is introduced into the chamber.
More technically the carbon seed which is a tiny piece of natural diamond is placed in a vacuum chamber filled with carbon rich gas like methane which is further heated to high temperature to produce a shining plasma ball. The gas is then exposed to microwave which further gives energy to plasma and further helps in breaking the molecules of methane and allowing the now-free carbon atoms to crystallize and accumulate themselves on the diamond seed one atom at a time. The growth happens slowly which means that the process to produce a big enough diamond can take several weeks but you do get a real demand finally.
Many of the CVD diamonds were initially black or brown but scientists changed the gases in the machine and when they treated these gases at high temperature and pressure they could create colour less diamonds. That is the reason why you cannot tell the difference between a natural diamond and a CVD diamond.
CVD Diamond have discounted resale value. Is it the same with natural diamonds? Yes it is the same with natural diamonds also. It is not that the natural diamonds are sold at a lesser discounted values. Both of them have more of less equal discounted values. In fact the use of CVD diamonds is putting pressure on the natural diamonds market and the resale value of the natural diamonds is bound to bound to come down more.