The enhanced lifetime stability for the carbon nanotubes (CNTs) by coating hybrid granular structured diamond (HiD) films on Au-decorated CNTs/Si using a two-step microwave plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition process was reported. Electron field emission (EFE) properties of HiD/Au/CNTs emitters show a low turn-on field (E0) of 3.50 V/μm and a high emission current density (Je) of 0.64 mA/cm2 at an applied field of 5.0 V/μm. There is no notable current degradation or fluctuation over a period of τHiD/Au/CNTs = 360 min for HiD/CNTs EFE emitters tested under a constant current of 4.5 μA. The robustness of the HiD/CNTs EFE emitter is overwhelmingly superior to that of bare CNTs EFE emitters (τCNTs = 30 min), even though the HiD/Au/CNTs do not show the same good EFE properties as CNTs, which are E0 = 0.73 V/μm and Je = 1.10 mA/cm2 at 1.05 V/μm. Furthermore, the plasma illumination (PI) property of a parallel-plate microplasma device fabricated using the HiD/Au/CNTs as a cathode shows a high Ar plasma current density of 1.76 mA/cm2 at an applied field of 5600 V/cm with a lifetime of plasma stability of about 209 min, which is markedly better than the devices utilizing bare CNTs as a cathode. The CNT emitters coated with diamond films possessing marvelous EFE and PI properties with improved lifetime stability have great potential for the applications as cathodes in flat-panel displays and microplasma display devices.