An electrode for a cardiac lead and method of making the same are provided. The electrode includes an electrode member and a coating applied to the electrode member. A method of fabricating a high impedance cardiac lead electrode is provided. The method includes the steps of providing an electrode member and coating a first portion of the electrode member with an electrically insulating material and placing a tubular mask or shield over the electrode. Portions of the insulating material are removed to expose selected areas of the electrode. The second or exposed portion enhances the impedance of the electrode, resulting in power savings and extended life spans for implantable stimulation and sensing devices. Exemplary materials for the coating includes diamond-like carbon and sapphire.