Monday, July 4, 2011

Facts about enhanced diamonds

Treated or enhanced diamonds are diamonds that have been in some way altered by man, mostly to improve visual impression (appearance) of diamonds that used to have some visible flaws before treatment. Today’s jewelry and diamond industry in general are so developed that you can enhance diamonds by many different ways. Diamond enhancements can be divided into two main categories: color enhancements and clarity enhancements.

Clarity enhancements include different enhancement methods such as fracture filling and drilling. Usually when clarity of certain diamonds has been enhanced the enhanced diamond has an abbreviation of "CE" in a description (CE meaning clarity enhanced). Fracture filling is one of the most common methods of diamond enhancement that involves filling diamond cracks with glass-like materials, making these cracks much less visible than they would be without the treatment. Most laboratories will not give you diamond certificate for these diamonds because the primary integrity of the stone is questionable after the treatment.

The second method-drilling is more popular method to improve clarity of the diamond. Drilling is usually used to remove different imperfections on diamond that are visible to naked eye. These imperfections usually have black color, and the actual drilling makes tiny cracks to these imperfections, creating a channel through which acid is usually used to boil out the black resulting in much better appearance of treated diamonds (because after the treatment less imperfections are visible). The best drilling method is so called Kiduah Meyuhad (meaning special drilling) method. KM method is the best of all the drilling methods because its effects are permanent, drilling looks natural and is hardly detectable, and you can obtain diamond certificate (diamond laboratories will see that diamond has been treated but in this case the integrity of the diamond is not hidden or questionable as it is with fracture filling).

The most popular color treatment method is High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) method that has been used for the last ten years or so. This method for enhancing color of the diamond has been frequently used in the last couple of years, and with the help of this method brown diamonds can be treated to white, blue, pink, and some other diamond colors. Despite more than obvious improvements in enhancing diamond color this method also has one rather big disadvantage, namely it often results with rather large imperfections since after the HPHT process is completed the diamond has a thin frosty layer that must be removed, and once this is done the imperfections in diamonds often become larger.

When buying diamonds you should be always warned that certain diamond was treated because these diamonds should have generally much lower price compared to diamonds of some quality that weren't treated. If you are not careful enough you can even buy treated diamond that costs much more than it's really worth, and if you want to play it totally safe ask for diamond certificate.


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