Enhanced Diamonds; Are They Damaged Diamonds We Should Stay Away From Or Are They Really A Bargain?

Enhanced diamonds have been around for some time. Many people shy away from them because they believe these diamonds to have less worth than their sister diamonds that are original in every sense of the word. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

with-side-finishedEnhanced diamonds are indeed real diamonds. They were formed the same way, and have the same characteristics as other diamonds. The only difference between them and other diamonds is that they have been enhanced in some way.

When a diamond is enhanced it means it has either had the color of it enhanced or the clarity of it enhanced. Either of these treatments does not render the diamond less valuable.

Color-Enhanced Diamonds

Color-enhanced diamonds are natural diamonds that have had their color enhanced to varying degrees by manual means. The process can significantly increase the value of the diamond. There are a number of ways to enhance the color of a diamond.

Irradiation exposes the diamonds to radiation. This process physically alters the diamond’s crystal lattice, and forces the naturally occurring carbon atoms in the diamond out of place. The longer the stone is exposed to the radiation, the darker the color.

High temperature pressure high temperature (HTHP) is simultaneously used to treat a diamond to alter its naturally occurring color. The diamond’s color can be lightened or darkened to varying degrees. The process can also be used to completely remove color from a diamond.

Coatings can also be applied to a diamond to change the color. Similar to the magnesium coatings on camera lens, a vacuum film is applied changing the color of the diamond. The film is quite secure and can only be removed with sulfuric acid.

Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds

When diamonds are formed deep within the earth’s crust, they are subjected to intense temperatures and tons and tons of pressure. This process causes imperfections in the diamond called inclusions and blemishes.

Inclusions occur inside of the stone while imperfections occur on the stone’s surface. If there are too many of either it can have an adverse effect on the diamond’s overall value because these birthmarks, as they’re sometimes called, take away from the diamond’s clarity. In order to improve the clarity, the diamond can be enhanced. The two most common ways of enhancing a diamond’s clarity are by fracture drilling and laser drilling.

Laser drilling involves drilling a pathway through the diamond to the inclusion. Then acid is poured into the pathway and bleaches out the inclusion. When a diamond is fracture drilled a glass-like substance is used to obscure the imperfection, thus enhancing the clarity of the diamond.

Diamonds that have been clarity-enhanced or color-enhanced can be extremely valuable, and often times are more desirable than diamonds left in their natural state of being.

You can find some great bargains on enhanced diamonds just as you can on other diamonds. They are not damaged goods. In fact, they are goods that have been made better through the enhancement process.

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June 2024
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