The proper use of diamond enhancers…..an eye opener
There is a range of diamond enhancers or diamond treatments & in comparison to an un-enhanced natural diamond, they significantly alter the price of the altered diamond.
It’s a requirement by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) that all diamond merchants to disclose all diamond enhancements and treatments to their customers.
Failure to do so can result in lawsuits & fraudulent charges against the diamond dealer.
When buying your diamond or diamond ring, its recommended that you ask for a natural, non-treated or non-enhanced diamond.
Have your merchant indicate clearly on your invoice (preferably at the back) that the diamond is in fact, not treated and 100% natural mined from the earth.
He should also sign & stamp that statement.
Why go to the trouble you may ask?
Well when you are spending over $3,000 to buy a diamond ring, you’d better ensure you are getting what you pay for.
Why use enhancers? Isn’t a diamond good enough as it is?
Well if a trader wants to improve the gemological characteristics i.e clarity and color of the diamond.
He can perform some treatments to the diamond.
These include Laser drilling, application of sealants, color enhancement to improve the white color of a diamond & irradiation to give fancy color to a white or off-color diamond.
The diamonds which are usually treated are usually old stock that has not been sold due to it having a defect that is very evident to customers.
Using enhancers on such diamonds offsets the cost of the enhancement process.
Lets look at color enhancements
This is when the diamond is bombarded with Proton, deuteron, bombardment via cobalt-60 & electron bombardment via Van de Graaff generators.
These high energy particles knock carbon atoms out of place physically alter the diamond’s crystal lattice.
The resulting diamonds are all some shade of black, green or blue.
Most are further annealed (subjected to high temperatures)
to further alter their colors to bright shades of yellow, orange pink or brown.
However, there are some naturally irradiated diamonds. One famous example is the Dresden green diamond.
The color in these natural stones is caused by radiation burns in the form of small patches. These patches are usually skin deep.
The other form of diamond enhancers include vacuum-sputtered films & violet-blue dyes resembling the magnesium fluoride coating on camera lenses.
These coatings do a very good job of whitening the apparent color of a yellow-tinted diamond.
This is because the two colors are complementary and act to cancel each other out.
Vaccum sputtered films are so good that they need to be dipped in Sulpuric acid for them to be removed.
Another diamond treatment involves application of moissanite or synthetic diamond to the surface of a diamond stimulant e.g cubic zirconia.
This gives the simulated diamond characteristics similar to those of a real diamond including high resistance to scratches.
High Temperature & High pressure
The HTHP is another process that is used in enhancing diamonds.
The application of pressure & heat to natural diamonds could turn them yellowish green, light yellow & greenish yellow.
It also could also turn some others completely white. It is very easy to be fooled by these diamonds unless they have been declared as such.
Honorable manufacturers like Nova Diamond stopped manufacturing them in 2001 as some dealers were selling these diamond as natural ones.
Now lets look at Clarity enhancements
As diamond enhancements go, laser drilling is one of the best. It has been going on since the 1980s.
Due to diamonds being carbon in nature, the heat generated by a laser is able to remove or significantly remove pique or inclusions in a diamond.
Drilling is usually followed by dipping in sulphuric acid to dissolve the crystal then glass infilling is used to fill it as a thin tube is formed by the laser.
Feather filling or fracture filling is when fractures or surface breaking cavities on a diamond are filled with plastic or glass or with other hardened substances to improve appearance, weight of the diamond or durability.
The foriegn material will have a different index of refraction than diamond.
A trained gemologist can see the light bending within the stone.
These materials normally have a refractive index close to that of diamond.
Yehuda is one of the famous companies who use this type of enhancement & have developed it to such a point that they offer warranty on their treated diamonds.
All in all, diamond enhancers are not illegal & are sometimes necessary as long as they are declared & you know exactly what you are buying. Shop wisely now!