Expand Your Knowledge on Clarity Enhanced DiamondsWhat are clarity enhanced diamonds? The name speaks for itself. These are the diamonds whose flaws, blemishes and inclusions, are further removed through certain process to increase the value, especially the price of the diamond.
Diamond Clarity RatingOne of the foremost reasons why diamonds undergo clarity enhancements is because of the clarity rating or diamond clarity grade. Almost all gemological laboratories have their own diamond clarity and color chart, but what is considered standard is the one from GIA or Gemological Institute of America.
The diamond grade ranges from Flawless, which means the diamond does not have any inclusion or blemish at all, to I1-I3, where the flaws are too obvious that the stone will eventually become worthless.
Now, even if clarity is the least considered by buyers in choosing diamonds, it still affects the price. Sellers therefore would enhance the diamond, so they can sell an average stone to something more valuable.
Nevertheless, you have to keep in mind that GIA will never tell you if a diamond is enhanced or not. They do not certify such. If you come across with a report that tells you so, it only means that the document is fake.
What Enhanced Really MeansFor a lot of people, “enhanced” sounds like a positive thing. However, if you are talking about diamonds, it is definitely not good. This is because, as much as possible, you want to retain the original form of the diamond, including the inclusions and flaws.
Moreover, it turns out that buyers are not really concerned on the clarity of the diamond. As long as the flaws are not so obvious, such as cleavage, they would buy still buy the stone.
If diamonds have undergone any kind of treatment, the process done should be disclosed by the seller.
Clarity of Diamonds through Various TreatmentsThere are two known treatments that are being used to produce clarity enhanced diamonds. One is called laser drilling.
In this process, an infrared laser is used to bore very small holes into the diamond. Once the crystals can be accessed by the drill, the stone is then submerged in sulfuric oxide. This way, the crystals will start to dissolve.
There are two main problems of this procedure, though. One is that laser drilling usually leaves laser lines, which are like very fine threads into the diamond. This means you are just creating another inclusion into the diamond. Second, the process does not work if the inclusions are smaller pieces of diamonds. They do not melt in sulfuric acid.
You also have fracture-filled technique, where the holes are filled with specially made glass to simulate the transparency of a clear diamond. The dilemma with this one is that it introduces the presence of flow lines and air bubbles in the glass. It will also introduce color or the so-called flash effect.
On the other hand, diamond color clarity can be further improved with irradiation, use of thin film or coating, and high-pressure and temperature process.