Diamond resting on shattered glass
Do you want to get the best deal on a beautiful diamond? If that's the case, you've almost certainly come across an improved diamond.
Because enhancement affects the value and quality, most jewelers (the ones you can trust) will tell you if the diamond you're looking at is enhanced.
But what is an enhanced diamond? Are they worth buying? No worries, because we've gathered all the essential information you will need in this article.
Keep on reading to learn the different methods used to enhance them and the crucial pros and cons you need to know before heading to the store and buying them!
Seriously, What Are They?
Enhanced diamonds are entirely natural because they are mined from the ground. After the gemstone leaves the earth, the difference between an enhanced diamond and a "regular" diamond becomes apparent.
The more flawless a diamond is, the more valuable it is. However, because diamonds are a natural product, tiny flaws known as inclusions are typical.
The better the clarity grading and commercial worth of a diamond, the fewer inclusions it contains.
Although most inclusions are not visible to the human eye, they can impact the overall sparkle and color of a diamond.
To obtain the greatest clarity from each stone, jewelry-grade diamonds undergo a meticulous cutting process. On the other hand, enhanced diamonds take this process a step further.
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Clarity Enhancement Methods
Method #1: Fracture Filling
A glass-like resin is injected into fracture-filled diamonds. The resin fills and seals minor cracks or fractures by flowing into the crevices.
The procedure renders the "fractures" in diamonds invisible to the naked eye. Cracks and feathers can vanish as if by magic thanks to fracture filling. Your diamond will be part natural and part plastic due to this treatment.
Keep in mind that fracture-filled diamonds are not all made equal.
While this procedure should erase flaws, certain compounds can cause flaws to emerge or create the illusion of a glassy plastic stream filled with air bubbles inside the stone.
When small fractures are filled, they can appear as white scratches or fissures that seem like "webs".
Method #2: Laser Drilling
To make the diamond's discolorations and defects less noticeable, laser drilling employs heat or injects chemicals into it.
It causes very fine white lines or tunnels to form that does not follow the diamond's natural growth pattern. Diamonds are frequently laser-drilled first, then fracture-filled.
Laser drilling can remove different types of diamond inclusions, such as black or colored ones, and restore the whiteness of a mottled diamond.
Method #3: Special Laser Drilling
This procedure entails burning a very thin layer on the surface to access the flaw. Although they are larger, the narrow areas left behind are more natural than the laser drill tunnels.
It's also worth mentioning that the spots are easier to fill than the tunnels left behind by traditional laser drilling.
However, because the procedure affects the diamond's quality and durability, the GIA does not provide certificates for these stones.
Method #4: Deep Boiling
Through this method, the diamond is heated under high pressure in an acidic solution. It's usually done on diamonds with black inclusions that have reached the surface.
Because deep boiling removes the material and does not fill the void, it is frequently used with other techniques.
It's a low-cost treatment that's widely used.
However, this is the only approach that the GIA approves because it does not affect the value of your stone.
Method #5: Tunnel drilling
The most popular type of laser drilling is tunnel drilling. As the name implies, this procedure entails drilling a hole into a diamond with a laser to remove an inclusion.
After drilling the required tunnel, the diamond is frequently returned to a hot boiling bath (method #4) to eliminate the black inclusion.
Method #6: Plane drilling
A laser is also used in plane drilling to access undesirable inclusions within a diamond. However, this approach produces a narrow, flat plane instead of a tunnel.
Diamonds treated with this enhancement technique have a more natural appearance than diamonds treated with tunnel drilling.
But, once again, these drill marks are nearly (if not completely) undetectable to the human eye. Only a competent jeweler has the equipment and knowledge to recognize these marks.
Another advantage of plane drilling is that these marks are easier to fill, at least when compared to tunnel drilling.
Cleaning an Enhanced Diamond
Let's begin with cleaning. Ammonia is found in several at-home jewelry cleaners. Ammonia is hazardous to diamonds that have been strengthened.
If a jeweler cleans your ring, they will undoubtedly utilize steam or an ultrasonic cleaning machine.
Fillers can seep out of the stone or expand due to heat and steam, expanding the initial crack and making it unattractive.
According to a study conducted by the GIA, ultrasonic cleaning for 90 minutes might cause leakage and harm to the augmentation.
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Repairing an Enhanced Diamond
A diamond that has been enhanced cannot be restored in the same way that an ordinary diamond can.
Too much pressure or heat might cause the filler to leak or melt, resulting in a filthy appearance of the stone.
As a result, always inform your jeweler that you have an improved diamond. They may have to take it out of the setting, which will raise the cost of repair.
The Pros of Purchasing an Enhanced Diamond
Like any jewelry, there are some reasonably lovely perks to owning an enhanced diamond. Usually, when someone buys a stone, they think about the carat weight or even the quality they can afford. So what is best when it comes to this? Well, an enhanced diamond can be great for those occasions. Here are some of the best reasons why you may want to purchase an enhanced diamond.
One of the most significant advantages of having an enhanced diamond is that they're affordable compared to traditional diamonds. The enhanced stones, including enhanced diamonds, usually sell for around 30 to 50% less than other gemstones. So while you are somewhat limited on options, you can still make a lovely statement in jewelry and not break the bank.
Good First Impression
There are no defects with an enhanced diamond at first glance. In fact, to the naked eye, you're not going to see any fractures. So, these gleaming stones can be a great option because those small fissures tend not to be there. So, an enhanced diamond could be the perfect option if you want to wow people with your jewelry and make quite the impression.
The Cons of Purchasing an Enhanced Diamond
While there were a couple of beautiful perks to the enhanced diamond, there are, unfortunately, some negatives to having these. Sure, the savings are significant, but the long-term danger that your gem will have to things such as tarnishing is also real. So, here are some significant cons of purchasing an enhanced diamond.
Both gem and enhanced diamonds are colorless, and that's the main point. However, if you have an enhanced diamond that is treated with HPHT, then chances are, the hues won't last. This is because the facture-filled gems tend to differ based on the chemicals. Plus, these chemicals are used to replace the cracks in the diamond. Sometimes, these fillers for the cracks will have colors such as light brown or orange. So if the colors may alter or deepen while some may not. When it comes to enhanced diamonds, the UV rays are also at risk of making it from discoloration. You'll need to keep this in mind whenever you're out.
Lack of Long-Term Value
While diamonds can appreciate over time, it's not the same for an enhanced diamond. They're less expensive compared to any other type of diamond. Plus, they tend to degrade in quality too. Due to this, they're difficult to resale, and their demand isn't that high. So, if you choose to purchase one, ensure you understand that you're most likely not going to get any monetary value out of it.
This can be hit-and-miss. Therefore, this isn't going to happen to everyone that purchases an enhanced diamond. Whenever a diamond is enhanced with fracture filling, the stone itself will appear as if it is flawless. However, the materials commonly used can create more flaws than what it's supposed to fix. For example, some filled can create gaps in the filling, such as air bubbles, while others will appear to look more like a fluid. In addition, deep regions near the surface are most likely to look scratched up and possibly even web-like.
Although enhanced diamonds are dangerous, they are nevertheless worth your consideration. They're naturally mined, which makes them valuable in and of itself.
There's nothing wrong with having a diamond that's been improved, especially when no one can tell the difference.
Not only can it be stunning, but it also costs a fraction of the price of a traditional diamond, allowing you to go bigger with the stone size.
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