A Detailed Discourse on Clarity Enhanced Diamonds


Many diamonds mined from the core of the earth undergo some sort of treatment in the laboratories before they are rolled out in the market, but those that are labeled “clarity enhanced” are especially treated to look clearer. There are numerous ways to do this. Depending on the original clarity grade of a diamond, the clarity treatment is determined. Among all other procedures that are applied on diamonds, one treatment has become widely known. It is the fracture filling treatment. Ahead in this article, I’ll talk about this treatment in particular and touch upon other procedures that result in enhancing the clarity of a diamond.

Clarity Enhanced Diamonds- What Are They?

Before going into the procedures, let’s take a closer look at what enhanced diamonds are. There are constant debates and doubts about this particular kind of diamonds. Some believe them to be fake, while others think they are cheap, when in truth, they are neither. Clarity enhanced diamonds are like any other diamonds that have been made to undergo a treatment that has reduced the visibility of their imperfections. All diamonds, except the flawless kind has some inclusions and blemishes in them, some more visible than the other. Clarity of a diamond is graded by the presence of these flaws. A clarity enhanced diamond is not one that is necessarily eye-clean, or in other words, they have any of the clarity imperfections that are in the clarity scale, from VVS to I1, I2, rest assured they were born worse.
Diamonds from I
1, I2 and I3 are normally picked for clarity enhancement. This is because stones in this category carry maximum inclusions, some of which is even apparent to the eye. Now inclusion is not a quality that is appreciated in diamonds. Even people who pick diamonds from these categories do not want their stones to show their blemishes. That makes clarity enhancement a necessity to make these stones presentable and desirable.
Fracture filling is a procedure that resonates with car windshield repairing. When the windshield of a car gets damaged, several cracks open up inside the glass. Not always does it require a replacement. A quick fix is possible, in which the technicians inject the cracks with composite materials. These materials fill up the veins making the glass look whole and undamaged again. What jewelers do with heavily included diamonds is quite the same. Using the same logic as this, the inclusions in the diamonds are wiped out through filing of cracks. While this does not erase the inclusions altogether, it makes the stone passable as a clearer one. But do bear in mind that the treatment only serves to render the inclusions invisible to human eye. Under magnification, the internal flaws reveal themselves with unmistakable clarity.

How to Tell a Clarity Enhanced Diamond Apart?

It is very easy to tell enhanced diamonds apart from the untreated. As I have said earlier, a clarity enhanced diamond is only eye clear. Under magnification, the flaws show clearly. However, one is not expected to go to such lengths as to make inspections to learn if a diamond is clarity enhanced or not. A buyer shouldn’t even be needed to enquire about it. It’s something a seller should disclose to their buyers at the point of sale. However, despite what one ought to do and not do in business, and thereby keeping aside the questions of morals and ethics, a smart buyer always asks. Especially if a seller offers you a seemingly blemish-free diamond for a suspiciously low price, that’s your cue to ask if it’s a clarity enhanced diamond. .
Not that there is anything particularly wrong with a diamond whose clarity is enhanced, but a buyer should know about it before the purchase is made. While it’s his responsibility to inform the buyers fully about the diamond, some sellers are slow to parting with such details. As for the certification, clarity enhanced diamonds are not graded by GIA. Therefore, such a stone cannot have a GIA lab report. However, there are other laboratories that do, like EGL or IGL they test and certifies all diamonds that have been enhanced to look better. In those cases, EGL grades the diamond as SI
2 grade but does not miss out to mention in the footnote of the certificate that it has been clarity enhanced. As for online stores, they should clearly mention it in their websites. Authentic websites distinctly label all clarity-enhanced diamonds, look at Diamonds-USA clarity enhanced search results, on our catalogue it is marked as “CE” as so whereby the buyers have full information of what they are paying for. Unfortunately it is not the case in many Ebay Amazon Etsy sellers. For that I will give you the knowledge to tell for yourself if a diamond was clarity enhanced. If you get yourself a x10 magnifying glass (US$20 only) and look from the bottom part of the diamond inside, you will see the Bluish or Reddish hue that the fillings create, tilt the diamond from side to side to see it even better. I Picture 1 you see the reddish reflection from table side, very hard to notice even by the x10 magnification.

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Picture1-table side view-hard to locate the filling

For that we look and inspect from underneath where theneon hue is obvious. See Pictures 3 and 4 below:


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Picture 3-The blue hue reflected from the fillingsubstance



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Picture-4Reddish hue of the filling substance



What When the Seller Doesn’t Know If a Diamond Has Been Enhanced?

That brings us to another question- how does the seller know if a diamond has been enhanced through treatments or not. If you buy it from a jeweler, chances are they’d know because they have appraisers and testers in place for examining gemstones. However, there is also a fair bit of possibility that they are not aware of it. In that case, you need to carry out a little test, the equipment for which should be readily available at the jeweler’s.
The most surefire way to detect if a diamond has been fractured filled is to put it under x10 loupe. While the lens may not reveal the veins as is, but your will be able to see a red or neon blue color in the diamond which is basically the residual effect of the filing. This color when looked at face up is easily mistaken for a stone’s natural spectral color or is otherwise invisible to untrailed eyes. Here is what a clarity treated diamond looks like when seen through a scope. Look for pink or purple flashes as seen in this pictures 3 and 4 above to identify a clarity enhanced stone.
Why some of the clarity enhanced diamonds are also Laser Drilled?
During the enhancement process if we see internal feathers (cracks that did not reach the surface) but can be filled and improve the looks, we laser drill micro holes in the stone to access them for filling. See picture 5 that shows two laser channels (only one is marked), they end in two internal feathers, one show red hue from this angle and the other none.


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Picture5-Laser drills to reach internal feathers for enhancement




Do I Want to Put a Clarity Enhanced Diamond on an Engagement Ring?
That depends a lot on your preference and affordability. There is a section of people who are very happy with these diamonds, while others simply frown at it. The only buyers who are unhappy are those who have unwittingly bought them. Customers are not the only ones who frown up clarity enhanced diamonds. There are jewelers too who are discriminatory about treated diamonds.
If you are thinking why, it’s because these diamonds are a smart and affordable choice that has given diamonds of upper grades a run for their money. They look great, as long as the other 3Cs are fairly good, and they appeal easily to budget buyers. With enhanced ones, people can buy bigger diamonds for much less of the original price. This has taken the business away from jewelers who deal in top-quality diamonds only.

That said, if you are looking to buy the biggest diamond for your buck, then the options in the clarity enhanced section will surprise you. Clarity enhanced diamonds are the best choice the market has for engagement rings and solitaire studs that generally demand a decent size, eye-clean rock. 

Do Prices Drop because of Clarity Enhancement?

No, but that’s no cause for disappointment and here is why. When someone buys a clarity enhanced diamond, he or she is in essence, paying only for the grade the diamond originally was. For example, if the diamond in question is I1, and after enhancement it looks like SI1, the buyer would still be paying for I1 quality that the stone originally was. Now let’s assume that a seller has a 2 carat stone of F I1 clarity that he’s asking 8 to 10 grands for. To the guy who is about to cough up something in the neighborhood of 10 grands for a stone that looks it’s a good enough deal. That’s the best part of the deal. Even though the stones after enhancement looks much higher quality, you’d still be paying for the grade it was before the enhancement or around. The clarity enhanced diamond market is strong and steady, we at Diamonds-USA sell them for over 15 years with great success.

Are There Any Guarantees with Clarity Enhanced Diamonds?

Only a handful of sellers offer guarantees with their enhanced diamonds. One of them is Diamonds-USA. We guarantee that a clarity enhanced diamond bought from us will not turn “unenhanced” or “unfilled” in your lifetime. However, should anything of this nature happens, you can always bring the stone back to us and we will recall the stone without any loss at your end. That’s a pretty lofty guarantee considering that most sellers draw back from making guarantees altogether for such diamonds. On our website, Diamonds-USA offers a lifetime guarantee on the enhancement process. Here is what our guarantee looks like:

Diamonds-USA.com Inc. Clarity Enhanced diamonds life-time warranty:


“The diamond clarity-enhancement process should last forever. However, using a direct torch flame
on the diamond will damage it, (usually there is no need for using a torch while setting the diamond).
Please advise your jeweler regarding this matter. In any case of need and without time limit Diamonds-USA
will repair the enhancement free of charge.”




What Are the Probable Causes of fading of the Clarity Enhancement?


There are three reasons for that. Two are not relevant for human’s life style. According to GIA research on fracture filled diamonds that has rigorously tested clarity enhanced diamonds in their laboratories cites three causes for the filings to come out.

· 
Exposure to Flame: The first thing that can undo the treatment is fire. Exposing the stone to fire for a prolonged period of time can cause the inside filling to fall out, reverting the stone back to its former clarity quality. A momentary touch of fire does not however have a lasting effect on the treatment.

· 
Exposure to strongest Acids at Boiling Temperature: Dipping the stone in boiling acid is another thing that can cause the filling to come out of the stone. So, if you are wearing a clarity enhanced diamond, it’s best to avoid working with acid at high temperature while wearing it.

· 
Re-cutting: Re-cutting is another thing that will undo the enhancement. If you have a clarity enhanced diamond that you want recut into some other shape, my advice would be putting it through a cutting process once again and then re fill it with us, it is only $200 per carat in such case.
Long story short, boiling acid and torch, both of which are things a jeweler uses are best avoided exposing such a stone to. In a situation where you have send your ring to a jeweler for repair or remake, inform that about the stone so that they take care to not accidentally or purposely expose the stone to anything that it is harmful for it while handling it. The simple practice is to un-mount the center diamond before goldsmith work with a torch-that simple

The Second Type of Enhancement-Laser drilling alone:

At the start of this article, I mentioned that aside from fracture filling, there are other kinds of enhancements too, of which one in particular deserves special mention in this context. The laser treatment is the second most popular type of enhancement for diamonds. Laser treatment is permanent, and therefore it last through the life of a stone. The scope of leaser treatment is much wider than fracture filling. In fracture filling, feathers inside diamonds that are visible to the eye are addressed, whereas through laser, black inclusions that are obvious to the eyes too can be treated. The before and after shots is proof of how well the enhancement works to remove carbon bubbles and such blemishes from visibility.
Through laser treatment, carbon residues from deep inside diamonds can be easily extracted out. Once free from the carbon content, the bubbles turn transparent or white and therefore less visible. This clarity enhancing technique is very precise, and all it leaves behind is a white trail. If you examine a laser enhanced stone under microscope, you will see nothing more than the tunnels through which the laser beam made its way into the crystal. After the laser hits the bubble, the crystal is moved into a high pressure chamber where it is treated with strong acids that dissolve the carbon dot and flush it out through the laser tunnel.
See picture 5 below where the diamond has a black carbon filled internal bubble, we reach it by a laser drill, picture 6 shows the black imperfection now being white.


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Picture 5: Carbon spot too visible 



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Picture 6: Black Carbon extracted from diamond


Points to Note : 

There are twin things about laser treated diamond that you want to bear in mind before going out and grabbing one.

·  Unlike fracture filled diamonds, GIA makes lab reports for laser treated diamonds, which makes them globally acceptable.

·  Legally, a jeweler is not obliged to inform a buyer about laser treated diamonds. That is according to FTC. But if you like to learn little details about your big purchases, do not hesitate to ask.

Why Causes GIA to Certify One Kind of Enhancement and Not the Other?

It is obvious to wonder why will this trusted diamond laboratory certify for laser treatment diamonds and not for fracture filled kinds. The primary reason for that is accuracy. The association is not able to determine the diamond grades accurately before and after enhancements. That makes the reports apocryphal, because what seems eye-clean on the face turns vividly imperfect on scrutiny under magnification.

How Can a Buyer Detect a Laser Enhanced Diamond?

There are some ways of doing that. Some laser treatments are too obvious and you don’t really need a scope to tell. But, some are very difficult to detect. The obviousness of the signs depends on the depth and point of drilling. When observed face up, you can barely detect any signs of treatment in a diamond. This is because drilling is always done perpendicular to the concerned face of an inclusion. So when observed face up, the tunnels look like a pin prick that can be easily mistaken for a minor inclusion.
But, when you tilt the stone, the picture is very different. You can not only see the entry point of the drilling, but the entire tunnel, if you look carefully. The pictures 5 and 6 above shows the marks of a laser treated diamond. This is how it looks when put under a microscope. But from top, a laser treated diamond is perfectly clean and free of inclusions.

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