Most of the naturally occurring diamonds and gemstones that are found in the crust of the Earth are subjected to a few treatment processes in order to improve their clarity and color. The treatments implemented by diamond cutters to improve the appeal of natural diamonds are usually known as diamond treatments. On the other hand, the gemstones or diamonds that have undergone such treatments or enhancement processes are called as treated or enhanced diamonds.
Even in the earlier days, miners and diamond cutters were aware that most of the naturally occurring diamonds do contain a few inclusions and flaws, which makes them less suitable for jewelry use. As a result, they started to subject these stones in order to make the ideal for making pieces of jewelry and to reduce their flaws. Today, we have a wide variety of ‘enhanced diamonds’ out in the market.
When selling a jewelry diamond, sellers are obliged to disclose whether the diamond has undergone any sort of enhancement or treatment process to the customers. You can also check the certification documents of the diamond to learn more about the enhancement treatments that were performed on the diamond. Some of the most commonly used color and clarity enhancement treatments on diamonds are as follows.
Diamond Clarity Enhancement Treatments
The imperfections and flaws found on the interior or external surface of a diamond might make the stone look less appealing to others. Moreover, it might also prevent diamond cutters from using the stone for making jewelry. In such scenarios, jewelers implement some of the following enhancement processes to improve the clarity of the diamond.
The process of laser drilling is generally used to reduce the visibility of natural inclusions in a diamond. During this process, diamond manufacturers drill a tiny through the gemstone with the help of a laser beam. The inclusions in the stone are then spotted and they are later vaporized with the help of a laser, which is etched or bleached with acids. Laser drilling makes the inclusions in diamonds look less apparent, which in turn, allows manufacturers to sell the stone at a higher price.
Internal Laser Treatment
Diamond manufacturers do not drill any holes or channels in the diamond when it comes to internal laser treatment. Instead, a worm-like squiggle is made on the stone with the help of a laser. This diamond clarity enhancement process is popularly called as KM treatment; KM stands for ‘Kiduah Meyuhad’ in Hebrew, which can be roughly translated as ‘special drill’. The internal laser treatment is usually used on diamonds that contain black inclusions and internal fractures.
The diamond clarity enhancement technique in which molten leaded glass-like substances are infused to the fractures of a diamond is called as fracture filling. The cracks and other minor issues in a diamond can be easily fixed with the help of this clarity enhancement process. If taken good care, the filling in most diamonds will last for years. However, the filling may get damaged when the diamond is cleaned with ultrasonic cleaners, acid, or steam or due to common jewelry repairs.
Color Enhancement Treatments
The color of a diamond is one of the most crucial factors that customers must consider before making a purchase. In fact, the color of diamonds will have a major impact on its value. So, if the color of a particular stone does not seem that appealing, then diamond manufactures may use any one of the following color enhancement treatments to improve its color.
During the process of surface coating, a delicate layer of colored foreign material is applied to the surface of a natural diamond. This may be done either to enhance the color of the gemstone or to mask its underlying body color. In most cases, coatings are usually applied to the girdle or pavilion of diamonds. The durability of the surface coating may significantly vary based on the method and the materials used.
High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT)
This color enhancement treatment is usually applied to Type IIa diamonds that do not contain any traces of nitrogen and appears to be colorless. The color of these diamonds is often brown dye to the distortions in the crystal lattice. In that case, diamond manufacturers use HPHT technique to eliminate the brown color of these stones by removing or placing the structural irregularities within the crystal lattice of the diamond.
Diamond manufacturers usually heat low quality diamonds that contain plenty of inclusions or flaws in order to create graphite deposits inside the fractures. This, in turn, gives a distinct black color to the diamonds, which makes them look a lot more appealing to others. In some cases, multiple heat treatments may also be used on a diamond to achieve the desired color.