During my Google Alertness I ran across a story that was done by the ABC News show The Lookout and picked up by JCK and frankly, should be picked up by every single news wire that’s out there regarding selling clarity enhanced diamonds and full disclosure. I spent time watching the videos that were provided with the articles and I have to say the way it was handled and the fact that ABC used Antoinette Matlins, who is a premiere expert in the gem and jewelry field, was the icing on the cake of this piece.
What is Clarity Enhanced Diamonds?
First, you need to understand what clarity enhanced diamonds are. I haven’t covered that here because we sell very few (ie none) of them at Jonathan’s Fine Jewelers. And,if we did
when we do, we disclose that they are enhanced, which by the way, regulatory agencies and international diamond professionals demand disclosure every time a clarity enhanced diamond changes hands.
Clarity enhanced diamonds or clarity treated diamonds are diamonds that have clarity characteristics that cannot be cut away or positioned within the finished diamond. These characteristics detract from the appearance or durability of the diamond and are treated to make the diamond look better or more stable.
Types of Clarity Enhancements or Clarity Treatments
Laser Drilling – If there is a dark inclusion that is in the center of the diamond, sometimes the cutter will use a carbon dioxide laser to drill a tiny tunnel that is thinner than a human hair into the diamond. The laser heats the through the diamond producing a tiny tube that the cutter directs towards the inclusion and then they vaporize it with the laser, bleach it or etch it out with acid.
Laser drilling will now become a clarity characteristic and it doesn’t affect the durability of the stone and it won’t improve the clarity grade of your stone.
Internal Laser Drilling – This technique uses a larger drill than laser drilling and it is used so a dark inclusion can be lighted by a bleaching solution being introduced into the diamond.
Fracture Filling – Fracture filling was introduced in the 1980’s and although the filler may vary, the idea is the same, which is to injeact a molten glass substance into a diamond’s fractures. When a diamond that has fractures is filled, you can’t see it with the naked eye. The advantages of fracture filled diamonds is that it makes a diamond that is filled with cracks look better, but the disadvantage is that it can lower the diamonds color.
Fracture filling can last for years, but it can’t be exposed to high temperatures that are created from jewelry repairs and repeated cleaning can harm fillers as well. Also, the color of the filling can change over time. It is possible to replace the filler if it leaks out, but if it turns dark then only way to fix it is to remove it and refill it.
Should You Buy Clarity Enhanced Diamonds?
That is up to you. Do we sell them or buy them? Very rarely. Would I suggest you buy one? Probably not. But, there are people who want to buy a stone a large stone that doesn’t cost a lot of money and fracture filled is the way to go. But, buyer beware, the resale is not there for a stone like this, and if your appraisal says the diamond is worth more what you paid for it, it’s probably inflated.
How to Avoid Fracture Filled Stones
The best way to avoid a fracture filled stone is to make sure that you are dealing with a diamond dealer who is honest. Check with the Better Business Bureau and ask your friends for references. Look at the reviews and testimonials that have been given online and look at news stories, such as the one that The Lookout did.
This is a huge investment and just like you can’t beat the system when it comes to paying taxes, you can’t beat the 4 C’s when it comes to buying a diamond.