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Diamonds may undergo treatments or enhancements to improve their natural appearance, durability, or color. Diamonds are usually treated by the Jeweler in order to maintain integrity in the gemstone or to increase its market value. Most diamonds are treated to fit fashion demands.
Instances When a Jeweler May Treat a Diamond
Enhancing the natural embedded characteristics of a diamond maintains the quality of the gemstone during the grading process. In any case, enhancing treatments are permanent procedures but usually come with the requirement for special care of the gemstone.
Common Types of Diamond Treatments
It is not uncommon for diamond gemstones to be treated in some form. Gemstone enhancements include heating processes, chemical dying, and bleaching of embedded imperfections. All which are meant to enhance the color, durability, and appearance of the diamond. Enhancing the clarity of diamonds may also undergo a process called HPHT. HPHT stands for High Pressure High Temperature. HPHT is a laboratory procedure that simulates the conditions as if the diamond was forming under the crusts of the earth. The procedure of HPHT is usually still reserved for enhancing the clarity grade in 1B diamonds.
Clarity Improvement of Diamonds
To increase the clarity of a diamond, any natural tiny cracks may be filled with a molten glass. Since 1982, gemology labs have been also using bromine to fill any substantial crack although; bromine can give a slight reflection of discoloration under certain conditions of light exposure. HPHT is still preferred in increasing the clarity of a diamond despite the higher expense of the treatment.
Color Treated Diamonds
Diamonds are also treated to enhance its brilliant color. Often a natural diamond will contain a unique flaw that is pleasing enough, that makes it feasible to enhance, and will actually increase the diamonds value on the market. When a diamond has a unique flaw, the jeweler may treat the diamond to bring out that quality. This is apparent in diamonds that reflect hues of blue, green black, pink, violet, orange, purple and red.
The more common diamond flaws of colorizations are light to dark yellow and light champaign to brown. Diamond color enhancements are performed through a process known as electron bombardment and are permanent alterations as seen in darker colored diamonds. Other processes are accomplished through laser drills where an infused dye is imported into the natural cracks of the gemstone.
Black Diamonds are not actually black; the gemstone contains embedded flaws of dark carbon inclusions. As the diamond rose to the surface during formation, the more complex carbons escaped from the pressure and heat that a diamond experiences through time. This leaves behind some underdeveloped carbons, called a carbon flaw, to remain in the cracks and feathers.
A deep saturation of these carbons is intensified through HPHT and electron bombardment to give a dense coloration of the hue. Natural black diamonds are extremely rare and most are treated to enhance the black color through the HPHT process while the electron bombardment procedure is performed.
Diamonds that have been treated are very stunning and affordable. A treated diamond carries its value over time in much the same way that a genuine diamond and is appraised by the AIG, American International Gemologists.