Technology has progressed at such a rapid pace that today, specific treatments can be performed on natural diamonds to perk up the gemological traits of the diamond. They are known as the clarity enhancement treatments. The diamonds that have undergone such a treatment are known as clarity enhanced diamonds. The clarity enhanced diamonds are basically 100% authentic and natural diamonds that have been mined like any other diamonds. The only difference is that they have undergone a clarity enhancement treatment to improve the clarity of the diamond. Other features of the diamond remain intact and even the carat of the diamond is not affected.
Several methods can be used to enhance the clarity of a diamond. Two common methods are Laser Drilling and Fracture Filling.
Laser drilling is a method that is performed inside the body of a diamond to remove the inclusions. The method involves the drilling of a microscopic hole that is less than 0.2millimeters or 0.005 inches in diameter into the diamond to create a straight path from the surface to the black carbon crystal inclusion. Chemical solutions are then forced through the hole to erase or bleach out the inclusions. The chemical solution is generally a mixture of sulphuric acid and concentrated hydrofluoric acid. There are no serious side effects of laser drilling, except a microscopic tunnel that can only be detected under the microscope. They do not impact the diamond’s sparkle and brilliance in any way.
Another variation of the laser drilling is the use of naturally occurring fractures from the surface of the diamond to the black inclusions. It is basically referred to as special laser drilling
Fractures are a common phenomenon inside a diamond. They are created during the diamond’s formation inside the earth. If visible, these fractures can ruin the overall beauty of the diamond. This is when the method of fracture filling comes to its rescue. It is a process where glass or liquid glass-like filler material is inserted into the scratches or cracks. The filler has the same optical properties as that of a diamond allowing the flaws to get properly camouflaged. The fracture filling process was pioneered by Zvi Yehuda from Ramat Gan, Israel.
Advantages of Clarity Enhanced Diamond:
1) Clarity enhanced diamonds are not any lab created diamonds. In fact, they are 100% natural diamonds as they like any other diamonds have been mined. The only difference is that they have undergone some internal surgery to improve their appearance. So there is no reason why they should appear repulsive to you.
2) They are cost effective. Hence, for those people who are on a tight budget, but wishes to purchase a big diamond, clarity enhanced diamonds are the best alternatives. At the end of the enhancement process, you might get a VS2 graded diamond at the cost of SI1-SI2 diamond graded price.
3) The clarity enhanced treatments does not in any way weaken the structure of your diamond. In other words the durability of a clarity enhanced diamond will remain the same as any non-enhanced diamonds.
4) The difference between clarity enhanced diamond and non-enhanced diamond cannot be distinguished with the naked eye. Only a trained gemologist can differentiate it and that too by inspecting it under a microscope.
Disadvantages of Clarity Enhanced Diamond:
1) The only reason why it has drawn much negativity is because many people have been duped into buying it. Though it is the duty of a jeweler to disclose whether any clarity enhancement treatment has been done or not, many jewelers intentionally hide the details. Hence, you have to be rather careful when buying a diamond.
2) Another disadvantage is that too many drill holes or too many tunnels can weaken the durability and structure of the diamond. This however is not a major concern in the case of diamonds where fewer inclusions have been removed.