The beauty and the brilliance of diamonds have always captivated us and it goes without saying that it will continue to do so till the end of time. However, diamonds are born with certain flaws or inclusions which are basically an obstruction to the brilliance that they would otherwise exhibit. But thanks to technology, today we have the clarity treatments that are largely aimed at enhancing the clarity of a diamond. The Laser Drilling and Internal Laser Drilling are two techniques used for clarity treatments in diamonds.

So what exactly is Laser Drilling?

Laser drilling is basically a process that involves the use of infrared laser to drill a tiny hole, thinner than a hair into the stone, to create a way from the surface to the inclusion inside the stone. Once the location of the inclusion is reached, the channel is used to dissolve the inclusion either by melting it with heat or by dissolving it with acid. The process makes the inclusion less apparent. This technique is usually adopted to reduce the more obvious inclusions like the black spots.

If you are wondering whether the laser drill holes can be seen with the naked eye, the good news is they are so small that finding them becomes a real challenge. Moreover, they do not in any way affect the brilliance of the diamond. However, they can be easily detected under the microscope. In some cases the hole is filled with foreign substances that minimize the visibility of the hole to a great extent.  

The method of laser-drilling is permanent and once a diamond has been laser drilled and its clarity improved the new clarity grade remains forever.

What is Internal Laser Drilling or KM Treatment?

It is basically another variation of the laser drilling technique. KM is an abbreviation of the Hebrew phrase “kiduah meyuhad” which implies “special drill”. In this process the hot laser is targeted at the internal inclusion itself, causing the existing inclusion to expand or cause internal fractures.  This treatment develops a series of fractures from the inclusion to the surface so that the acid used to lighten or clean the black protrusions can enter and do their job. The KM laser holes have myriads of appearances. Some may look like an irregular worm hole, some like irregular boundaries and some others may have a disc-like feature. These irregular or worm like tunnels can be warded off as being naturally flawed. The feather created under this technique is difficult to distinguish with the naked eye, though it can be easily spotted under a microscope via different lighting techniques.

The Advantages of Laser Driling and Internal Laser Driling Treatments:

These treatments are done to cover the flaws, to make it visualing appealing and to make them more marketable. They can remove some easily detectable flaws and turn the diamond into an eye-cleaned one. Another big advantage is that the laser drilled diamonds are available at an affordable price. A stone that has undergone a laser drilling treatment to improve its clarity may cost 20-30% less than an untreated diamond belonging to the same clarity grade. They make an ideal option for people with a tight budget, but who at the same time would like to purchase a big diamond.

Disadvantages of Laser Driling and Internal Laser Driling Treatments

Large clarity improvement means innumerable drill holes and more the holes drilled in the stone, the weaker will be the structure of the diamond. Too many tunnels can also weaken the durability of the stone. This however is not an issue with diamonds that have a few inclusions removed. Hence, as a customer, you need to be aware of this. The most convenient way to find out if a diamond has undergone the laser drilling process or not is to check out the diamond certificate. A diamond certificate issued by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) will provide you the details. 


Posted by Roy Izakov.
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