Buyer Beware

Clarity Enhanced Diamonds

Advanced technology nowadays has enabled the jewelry industry to improve the visual appearance of lower grade diamonds by the process of laser drilling or fracture filling. This practice is referred to as "clarity enhanced". Laser drilling, and fracture filling treatments result in an unnatural product. These diamonds have been altered and are no longer considered "natural" diamonds.

The treatments are permanent as long as the diamonds are never introduced to a jeweler’s torch (as in sizing or mounting). High heat or any type of acid or caustic substance will not affect a natural diamond. A treated or an enhanced diamond will crack or break in these environments.

The cost of treated diamonds should be at least 50% less than a natural diamond. Some retail jewelers don’t disclose the fact the diamond has been fracture filled or laser drilled. Jewelers can simply write the abbreviation “CE” for clarity enhanced on the paperwork, and an unsuspecting consumer would never know what that means. For those customers who wish to purchase diamonds as investments, treated diamonds cannot and will not appreciate in value or hold value as would an untreated diamond.

Laser Drilled Diamonds

Description: Laser drilling creates a minuscule passageway into the heart of a diamond. This is a small tunnel that is used to reach a large inclusion in a diamond. The manmade opening allows for further treatments, such as boiling out included crystals with acid. In other cases, an internal fracture, feather or knot, can be laser drilled to create a passageway to introduce glass-like substances that soften or minimize their appearance. Once a laser-drilled hole is filled, the Federal Trade Commission states the treatment must be disclosed.

Detection: Laser drilled holes are sometimes noticeable without the aid of a 10X loupe, but it is thought that the drilling is less noticeable than a natural birthmark in a stone, such as black carbon. When looking through the pavilion of a diamond, the facets reflect the drill hole, so it appears that there is more than one. The purple pools of color at the bottom of the drill holes are called a flash effect, and signal the area has been treated with a diamond-filling compound to make it appear clearer.

Fracture Filled Diamonds

Description: The treatment process eliminates most eye-visible fractures and feathers in a natural diamond. The artificial filler does not add any coloring or measurable weight to a treated stone. Fracture filled diamonds are hard to detect with the naked eye, because the filler closely matches a diamond’s refractive index. While treatment can improve a stone’s clarity, it cannot be used to fill voids and laser drilled holes in a diamond. The treatment is permanent even under prolonged exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet lighting. However, the direct heat of a jeweler’s torch and contact with acid can alter the treatment.

Detection: This treatment is virtually impossible to detect with the naked eye, but every fracture filled diamond has a built-in signature called the flash effect. All fracture filled diamonds will reflect either a purplish-blue or green color when examined under a 10X loupe.

Fracture filled diamonds cost approximately 50% less than comparable non-treated diamonds.

Israel Diamond Supply does not carry or sell any treated diamonds, including laser drilled and/or fracture filled diamonds. Furthermore, Israel Diamond Supply advises against the purchase of any treated diamonds. It is always a better investment to own a smaller, natural, unaltered diamond rather than a larger treated diamond. It is the ultimate waste of money!