Diamond - Enhacements

Recognizing value in a gemstone is becoming an increasing more difficult task. Today most gemstones are artificially treating in one form or another. Some of these treatments are durable while others are quite fragile and subject to reversal through wear and casual cleaning.

The Federal Trade Commission recently revised its guidelines, pointing out laser are used in the jewelry industry for two purposes - sawing and drilling. Diamond can be cut into different shapes (sawed) using a laser. In some instances diamonds are drilled. This is done in the attempt to lighten the color of a dark inclusion in the stone. The diamond is drilled from the surface to the center of the dark inclusion. The diamond is immersed in acid. The acid typically lighten or bleaches out the color in the inclusion.

Critics of this process argue "laser holes have been know to get dirt in them, discoloring the stone." They argue this information should be shared with the consumer. Others feel that disclosing laser drilling would place an unwarranted stigma on these stones. They believe laser drilling improves the appearance of certain stones thus making diamonds available to the public at lower prices. A supporter of this process suggests that laser drilling is unlike other treatments because it is readily discernible by a person with training. Unfortunately, diamonds are commonly sold by individual with little or no training.

Diamond are sometimes clarity enhanced. The process of masking the location of a fracture includes filling the fracture with a medium that is similar in optical and color properties of the host. In a diamond, ideally the repair will be colorless, highly transparent, light stable, non-toxic and manipulability enough to be inserted into any opening that beaks the surface of the gemstone, remain there permanently under normal wear and tear. Sellers of these products claim the consumer can save up to 25% by purchasing a clarity enhanced diamond that appears visually similar to a diamond that has not been enhanced.

Clarity enhanced diamonds are not repaired. There is still a fracture in the gemstones, it's more difficult to see, but it is still there. Firms that specialize in this treatment claim the treatment is durable, will not leak out or change color. Time will determine if these claims are accurate. Diamonds that have been treated can not be exposed to temperatures commonly encounter in jewelry repair. It takes specialized training to determine if a diamond has been clarity enhanced.

We don't sell clarity enhanced diamonds at Laney's. The value of any diamond will vary depending on the treatment the gemstone has been exposed to. From the consumer's perspective it is imperative you deal with a knowledgeable jewelry professional. I recommend speaking directly with a Graduate Gemologist with a degree from the Gemological Institute of America or a Certified Gemologist Appraiser associated with the American Gem Society. Doug McLean,  holds titles from both institutions.



Diamond ring with princess cut diamonds


Clarity grading is a matter of opinion.  Different gemologists may assign different clarity grades for the same diamond.  Usually, this difference of opinion is one grade higher or lower than  that of another gemologist.   Today, many larger diamonds are evaluated by an independent organization.  The two most valued documents are provided by the Gemological Institute of America and the American Gem Society.  Other sources typically don't grade diamonds to the same standards of these two organizations.  Be careful, don't compare these certificated with those prepared by the Gemological Institute of America and the American Gem Society and assume they are describing features using the same standards.

ags logo
We know you will be happy with the quality and selection of our jewelry.  But our membership in the American Gem Society gives you a whole lot more.  It gives you peace of mind.

You see, AGS membership is achieved by only the most reliable and ethical firms in the business.  Annual testing and certification assures consistently high standards among members.

So before falling in love with a piece of jewelry, check out the jewelers credentials.  Look for the AGS sign - your guarantee of value and