There have been many progressions in technology in the 21st century regarding diamond treatments and augmentations. These are primarily used to modify a diamond’s color entirely. Some techniques permanently alter a diamond’s appearance, whilst others are only short-term changes.
Understanding the procedures used to make synthetic colored diamonds is important. It helps jewelers and collectors to understand what they are investing in. There are also techniques to distinguish whether diamonds have been heat-treated or not. Research at the basic level is becoming part of the work helps in diamond buying practices. This way the purchaser is confident in their decision and reassured that any treatments are fully unveiled.
Why Should You Treat Diamonds?
It is questioned why jewelers and collectors go through all this difficulty. Why not just buy a natural colorless diamond in the first place and save all the extra time and trouble? The answer is cost. Diamonds enhancements are less expensive and garner more profits in comparison. The idea behind treating ordinary diamonds is to artificially improve their quality increases their price point. The treatments will generally target a diamond’s color and its purity.
Uniformity of Color
Enhancing color treatments help to resolve problems related to amount and consistency. A jeweler may need hundreds of identical colored diamonds to set in a pavé, and buying them in bulk will not be cost-efficient. If he treats an entire lot of transparent diamonds this will enable him to get a more uniform color for each jewel.
The Colored Diamond Scale
On the GIA the color scale of D-Z diamonds with the least amount of color are considered to be rare. This is in comparison to diamonds that have yellow or brownish tints in them. Therefore, a Chocolate Diamonds® would be less expensive than a yellow one but with the same quality. A brownish reddish shade in a diamond would be hiked up in price and will be sought after by many collectors.
Treatments for Color
In brown-tinted “champagne” diamonds, the orange-yellow flashes are usually covered, which leaves only the blue-purple flashes to be seen. These fracture-filled diamonds eventually become Chocolate Diamonds® once they form a yellowish to brownish shade. Along with being noticeable in transmitted light, the whole color of the diamond can fall an entire grade after fracture-filling. Fracture-filling is thus only applied to stones whose size is hefty enough to validate the treatment: however, stones as small as 0.02 carats (4 mg) have also been fracture-filled.
High Pressure Heat Treatment
An HPHT treatment is probably the most well-known scheme of enhancing a diamonds color. This is beneficial mostly on a commercial basis. There needs to be proper control of the process so that a light tinted diamond can be saturated to improve the existing tone of a lower grade diamond.
An example of this is seen when heat and pressure treatments turn a yellowish looking stone into a fancy colored Chocolate Diamond® stone, which intensifies its overall appeal. To revert the process, some tweaks can be made to the technique which can transform these brownish diamonds into colorless stones.