What's a "treated," "clarity
enhanced" or "fracture-filled" diamond?
What you see is not necessarily what you get. A wide range of
techniques have been developed and are in wide use in the
diamond/jewelry industry to artificially improve the color and clarity
of diamonds and other gems. Some sellers rationalize the methods
I'm about to describe to you on the basis that "they provide affordable
alternatives to untreated gems." Huh?
Translated, that last statement really means:
"You can buy a much bigger diamond for a lot
less money, because it's damaged." A good analogy?
Buying a $80,000 Porsche for only $20,000 because it was damaged in a flood.
You're asking for trouble...as well as flushing any chance for getting your
money out of it when you sell it, because nobody wants to buy a
flood-damaged car. Same thing in the diamond world.
Clarity Enhanced/Fracture Filled
Diamonds: While the words "clarity enhanced" might
lead you to believe that a diamond has been highly-polished to enhance
its brilliance, it's a sucker term. "Fracture Filled" is
a better wake-up call for naive wannabe diamond buyers, and anytime you see
a great deal on diamond, it's either stolen or "treated,"
"clarity enhanced" or "fracture-filled." Legally,
this must be disclosed in writing as "clarity enhanced" or
enhancement" process was developed in 1982...by
Israeli inventor and diamond cutter Zvi Yehuda. It
involves filling cracks in diamonds with molten glass to improve their
clarity. These treated diamonds did not begin to appear in the
market in substantial quantities until the 1990's. By filling the cracks
and fractures of diamonds with a clear, colorless substance, the repaired
diamond has a "startling" degree of clarity enhancement.
How does it work?
Using a secret ingredient that's introduced at extremely high pressure
(50 atmospheres) and temperature (400°C), Mr. Yehuda's process is able
to hide cracks in a diamond. His method is far more difficult to discern. Most
dealers using only a loupe may not be able to identify the treated stones.
Only diamonds with small cracks can be treated, the process will not work for
diamonds with large cracks. The enhancement process tends to improve a
diamonds clarity by one grade and does not affect the color or weight of the
diamond because only a thin glass film is used. According to Yehuda, the
"advantage" to these treated diamonds is cost and that they create
the potential for a person to purchase a larger, cleaner diamond than they
would have otherwise been able to afford.
It's all semantics...know what
they mean before you nod your head and hand over a credit card:
Many diamonds contain minute internal "cracks" that don't pose a
threat to the integrity or life span of the diamond, but many retailers
frequently refer to cracks as "feathers" because the term is less
disturbing to their customers
What are the disadvantages of
buying a fracture filled diamond? The GIA Gem Trade
Laboratory (GTL) conducted an extensive study of fracture filled diamonds and
published their results in the Fall 1994 issue of Gems & Gemology
Magazine. The GIA scientists concluded that "prolonged exposure -
or numerous short exposures - to commonly employed cleaning methods may
sometimes damage filling substances." Dover's Translation?
That big diamond you got for next to nothing may eventually split. Nice,
It's also been determined
that "repolishing of jewelry and repair procedures involving direct
exposure to heat (such as re-tipping of prongs) may damage and partially
remove the filler from such treated diamonds.
a no-brainer...check out Dallas
Gold & Silver Exchange's
website at www.dgse.com
They're a publicly-traded company
that sells millions of dollars worth of diamond jewelry and fine watches
(they're one of the biggest pre-owned Rolex sources in the world) and
they're trustyworthy...plus they'll
deal on price.