Author Topic: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds  (Read 12944 times)

Offline Docram

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« on: May 09, 2008, 01:39:15 PM »
David and CDI Members,

My girlfriend just got a 5 carat GVS2 cushion with trillion sapphire side stones (3 stone ring) in platinum for her 10th anniversary for $100K less than I bought my 5.88 GSI1 stone!  I was astounded at how beautiful the ring was and how clear the stone was even under 10X magnification.

What are the pros vs. cons of clarity-enhanced diamonds?  Would you recommend them?  Why are they becoming so popular, i.e., there are more on the Internet and in stores? What is the difference from Rappaport pricing?  How do you know if you're looking at a good stone, i.e., GIA reports for natural diamonds, is there a cadillac certification or clarity-enhancement company for clarity-enhanced diamonds?  And in general, any street-wise comments?

Offline Diamondsbylauren

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9093
    • Diamonds By Lauren
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2008, 03:14:37 PM »
Hi everyone!
docram- I have to say you if we were to compare the enhanced diamond with yours under more "Clinical" conditions ( both stones clean, and loose) the difference would be startling.

When they clarity enhance diamonds, it involves shooting plastic into them.
This leave an oily type of look, and also affects the brightness of the color and sparkle.

Clarity enhance diamonds are not very popular either... if you're talking about people that love fine diamonds.
Of course, if you look on the Internet, you will find many many people advertising them. eBay is CHOCK FULL of these plastic filled stones.
Obviously there are better sellers on eBay that won't carry the garbage.
However, I do not believe you'll find a "fine" jewelry seller anyplace in the world that would carry them.
You won't find them at Tiffany's, Cartier or any high line seller.
Generally, sellers offering "schlocky" type of products- including CE diamonds- have louder, more garrish advertising- which might make you believe that they are selling a lot- or that the product is popular.

This is actually helpful, becuase the mere presence of "Yehuda" filled diamonds indicates a lack of something that many people want in a fine jeweler.

GIA will not issue reports for diamonds that are clarity enhanced. That leaves all the sub par labs- which are still sub par.
IN fact, any grading your friend was told is most certianly not accurate.
Of course, if you talk to many sellers of these filled stones, or the labs that "certify'" them, they'll attmept to re-enforce the idea they are popular.

In terms of value, it's toilet city.
Someone who bought a 6 carat diamond for $125,000 a few years ago will be pleasantly shocked at just how much prices have risen.
Even if someone paid full retail 2 years ago, they'd still have a pretty decent return selling back to a dealer.
However, buyers of filled diamonds will be shocked at how few buyers will even touch them in a secondary market.


Does it sound like we like them >:D
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 06:07:03 PM by Diamondsbylauren »
David
Check out our YouTube Channel

Offline WM

  • CDI Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4560
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008, 08:54:15 PM »

When they clarity enhance diamonds, it involves shooting plastic into them.
This leave an oily type of look, and also affects the brightness of the color and sparkle.


I have to wonder how long this would last. If you were to put it in one of those hot steamers I'm thinking the plastic would ooze out?

Offline Cockneysparrow

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 255
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2008, 08:50:12 AM »
WM - it depends how you treat them!  It's similar, if you think about it, to oiling fissures in Emeralds.  I believe that if you clarity enhance by filling a diamond, the filling can work loose (especially is you ultrasonic it), so a bit more care has to be taken.

However the other method of clarity enhancing is not filling but is using a laser to shoot through the diamond and disperse areas of black carbon.  The laser lines are tiny (can be seen with a loupe) and then the hole where the laser has entered is plugged.  If done badly it can weaken the diamond but that's not always the case.

I bought a pink diamond from a seller in the US that had no mention of clarity enhancement.  When it arrived and I looked at it with a loupe I could see the laser lines.  I had it professionally assessed (by a division of the Birmingham Assay Office here in the UK) and they were happy with the integrity of the diamond but in terms of clarity it was downgraded one clarity point from where it actually looked with the eye (if that makes sense) because of the laser drilling.

Of course, they'll never be as valuable or as beautiful as the natural product!

Offline Trinkette

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7796
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2008, 09:30:19 AM »
CS, you must have been bummed about your pink diamond. Were you able to return it, or did you keep it?

Offline Cockneysparrow

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 255
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2008, 10:43:41 AM »
CS, you must have been bummed about your pink diamond. Were you able to return it, or did you keep it?

I kept it but got a lot of money back from the seller so all in all I got a brilliant deal!  The pink of the diamond is wonderful and nobody else but me knows it's been enhanced!  Despite the enhancement, the valuation and appraisal was very very favourable so I wasn't too unhappy!

Offline Trinkette

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7796
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2008, 11:42:55 AM »
Well, I'm glad to hear that the seller "stood by" the merchandise.  Did the seller know it was enhanced when it was sold to you? Anyway, I guess if the stone is pretty, then, PINK rules!  ;)

Offline Diamondsbylauren

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9093
    • Diamonds By Lauren
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2008, 05:06:04 PM »


However the other method of clarity enhancing is not filling but is using a laser to shoot through the diamond and disperse areas of black carbon.  The laser lines are tiny (can be seen with a loupe) and then the hole where the laser has entered is plugged.  If done badly it can weaken the diamond but that's not always the case.



CS- you've been given some innaccurate info on laser drilling.

Here's how it works:
When a diamond has a black carbon spot, a laser is used to drill a "channel" to the black area.
The diamond is then boiled in acid, which in turn bleaches the black carbon to white.
The resultant holes can NOT be filled in.

Although this is something that MUST be disclosed in honest representation, it's not the same as "clarity enhanced" diamonds- which contain a foreign substance.

It would be next to impossible for a laser drill hole to affect the "integrity" of a diamond- although it certainly says a lot about the integrity of a seller if they do not disclose this.
David
Check out our YouTube Channel

Offline oldmancoyote

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4378
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2008, 04:58:50 AM »
It seems there is a new laser-based process where no hole is drilled:

"XXX Ltd. is offering the diamond trade the new, recently developed, and sophisticated laser drill, that does not use the surface reaching drill hole and the drill channel, traditionally associated with laser drilling.
 
[...]Best suited for this new procedure are diamonds that have shallow black inclusions. The new, sophisticated laser process displays small, internal, feather-like fractures that look exactly as natural fractures, naturally occurring imperfections in most diamonds."


I guess this is somewhat similar to the laser hair-removal process for aesthetic reasons: the inclusion is darker than the surrounding material, thus it absorbs more radiation/heat; it is heated to the point of diffusion/sublimation while the rest of the crystal is relatively untouched - hence the need for a shallow inclusion: less material to heat and potentially damage. The worrying thing (to me, at least) is the second paragraph: how similar to natural feathers are these?

Once again, we come to the usual point: choosing the seller is possibly the most important part of the purchasing process...
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 05:10:33 AM by oldmancoyote »

Offline Cockneysparrow

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 255
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2008, 11:23:05 AM »


However the other method of clarity enhancing is not filling but is using a laser to shoot through the diamond and disperse areas of black carbon.  The laser lines are tiny (can be seen with a loupe) and then the hole where the laser has entered is plugged.  If done badly it can weaken the diamond but that's not always the case.



CS- you've been given some innaccurate info on laser drilling.

Here's how it works:
When a diamond has a black carbon spot, a laser is used to drill a "channel" to the black area.
The diamond is then boiled in acid, which in turn bleaches the black carbon to white.
The resultant holes can NOT be filled in.

Although this is something that MUST be disclosed in honest representation, it's not the same as "clarity enhanced" diamonds- which contain a foreign substance.

It would be next to impossible for a laser drill hole to affect the "integrity" of a diamond- although it certainly says a lot about the integrity of a seller if they do not disclose this.

David, can I ask a stupid question please?  I've been told that the hole where the laser penetrates the surface is "plugged" after with a substance.  Not the whole channel, just the entrance point.   Is that incorrect then please?

Thanks for the info on the acid bleaching - I had thought it was the laser itself that dispersed the carbon!  Too much watching sci-fi films  ;D
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 11:24:12 AM by Cockneysparrow »

Offline Diamondsbylauren

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9093
    • Diamonds By Lauren
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2008, 11:52:22 AM »


However the other method of clarity enhancing is not filling but is using a laser to shoot through the diamond and disperse areas of black carbon.  The laser lines are tiny (can be seen with a loupe) and then the hole where the laser has entered is plugged.  If done badly it can weaken the diamond but that's not always the case.



CS- you've been given some innaccurate info on laser drilling.

Here's how it works:
When a diamond has a black carbon spot, a laser is used to drill a "channel" to the black area.
The diamond is then boiled in acid, which in turn bleaches the black carbon to white.
The resultant holes can NOT be filled in.

Although this is something that MUST be disclosed in honest representation, it's not the same as "clarity enhanced" diamonds- which contain a foreign substance.

It would be next to impossible for a laser drill hole to affect the "integrity" of a diamond- although it certainly says a lot about the integrity of a seller if they do not disclose this.

David, can I ask a stupid question please?  I've been told that the hole where the laser penetrates the surface is "plugged" after with a substance.  Not the whole channel, just the entrance point.   Is that incorrect then please?

Thanks for the info on the acid bleaching - I had thought it was the laser itself that dispersed the carbon!  Too much watching sci-fi films  ;D


CS- Sorry to say this, but whoever is telling you this is peeing on your leg, and telling you it's raining
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 11:52:55 AM by Diamondsbylauren »
David
Check out our YouTube Channel

Offline Diamondsbylauren

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9093
    • Diamonds By Lauren
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2008, 12:48:48 PM »
It seems there is a new laser-based process where no hole is drilled:

"XXX Ltd. is offering the diamond trade the new, recently developed, and sophisticated laser drill, that does not use the surface reaching drill hole and the drill channel, traditionally associated with laser drilling.
 
[...]Best suited for this new procedure are diamonds that have shallow black inclusions. The new, sophisticated laser process displays small, internal, feather-like fractures that look exactly as natural fractures, naturally occurring imperfections in most diamonds."


I guess this is somewhat similar to the laser hair-removal process for aesthetic reasons: the inclusion is darker than the surrounding material, thus it absorbs more radiation/heat; it is heated to the point of diffusion/sublimation while the rest of the crystal is relatively untouched - hence the need for a shallow inclusion: less material to heat and potentially damage. The worrying thing (to me, at least) is the second paragraph: how similar to natural feathers are these?

Once again, we come to the usual point: choosing the seller is possibly the most important part of the purchasing process...

This is known as the KM process.  What they are not telling you:
1) this only works on diamonds that have their imperfection right next to the skin- this represents a tiny percentage of diamonds with black spots
2) The KM procedure is for more dangerous than traditional laser drilling.  Many diamonds break when undergoing the  KM procedure
3) IF it is successful, the resultant feather is quite obvious.

I just spoke with a large laser drilling company here in New York City.  They bought the KM machine about four years ago, and have used it very rarely-pretty much a total loss for them.  They do not feel it is a viable procedure
David
Check out our YouTube Channel

Offline Mrs Mitchell

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 7847
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2008, 04:01:53 PM »
Oh, and I'd be prepared to guess that it was a very expensive machine and all the sample stones done in the machinery showroom came out perfect, right? ;D

I think I'd avoid a CE stone personally - there are better ways to get a well priced diamond. I'm happy to drop colour or size and to go with a low clarity where the inclusions aren't ugly. Comes down to having a trusted source!

Jen
Customer Service Associate
jennifer@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline Diamondsbylauren

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9093
    • Diamonds By Lauren
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2008, 04:13:26 PM »
That's exactly what happened Jen.
The laser guy spent gobs of money on the new machine- and it was a total bust.

Our old friend Sam Spade was one of the first to have the laser guy test it- and promtly destroyed two diamonds.......

By the way, the reason we kwow the laser drill guy so well is that he also "boils" diamonds.

In some cases, if a black spot is really close to the surface there may be some spot where it microscopically reaches the surface. If so, boiling alone can bleach it.


Also: technically speaking, drilled diamonds are not considered CE- GIA will issue repots on diamonds laser drilled in the traditional manner- as it is considered an extra facet.


Filled diamonds are a different story- GIA will NOT report on them- and they are more traditionally considered to be "CE"
David
Check out our YouTube Channel

Offline Mrs Mitchell

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 7847
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2008, 04:26:53 PM »
Great. The diamond machine of death and bankruptcy. ;D

Boiling sounds interesting - is it boiled in an acid?
Customer Service Associate
jennifer@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline oldmancoyote

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 4378
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2008, 05:11:06 PM »
Sulphuric acid AFAIK. Really nice beauty cream. It stinks, too.

There is an interesting if old (1995) article by the Canadian Institute of Gemmology on CE techniques, including their detection methods, here. Not too much seems to have changed commercially since. Yehuda's material is still secret, drilling still works but it leaves holes in the stone, and KM works like the Death Star by exploding diamonds into pieces.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2008, 05:13:24 PM by oldmancoyote »

Offline Diamondsbylauren

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9093
    • Diamonds By Lauren
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2008, 06:26:29 PM »
Man this guy is INFORMED!!
I knew it was sulphuric acid, but I did not know AFAIK.

I'd also not heard of the KM process till this afternoon...HOLY COW! Coyotes are smart!!!!
David
Check out our YouTube Channel

Offline Diamondsbylauren

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9093
    • Diamonds By Lauren
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2008, 06:44:06 PM »
I sppose I should also bone up on the abbreviation list....AFAIK, using letters to save time is a very popular nowadays....OSIH ( or so I've heard)
David
Check out our YouTube Channel

Offline Mrs Mitchell

  • Member Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 7847
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2008, 01:46:27 AM »
YPR (you're probably right...)

Love the avatar!

Jen
Customer Service Associate
jennifer@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline Docram

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2008, 10:57:51 AM »
Wow, all this information is just awesome!  This is why I made the post in the first place - to learn about clarity enhanced diamonds.  David - my hat is off to you!  Not only do you have first class, A-number one products i.e., diamonds and gorgeous jewelry, but your Colored Diamond Info website rocks! ;D

Offline Trinkette

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7796
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2008, 09:24:27 PM »
I'm pathetic... I had to look up AFAIK.  But, the rest of this stuff is really interesting.  I'll have to read more tomorrow.  Cool stuff; thanks for the info!

I love the boiling. I can here it now... Spouse comes in and says, "What's cooking today, dear?"  Hubbie answers, "Oh just a little D/I1..."

Offline Pip

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 182
  • Pain is temporary, pride is forever
Re: Clarity-Enhanced Diamonds
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2009, 12:26:19 PM »
What a useful thread. :)