Clarity Enhanced Diamond Guide
What Are Clarity Enhanced Diamonds?
Clarity enhanced diamonds are natural diamonds that have had a clarity flaw treated.
All diamonds, once mined and taken from the earth, are examined for clarity, with only about a fifth deemed suitable for use as gemstones. Of these, approximately 20 percent have visible imperfections, with one in 500 considered treatable.
In other words, clarity enhanced diamonds are pretty rare.
The defects that are treated in clarity enhanced diamonds are usually tiny internal fractures called feathers. These inclusions, along with embedded dots of crystals or minerals, occur in most diamonds with such regularity that completely flawless stones are considered extremely uncommon and quite extraordinary.
The Diamond Clarity Enhancement Process
There are two approaches that can improve the look of natural diamonds. One is with a laser used to remove an inclusion; the other is the insertion of a material with the same optical properties as diamonds to fill a tiny fracture. It’s the second approach that produces clarity enhanced diamonds.
Almost every diamond contains feathers, which are small internal fractures. They look like tiny white cracks inside the stone. It’s not surprising that the hardest gem in the world contains natural fractures – after all, diamonds are formed by enormous pressure deep within the earth.
These imperfections are visible. Light passing through a diamond hits the feather and reflects in many directions, so it’s easy to see. Once the diamond goes through the clarity enhancement process, however, the targeted flaw is invisible to the naked eye.
A special material is injected into the stone to fill the fracture. The amount used is microscopic -- so small in fact that the carat weight of the diamond does not change. Although the structure of the diamond remains the same, light no longer reflects off the feather, and the flaw becomes visually undetectable.
In order to let light travel through the stone without showing the original inclusions, the injected material used during the enhancement process must have the same optical properties as diamonds. It’s this feature that allows enhanced diamonds to look flawless.
The Result of the Clarity Enhancement Process
What’s great about clarity enhanced diamonds is that the visual imperfection is gone, but the lower price stays the same. In fact, a fracture-filled stone will cost you between one-third to a full one-half less than non-enhanced diamonds of a similar size, cut and clarity.
Clarity enhanced diamonds have zero added weight because the amount of filler material is minuscule. In fact, they look so similar to those which haven’t been enhanced, that you either need to use a microscope or ask an experienced jeweler to tell whether or not a stone has gone through the enhancement process.
Certification of Clarity Enhanced Diamonds
Clarity enhanced diamonds are certified by the AGI Gemological Institute located in New York and the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL).
Why Buy Clarity Enhanced Diamonds?
The main reason people buy clarity enhanced diamonds is price. A large clarity enhanced diamond will cost you the same as a much smaller diamond that is untreated. Put another way, a clarity enhanced diamond is appears exactly the same an untreated diamond that's at least two grades higher in terms of brilliance, and that untreated stone is significantly more expensive. With enhanced diamonds you can afford larger, more beautiful stones at a lower price. Why settle for anything less?
The Rarity of Clarity Enhanced Diamonds
If you’ve been searching for one, you’ll probably agree that clarity enhanced diamonds can be hard to find. In fact, diamonds that have gone through the process are uncommon and the selection offered by most jewelers is quite small.
There’s a good reason that only 1 in 500 diamonds can be clarity enhanced -- the flaw itself must be treatable. Remember that nearly all diamonds contain inclusions, some visible and others that need magnification in order to be seen. However, there are many inclusions that will not disappear to the naked eye even after going through treatment.
This is the case no matter what process of clarity enhancement is used -- the original method of filling the stone with a synthetic substance, or other treatments including immersing the diamond into a boiling solution of water and silicone.
Take hope, though. Just because it’s rare doesn’t mean you won’t find your perfect clarity enhanced diamond. Most diamond shapes are available from manufacturers of clarity enhanced diamonds.
Durability of Clarity Enhanced Diamonds
Made from just one element (carbon), diamonds are the hardest of all the gems. Nothing will scratch a diamond except another diamond. Of course, they can be damaged -- with heart-shaped stones and styles with pointed corners being most vulnerable to chipping.
However, diamonds have already gone through an incredibly demanding process of grinding, cutting and polishing before you see them, and it’s unlikely that normal wear will cause any damage.
What may be news is that clarity enhanced diamonds are no exception. With clarity enhanced diamonds, the durability of the stone remains the same with a lifespan that lasts for years.
The only proviso is that extreme heat (over 570 degrees Fahrenheit) should never be applied to a clarity enhanced diamond. This means that if you are having it set, you’ll need to make sure your jeweler knows that the stone has been clarity enhanced.
Remember that the enhancement process itself was developed more than 30 years ago. It has a long history of reliability and is considered a stable treatment that does not adversely affect the durability of the enhanced diamond.
Remember too that clarity enhanced diamonds are not color enhanced. That means that the synthetic used to fill the inclusion in the clarity enhancement process cannot change color.
In fact, as long as you ensure that any changes to your diamond’s setting do not include the high heat of a jeweler’s torch, enhanced diamonds don’t even require special care. Normal wear and tear does not harm the enhancement, and you can clean your enhanced diamond as you would any gemstone -- with non-ammonia jewelry cleaner or simply mild soap and water.
Buying your clarity enhanced diamond from a reputable dealer like TheCheapDiamonds.com also goes a long way to ensuring that you’re getting a quality product. We guarantee our diamonds for life and if anything ever changes in the stone - which is highly unlikely - we’ll fix it free of charge. That’s a promise.