What Are Clarity Enhanced Diamonds and Do You Want Them?

Clarity enhanced diamonds have been around for two decades or so. There are a variety of procedures that are used to enhance clarity. Keep in mind that not every diamond can undergo a clarity enhancement process as only certain flaws can be repaired. One such method is by using a laser beam to wipe out flaws. An advantage of the laser method is that its results are permanent and do not weaken the diamond. Another method of clarity enhancement involves inserting a clear substance into the surface imperfections of a diamond, to minimize their appearance.

The process, which is referred to as fracture filling, typically improves the clarity grade of a diamond by approximately two grades. However, you should know that fracture filling is not a permanent treatment. Cleaning, repairs, and sun-damage can eradicate the filling. Also, fracture filling material has a lower tolerance of high temperatures, and has the potential to crack or melt if repairs are made on the diamond.

Clarity enhancing treatments are somewhat controversial in the diamond industry. This may be due to industry insiders feeling as though since diamonds are the most revered of all gemstones, they should not be tampered with or the reputation of the industry may be tarnished.

It is not neccessarily common to see a high quality diamond undergo clarity enhancing treatment. Diamonds that are treated are usually those where inclusions or blemishes are noticable to the naked eye. With these diamonds, the loss in value attributed to a clarity enhancing treatment is overcome by the value added by reducing obvious flaws.

So what exactly is diamond clarity? Out of all the C's, it's been said that the C for clarity is typically considered as least important by consumers. The level of diamond clarity is determined by the amount of blemishes or inclusions present. Blemishes are imperfections on a diamond's surface while inclusions are imperfections inside of a diamond. While many diamonds have flaws, often times they can only been seen through a jeweler's microscope. A clarity of VS1 or VS2 will not show flaws to the naked eye.

If a diamond has been clarity enhanced, it should be indicated on its certificate if it comes from a reputable laboratory. Also, reputable jewelers should disclose this both verbally and in writing, as well. Knowing this, be forewarned however, that many jewelers will not offer up this information openly, so if you are uncertain, be sure to ask.

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