An enhanced diamond comes with a price tag that is relatively cheaper than other diamonds. They look clean and bright white as well. However, the question is, are enhanced diamonds as good as they claim? If you are looking for a budget-friendly deal for the perfect diamond, it is very possible that you have already visited several shops and websites.
During your search, you might have encountered the phrase “enhanced diamond” at one point or another.
A reliable diamond dealer or jeweler will let you know if a diamond is enhanced since this has a serious effect on the quality and value of a diamond. Sadly, a rather old trick used is to misrepresent an enhanced diamond as the real thing. It is very easy for most retailers to exploit those customers who are not aware of the difference.
What is an enhanced diamond, then? Is it worthy to buy?
What are Enhanced Diamonds?
In the glittery world of diamonds, you can find three main types. These are the mined diamonds, lab-created or lab-grown diamonds, and enhanced diamonds.
Mined diamonds are those that come from nature itself. Lab diamonds, as their name suggests, come from labs. Enhanced diamonds are the result of man’s desire to increase their profit margin and offer slow-moving and low quality inventory.
An enhanced diamond is a low-color or heavily included diamond that was treated for improving their clarity or color. These diamonds sell for a relatively cheaper price compared to mined diamonds with the same specifications.
Methods of Enhancements Used on Enhanced Diamonds
Meant to improve the diamond’s beauty, some treatments are used for enhancing the stone through lessening the appearance of the flaws that naturally occur on the stone that can affect its sparkle, color, and transparency. The diamond’s clarity is often enhanced through fracture filling or laser drilling while the color of the stone could be enhanced using HPHT or high pressure high temperature treatment.
In laser drilling, heat is used or chemicals are injected to the diamonds to reduce the visibility of small flaws and discolorations. There are times when fracture filling is done after laser drilling to further lessen the visibility of tiny cracks.
In fracture drilling, a glass-like resin is added to the diamond for closing small cracks so that imperfections will no longer be visible to naked eye. HPHT can also be used to change the diamond’s color for good. This method of diamond enhancement uses cubic press for recreating the Earth’s natural conditions for diamond formation. Based on the involved chemicals, the diamond may either be colorless or exhibit a fancy color after the treatment.
Benefits of Buying an Enhanced Diamond
If you are planning to buy an enhanced diamond, you will most likely prefer a larger carat weight or a much better quality than your available budget. Enhanced diamonds can generally sell for 30% to 50% less than natural diamonds of the same quality specifications and carat weight. You will also get an eye-clean and colorless diamond that might have been otherwise very expensive.
Here are some of the advantages of buying enhanced diamonds:
The chance to save money on the stone you want to buy is no doubt the biggest advantage of buying enhanced diamonds over real ones. As a buyer, you will surely prefer a perfectly colorless diamond that doesn’t have any imperfections. This can easily narrow your choices to only those diamonds of the highest quality with the highest price tags. But with enhanced diamonds, you can get the exact kind of diamond you want for a fraction of a cost.
Enhanced diamonds have a noticeably improved appearance after the treatment because the naked eye can no longer see any imperfections. Feathering and small cracks disappear like magic while the bleaching solution that is injected to the stone gets rid of any color.
Drawbacks of Buying Enhanced Diamonds
Although you can enjoy real savings if you will buy enhanced diamonds, you also need to consider some of its downsides.
Problems with cleaning
Most home jewelry cleaners have ammonia content. Ammonia can be toxic to an enhanced diamond. If you will take your piece to a jeweler to get it cleaned, there is a chance that they will use steam or ultrasonic cleaning machine.
Steam and heat can make the fillers leak outside the stone or even expand. This can widen the original fracture and make it not eye-clean anymore.
Issues with repairing
There is a need to repair jewelry every now and then. This is inevitable. The stones can loosen. There is a need to polish the setting. The white gold must be re-plated or the band should be resized. Jewelers usually heat metal during the repair so that it will become more malleable. Excessive heat will and can damage an enhanced diamond. The filling can leak or melt from the stone, turn cloudy, or darken. There are also instances when gas bubbles may form inside the diamond based on the specific type of filler used.
Other Important Considerations Before You Buy an Enhanced Diamond
Natural diamonds can get a grading report from the authorities to determine the value and qualities of a specific gemstone. There is a policy of not grading reports on enhanced diamonds since the treatment is regarded as temporary and there is no way to accurately determine the clarity and color of the stone after treatment.
One of the biggest strengths of diamonds is the ability of maintaining or even increasing in value after some time. Trying to enhance a diamond may cause the depreciation of the stone over time since it is no longer composed of natural materials, not to mention that the filler can also change color or erode eventually.
It is not a simple task to buy a diamond so make sure you are familiar with the different types such as enhanced diamonds that are available in the market right now so you can reach an informed decision that you won’t regret in the end.