Choosing a diamond may seem easy but it is a difficult task. A diamond is a special purchase and one has to be sure and careful about the choice they make. Shape, size, price, quality, brand and several other factors influence a diamond buyer’s decision. The jewelry market is filled with options when it comes to diamonds. Some of them are: mined diamonds, lab made diamonds, and clarity-enhanced diamonds. Experts advice buyers to do thorough research and know what they are buying.
Whereas mined diamonds are the most expensive, more affordable and equally good quality are lab made diamonds also known as lab engineered diamonds. Another option of cheaper diamonds is clarity-enhanced diamonds. Both, buyers and diamond experts, have different opinions about clarity-enhanced diamonds. Let us understand what are clarity-enhanced diamonds, how are they different from lab-created diamonds and should you buy these diamonds or not.
Even though diamonds are one of the strongest materials, they can have certain visible imperfections and there are possibilities that they have small cracks. Diamonds that are enhanced are mined diamonds that have been treated to conceal the visible imperfections. There are two treatments that are used in clarity-enhanced diamonds.
This process adds a glass-like resin material to a mined diamond for the purpose of closing small cracks.The filling has the same optical properties and refraction index as mined diamonds. Hence it is highly difficult to detect the repair. This method, however, is not a permanent method as heat from future repairs and even sunlight can corrode the filler or change its color. This means that the value of the diamond can get adversely affected in the future.
This method improves a diamond’s clarity by one grade but it doesn’t affect its color or weight. This method is useful only when there are small cracks. The process was developed in 1982 and it was only from 1990s that fracture filled diamonds began to be available in the market.
this process removed minor inclusions to enhance it. This method creates lines that resemble tiny trails. In some instances, chemicals are injected to change the color of a diamond. This process is a more permanent option compared to the fracture filling process. A number of experts have argued that this process damages the true qualities of a diamond and decreases the value of clarity in the long term.
The long term-effects of clarity-enhanced diamonds can include discoloration, wearing off that can cause holes, cracks and breaking of the glass, which may result in breaking of the diamonds.
A diamond that has been enhanced can be detected. There are a few ways in which you can come to know if a diamond is enhanced.
Lab made: Diamonds created in laboratories using High Pressure High Temperature or Chemical Vapor Deposition method are called lab made or CVD diamonds. These diamonds are real and of the exact same chemical, optical and physical properties as mined diamonds. Most lab made diamonds are Type II A diamonds, the purest form of diamonds without any impurities.
Clarity-enhanced: Most mined diamonds have imperfections. Diamonds that have been treated with different methods to conceal the imperfections are called clarity-enhanced diamonds.Enhancing diamonds conceals imperfections, such as small cracks. The imperfections then become invisible to the naked eye.Clarity enhanced diamonds come in all shapes, sizes, colors and clarities. They are cheaper than mined diamonds.
Both, clarity-enhanced and lab made diamonds are real, but the value of clarity-enhanced diamonds is diminished. They are cheaper than those mined diamonds that do not have any imperfections.
One of the most important differenced between these two kinds of diamonds is the quality and durability. Whereas clarity-enhanced diamonds are mined diamonds, they have undergone treatments, which affected their durability and toughness. Diamonds are strong, but the glass-like piece that has been added to clarity-enhanced diamonds is not as durable and can break or get damaged.
On the other hand, lab engineered diamonds are grown to perfection and precision. They do not need treatments for enhancement. They are created with advanced technological and chemical processes that make sure they are strong and perfect. Hence lab engineered diamonds do not need to go through processes such as drilling, which means they remain as strong as they are when they are produced.
Experts and buyers who have bought clarity-enhanced diamonds are of different opinions regarding the purchase of these diamonds. For a number of people who want to purchase diamonds, it is most important that their diamond is real. And for them, a real diamond is one that is mined from the Earth. They might not know about lab made diamonds, which are real, or they may be too rigid in accepting lab made diamonds as real. Such customers do not mind purchasing clarity-enhanced diamonds, because they are mined diamonds and are cheaper.
Clarity-enhanced diamonds come from the same mines that other mined diamonds come from. If you’re one of the environmentally and socially conscious consumers, you will want to avoid buying a clarity-enhanced diamond.
One must remember that even though the clarity-enhanced diamonds do not show any imperfections to the naked eye, their faults have only been concealed. That means you are paying for a diamond that has concealed imperfections. Paying money for a diamond with flaws is a personal choice.
Reports show that the number of customers opting for lab made diamonds is increasing for a number of reasons: quality, price, ethics and sustainability. With a wide variety of diamonds to choose from – mined, lab made, clarity-enhanced, synthetic – it is research, knowledge and know-how of each kind of diamond that is must for one to decide the right kind of diamond for them.
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