You have a diamond, but you are not completely satisfied with its clarity? Then you may be wondering if there is a way to improve the appearance of your stone. Let’s see if the clarity of your diamond can be enhanced.
What Is Diamond Clarity Enhancement?
The term “clarity enhancement” refers to methods used to remove diamond flaws or make them less visible.
Depending on the enhancement techniques employed and the number of flaws removed, the clarity of the improved stone can go up by one or more grades.
In general, enhanced diamonds cost less than untreated stones with the same clarity grade and similar quality characteristics.
How Can I Get the Clarity of My Diamond Enhanced?
The most common way to improve diamond clarity is laser drilling. This procedure is performed by jewelers and gem labs that have the necessary equipment.
Basically, the method entails using laser to drill very thin channels in your diamond; each of these tunnels reaches a particular inclusion, and heat or acid is used to dissolve it.
A supplemental procedure that can be done after laser drilling is fracture filling. This enhancement is optional and serves to mask the channels created within the stone.
Fracture filling involves filling the tunnels in the diamond with a transparent glass-like substance.
Another way to improve the clarity of a diamond is re-cutting. This works well only if the flaws you want to get rid of are located close to the surface of the stone.
In such a case, they can be cut out by a professional cutter, and the diamond can be reshaped into a smaller stone. However, since it will lose weight, the diamond may also become less valuable.
Downsides of Diamond Clarity Enhancement
Although the channels created as a result of laser drilling are thinner than a hair and barely visible (they can be detected with a microscope, though), if there are too many of them, they could affect how the diamond reflects light.
Such an effect is not likely to be very obvious, however.
The bigger problem is that a lot of tunnels in a diamond can compromise its integrity and make the stone somewhat easier to chip or rack if hit hard.
This is why diamonds that have had too many inclusions removed can be more fragile than unenhanced stones.
Fracture filling has the potential to create more serious issues than laser drilling.
The problem with this procedure lies mainly in the filling injected into the drilled channels.
For one thing, this substance can alter the color and sparkle of the stone.
However, a more problematic complication is that the filler substance could be damaged or destroyed by high heat (used often in jewelry repairs) or ultrasonic cleaning.
This is why you should always tell your jeweler if your diamond has been fracture-filled before any work is done on it (such as resetting, mounting, etc.).
Should You Get the Clarity of Your Diamond Enhanced?
There are a lot of jewelers that provide diamond enhancement services, and whether you should have the clarity of your stone improved is a personal choice.
However, if the inclusions in your stone are not very visible, it might not be worth it to subject your diamond to an enhancement procedure. See if you can conceal the flaws by mounting the stone in a setting that hides the inclusions.
If you have a diamond with one or a couple of visible inclusions that are located prominently, then having them removed could significantly improve the stone’s appearance.
However, if there are too many big flaws in the diamond, having them all removed may come at the cost of diminished durability.