Diamonds are considered sacred among gems. Their creation within the earth’s crust imparts a beauty and strength that is both natural and amazing. Highly sought after, diamonds undergo rigorous inspection. There are sometimes flaws within the diamond that occur as the diamond forms. These flaws can render the diamond unfit for sale to jewelers interested in flawless or near-flawless diamonds, but can be virtually erased to create brilliant treasures known as treated diamonds.
Natural Flaws and their Treatments
One type of flaw is the inclusion. An inclusion is a natural deposit within the diamond that disrupts the diamond’s ability to reflect light. Common inclusions in diamonds are black carbon spots, air bubbles, iron and garnet deposits. Since the late 1960’s, a technique called laser drilling has been used to significantly reduce the visibility of inclusions. Laser drilling uses an infrared laser to bore holes into a diamond to create access to an inclusion. Once a route has been cleared by the laser drill, the diamond is soaked in sulfuric acid to dissolve the inclusion. The holes made by laser drilling are invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen using a microscope.
Another type of inclusion is a fracture. Fractures, or feathering, are a result of the high pressure involved during the formation of the diamond in the earth’s crust. Fractures can be filled with specially-formulated solutions having a refractive index near that of a diamond.
Selling Treated Diamonds
Treated diamonds sell at lower prices when compared to similar, untreated diamonds due to the fact that treated diamonds are initially lower quality before enhancement. After enhancement, treated diamonds are often identical to the more expensive, untreated diamonds. However, jewelers selling treated diamonds are required to disclose all diamond treatments at the time of sale.