In recent years, the popularity of enhanced diamonds has grown rapidly, in large part because it allows a customer to acquire a larger or fancier diamond at a lower cost.
The market prices enhanced diamonds differently due to their source, but they are no less valuable to those who wear them. As with every piece of jewelry, the value comes from its emotional meaning to the wearer. As long as the purchaser or recipient is aware that the stone has been enhanced, these stones provide a viable option to men and women purchasing diamond jewelry.
Enhanced diamonds are not “fake.” They are natural stones that have already been cut and polished but which are treated to improve certain gemological characteristics. Enhancements fall into two major categories: clarity enhancements and color enhancements. All of these treatments make a stone more commercially appealing; but it is very important that the buyer be made aware of any treatment that has been applied to a stone.
Laser drilling and fracture filling reduce the appearance of inclusions and small fractures, improving the clarity of the diamond. Diamonds treated in this manner require more careful care and cleaning. Be sure to use a non-ammoniated gentle jewelry cleaning formulation and avoid ultrasonic machines, as the vibrations used to clean the jewelry can cause damage along the fracture.
Irradiation and high heat treatments can improve a diamond’s color, turning brown and yellow diamonds into fancy colored diamonds in vivid colors, or improving the color of a white diamond. The color changes resulting from these treatments are permanent. Diamonds enhanced in this manner can be safely cleaned in a fine jewelry cleaning formulation. However, these stones should not be exposed to high temperatures like boiling water (though this is not a safe technique for any jewelry, as the high temperatures can cause metals to become misshapen).
Just like any gemstone, enhanced diamonds require routine cleaning to maintain their sparkle. If your enhanced diamond is paired with other, softer stones in a piece, be sure to use a non-ammoniated, gentle jewelry cleaning formulation that is safe for the softer stones. With proper care, enhanced diamonds can be enjoyed for a lifetime.
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