Diamond is celebrated for the purity of its brilliance. Yet within the structure of diamond, we often find impurities, or inclusions, that deflect light, distracting our eye from the radiance we so value. Many of these tiny imperfections are removed when the diamond is shaped. Today, cutters also have the option of using an enhancement technique that focuses tiny beams of laser light at imperfections and vaporizes them. The minute passageways created by the laser may then be filled with clear resins or glass-hard substances, rendering them nearly invisible to the naked eye. This method can also be used to fill fissures that reach the stone's surface, rendering them less visible to the naked eye. This treatment is permanent: only extreme heat or specifically formulated chemicals will remove the filling from the laser passageways or fissures.
Diamonds may also be colored in a variety of hues. Extreme heat and irradiation permanently enhance certain innate color properties, allowing them to display their hues in more brilliant array. Black diamonds, for example, are usually enhanced in this way.
A new high-pressure high-temperature treatment, known as HPHT, can improve the color of certain types of diamonds. HPHT treatment can remove tints from some diamonds, making them more colorless, or intensify the pink, blue, green, and yellow colors in others. Because HPHT diamonds sell for less than naturally colored diamonds, industry rules require HPHT-treated stones to be identified with an inscription on the girdle of the diamond to prevent misrepresentation.
Whether color enhanced, lasered, or cut from the most perfect raw state, your jeweler will inform you of the magical journey your diamond has followed, from deep within the earth's mantle to the fine, finished gemstone you see before you.
Click here to read about fancy colored diamonds.