Diamond jewelry featuring all-natural stones may be desirable, but enhanced diamonds are more affordable and may give you the look you truly want. Clarity enhancement offers a major improvement on many stones, and enhanced diamonds may allow you to have a larger stone for your budget. Diamond enhancement is not a complicated process, but understanding how it works will give you the confidence to choose the right clarity rating when shopping for diamond jewelry.
The process: Diamond clarity enhancement may include laser drilling or fracture filling. To fill fractures, a microscopic amount of high-refractive-index glass material is introduced into surface-reaching feathers to reduce their visibility. The treatment is most effective on very thin crevices and fissures. Laser drilling may improve diamond clarity through the removal of inclusions.
The color and weight: The diamond's natural color is not affected by laser drilling and fracture filling, and the diamond is still considered natural. Diamond enhancement processes do not add weight to the diamond since microscopic amounts of filler are used and minute inclusions are removed.
Detection: A clarity-enhanced diamond can be identified by a "flash effect" when observing the diamond nearly parallel to the plane of the filled fracture. The flash effect usually appears blue against a bright background and yellow or orange against a dark background. It does not include a full spectrum of color but is normally just the two colors. This optical effect can best be seen with 10x magnification under a focused beam of intense light.
Durability: The Gemological Institute of America, after extensive research, has determined that the filler material is stable under normal-wear conditions, but may be damaged by high heat or acids. This damage can be easily avoided by removing clarity-enhanced diamonds before repair work is done near the diamond. To learn more about protecting your enhanced diamonds, read our guide on caring for clarity-enhanced diamonds.
Selection: When you're shopping for diamonds, look carefully for information about enhancement. At Overstock™ and other reliable jewelry retailers, any jewelry that contains clarity-enhanced diamonds will be identified in the product description. Our gemstone treatment guide is a great place to find additional information about gemstone treatments and enhancements.
Published September 16, 2010
Updated January 8, 2015