Jeweleries guide


Engagement Rings

Fashion Jewelery

Diamond Guide




Diamond Treatments - Clarity Enhancements

Treatments that Improve Diamond Clarity

Clarity is one of the terms you'll hear when you shop for an engagement ring or other diamond jewelry. Before you choose a diamond, it's important to understand what clarity is and how it can be manipulated.

Clarity grading designations describe the absence or presence of flaws inside or on the surface of a gemstone. A perfect natural stone with perfect clarity--clearness--is very rare, but many flaws that exist in jewelry grade diamonds cannot be seen without looking at them through a microscope or jeweler's magnifying loupe.


  • Imperfections inside a diamond, such as tiny spots of white, black, or other colors; large or small cracks; colored and uncolored crystals.


  • Flaws on a diamond's exterior surface, such as nicks and scratches.


  • Naturals are leftover matrix, the natural surface of the diamond before it was cut and polished.

    Laser Drilling Removes Inclusions


  • A tiny laser beam is used to drill into the diamond, tunneling-in to remove inclusions. Some inclusions are dissolved by chemical solutions that are placed in the tunnels.


  • Laser drilling typically leaves lines that resemble tiny jet trails, visible under side-view magnification. You'll see a tiny white dot when viewing the trails from the top of the diamond.


  • A newer type of laser enhancement creates cracks around inclusions near a diamond's surface. The imperfection is removed, and the marks left behind look more like natural flaws than laser trails.


  • Laser drilling removes inclusions permanently and does not alter the strength of a diamond. Normal cleaning and the heat produced during setting repairs won't change the appearance of the stone.


  • Laser drilled areas that are filled-in with a clear substance are more difficult to detect. The filler should not be considered permanent.

    Fracture Filling Fills Cracks


  • Fracture filling is a treatment used to fill-in tiny cracks with a clear, glasslike substance. The cracks don't disappear, but the film creates an optical illusion that makes them invisible to the naked eye.


  • Fracture filling is not a permanent treatment. Heat from repairs, cleaning, and sunlight can erode the filler or darken its color.


  • Some signs of fracture filling can be seen using a 10X jeweler's loupe, but others require a microscope.


  • With magnification, you might see flashes of color where cracks have been filled. The flashes aren't like the typical brilliant colors you see when rotating a stone. Instead, they follow the lines and shapes of the filled cracks.


  • Trapped air bubbles are another sign of fracture filling, either singly or in groups that create a cloudy appearance.

    Unfilled Cracks

    Unfilled cracks may produce color flashes, too. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) offers helpful advice that unfilled breaks are easiest to detect when looking at them from a perpendicular angle, while filled breaks are more obvious when looking at them from a parallel perspective.

    Fracture Filling Not Permanent

    If you're buying a diamond engagement ring or other diamond jewelry that will be worn continuously, a filled stone may not be the best choice, since the treatment is not permanent.

    "Enhanced" is Not a Positive Term

    Be wary if someone insinuates that the word enhanced is a positive feature. It does sound more desirable than the term treated, but it means the same thing. Find out which treatments were used and how those treatments affect the value of the diamond, its long-term appearance, and the care you should give it.

    Treatments allow us to own a diamond that appears to be of a higher quality than it truly is, and there's nothing wrong with buying a treated diamond if those treatments are disclosed and you pay an appropriate price for the stone.

    Jewelers Should Disclose

    Knowledgeable, reputable jewelers will disclose that treatments were made to diamonds they offer for sale, but let's face it, not everyone is knowledgeable or reputable. The solution is to arm yourself with as much information as you can before you shop for diamonds. You won't become an expert overnight, but you will have a better understanding of what you're looking at and you'll know which questions you should ask before you make an important purchase.

  • © Copyright 2010 All rights reserved.
    Unauthorized duplication in part or whole strictly prohibited by international copyright law.