What Is a Clarity Enhanced Diamond?

by Cassandra Cochrun

The Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.) scale ranks diamond clarity as one of the four "C's" you should consider when purchasing a diamond. Completely flawless diamonds are extremely rare, but some jewelers use "clarity enhancement" to make the diamond look more perfect than it really is. These treatments should be disclosed under the "comments" section of a G.I.A. certificate.

History

A jeweler named Zvi Yeheda developed clarity enhancement in 1982. By the 1990's, clarity enhanced diamonds became commonplace.

Types

While there are many types of clarity enhancement, laser drilling and fracture filling are two of the most common. Laser drilling attempts to remove the tiny black or white specks called "inclusions" from the diamond with a laser; fracture filling fills in pre-existing cracks with a substance similar to glass.

Identification

Most evidence of clarity enhancement cannot be detected with the naked eye. However, under a microscope, you can sometimes detect clarity enhancement treatments.

Misconceptions

Clarity enhanced diamonds may look flawless, but they are not worth the same as a flawless stone; the durability is reduced as well.

Considerations

Purchasing a clarity enhanced diamond can be a smart decision because it allows you to get a larger, cleaner diamond than you could otherwise afford.

Warning

All of the diamond's information, including clarity enhancement treatments, should be disclosed when you decide to make a purchase. Inspect the diamond carefully.