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Diamond Color Treatments: Are they for Me?

Last week, I talked about two diamond treatments done to diamonds to enhance their clarity, ( ) and this week, I’d like to talk about treatments done to make an already white diamond look like a fancy colored diamond. As you may have read in my post regarding fancy colored diamonds, they are very rare, so treating a diamond to mimic one can be enticing to the budget! But, we have to be aware that not all treatments are permanent and can be irreversibly damaged if not cared for properly.

· Coating: Coating is probably one of the oldest treatments to diamonds! An ultra-thin layer of chemical or plastics is coated on the outside of a cut and polished diamond giving it a fancy color flair. Heat and chemicals of normal jewelry repairs can damage the coating, as well as, rough wear causing scratches.

· High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT): Machinery is a modern marvel! A large cubic hydraulic press uses heat and pressure to turn a brownish colored diamond clear or another color like pink, blue, or orange-yellow. This treatment is permanent. HPHT is also used to grow lab created diamonds, see my blog

· Annealing: Annealing is an intricate process where diamonds are carefully heated and cooled to change a diamond to be brown, orange, yellow, blue, or green. Since regular jewelry repair uses heat, annealed diamonds can be easily damaged if precautions are not taken.

· Irradiation: Irradiation caused by man can turn a diamond green, blue, brown, yellow, or black. This process is not considered permanent as they are sensitive to heat. Jewelry repair, recutting, or repolishing can cause the color to change.

Treated diamonds can definitely save you money. I worked with a beautiful pink diamond where the color was caused by the HPHT process that sold for a fraction of what a natural pink diamond would have sold for!

The moral of the treated diamonds story is that you have to know what you are buying. A diamond seller MUST disclose to you in conversation, description on website, and on the receipt that your diamond has been treated and which one. You should also be educated on it so that you understand it and know what precautions you need to take in wear-and-tear and jewelry repair because your investment can turn to nothing if not properly cared for. Whenever buying a diamond, I suggest making sure it comes with a lab report from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society (AGS). These two have extensive labs and can detect treatments.

If you’d like some help with selecting your engagement ring, anniversary jewelry, custom piece, or any other jewelry need, please contact me! I have been helping people for 23 years, and I’d love to help you!

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