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Diamond Buying Made Easier > Diamond Color > Color Enhanced Diamonds

Color Enhanced Diamonds

Color enhanced diamonds are an alternative to Natural Fancy Color diamonds.... color enhanced diamonds start out as "ugly ducklings" that have been altered from their original color.

The color enhancements make some diamonds more marketable and for the most part the enhancements are considered permanent. Many of the color enhanced diamonds that I've seen over the years were very attractive and were also offered at pretty attractive prices!
Fancy Red Diamond

This little 0.95ct natural Fancy Red Diamond (not a color enhanced diamond) sold at a Christie's auction for a cool $1 million per carat ($950,000 total).... you could add a Natural Fancy Color diamond like this to your wish list!

  Most Common Color Enhanced Diamond Treatments    

color enhanced diamonds

#1- I hate using this term, but here goes.... Irradiated Diamonds... still there?
You didn't go running off screaming... "Is he crazy!!!? A diamond that's been nuked!".... are you still there??.... OK, good! Let's continue.

This color enhancement process is done in several different ways but the results are all the same. You start with a low color (P,Q,R,etc.) 100% natural diamond that has already been cut and polished, then exposed it to a stream of fast electrons, this is a similar process that is being used in preserving food.

During this part of the process, the color enhanced diamond will turn to a very dark color because some of the atoms in the diamond's crystal structure have now been dislocated (bumped out of place) and this in turn has affected the way light passes through the color enhanced diamond. Next, the color enhanced diamond goes through a controlled heating process, an annealing process, this allows some of those atoms to relocate in order to obtain a desired color.

The 4 color enhanced diamonds shown above have had this treatment. This is a totally safe process and the color enhanced diamond's new color will be considered permanent. An "ugly duckling" of a low color diamond is able to be transformed into brilliant color enhanced diamonds featuring hues such as canary yellow, pink, blue, gold, green, cognac, orange, and black.

#2 HPHT- High Pressure/High Temperature (HPHT) treatment can improve the color of certain types of brown diamonds and thus increase their value. In the mid-90s General Electric developed a process that duplicated the conditions of diamond's creation in nature. The color enhanced diamond will be heated up to a very high temperature under a very high, stabilizing pressure. Faults in the crystal structure are then rearranged resulting in an alteration of the diamond's color.

Because the conditions of the HPHT process are very similar to diamond's original formation, only a well equipped lab will be able to positively identify this type of color enhanced diamond. HPHT was first used to turn yellowish diamonds into more marketable fancy colored diamonds, but now it is also used to transform some unpopular brownish diamonds into more desirable colorless diamonds.

#3 Coatings- The coating on polished diamonds refers to a thin artificial layer that alters the color of the diamond. The coating can either be of the desired color or can cause a colored interference-effect. These color enhanced diamond coatings are not permanent and they are sometimes done to deceive a buyer when the treatment is not disclosed.

Recently, I've seen some pink coated diamonds on the market, they are very attractive.... and of course you would have to purchase them knowing that they have been coated and follow the jeweler's guidelines about owning and caring for these type of color enhanced diamonds.

These coatings can be applied to the whole of a color enhanced diamond's surface, just the bottom of the diamond, or to a narrow zone near the girdle. A well-applied coating can change the color by one color grade. Some coatings can be removed through boiling in sulfuric acid or hydrofluoric acid.

Sometimes dots or larger areas of purple or blue ink are painted on the diamond to help counteract a yellowish color. The diamond's setting will usually cover the dots, so they are difficult to see in a mounted stone. The coating can usually be removed with water or cleaning solutions. This last process is definitely performed to deceive someone and is not encountered in a reputable local jeweler or one of the large online diamond sellers.

- Important Take Away Points -
Color Enhanced Diamonds

#1- Natural fancy diamonds are expensive and out of the reach of many buyers. Color enhanced diamonds are affordable and allow a lot of people to own a brightly colored diamond. Look into buying one of these color enhanced diamonds if you'd love a bit of color in your life!

#2- Color enhanced diamonds are now also used as the small accent diamonds around a larger colorless diamond. There are many exciting pieces of jewelry available with small blue, yellow, black, or green color enhanced diamonds.

#3- Now that you know about color enhanced diamonds and someone tries to sell you on what they call a natural fancy colored diamond but it is at a super bargain price... you will know that something just doesn't sound right about the offer. A report from a respected grading lab should accompany all natural Fancy Colored Diamonds that are marketed as natural.

The one possible exception to this would be commonly available natural fancy color diamonds such as yellows and browns. Let the price for a colored diamond be your guide... if they are asking for a lot of money for the diamond, then it must come with a creditable report from a nationally known Gemological laboratory.

#4- Under normal wear the irradiated and HPHT color enhanced diamonds will have no problems of the color being stable. The only consideration will be when you need to have any type of service done on the piece of jewelry.

If this type of color enhanced diamond is exposed to excessive amounts of heat it might affect the color. The jeweler will need to know that the diamond is a color enhanced diamond before any work is done. Having this knowledge, the jeweler will then be able to decide on the best course of action in dealing with a color enhanced diamond.

#5- Ask your local jeweler if they have any Fancy Colored diamonds.... either natural or color enhanced diamonds. It's always interesting, and fun, to look at something different!

Hold On - Here's Even More Information!
The following is a really very cool feature... additional content about Color Enhanced Diamonds from some of our visitors! They have decided to share some of their experiences on this topic with the rest of us.

Below you will find...
bullet The Invitation Form- A "fill in the blank" form that's used to share info.
bullet The Submissions- Stories and thoughts from others on Color Enhanced Diamonds.

This is where the power of the Internet really starts to flex its muscles.... when people from around the world can easily and freely share information! Read what others have to say and give it a try yourself, it's really easy.

  - Enter The Title Of Your Page Here -  

  What others have shared with us about Color Enhanced Diamonds....    

Love my blue diamonds 
I was on a flight to Aruba about 4 years ago (I go every year) when I saw these beautiful teal/blue stones in a magazine. I was actually getting married …

My two enhanced diamonds- #1 
The photos.

Color Enhanced Diamond - It's lovely. 
Bud, Thanks for this page. I wanted a yellow diamond for my engagement ring and I let it be known to my bf. He did his homework and after coming here …

Color Enhanced Diamond - It was meant to be? 
I was at the jewelers a few weeks ago for a new battery in my watch and he showed me some green diamonds that he just got in. It was a nice green, not …

Color Enhanced Diamonds - Seeing is believing 
My aunt bought a necklace with 6 of these color enhanced diamonds. The diamonds are not real big but they are beautiful. I didn't realize that diamonds …

Beautiful color enchanced diamonds Not rated yet
I have 2 loose color treated diamonds that I am having made into jewelery. The 1.09 carat GIA calls fancy dark brown, but it's a beautiful red brown with …

My two enhanced diamonds- #2 Not rated yet
My blue one.

Ms. Carroll G. Not rated yet
I own two beautiful color enhanced diamonds. One is a teal blue which I wear in a pinky ring and a green radiant cut which is , as I remember, 1.58 carrots …

Click here to write your own.

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