DIAMOND: April Birthstone
Perhaps the world’s best-known gemstone, diamond’s purity and brilliance has been celebrated since ancient times.
When buying a diamond, it is important to understand the range of enhancements a stone may have undergone.
While colorless diamonds are the most popular, diamonds are found in a variety of naturally-occurring and enhanced hues. Extreme heat and irradiation are widely used permanent treatments that enhance certain color properties. Black diamonds, for example, are usually enhanced in this way.
SELECTING A STONE
Today, laser treatment is an increasingly popular diamond enhancement. Using powerful laser technology, lapidaries can vaporize the stone’s internal imperfections and seal any cavities or fissures, rendering them nearly imperceptible to the naked eye. This treatment is permanent; only extreme heat or specifically formulated chemicals can compromise the laser sealant.
A new high-pressure, high-temperature treatment known as HPHT can improve the color of some diamonds. It can both intensify a diamond’s existing pink, blue, green, and yellow color, or make a stone more colorless. Because HPHT diamonds sell for less than untreated diamonds, HPHT-treated stones must be identified with an inscription on the diamond’s girdle to prevent misrepresentation.