Thursday, May 15, 2014

Clarity enhanced diamonds at Chimera - what does clarity enhanced mean?

Cliff has been selling diamonds for over 16 years now. He earned his Diamonds Graduate certification from GIA in 1998. Over the course of his career, he has sold clarity enhanced (CE) diamonds to a lot of people.
So what does "Clarity Enhanced" (CE) mean?

The imperfections in diamonds are called "inclusions" if they are inside the diamond and "blemishes" if they are on the outside. There is one particular type of inclusion that can be "repaired" using the clarity enhancement process: a feather. A feather is an inclusion that reaches the surface of the diamond. This picture shows a nice close up of a feather:

In the clarity enhancement process, a clear glass like filler is put into the feather at an extremely high temperature and under very high pressure. (The industry guards the specifics, as you might imagine.)

Anyway, the material has the same reflective properties as a diamond, so you do not notice it unless you examine the diamond under magnification. It is also very noteworthy that the lab at GIA has weighed clarity enhanced diamonds before and after the treatment and since the amount of material used is so miniscule, it adds no weight to the diamond. Very important since diamonds are sold by weight. GIA does NOT certify CE diamonds, but other labs do.

The CE process is NOT a miracle worker - you cannot take a I2 clarity diamond and turn it into a VS clarity stunner. Most times a diamond will move up one or possibly two notches on the clarity scale. That being said, what the CE translates to in terms of your pocketbook is that you can save about 30% by purchasing a CE gem.

Here are a couple of examples of the difference the CE process can make:

The top example has multiple feathers while the lower one has a very noticeable feather almost dead center on the diamond. The CE process renders them pretty much invisible. We say "pretty much" invisible because the process can be detected using magnification. Turning the CE diamond while examining it will produce a "flash" of color - most times a purple or orange or combination.

Here is an excellent photo of filled feathers demonstrating the purplish flash -

Any CE diamond we sell has a Lifetime Warranty on the process.
CE diamonds are not for everyone - but our attitude is that they are just another enhancement. Shoot, if you take a look at a diamond crystal the way they come out of the ground you might not be impressed. It could be argued that cutting and polishing the diamond is a "clarity enhancement".
Here is a totally natural diamond crystal before cutting and polishing:

Not exactly the eye candy bling we associate with diamonds, is it?

On the other hand - here are a couple of CE diamonds we have in our store. The round one is 1.06 ct and the princess cut is 1.04. The princess cut is $3,380.00 and the round is $4,386.00.

CE diamonds are another avenue that is available for you to get an excellent amount of value for your jewelry shopping dollar. These two examples are about 30% less than comparable non-CE diamonds. (The round one is a D color - top of the color chart!)

Stop in and take a look - see Clarity Enhanced for yourself.

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