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Diamond Treatments and How They Affect Value

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Fractures, discoloration, and inclusions all take away from the natural beauty of a diamond, but there are a number of restorative techniques that attempt to hide or repair these imperfections. Every informed consumer should know that diamonds which have undergone these processes will always decrease in value from what they were worth before, sometimes significantly. Listed below are the most common diamonds treatments and how they affect a diamond’s value.

Clarity Enhancement

Fracture Filling

In 1982, Israeli inventor and diamond cutter Zvi Yehuda developed the process of fracture filling, which involves filling surface-reaching cracks in diamonds with molten glass to improve their clarity. Diamonds that have undergone this process are commonly known as “Yehuda diamonds”, and they are meant to be sold at a lower price than a diamond of the same size that has not been fracture filled. The fracture that once tainted its appearance becomes virtually invisible to the naked eye. While these diamonds might seem like a great buy at their lower price point, fracture fillings can fall out during routine cleaning and repair or become damaged over time. This makes them a risky purchase. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Guides and The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) regulations state that all fracture filled stones are required to be disclosed as such at the point of sale, but it is not unheard of for jewelers to unknowingly sell fracture filled diamonds. If you discover that you received a fracture filled diamond when promised an untreated diamond, you should be able to get compensated from the seller pending recertification.

Laser Drilling

In 1982, Israeli inventor and diamond cutter Zvi Yehuda developed the process of fracture filling, which involves filling surface-reaching cracks in diamonds with molten glass to improve their clarity. Diamonds that have undergone this process are commonly known as “Yehuda diamonds”, and they are meant to be sold at a lower price than a diamond of the same size that has not been fracture filled. The fracture that once tainted its appearance becomes virtually invisible to the naked eye. While these diamonds might seem like a great buy at their lower price point, fracture fillings can fall out during routine cleaning and repair or become damaged over time. This makes them a risky purchase. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Guides and The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) regulations state that all fracture filled stones are required to be disclosed as such at the point of sale, but it is not unheard of for jewelers to unknowingly sell fracture filled diamonds. If you discover that you received a fracture filled diamond when promised an untreated diamond, you should be able to get compensated from the seller pending recertification.

Color Enhancement

HPHT (High Temperature, High Pressure)

Some diamonds can be treated by a process known as HTHP (High Temperature, High Pressure), in which poor color diamonds are heated in order to change their color to something more desirable. The HTHP process recreates the conditions of the volcanic environments where diamonds are formed, enabling them to get further along in the natural clarity enhancing maturation process. This form of treatment is virtually undetectable outside of a well equipped grading laboratory, but all diamonds that have undergone HTHP treatment must show this information on their GIA certificate. HTHP diamonds can possess the same qualities found in the most rare, high end diamonds, but they are usually worth at least 50% less than the value of a non-HTHP treated diamond of the same size, clarity, and color. It is important to note whether a diamond has undergone a color enhancement as the difference in value is significant. For example a naturally Fancy Blue diamond can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars but one that is treated may be worth anywhere from hundreds to a few thousand depending on its size and clarity.

Conclusion

These processes are excellent for transforming imperfect diamonds into ones that look similar to the most clear, unblemished, and brilliant natural diamonds. If you are looking to get a good looking diamond for relatively cheap, buying a treated stone may be right for you. If you are looking for a diamond that retains significant value though– perhaps as an asset– you are better served buying an untreated diamond. You should always be able to trust that a diamond’s certificate includes an up-to-date record of any treatments the diamond has undergone. Do not let anyone sell you a treated diamond as an untreated diamond. We at Vasco Assets are committed to giving you the best edge in luxury transactions that you can have, and we hope this knowledge will serve you well.

About Vasco Assets:

Vasco Assets Inc. is a privately held international investment firm located in Newport Beach, California. Vasco Assets has over 35 years of industry expertise from investing, lending, buying and selling of luxury items to collaborating with charities in developing custom offerings and much more. At Vasco Assets, we create and cultivate long-term, multi-generational relationships with our clients.

 

Vasco Assets’ diversification in the global economy helps maintain our position as an independent international institution that is not subject to the fluctuations in the market conditions. In recent years, we’ve been making significant investments in our patent-pending technological platform and applying them to lending, investments, and fostering our client relationships.

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