All About Clarity Enhanced Diamonds

Q:

Hi Liz,

Just a quick question regarding diamond clarity and buying online. I’ve seen a few stones online that are classified VS1 or thereabouts (CE) but the images seem to have a lot of inclusions that to me seem to be Sl1 – or worse. Is there a requirement for companies to adhere to a standard for this classification?

Thanks heaps in advance for your info.

Tom

A:

Hi Tom,

Clarity Enhanced Diamonds (CE) are typically diamonds of SI2 or lower clarity grades that are either laser drilled (to get rid of dark crystal inclusions) or fracture filled (to fill large feathers/cracks), or both. Laser drilling is permanent but fracture filling is not.

Clarity Enhanced Diamonds (CE)

Gem labs will grade a laser drilled CE diamond (as this is permanent) but will not grade a fracture filled CE diamond (as the filling isn’t permanent), so that is why there is no standard for clarity grading. These diamonds still often have visible imperfections (often these affect overall brilliance and light reflection). They are also sold at a discount, as you would expect.

Honestly, I wouldn’t advise a diamond of this quality. I’d rather you go for a decent CZ than a poor quality CE diamond. If you were interested in purchasing a loose diamond online, then I advise you to review some of my recommended vendors on my website (Brian Gavin Diamonds, Enchanted Diamonds, Zoara, Ritani, etc.).

What is your diamond budget? I would be happy to do a search for you if you wanted a recommendation.

Kind Regards,

Liz

Q:

Many thanks for your information Liz,

I was aware of the filling process and, to be honest, assumed that anything that I buy will be filled to some degree or another, so had resigned myself to get the best of what was available. Are there any realistic guarantees in acquiring such stones?

I’m looking to spend no more than $AUD3000 on the diamond itself, and was looking for something around the 1ct mark, and being aware that the price jumps at 1ct was looking for value at something like 0.95ct. I would appreciate your input. I was looking to acquire a VVS1 or VVS2 – colour E or better and a “very good or better” cut. I can almost hear you laugh at this, but if filled, this is possible. How close you can get with unfilled stones I will be interested to find out

I’m guessing that your recommendation will look to compromise – probably on colour (if not price, which is not really an option I have). I’m not really sure how far down I can go in this regard… ?

I hope some of this sounds workable – Many thanks again for your input, and I wait with bated breath for your reply…

Kind regards

Tom

A:

Hi Tom,

There are many fine quality diamonds sold through reputable retailers and diamond vendors that are not enhanced in anyway. If a diamond has a GIA or AGS grading report, then any laser drilling enhancement would be fully disclosed on the report itself. As mentioned previously, fracture filling is NOT permanent and also has a tell-tale sign of color flashes easily seen without magnification. One popular retailer that specializes in fracture-filled diamonds is Yehuda and they show a close-up of this ‘flash effect’ here: http://www.yehuda.com/EducationInfo

However, as I said before, I wouldn’t be looking to purchase an enhanced diamond. Stick with a diamond dealer that doesn’t sell these quality stones.

$3000 for a white diamond that is around 1ct in size will be difficult. You will have to severely compromise on carat weight/color/clarity in order to find something that fits your specifications. .70ct – .80ct is more realistic for a well cut diamond in your price range.

Diamonds with clarity grades of VVS1 and VVS2 are rare. These diamonds are priced appropriately due to the rarity. However, I don’t advise purchasing a diamond with such a high clarity grade because it is unnecessary. As long as the stone is “eye-clean“, you can save cash with purchasing an SI1 or even SI2. Please don’t confuse a stone’s brilliance or ability to reflect light with it’s clarity grade. A stone’s brilliance is a factor of it’s cut. The same goes for color grade. A colorless diamond (D, E, or F) are rare and will cost more. A diamond that is near-colorless (G, H, I, or J) will cost less. A well cut J colored diamond is perfectly stunning.

What metal were you planning on setting your purple sapphire and diamond in? If it is yellow gold, then you could get a lower color grade diamond and save extra cash because the yellow hue of gold metal will be somewhat absorbed by the diamond itself. Therefore, the eye cannot detect any warmth in the stone and you could get a very nicely cut stone that shines brilliantly. However, if you are looking to set the diamond in white-gold/platinum then you can go with a J or K or higher.

As a start, I recommend this .727ct I VS1. It’s a super-ideal hearts and arrows diamond that is completely eye-clean. You will not see any visible inclusions without the aid of magnification. The grade making inclusion is  a tiny crystal followed by imperceptible needles. It’s an exception diamond in your price range and is a much better alternative to a clarity enhanced diamond.

Please let me know what questions you have.

Best,

Liz

Q:

That’s perfect Liz. I am leaning towards the pure platinum side…

Tom

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