A purple flash in a Yehuda treated diamond
What is the story behind this treatment?: Fracture Filling is often referred to as "Clarity Enhancement". It is the filling of surface breaking fissures in a diamond, and sometimes other stones such as ruby. The process is not completely permanent, but does provide some nice looking stones for a lot less money...as long as you know what you are buying at the time of purchase.
Can I wear it everyday?: Fracture filling is relatively stable, as long as you do not expose your diamond to excessive heat. If you take it to a jeweler to be cleaned you should warn them that you have a fracture filled diamond. A professional jeweler will know how to clean your stone without causing damage.
What does this treatment do to the stone?: The example I use the most is to compare it to the treatment used to repair dings on an auto windshield. The fracture in the windshield is filled with a substance of the same basic density as the glass so light passes through at the same speed as the glass. Therefore, making the fracture invisible. The same applies to a diamond. A substance of about the same density as diamond is filled into the fracture thereby making it invisible. Of course there is a lot more science to it than this. But the process is rather simple. And does not harm the diamond (since its fractured anyway, right?)
Does this treatment save money?: Yes. I recommend that anyone on a tight budget looking particularly for earrings or pendants should consider a fracture filled diamond. You can get a much larger stone for your money, and worn on earrings or pendants, the diamonds should have no long term adverse effects. But remember, for rings that may get some tough wear and tear, fracture filled diamonds have...well...fractures. And you might want to consider something else for a ring.
What do I need to know before going shopping?: As you can see above, fracture filling is identifiable by a characteristic purple or orange flash (depending on which company did the work). I personally prefer diamonds filled by the Yehuda process. Because they were the people who invented the process, and they offer a life-time warranty to replace the treatment if it should ever come out or degenerate. Which one day, one or the other will happen. Beyond that, you can get a lot of flash-for-the-cash with clarity enhanced diamonds. Just be sure that you realize their limitations. And be sure that you know that you are getting a diamond from a specific company who treats the diamonds. The most famous are Yehuda, Goldman, and Oved. You should get a warranty of some type if you buy from one of these companies through your local independent jeweler.
And...if you are shopping for diamonds and the price seems too low for the diamond offered...beware. Fracture filled diamonds have been sold to all too many unwary consumers by lizard jewelers who take advantage of consumers. Be sure and get it in writing that your diamond has no treatments if it is sold to you as such. This will protect you if you find you have been sold a fracture filled diamond without proper disclosure. Word to the wise! YourGemologist
Special Identifying Properties
and Tests: The flash effect
shown above is diagnostic. Sometimes the filler has degenerated
and shows a crackeled appearance. The GIA has some excellent slides
to demonstrate the various conditions of fraction filled diamonds
which all gemologists should be familiar with.
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