Within the four C’s of diamond grading - cut, clarity, color, and carat – color can oftentimes be the most uniquely defining feature of a diamond’s beauty.
All women dream of a flawless diamond. However, what does color really mean when there are so many options to achieve the colorless or colorful diamond of your dreams?
Here’s a breakdown of what color enhancement is, it’s meaning, and how it can affect the durability and value of a diamond.
What is Color Enhancement
Color enhancement refers to any type of process or treatment that modifies or enhances the color of a natural diamond.
Diamonds are evaluated on their degree of colorlessness by comparing established “master stones” with ungraded ones. While it is usually difficult for an untrained eye to detect, color variations can greatly affect and determine quality and price.
By manipulating diamonds through several enhancement processes, an otherwise average diamond can transform into a spectacular one.
The three widely used practices for color enhancement – surface coating, irradiation with high-energy subatomic particles, and high pressure high temperature treatment (HPHT) – can significantly modify or remove color from natural diamonds. From centuries-old color modification techniques, to today’s latest advancements in technology, here is what these different types of color enhancement methods mean.
Surface coating refers to any method used to coat a diamond with a solution. A coating can either whiten a yellowish diamond, or add color to a white diamond. Interestingly, this practice of coating diamonds to enhance their color dates back to the Georgian and Victorian eras. With recent advancements in technology, the films currently applied to diamonds are much more sophisticated and long lasting, making them difficult to detect.
Surface coating is desirable when it can effectively change the color of a diamond to a more sought-after color without the permanence that other processes entail.