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There are three different color enhancement processes used – Irradiation, HPHT & coating. See The Process for details.
While diamonds were once treated using the cyclotron, we now use the more advanced electron accelerator. This is a far safer process, which results in no residual radiation being left in the diamond.
In irradiation and HPHT no color is actually added. It emerges through the activation of the diamond’s own color center – and it’s not something that’s artificially introduced into the diamond, like paint, oil or chemicals. In coating since the color is not generated from within the diamond it is the result of a film being imparted on the pavilion of the diamond some people might argue that color is ‘added’ to the diamonds.
Yes. The color won’t fade over time, and COLORed DIAMONDS can be handled like any other diamond. The only thing that can affect an irradiated diamond is the type of extreme heat (450 C/ 850 F) usually found in the mantel of the Earth.
Coated diamonds are just as hardy and durable as all diamonds, unless exposed to the same extreme heat. The only difference is that the pavilion of a coated diamond shouldn’t be exposed to acids or abrasive materials.
No, all off-white diamonds have a certain color potential and can only turn a certain color. Our experienced sorters are trained to recognize the color potential of any off-white diamond immediately, so there is no guesswork involved in the process.
The irradiation and HPHT processes are capable of manufacturing most colors except true pink. These processes yield very few pink colors and even then most of them have purplish undertones. For this reason, the only practical way to create a true pink diamond in larger quantities is to use the coating process.
COLORed DIAMONDS can be channel set, invisible set, bezel set, flush set and pave set. Irradiated diamonds and coated diamonds cannot be wax set, however, as that process involves very high temperatures. Coated diamonds cannot be tension set as the pavilion needs to be protected.
If you’re in the jewelry trade, you should always have a Geiger counter on hand to check not only COLORed DIAMONDS but other gemstones as well. In addition, most certified labs will test your gemstones for a small fee.
HPHT and Irradiated diamonds can be cleaned just like any other diamond; by using water, steam, acid, an ultrasonic cleaner or a common jewelry cleaner. Coated diamonds can only be cleaned using water. Acids and ultrasonics should be avoided as they can damage the coating.