A Quick Education About Colored Diamonds August 21, 2015 17:09
Colored Diamonds From The Laboratory
We have a line of colored diamond jewelry at Chimera.
The colored diamonds we sell (usually) are natural, white diamonds that have been changed into colored diamonds. There are three methods that can be used singly or in combination with each other depending on the color desired.
Electron Irradiation - a pulsed beam of electrons that will induce color into the diamonds is fired at them. The light absorbing pattern is changed and so is the color. Used alone, this process gives diamonds a blue or greenish blue color.
Annealment - To expand the range of colors, super heating them in an oxygen-free environment in temperatures 900 degrees and higher allows us to get other shades of color. The atomic structure of the diamonds rearrange, and a new palate of colors is possible.
High Pressure High Temperature (Hpht) - The HPHT process recreates the heat and pressure that creates diamonds initially in the Earth. Sophisticated machinery is programmed to accent conditions to get yellows, oranges, and greens.
There is a fourth method consisting of coating the diamond, which is used to create a truly pink color. The coating is done at the pavilion - the lower part of the diamond. This allows the color to shine through the entire diamond.
The first three treatments are more stable than the fourth. Diamonds that have been irradiated and/or annealed will not fade over time and they will wear like a normal diamond. The only caveat is that when being worked on by a jeweler, they need to be careful NOT to expose the diamond to heat in excess of 900 degrees which could occur when sizing a ring.
The HPHT method requires no caution of any kind.
The technology creating colored diamonds has moved forward tremendously in the last decade. When we first opened in 2002, treating diamonds was reserved for those very low on the clarity scale (I1 to I3) because the science was very in-exact as to the results. Sometimes they came out looking terrible. Blue ones could be all over the color spectrum and it was hard to create diamonds that were a good color match even when they were treated together.
Fast forward to the present day, and companies like Lotus Color can provide colored diamonds with better clarity (SI1-2) and with wonderful consistency. This makes it much easier to design and build colored diamond jewelry that is affordable and beautiful.
NATURAL COLORED DIAMONDS
They exist and they are extremely rare and costly. A 9.75 ct natural blue diamond (above) was auctioned in 2014 for 32.6 million dollars. Pink diamonds are found in Australia in very limited quantities and typically command prices in excess of what most of us can handle.
Typically a yellowish tint causes the price/value of a diamond to go down. That is true until the saturation of the yellow color reaches what GIA terms "Fancy" and then the price jumps up like a ROCKET!
Conclusion - creating colored diamonds in the lab is a wonderful way to make the long lasting beauty of colored diamond jewelry something that regular people can afford and appreciate. We are excited to offer colored diamond jewelry in our store and to you online.