“I’m shopping for a diamond engagement ring and have heard great things about Brian Gavin Signature diamonds, but the price range that I’m working with doesn’t obtain the combination of carat weight, color, and clarity that I’ve set my sights upon. This is something that I might just have to come to grips with, because to be perfectly honest I decided that I wanted a round diamond weighing at least 1.50 carats, G-color or better, VS-2 clarity or better, within the price range of $10-12k with an additional budget of less than $1K for the setting, so up to $13K for the complete ring. But then I started to learn the importance of diamond cut quality, and I’m discovering that ideal cut diamonds cost more than non-ideal cut diamonds. My local jeweler recently suggested a clarity enhanced diamond. Does Brian Gavin offer clarity enhanced diamonds?"
What is a clarity enhanced diamond?
I’ve always found it interesting that diamonds which are referred to as “Laser Drilled and Fracture Filled” by diamond cutters are referred to as “Clarity Enhanced Diamonds” by the retail side of the diamond industry.
I’ve yet to have a single consumer express a desire to purchase a diamond engagement ring that contains a diamond which has been laser drilled and fracture filled, but quite a few people have asked whether Brian Gavin sells clarity enhanced diamonds. Interestingly enough, none of them have expressed further interest in a “clarity enhanced diamond” once they’ve understood that it means that a diamond has been laser drilled to reduce the visibility of inclusions, which leaves an open channel in the diamond, which has then been filled with a proprietary substance that is similar to the translucent filler agent that is used to repair cracks and rock chips in a car windshield.
This is not to say that “clarity enhanced diamonds” which have been laser drilled and fracture filled to improve the clarity grade of the diamond by eliminating and/or reducing the visibility of the clarity characteristics / inclusions within the diamond, do not have their place in the market. Clarity enhanced, laser drilled, fracture filled diamonds appear to offer people a more affordable alternative to the price of natural diamonds of comparable quality.
But then again, the market value of a clarity enhanced, laser drilled, fracture filled diamond is based upon what the clarity grade of the diamond would be, before it was enhanced by the process of being laser drilled and fracture filled. Thus if a 1.50 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity diamond were originally I-1 in clarity, or perhaps SI-2 in clarity, then the price of the diamond would be based on a diamond of that clarity grade. I view them in the same category as used cars that have been rebuilt from salvage vehicles left behind by some kind of accident.
Are clarity enhanced diamonds stable?
The various manufacturers of laser drilled, fracture filled, clarity enhanced diamonds promote their diamonds as being stable under the normal conditions that jewelry is likely to be worn. However, all of them issue warnings to jewelers not to use a torch on the diamonds, as it might damage and/or eliminate the filling agent that was used to clarity enhance the diamond.
Within the diamond industry there is a sort of philosophical debate as to whether a laser drilled, fracture filled, clarity enhance diamond is actually diamond… It goes something like this: Imagine that a lady walks into your jewelry store wearing a brand new engagement ring, she takes it off, and hands it across the counter, while asking “Is this a diamond?”
By the way, this is a fairly common scenario for women who have recently become engaged, many people want to verify that the center stone in their engagement ring is actually a diamond, and become more familiar with the characteristics of their diamond engagement ring…
Should the jeweler respond by answering with “Sort of” and then explain that the “diamond” in her engagement ring is part diamond and part translucent filling agent? e.g. 80% of the center stone in your engagement ring is diamond, but I don’t really know what the rest of it is comprised of because the formula for the filling agent is proprietary.
The worst case scenario of course is that the woman doesn’t realize that the center stone in her engagement ring is a clarity enhanced diamond, and she brings it to a jeweler because the ring is in need of service or repair. Since she doesn’t know that it is a clarity enhanced diamond, she doesn’t know she needs to disclose this fact to the jeweler, and perhaps he’s able to determine whether the diamond is fracture filled, so he lights the ring up with a torch, and the next thing you hear is a sharp sizzling noise, followed by a POP, and suddenly her crystal clean “VS-2 clarity diamond” becomes a visibly included diamond with visible gaps inside of it.
We’re not exaggerating. A close friend of ours brought a clarity enhanced diamond in for evaluation and set it on fire on purpose, just to see what would happen. He told us that he set the torch at 1400 degrees, placed the flame over the diamond, heard a sharp sizzling sound, followed by a pop, and the once eye clean diamond was no more… Brian Gavin does not offer diamonds which have been laser drilled, fracture filled, and clarity enhanced, it’s not the nature of our business.