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Laser Drilled Diamonds. A Trap For The Unwary.

Sep 23

Laser drilled diamonds have been around since the 1970’s. The supplier uses a laser to drill a small channel directly (or sometimes even indirectly snaking into the gem), to reach a black or dark the inclusion whereupon an acid, is introduced to bleach the inclusion improving the appearance of a lower-quality stone clarity-wise, making it more attractive to the naked eye and more salable. If a jeweller checks it under a jeweller's loupe, the drill holes become obvious. But recently a new drilling technique can make a channel only 5 microns wide that’s about 1/16 the width of a human hair making it impossible to be detected by a jeweller’s loupe. Detection of the treatment relies on thorough microscopic examination and a familiarity with the appearance of the damage left behind by laser treatment. How many jewellers will recognize this treatment? Most jewellery retailers are not gemmologists, and do not have the equipment necessary to thoroughly examine stones. They rely on the integrity of their supplier. Fortunately, in NZ our well-known diamond suppliers have integrity and would disclose such treatments (if at all sell them) and guarantee their gems. But many diamonds are purchased overseas, some via the internet and lasering may not be disclosed. They may have a Diamond Certificate which discloses the treatment, but the seller will sometimes ‘omit’ to mention the laser drilling in their slick marketing of the gem. When valuing a laser drilled diamond, and because it is possible to improve the clarity by one grade, valuers’ price the diamond as if it were one grade lower.

Adamastar Ltd
Atrium on Tukutai, Generator Offices 11, Britomart Place, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010
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