Tradio : Enhanced Diamonds and More
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You probably saw my ad in the paper. It was the other day and I put in there, “Don’t let the hotel buyers who come into town loot and pillage.” They have an ad in the paper again today and I just have to tell you, we had so many people come in and I actually put an ad in there.
It said, “You know what? Get their price first. Come in and show me what their price is and if I can’t beat it, I will give you twenty bucks.” That is how sure I am that you are being raped and pillaged.
Believe me, I know for a fact, because we sent people over there the other day. We have probably had seven or eight people come in the shop yesterday who had gone over and they were ready to get their twenty dollar bill.
Stuff that they were offered $200 and $300 for, we were paying them $500 and $600. I don’t slight anybody for making a living, but they come into town and people really believe that they are going to get more money from people from out of town than they are their local dealers here.
I am not going to talk about some of the other local dealers here who are friends of mine, and they certainly pay fair prices for a lot of stuff. There are some dealers in town who are raping and pillaging.
You folks out there voted us the number one place to buy and sell gold and jewelry and diamonds at since 2004. That gives us a good seven straight years of having you and your friends and your neighbors vote us as the number one place to sell your merchandise.
Do you want to see why we were voted that? Go and get a price from the hotel buyers in town and then come and see us and tell us what you were offered and watch the difference in price between what they offer you and what we are going to pay you.
I just got back from North Carolina. I went into a jewelry store and they had a sign that said, “We sell enhanced diamonds.”
I went over and I said, “What kind of enhanced diamonds do you have?”
The fellow looked at me and said, “Do you know what an enhanced diamond is?”
I said, “Yeah, I do, but I was kind of curious what you call an enhanced diamond.”
He proceeded to show me some colored diamonds. We started talking and I told him I had a jewelry store and I did a radio program and things like that. We discussed a lot of different things.
He had a sort of basic knowledge of enhancement. We started talking about other ways that diamonds are enhanced. I thought maybe there are a lot of people out there who don’t realize what we mean when we say an enhanced diamond.
So today I am teaching you a little bit about what we mean by enhanced diamonds. One of the things you will see in a lot of the jewelry stores right now are colored diamonds. There are black diamonds. There are brown diamonds. There are blue diamonds. There are green diamonds. There are orange diamonds. There are red diamonds.
There are all kinds of different colors. Believe it or not, all those colors come in naturally. Depending on what kind of element traces there are associated in the atomic structure of that diamond, that will give that diamond that particular color.
If you look at a yellow diamond, that means that there are traces of nitrogen gas in that diamond. Nitrogen is actually what makes it turn yellow. The more nitrogen, the more yellow it becomes. You can’t turn around and put a bunch of nitrogen gas on a diamond and make your diamond yellow. It does not work that way.
We are talking about way down in the atomic structure of that diamond. Somehow there was a nitrogen atom attached to the diamond atom, the carbon atom and this is what gave that diamond this color.
Boron gas causes a diamond to turn blue. The Hope diamond, which is probably the most famous blue diamond in history, is attributed to boron gas and is what gives that diamond its color.
There are pink diamonds. There are green diamonds. We are not going to get into a big chemistry lecture here tonight. But man has learned that we can turn around and change the atomic structure somewhat of a diamond or we can enhance the structure of that diamond and change the color.
A lot of this is actually done by heating. It used to be done by radiation and that was first done not so much with diamonds as well as blue topaz when it first came onto the market. They learned that if they irradiated it you could change the color to some fantastic blue colors that we now take for granted.
In the early stages in the seventies, they used to use radiation to do that. The problem was if you took a Geiger counter near the blue topaz, it would click. You were getting radiation. They jumped on that real quick and eliminated that type of a process.
But we have learned that by heating we can change the color of different gemstones. By heating them or actually changing the atomic structure, we can change the color of diamonds and enhance the color.
When the color of these diamonds is changed, you don’t know exactly what color you are going to get. What happens is your diamond dealers will take thousands of carats of diamonds and they will put them into these cyclotrons and change the atomic structure.
By doing this they get a lot of different colors. They know if they start with a brown diamond, the secondary color in the brown is pink. By treating these diamonds, they can enhance the color and they can get a lot of the pink or even red colored diamonds.
By treating a lot of the brown ones, a lot of times they will wind up with blue colors. If they treat a yellow diamond, a diamond that has a yellow cast, lots of times they will wind up with green colored diamonds or orange colored diamonds or burnt orange.
These are what we call enhanced diamonds. These colors are enhanced. The only problem you run into is that these colors are not going to fade. They are not going to change over a period of time. The only problem you have to worry about is and unfortunately I found this out years and years ago.
We worked on one and we put tips on a blue diamond that was in a mounting. The prong had broken off so we had to put a new prong on. Generally, you snip a little piece of gold off and you solder it in place and then you turn around and cut a little groove in it and set the diamond back in there.
Usually you will leave that diamond in place. What happened was, by heating that diamond we reversed the process and the diamond turned a clear color again. Yes, we replaced the blue diamond for the folks who had given us the job to work on, but it taught me that these diamonds, although they are sort of indestructible, the color on them, if it is heated to high enough degrees will change.
A lot of times if you have an enhanced diamond or a colored diamond and you take it in for a repair, make sure you say to the people, “This is an enhanced diamond. It is color enhanced. If you heat it, it is going to change.”
Most jewelers at this point have handled these types of color enhanced diamonds so they are going to understand that. People say, “I love the blue diamonds, but why do I have to get an enhanced diamond? Why don’t I just get a natural color blue?”
And you know what? You could. The difference is if I show you a quarter carat blue diamond and it is somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 to $250 depending on the color and the clarity, and I showed you a quarter carat naturally blue colored diamond.
If I say to that this one is a $100,000, I am probably going to have an easier sale if I could sell you that diamond for $200 as opposed to $100,000. We find that the reason man has learned to color enhance diamonds is that the naturally occurring colors are extremely rare and extremely expensive.
Even if they have a light tinge of blue or a light tinge of pink or a light tinge of green; these are all desirable colors because they are natural. But again, when we enhance these colors it makes a beautiful piece of jewelry. It comes out fantastic looking, a great looking piece, for a fraction of the cost.
Beside color enhancement, there are other ways of enhancing stones. I am sure some of you can look down at those diamonds you are wearing right now and you will see a big black spot.
That black spot could be a piece of carbon. It could be believe it or not a garnet crystal. Lots of times these inclusions you see are garnet crystals because when a diamond is formed, lots of other times it is formed next to other gemstones.
That formation comes from the fact that over millions of years, heat and pressure helped to crystallize that stone. Basically, that is what happens with all gemstones. They are formed over millions of years. Heat and pressure are what causes all of these different mineral to crystallize so that we get our gemstones.
You may see some inclusions. When we talk about inclusions, those are what we refer to as an internal characteristic. You may look at that diamond of yours and you may see a white line that goes through it. That is what we refer to as a feather. You may see a black inclusion. This could be a piece of carbon, or again, something that breaks up the clarity of the diamond, the brilliance of the diamond.
You think, “I would love to get that black thing out. It looks a little like a fly or something inside my diamond.” We can do that and this is what we call clarity enhancement.
They can take a laser beam and drill right into that diamond. Sometimes they will come from the side. Sometimes they will drill from the bottom of the diamond. Sometimes they actually drill the top of the diamond. That is called the table and they will drill right through the table.
They blast that black spot out and then they take the diamond and it is boiled in acid for a period of somewhere around 24 hours. That cleans all the remnants of whatever was in that inclusion that compromised that inclusion.
Now you have a white spot. It is not gone, but our eye will pick up that black spot a lot faster than it will a white spot in a diamond. Most diamonds have more of a white hue to them or a clear color.
If we can make a clear inclusion, it is going to look a lot better. How expensive is it to do something like that? If you have your own diamond and you have one spot that needs to be drilled, it is somewhere probably around $100 to $150.
That is drilling your inclusion out, boiling it in acid, and making it look a lot nicer. Sometimes you will have multiple inclusions. I have seen diamonds that look like Swiss cheese when they were done. It was a five carat stone and they had a lot of black inclusions on it. They lasered all of them out.
When you looked at it with a magnifying glass or what we refer to as a loop under ten power magnification, you could see what we refer to as a worm hole. A worm hole is what we call the little trace line of where that laser drills through your diamond.
It is not going to go through your diamond and zap that black spot. It has to drill all the way through just like we are drilling a well. Under magnification, you look from the side and it almost looks like a little thread going into the diamond and then it opens up to a cavity where that black inclusion used to be. That is what we refer to as a worm hole.
What are the pluses and the minuses? The plus is that your diamond is going to look a lot nicer. The negative, the bad portion of this is sometimes the fact that if you get your diamond really dirty, even though these worm holes are about the size of a piece of human hair, a lot of times you can get debris or some sort of dirt inside these worm holes and it has to be boiled in acid again to really get those clean.
Sometimes you will see little dots on the top of your diamond and it might lose a little bit of its brilliance, but in general it is certainly going to help the appearance of a diamond that has a lot of black inclusions in it. This is another type of enhancement.
Another type of enhancement is what we refer to as a clarity enhancement as well. When we look at a diamond it is formed under extreme heat and pressure. If there was not quite enough heat and pressure, we are going to find internal characteristics that we call inclusions.
I am going to try and give you a little bit of a talk to explain this to you. If you want to go do this while I am explaining it to you, it might be even easier. If you took a piece of paper and looked at it straight on the edge of that piece of paper, it is a very, very thin line. You don’t really see very much.
Now, if you turn it slightly, you are going to see a larger portion of that page. You are going to see the edge of it, but you are also going to see the front or the back of that piece of paper.
If you can imagine that piece of paper was inside of your diamond and you were looking at the edge of it, it would not look bad. It would look like a little line. If we turned it and put it back inside your diamond, wow, it took up a lot of area on your diamond.
This is what we refer to as a feather. We name a lot of the different types of inclusions in your diamond. We do this for clarity purposes if we are doing an appraisal or if we are doing a diagram of your diamond, so that you know that it is your diamond if it was ever stolen.
We have what we call twining. We have crystals. We have feathers. There are a lot of different things. Right now we are talking about is a feather. This feather breaks up the surface area of your diamond so that you can really see it when you look at it from the surface.
There was a process that was discovered back in the forties and it has been perfected pretty well over the years now by a Jewish scientist by the name of Yahuda. He learned that by immersing a diamond in a type of fluid under pressure it could be injected into a feather, into the diamond itself.
Usually, if the feather breaks the surface, then that fluid will go into it extremely readily. If the inclusion does not break the surface, the feather does not break the surface, sometimes they will have to do a little laser hole from the edge of that diamond so that they can get into that feather.
Under extreme pressure they inject this fluid into your diamond. That will turn around and it basically has the same refractive index as a diamond. When I say refractive index, then that just means that it is going to show light the same way your diamond would. It masks that feather.
All of a sudden your diamond went from something that did not have a whole lot of brilliance to it to a beautiful great looking diamond. This is a form of enhancement. This is what we call clarity enhancement.
Again, sometimes it is called the Yahuda process named after the scientist, but there are a lot of people who have come over with their own take on how to do this. There are a little different ingredients that they use. You can treat a diamond so that it looks gorgeous.
Is there a problem with this? Not really. The only problem you will run into with a clarity enhanced diamond that has been Yahudad would be the fact that if that diamond is ever heated to 1,800 degrees, that enhancement will bubble out of it.
Why would you ever heat your diamond to 1,800 degrees? I am not putting it in the oven. Exactly, but if you have taken that diamond to get the tips or the prongs fixed on your piece of jewelry, make sure you say to the people you are dealing with, “This is a clarity enhanced diamond,” because then it has to be treated differently.
If we heated that diamond to put a prong on your ring, the enhancement is going to bubble out of it. Is your diamond ruined? No, not at all. That means it has to be sent back off to a lab that does this type of enhancement. It is boiled in acid so that any remnants are taken out.
Then it is again clarity enhanced. Some of you are saying, “If you can’t see anything after they put this other type of enhancement on, if I had it lasered, I could still get that clarity enhanced with this Yahuda process.”
The problem is that the feathers that we talk about in those stones are thinner than a human hair. They are microscopic. Even though it affects the brilliance of your diamond tremendously, what they are actually masking is microscopic.
After a diamond has been lasered, it would be like trying to fill in the Grand Canyon with a shovel. I use that as a comparable to show you that this Yahuda process is only good for microscopic type of inclusions. It cannot fill a laser hole or a worm hole.
One process accomplishes one thing; the other process accomplishes something else. Why would someone want a clarity enhanced diamond like this?
We have clarity enhanced diamonds at the shop. I have sold them for years and we have always disclosed to people that this is what it is. Why would you want this?
People say, “Why would you want to do something like this?”
And I say to them, “It is the same type of thing. It is a real diamond. It has been clarity enhanced.” I use the comparable that if you didn’t like your nose and you went to a surgeon and he clipped off a little piece of your nose and it enhanced your appearance, it is still a real nose.
All it has done is given you an appearance that you really like. The difference on a diamond is the fact that you can look at a diamond that looks like a $10,000 diamond that has been clarity enhanced and you can buy it for somewhere between $4,000 to $5,000.
Like a lot of us have, we are on beer budgets but we have champagne taste. This is why we look at clarity enhanced diamonds and this is a way to have a bigger diamond for a lot less money.
If you are looking for something special and you just can’t afford the one that the fiancé would really like, you might want to take a look into clarity enhanced diamonds. It is a great alternative and there is certainly nothing wrong with it.
I am Steve Duke, the owner of Westchester Gold and Diamonds. Today we are talking a little bit about some of the enhancements that you will find out there on the market. If you are not sure, ask. Always be sure to ask your salesperson why it is such a good deal. Is this a clarity enhanced diamond?
Make sure they give you the right answers. We have been doing this for 37 years and we are not giving you any wrong answers. We are telling you the truth whether you like it or not.
With that we are going to take a quick break and return to Tradio.
[50:37] Advertisement [51:35]
We are back with Tradio if you have any questions on clarity enhanced diamonds, I would be more than happy to answer those for you right now or if you have items that you would like to buy, sell, and trade, give us a call 206-1580 and we are waiting to hear from you.
Where do you have to go to color a diamond? It sounds like the heating process is such that – are there special ovens that they make for that?
It is a cyclotron that will affect the atomic structure of it. There are different companies that specialize in nothing but color enhanced diamonds. It is pretty amazing to see that stuff. [52:22]
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