Color Treated Diamonds

Natural or treated color diamonds? Natural fancys are extremely rare. It is estimated that for every 10,000 colourless diamonds there is only one valuable coloured specimen. Since colours have a strong optical appeal and coloured stones are therefore often used in jewellery production, the demand is much greater than the supply of natural colour diamonds, which explains the sometimes horrendous prices, which we will go into in more detail shortly. A cheaper alternative is to make less valuable diamonds artificially coloured in the laboratory. However, such a treatment must be indicated in the certificate.

In the past, a very simple way was chosen to make diamonds appear more colorful: The surfaces of the stone were simply colored.

But then the physicist and later Nobel laureate Marie Sklodowska Curie discovered polonium and radium. From then on, the diamonds were colored by irradiation. Although the results were of higher quality than the superficial colouring, these stones had a decisive disadvantage: they were highly radioactive - and that for a long time to come.

This is why particle accelerators (cyclotrons) were later used. The radioactivity of the treated diamonds was degraded faster, but the colouring was not satisfactory.

In the 1970s, a new method finally came into play: the so-called HPHT treatment. This abbreviation stands for "High Pressure - High Temperature". The diamonds are exposed to very high pressure and high temperatures (1,500 to 3,500 degrees Celsius). This process ensures high quality for jewellery production.

Another method that we also use imitates nature by replacing the heat, pressure and time under the earth with a simple accelerated electron beam. The result is the same. The electron beam forces the boron and nitrogen atoms to replace some of the carbon atoms. The crystal structure is then rearranged. The white light is distributed and we are then able to see a variety of beautiful bright colors. Nothing has been artificially added and the color is permanent. The process does not use radiation and there is no radioactivity. It is completely safe and complies with all applicable regulations.



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