Enhanced blue diamonds are natural diamonds that have undergone color enhancement treatments. Such methods, usually irradiation, transform the otherwise colorless precious stone into a vibrant shade of blue. These treatments are typically permanent and do not damage the diamond’s chemical structure.
Untreated, natural blue diamonds can be found, but they are extremely rare. This scarcity makes them one of the most sought-after and expensive gemstones available today. The jaw-dropping Hope Diamond, weighing over 45 carats and insured for US $250 million, is a fine example.
On the other hand, an enhanced blue diamond is relatively affordable. It is a brilliant alternative for those who wish to wear beautiful pieces of jewelry with spectacular blue diamonds in them.
Highly revered for its exceptional beauty, a blue diamond has always been synonymous with opulence. Its gorgeous color is not the only attribute that has made it extremely popular. Blue diamonds have also been associated with several virtues, such as wisdom, trust and loyalty, which further elevate its appeal. This stone is believed to possess powers that promote good health, and bring peace and harmony in a relationship.
Hardness & Strength
When it comes to jewelry, a diamond in any color is an infallible choice. It has a rating of 10 on the Mohs scale and is one of the hardest substances known to mankind. This attribute makes diamond jewelry perfect for daily wear.
Color enhancement treatments performed on a diamond to achieve the blue hue do not alter the stone’s physical properties. Therefore, enhanced blue diamonds are a wonderful choice for all types of jewelry. They can be worn daily without the fear of damages, such as scratches and chipping.
The color enhancement treatments done today are safe and effective. Below are the two most common industry practices used to alter the hue of this precious stone.
In this process, a diamond is subjected to high-energy particles (usually no bigger than electrons), which results in misplacement of carbon atoms. This eventually causes a change in the gem’s color as the treatment alters the physical properties of the stone. In order to allow the altered atoms to rearrange themselves and develop the desired hue, the diamond is then heated in a method called annealing. Irradiation is a safe process and is typically conducted in a laboratory. The change in color achieved through this treatment is permanent.
High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT)
Though this treatment takes place in a laboratory, it seamlessly replicates the natural process in which a diamond is created below the earth’s crust. This technique involves exposing the diamond to extreme heat and pressure, which ultimately causes it to change color. The stone is then re-polished and buffed. This process takes only a few hours and makes it possible to achieve a variety of colors in a diamond.
Quality & Grading
When it comes to assessing the value of a gem, its color is often the most crucial element. This applies to an enhanced blue diamond as well.
While blue is the dominant color, the enhanced gem can also sometimes have shades of grey and green. The stone’s value and quality can be evaluated on the basis of the tone and saturation of the color. Stones with deep tones and vivid hues are predictably more expensive than their pale blue counterparts.
It’s rare to find inclusions in a high-quality enhanced blue diamond. Even if present, they do not affect the value in the same manner as a colorless diamond. This is mainly because the color of a blue diamond camouflages the imperfections to a certain extent. Stones that display good clarity, and have fewer inclusions and external flaws will always demand a higher price.
In the case of a colorless diamond, special focus is given to the cut as it helps maximize the brilliance of a stone. When it comes to blue diamonds, the cut plays an important role in achieving the best color possible, which is directly proportional to its value.
While buying an enhanced blue diamond, the intensity of the color must be given prime importance. Its brilliance and fire can be considered as secondary characteristics to look for.
In addition to color, carat size plays an important role in assessing the value of an enhanced blue diamond. In general, large sized diamonds are rarer than small diamonds, due to which they command a higher price.
The same applies for an enhanced blue diamond. Bigger the stone, the more it will weigh, and this will simultaneously increase the cost.
Based on its various properties, an enhanced blue diamond can be further distinguished into the following categories of quality:
This category comprises of the top 10% of enhanced blue diamonds. They have a clear, teal blue hue and slight inclusions that are only visible under 10X magnification.
Top 25% of enhanced blue diamonds belong to this category. They are greenish blue in color and the inclusions may be visible to the unaided eye.
Famed for its hardness and durability, this precious gemstone is almost invincible. However, care needs to be taken to ensure that your blue diamond jewelry stays beautiful for years to come.
If not stored correctly, enhanced blue diamonds can cause damage to other gems and jewelry pieces as they are extremely hard. For this reason, store all your diamond jewelry in individual soft cloth pouches.
As a golden rule, keep aside your diamond jewelry while performing household chores or strenuous physical activities.
For cleaning, use warm soapy water and a soft bristle brush. Rinse off well with plain water.
The color of an enhanced blue diamond is achieved through various methods that usually give permanent results. However, in order to maintain the luster it is important to refrain from the use of bleach and abrasive chemicals when cleaning the jewelry.
It is recommended to get your blue diamond jewelry professionally cleaned and inspected once every six months.
When it comes to exceptionally beautiful gemstones, very few can match up to the splendor of a blue diamond. With its enhanced version, you get the opportunity to adorn an exquisite gem at an affordable price.