Different Types of Diamonds
Diamonds are created in different ways. Not every diamond is created in the same manner. The common way that people tend to think about diamonds is considering the 4 C’s. The 4 C’s include color, carat, cut, clarity. The 4 C’s are the criteria by which the value and quality of a diamond is judged upon. However, there are various types of diamonds that are usually used for multiple purposes based on the type.
Based on the intent of the buyer, there is generally four types of diamonds:
1) Natural Diamonds- Natural diamonds are said to be older than even the first living being on the planet. There are said to be about one to three billion years old. They were formed in the Earth’s mantle with intense heat and pressure. Natural diamonds are delivered to the surface by the motion of abduction zones, which carry diamonds up to base of the ocean. They are we also brought to the earth’s surface by volcanic eruptions that occurred 300 to 400 million years ago.
2) Treated Diamonds- Treated diamonds (also known as enhanced diamonds) are natural diamonds that had specific processes done to them in order to “upgrade” their natural “flaws.” There are different treatments that can be done depending on the purpose. For example, there are clarity enhancing treatments, which include laser drilling and fracture filling. There are also color enhancement treatments which include high-pressure high-temperature treatments, irradiation, coatings, and irradiation. It is a very common debate whether the process of enhancing diamonds harms the integrity of the diamond. There are some processes such as fracture filling that are said to possible have permanent damage on the diamond. Therefore, it usually causes there to be a usual decrease in the value of the diamond when it undergoes this process.
3) Man Created Diamonds: Man-made diamonds are created in a laboratory or factory. The way they are created in terms of their growth and atomic structure enables them to be set apart by “true,” natural diamonds. As technology has advanced, it has become more economic to manufacture the lab created. Even skilled and experienced gemologists cannot see the difference between them by just sight alone. A laboratory that has the specialized equipment with a trained staff are needed to be able to determine whether it is a natural or lab created diamond.
4) Naturally Colored Diamonds- Naturally colored diamonds are created by the addition of elements to the usual process by white colorless diamonds are made. The color is made by the addition of elements to the Carbon elements. They are more rare compared to colorless diamonds (about 1: 10,000 when compared to colorless diamonds). For instance, studies show that large levels of Nitrogen can cause the diamond to attain a yellow coloring. The addition of Boron has been shown to add a tone of blue to the diamond. The specific color that tints the diamond often has a significant impact on the value of the diamond. Therefore, the rarity of certain diamonds based on the color are usually used in very unique pieces and are even collected and traded.
There are different ways of classifying diamonds. By having knowledge of the type of stone, the history can be traced back. When diamonds form, nitrogen can replace carbon within the structure. Then, those atoms can clump together as they move inside of the formation. All of the variations have an impact on the appearance and color of the stone. These structural differences within the structure cannot be seen by simply looking at the diamonds. They have to be analyzed with the correct equipment by trained specialists.