Diamonds are naturally available in a very wide range of colors. Most people know about colorless diamonds and GIA’s color grading system that is used to classify a diamond’s body color… you know D, E, F, etc. This color grading system is only used to classify the most common diamond body color of yellow however anytime a diamond is found in another color like pink, blue, green, etc.; then this diamond is referred to as a “fancy diamond”.

File:The Hope Diamond - SIA.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Natural Fancy diamonds can be very expensive and many times more expensive than a similar size colorless diamond. A very good example of a Fancy diamond is the infamous 45. 52 carat fancy deep blue diamond, the Hope Diamond, which is on display in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, DC. A color enhanced diamond is a 100% natural diamond that has had its color changed diamond rings. And best of all, color enhanced diamonds come in a very wide selection of colors at very affordable prices!

For many, many years it has been well known that a diamond’s color could be “improved” by putting a bit of colored substance on the surface of a diamond and just like magic… a diamond that had a noticeable yellowish color would change to a more attractive near colorless diamond. Unfortunately, this type of color enhanced diamond could change back to its original body color if this colored substance was unintentionally removed.

In more recent years, the technology of color enhanced diamonds has gone extremely high tech. It is now possible to completely change the color of a diamond! These processes are considered permanent because it does remain stable when exposed to everyday normal conditions. The color will not fade if exposed to sunlight or be washed off by harsh chemicals.

The desired outcome of any of these treatments is to have a more marketable diamond. A less marketable diamond would be a diamond that has a low body color or sometimes a lower clarity. The color enhanced diamond treatment companies know if they start off with a certain type of diamond and process it for a certain amount of time that they should end up with a certain color but it does not always work that way. This is a science that does require some art in their processes… the only process that gives consistent results is the coating process.

HPHT Color Enhanced Diamonds- High pressure / High temperature (HPHT) treatment can improve the color of certain types of brown diamonds and thus increase their value. General Electric has developed a process that pretty much is a mechanical simulation of a diamond’s creation in nature. The color enhanced diamond will be heated up to a very high temperature under a very high, stabilized pressure. Faults in the crystal structure are then rearranged resulting in an alteration of the diamond’s color.

Because the conditions of HPHT are very similar to diamond’s original formation, only a well equipped lab will be able to positively identify this type of color enhanced diamond. HPHT was first used to turn yellowish diamonds into more marketable fancy colored enhanced diamonds, but now it is also used to transform some unpopular brownish diamonds into more desirable colorless colored enhanced diamonds.