If you’re looking to buy the diamond of your dreams, stop right here before you part company with lots of your hard earned cash. Diamond fraud is lurking around many corners in the world-wide multi-billion dollar diamond market, which makes buying diamonds extremely difficult and time consuming to research.
One way a diamond dealer can perpetrate fraud is by treating a stone that has a yellow hue to create one of the highly prized fancy colors. A method developed by General Electric uses High Pressure/High Temperature (HPHT) to heat treat M, N, O, P colors with VS1 clarity or above so that the diamonds become colorless or near colorless (F, G color). The price can soar by 300% or more depending upon the size of the diamond.
The HPHT method involves placing a diamond “seed” into a huge growth chamber, adding carbon and trace amounts of lead to the seed and raising the pressure and heat until the seed crystallizes into a rough diamond. Sundance Diamonds in Orem, Utah puts a diamond into the chamber instead of a seed and uses extreme heat and pressure to alter the stone’s appearance. Bellataire Diamonds located in Belgium and New York uses the process on brownish color diamonds to return them to a colorless state. To date, no one has been able to manufacture a “white” gem quality diamond, primarily because the liquid nitrogen needed in the process becomes contaminated.