Tunneling to an Inclusion

April 1998

Diamonds:Gemology

Tunneling to an Inclusion

Show your customer the fascination of laser-drilled and fracture-filled diamonds

There's some question as to whether you should disclose the presence of laser drill holes in a diamond. The Federal Trade Commission says you don't have to because it's considered a permanent treatment. But people don't drill holes in diamonds for the sheer pleasure of it. The drilling creates a minuscule passageway into the heart of a diamond – a tunnel to reach an unsightly inclusion. This man-made opening allows for further treatments, such as boiling out included crystals with acid.

In other cases, if there's an internal fracture, feather or knot, a laser drill hole becomes a passageway to introduce glass-like substances that soften or minimize their appearance. In this case, the FTC says you must disclose the treatment. Because you can't begin the filling treatment unless there's an opening, it stands to reason you might as well disclose the entire series of treatments.

Even if the FTC has relaxed its stance on disclosure, you don't have to. For example, CIBJO (the International Confederation of Jewellery, Silverware, Diamonds, Pearls and Stones), has recommended the laser drilling of diamonds be clearly and unambiguously disclosed. "This is a consumer-led business and consumers should know what they are being sold," says Jack Ogden, CIBJO secretary general. The Diamond Promotion Service agrees, saying undisclosed treatments will backfire on jewelers and reflect badly on the industry.

Retailers who disclose treatments say it can and should be done in a positive manner. The whole concept of drilling minuscule tunnels into a diamond is rather ingenious. Your customer just might think so too, particularly when considering vastly lower prices for diamonds that look as good as more expensive untreated ones. It's all about rational decision-making for customers who can't afford to acquire the best – but still have a taste for a certain look.

To romance the laser-drilled and fracture-filled diamond, show your customer what it's all about using a microscope. The captions detail what your customer is likely to see, and what they can hear about the process, from you.

by Robert Weldon, G.G.



Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


 

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