DiamondNotes

Lasering Without Drilling The Gemological Institute of America's Gem Trade Laboratory has encountered a new laser drilling method that doesn't leave a hole. Tom Moses, GTL vice president in charge of gem identification, says the result is a series of small fractures. “One or more lasers are focused on the inclusion to heat it so that it expands and creates stress to extend the cleavage to the surface,” Moses explains. Acid is forced into the resulting fractures to bleach the inclusion. According to Moses, this method of lasering “provides a conduit [of fractures] to the dark inclusion for a treatment that most likely involves boiling in strong acids to reduce the visibility of the dark inclusion.” The method would make economic sense only if a gem's clarity is already low (SI2/I1), if the dark inclusion is reasonably close to the surface, and if the laser treatment goes und
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