FDG Claims New Laser Treatment

First Diamond Group’s Diamond Enhancing Laboratories in Tel Aviv recently announced a new laser treatment. The treatment was discovered at the Gemological Institute of America’s Gem Trade Lab and described in both the Summer 2000 issue of Gems & Gemology and an ICA Lab Alert. First reports of the new laser treatment came early this year.

“We are responsible for this new kind of treatment,” says FDG managing director Moti Weisbrot. “It actually leaves the stone without the black inclusion and without any laser drill hole. It means a natural look.”

The new treatment reaches the dark inclusion by developing or expanding small cleavages from a dark inclusion to the surface. A strong acid can then enter the stone through the small breaks and reach the inclusion for bleaching. The cost for the treatment is $150 per carat.

In testing the new treatment, Weisbrot notes, FDG had to invest in a large number of diamonds. “We had to use actual diamonds ranging from .50 to 3 cts. in different clarities,” he says. To afford such a costly project, FDG contracted with a Far Eastern diamond manufacturer, using its stock in exchange for a contract for future clarity enhancing of a few thousand carats, at the conclusion of the project.

During the past 11 months, FDG has reportedly enhanced more than 800 carats of diamonds during its testing phase. Now that the new technique has been perfected, FDG will be enhancing another few thousand carats of goods for the diamond manufacturer.

“It was intended that at the end of the 12-month testing, we would announce the process and inform the trade of our new process,” says Weisbrot. The company also intended to laser-inscribe “FDG” on the girdle of diamonds so treated. However, according to Weisbrot, the diamond manufacturer prematurely sold a number of the treated diamonds before the announcement could be made.

“We found out only when some articles came out about a new laser treatment,” says Weisbrot. “The manufacturer has apologized and told us that it’s a mistake of one of the salesmen who put on sale [some] of the enhanced diamonds by mistake.” FDG plans to immediately laser-inscribe all enhanced diamonds in stock.