Imperial Red Diamonds Offer Lower-Cost Color

Natural red, purple, and pink diamonds are so rare they're the most valuable colored diamonds in the world. But Alex Grizenko, chief executive officer of Lucent Diamonds in Denver, says his company's Imperial Reds are available to consumers at a fraction of the cost of naturals. To create an Imperial Red (or pink or purple), Lucent uses high pressure and high temperature (HPHT) on a top-light-brown or Cape-color diamond, gives it a tiny shot of irradiation, and then heats it again. Color is typically saturated and deep but difficult to capture in an image, since the color shifts under different lighting conditions. Many of the diamonds appear brownish red or purplish pink. Lucent has experimented with altering the color of natural diamonds since 2000. Grizenko's Luminari brand has produced fancy yellows and greens using HPHT, and a recent alliance with New Diamonds of Siberia (NDS),

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