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Is the color and clarity of your diamond natural -- or "enhanced" artificially by science?

You may have seen articles or TV shows recently on the subject of diamond treatments. Here's the whole truth about treatments -- and why you have nothing to worry about if you buy from Mondera.

What is a treatment? Not every diamond is a thing of beauty. Fine diamonds are quite rare, so it's not surprising that entrepreneurs have experimented with ways to take diamonds with inferior color and clarity and give them makeovers. Scientists have had some success in developing ways to treat diamonds to improve their appeaance. By law, treatments have to be disclosed to consumers.

There are two basic kinds of diamond treatments:
   Clarity treatments, the most common type, improve a diamond's clarity by hiding its fractures with
    a glass-like resin. These treatments are not permanent, and can be "reversed" by high heat.
   Color treatments, which have only been around since last year, improve a diamond's color grade
    artificially by heat and pressure. This treatment is permanent.

Will Mondera sell you a treated diamond? Mondera believes one of the reasons diamonds are special is because they are natural. We have a firm policy against selling diamonds treated by artificial means to improve their color and clarity.

We can 100 percent guarantee we will never sell you a clarity-treated diamond. And we can 99.99 percent guarantee you we will never sell you a color-treated diamond. But we can't say for certain -- and neither can any diamond seller. Here's why.

Right now, it's easy for trained gemologists to detect a clarity-treated diamond. But it's still impossible -- even for the top scientists at GIA -- to tell the difference between color-treated diamonds and naturally-colored ones, although the industry is spending millions researching this topic.

The industry thought it had this problem solved when the treaters agreed to have the stones laser-inscribed to signify the "colorizing" process. Unfortunately, these inscriptions are not permanent, and the GIA has spotted color-treated diamonds with their inscriptions polished off. By any standard, this is unethical behavior, and the industry recently passed tough new rules against it. Since then, the number of these incidents, never large to begin with, has fallen to almost zero.

Should you worry? Color treatments are a huge concern for the jewelry industry, but they shouldn't be a worry for the average consumer. Only several hundred diamonds have been color-treated treated so far, out of literally hundreds of millions sold each year. Moreover, all color-treated diamonds are inscribed to ensure disclosure. It's unknown how many of these have had their inscriptions polished off, but it's believed to be no more than a handful. Even if, by some extraordinary chance, you buy a de-inscribed "whitened" diamond, the treatment is permanent and requires no special care, so you never have to worry about it changing back.

How do I know I can rely on Mondera? Because Mondera believes so strongly in selling only un-enhanced diamonds, we are taking extra precautions to make sure none of our diamonds are treated in any way. We buy primarily from sightholders, the elite diamond dealers who get their diamonds straight from De Beers. (This also gives us considerable cost savings.) We are also considering screening out type IIa diamonds, the main diamonds affected by color treatments. And most of our diamonds are sold with GIA certificates, since GIA scientists are the world experts in treatment detection. They have successfully protected the industry from previous attempts to sell treated diamonds with the inscriptions removed and we have confidence that they will continue to do so.

With treatments and other ways to fool the public out there, it's important that you have faith in the company you buy from. Mondera is owned by fourth-generation jewelers from the Mouawad family, with a 110-history of integrity and reliability. When you buy from Mondera, you can rest assured that every diamond is exactly as we say it is.