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Thoughts on Irradiation

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 7, 2009
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Hi Fellow PS'ers.
I too am super interested in Lab Grown diamonds.....
As a Fancy Color lover, of course the wild colors attract me.
I learned that ALL the Fancy Colored Lab Growns are irradiated.
How do folks feel about that?
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 22, 2014
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My thoughts.
When you buy fancy colour lab created diamonds you are buying “the look” for a pocket friendly price.
Provided treatments are permanent and disclosed, they are what they are.
Fancy colour lab created diamonds dont and can’t be compared with natural fancy colour diamonds which are a masterpiece of nature and rare.
 

MRBXXXFVVS1

Brilliant_Rock
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Dec 5, 2019
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I don't mind that they are lab made or treated, my only concern would be if there are negative health implications due to the radiation. I know that mostly it's at such a low level and that it's safe, but it's something that I still think about...
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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I don't mind that they are lab made or treated, my only concern would be if there are negative health implications due to the radiation

No danger whatsoever.
There are other common items that emit more radiation than an irradiated diamond.
(Probably your phone, but it was a long time ago..pre iPhone days- that I had the discussion about this aspect)

Provided treatments are permanent and disclosed, they are what they are.

I totally agree....however I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere.....
 

monipod

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 25, 2019
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774
There's radiation everywhere so it doesn't concern me. I'd say whatever radiation exposure emitted from a radiated stone is the equivalent to flying around the world once or thereabouts. Super minimal.
 

sparklyshrink

Rough_Rock
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May 5, 2020
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84
I don't mind that they are lab made or treated, my only concern would be if there are negative health implications due to the radiation. I know that mostly it's at such a low level and that it's safe, but it's something that I still think about...

Irradiation doesn't make something radioactive or dangerous. The thing you're irradiating never actually encounters the source of radiation, just the heat given off. Food is frequently irradiated for sanitation purposes, for example.
 

Demon

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 16, 2009
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1,323
Hi Fellow PS'ers.
I too am super interested in Lab Grown diamonds.....
As a Fancy Color lover, of course the wild colors attract me.
I learned that ALL the Fancy Colored Lab Growns are irradiated.
How do folks feel about that?

Are you wondering how we feel about the color coming from irradiation, or whether we worry about the irradiation being safe?
 

mrsthirdcharms

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
212
Hi Fellow PS'ers.
I too am super interested in Lab Grown diamonds.....
As a Fancy Color lover, of course the wild colors attract me.
I learned that ALL the Fancy Colored Lab Growns are irradiated.
How do folks feel about that?

Irradiation is a common method for enhancing color for gemstones, not just lab diamond. Blue topaz comes to mind- most “Swiss” or “london” blue topaz are actually clear or brown topaz that have been irradiated. They are held for a period of time before being sold, to ensure safety.

The only concern about irradiated colored gems, lab diamonds or otherwise, is that the vendor should disclose this to the consumer, and caution that any repairs that would expose the stone to high heat - such as a jewelers torch- could potentially alter the color, so that the buyer would be cautious when having the stone reset or repaired.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Are you wondering how we feel about the color coming from irradiation, or whether we worry about the irradiation being safe?
I was wondering the first....but it’s a good thing the second aspect was raised for informational reasons.
I first saw irradiated diamonds back in the ‘80’s....but I didn’t find them attractive back then.
I think the rising popularity of Lab Grown diamonds will bring a greater acceptance.
And the technology has surely been refined.
I do agree that disclosure is essential
 

m-cubed

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
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116
Strangely enough, I am perfectly happy to buy lab grown colorless diamonds, but for some reason, I prefer naturally colored diamonds to ones which have been irradiated to impart color (whether natural or lab grown). It’s not a particularly rational thing, but it’s how I feel.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Has anyone noticed if any of the sites offering Fancy Colored lab growns sites are disclosing the irradiation?
 

Demon

Brilliant_Rock
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I was wondering the first....but it’s a good thing the second aspect was raised for informational reasons.
I first saw irradiated diamonds back in the ‘80’s....but I didn’t find them attractive back then.
I think the rising popularity of Lab Grown diamonds will bring a greater acceptance.
And the technology has surely been refined.
I do agree that disclosure is essential

It brings mixed feelings for me. On one hand, I don't have anything at all against lab grown diamonds, though they aren't necessarily for me as I prefer natural. On the other hand, the idea of irradiating for color is something I don't like at all. It just makes it seem very fake to me. If the diamond growers would add nitrogen or boron for yellows and blues, I'd be more accepting of that than irradiation. It would still be artificial, but with the elements that produce the colors naturally, if that makes sense. I don't know how they'd get browns or pinks though.

Now all that being said, I could imagine buying a couple small lab grown blue diamonds to set along side my natural fancy intense green yellow, because I don't know if I'd ever find reasonably priced small natural blues. And I might even buy a wild neon green irradiated diamond. BUT I would always disclose that they were lab grown and irradiated whenever anyone should comment on it. It would, of course, be none of their business, but its just how I am. Full disclosure.

For the record, I also don't like cups under diamonds to make them look more yellow or pink or whatever. Gold color to enhance - good. Gold to make it seem something it isn't - not good. My feelings about 'deception' in any form might be a little extreme, lol.
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
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11,813
Has anyone noticed if any of the sites offering Fancy Colored lab growns sites are disclosing the irradiation?

Lightbox are blue and pink and I had no idea they are irradiated.
 

123ducklings

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 10, 2020
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747
It doesn’t bother me at all in MMD.

The reason I would want it disclosed in a mined diamond is because a mined diamond is professing to come out of the ground, from nature. Altering that item through human process without disclosure is dishonest.

A fancy colored MMD is not. The very premise of the item is that it is made via lab processes.

To me it’s like buying an organic apple vs. a burrito. I would be upset to find out my organic apple had been secretly injected with sugar syrup to make it more juicy and delicious. I am not shocked or bothered to understand that a burrito is assembled from many parts which came about from a series of processes.
 

123ducklings

Brilliant_Rock
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Lightbox are blue and pink and I had no idea they are irradiated.

From the LB website: “Creating colored stones in the lab is achieved by making changes in the gas mix added to the CVD reactor combined with treatments to these stones applied at the end of the synthesis process.”
 

acebruin

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 21, 2008
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706
I've only recently started looking into them. I've never cared for HPHT colored diamonds because the resulting color doesn't look natural. CVD is a step up from that. Some of the colors that CVD colored diamonds provide are gorgeous! Very natural looking.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Some of the colors that CVD colored diamonds provide are gorgeous! Very natural looking.
Based on what I’ve learned, the CVD process can only impart very faint color....equivalent to about L-M. For virtually all the blue and pink ones on the market the color is achieved with the treatment at the end of the process( irradiation ) as opposed to during the growth process.
I agree that the techniques used for irradiation are light years ahead of the nuked stones of my youth. The colors are much closer to natural in blue. Pink is tougher- most of the pinks have orange as a component.
But they still haven’t figured out how to make a natural looking yellow.
Not even close. The yellows are all brassy.... itching like a mined natural yellow diamond.
 

AprilBaby

Super_Ideal_Rock
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From the LB website: “Creating colored stones in the lab is achieved by making changes in the gas mix added to the CVD reactor combined with treatments to these stones applied at the end of the synthesis process.”

Ok I’m tired and dumb. Does that mean they are radiated?
 

123ducklings

Brilliant_Rock
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Ok I’m tired and dumb. Does that mean they are radiated?

Based on my understanding of the process I think the “treatment” at the “end of the synthesis process” is irradiation, but you’re totally right that they don’t exactly make it clear or straightforward.
 

acebruin

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 21, 2008
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706
Based on what I’ve learned, the CVD process can only impart very faint color....equivalent to about L-M. For virtually all the blue and pink ones on the market the color is achieved with the treatment at the end of the process( irradiation ) as opposed to during the growth process.
I agree that the techniques used for irradiation are light years ahead of the nuked stones of my youth. The colors are much closer to natural in blue. Pink is tougher- most of the pinks have orange as a component.
But they still haven’t figured out how to make a natural looking yellow.
Not even close. The yellows are all brassy.... itching like a mined natural yellow diamond.

@Rockdiamond actually CVD process can impart intense to vivid color... they're very rare but achievable... I was amazed... here's a study by GIA...

 

bennypig

Rough_Rock
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Sep 14, 2020
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actually in the CVD process they can dope nitrogen or boron to make the diamond fancy yellow or blue. And via post growth treatment, which is almost always needed for CVD pink and white, you can get other fancy color.

https://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/fall-2017-observations-hpht-grown-synthetic-diamonds
https://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/fall-2016-observations-cvd-grown-synthetic-diamonds-review#item-4
https://www.gia.edu/doc/Spring-2010-Gems-Gemology-Strongly-Colored-Pink-CVD-Lab-Grown-Diamonds.pdf
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Interesting links- thanks guys!
I’ve been speaking to growers to get my information.
It’s a learning process.
I was told that although it’s possible to achieve color during growth, that is exceedingly rare- and that virtually all the fancy colors being offered are irradiated.
Based on the colors I’m seeing, that makes sense.
for example Yellow: if they could just put a little nitrogen in to the mix, they should be able to make a nice looking yellow diamond. But I have yet to see a lab grown yellow diamond that looks anything like a natural yellow.
Almost every single pink lab grown diamonds I’ve seen has a component of orange in it.

I was a bit surprised that GIA literature was ostensibly promoting Apollo stones.- comparing them favorably to Argyle pinks.
Has anyone seen lab grown pinks that could be confused for Argyle stones?
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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actually in the CVD process they can dope nitrogen or boron to make the diamond fancy yellow or blue. And via post growth treatment, which is almost always needed for CVD pink and white, you can get other fancy color.

https://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/fall-2017-observations-hpht-grown-synthetic-diamonds
https://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/fall-2016-observations-cvd-grown-synthetic-diamonds-review#item-4
https://www.gia.edu/doc/Spring-2010-Gems-Gemology-Strongly-Colored-Pink-CVD-Lab-Grown-Diamonds.pdf

From the GIA article
“Pink” HPHT synthetics (including purple-pink, red, and brown-red) owe their color to post-growth treatment by irradiation and low-temperature annealing. This procedure creates nitrogen-vacancy (NV) optical centers, which are also the source of color in treated pink diamonds, treated CVD synthetics, and the rare natural and untreated Golconda pinks."
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
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The only way a diamond can be radioactive is if there is some inclusion that can be radioactive and big enough to cause poisoning. 99.99% unlikely. French scientists including Marie Curie discovered diamonds went green when irradiated.
I will post this in it''s own thread - but it pertains to this discussion
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I dont care if its nuked, I cook food in a microwave.
I actually love the color of the deep blue green nuked naturals that have been on the market for years. The color to me is awesome.
One batch from Brazil was found to be a be a little hot on import but within 2 months were fine.
The NRC rules over anything nuclear in the US and this is what they say:
The first thing you should ask if they say they are nuked is if they have a NRC license.
  1. Why does the NRC require a license for the initial distribution of irradiated gemstones?

The distribution license provides a safeguard against the possibility that stones might reach the market too soon after irradiation, with radioactivity above NRC limits. The licensee is required to perform sophisticated surveys to verify that the stones meet NRC requirements for exempt distribution.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
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16,139
I dont care if its nuked, I cook food in a microwave.
I actually love the color of the deep blue green nuked naturals that have been on the market for years. The color to me is awesome.
One batch from Brazil was found to be a be a little hot on import but within 2 months were fine.
The NRC rules over anything nuclear in the US and this is what they say:
The first thing you should ask if they say they are nuked is if they have a NRC license.
  1. Why does the NRC require a license for the initial distribution of irradiated gemstones?

Irradiated blue topaz needs a few weeks to cool off. It is the only problem gem I know about.
 

mamalovesgems

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
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I was also surprised to find out that they were irradiated. It made me think twice about my views on color enhanced natural diamonds. In the end, the lab grown diamonds are held to a different standard in my mind and I'm sure many other people's minds. They are marketed and perceived as an ethical alternative and have gained more acceptance than treated diamonds.

I know people who proudly admit to owning lab diamonds or planning to purchase them. I have never heard any friend tell me their diamond was treated.

By the way, @Rockdiamond Have you seen the Fancy intense yellow lab diamonds at Brilliant Earth? They are very natural looking, example below:

https://www.brilliantearth.com/2.51...ted-Diamond-DLC2.51CUFIYSI2_1V/?process=&sid=
 

molecule

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 2, 2018
Messages
322
I personally, don't care how the color is imparted into lab made stones, but based on the colors I typically see scrolling through different vendors, wouldn't purchase most of them based on personal preferences.

Brilliant Earth seems to have focused on a cheaper method, but this has started to produce the types of colors I don't prefer, especially in blues and pinks. I would rather have the grayer version.
1614438917449.png

1614438861773.png

But it's all personal preference.
 

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