Gem treatments - Laser Drilling

Laser drilling

– this involves using a narrow focused beam of laser light to burn an open channel from the surface of a diamond to reach dark inclusions. This is generally followed by the use of a chemical forced into the channel to dissolve or alter the appearance of the inclusion.

Diamonds are the only gemstones to be treated in this fashion, in part because only they can withstand the heat of a laser.

Three laser drill holes have been introduced through the table facet of this diamond in an attempt to improve the clarity. However, it appears as though the drill holes have created a significant cleavage crack around the inclusion which has actually made the inclusion more obvious. This type of treatment isn’t always successful at improving the clarity. Field of view is 4.4mm.

1. Durability factors – While lasers could potentially affect the structure of a diamond, most laser drill holes are microscopic, and the durability of the diamond does not come into play.

2. Detectability – Easily detectable by most gemologists and qualified gemological laboratories because of the presence of the laser drill holes.

3. Encountered in the trade – Sometimes.

4. Special care requirements – There are no special care requirements for laser-drilled diamonds.


Source: Robert Weldon,

To learn more about gem treatments see also:

- An introduction to Gem treatments

- Gem treatments - Bleaching

- Gem treatments - Surface Coating

- Gem treatments - Lattice Diffusion

- Gem treatments - Irradiation

- Gem treatments- Impregnation

- Gem treatments - High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT)

- Gem treatments - Heat treatment

- Gem treatments - Fracture or Cavity Filling

- Gem treatments - Dyeing