HPHT Processed Diamonds – “Finishing What Nature Started”
By Michelle Moshelian
Long-established Israeli diamantaires David Levy and Avi Tavisal, who established the HPHT Diamond Group partnership to enhance the reputation of high temperature high pressure (HPHT) processed diamonds in the diamond market, are convinced that such diamonds have yet to fulfill their proper potential.
“As the first company to proactively brand HPHT processed diamonds, we believe that such diamonds can serve as a viable alternative to unprocessed diamonds,” explains Tavisal. “However, not everyone will want or need such stones – and, anyway, we couldn’t supply them all if they did. There is a shortage of diamonds that are suitable for HPHT processing since such diamonds are very rare.”
“Our motto is that we are finishing the process that nature started thousands of years ago. We cannot interfere with that process, but we are able to help fulfill nature’s intentions,” continues Levy. Human intervention in the HPHT process is limited and the outcome cannot be influenced, he explains.
More Affordable – For Now at Least
HPHT processing improves the color of diamonds and offers consumers the opportunity to purchase a stone at a more reasonable price than an unprocessed stone of equivalent color and clarity, therefore offering customers a larger stone of a better color grade for their budget, notes Levy.
“As veteran diamond manufacturers and traders with decades of diamond and diamond jewelry retail experience under our belt, we can only stress that HPHT processed diamonds are just as beautiful but simply much more affordable than unprocessed, natural diamonds of identical color, clarity, cut and carat weight,” adds Tavisal.
The prices of HPHT stones have yet to reach their potential, especially for large stones, explain the pair, who are determined to offer the fullest possible range of HPHT processed diamonds. Levy and Tavisal predict that, with time, the HPHT technology will become more familiar to the public and that the demand for HPHT diamonds will increase accordingly, as will their price tag.
Type IIa Diamonds – Rare and with Great Potential
The HPHT Diamond Group specializes in HPHT processed diamonds that belong to a category named Type IIa, though in principle all diamonds can undergo the irreversible HPHT process. When they are mined, Type IIa diamonds – which have a very low nitrogen content – often display a relatively low color grade and in many instances these stones even are found in hues of brown. Type IIa diamonds are very rare and offer the greatest thermal conductivity. A number of large famous diamonds, such as the Cullinan and the Koh I-Noor, are Type IIa diamonds.
When submitted to the HPHT process, Type IIa diamonds have the potential to become colorless (i.e. a very high color), improving the color grade of these stones by a significant number of color grades, thus making them significantly less expensive than stones of similar sizes, clarity and color that have not been subjected to any processes.
Type Ia diamonds — which make up the overwhelming majority of diamonds mined worldwide — contain a natural nitrogen impurity. When HPHT processed, these diamonds have the potential of becoming very attractive fancy colored diamonds. However, as natural, colorless Type Ia diamonds command higher prices than HPHT processed colored diamonds, few Type I diamonds are HPHT processed.
David Levy and Avi Tavisal
Tavisal, a second-generation diamantaire and jeweler, was determined to take and implement all that he learned from his father — an appreciation, knowledge and passion for diamonds— to new heights, and he established his own company to cut and polish diamonds and another venture to design, create and manufacture gold and platinum diamond jewelry. To this day, Tavisal sells his cut stones and original jewelry creations at his own showroom, the Israel Diamond Center (IDC) at the Diamond Exchange complex in Ramat Gan, as well as in showrooms abroad.
Tavisal was among the first Israeli diamantaires to identify the potential marketing possibilities of processed polished diamonds, in particular HPHT processed diamonds, thus enabling his customers to enjoy a greater selection of polished diamonds at a wider range of qualities and price points.
Like David Levy, his partner in the HPHT Group, he is of the opinion that HPHT diamonds hold great potential in the diamond jewelry market due to their competitive price points and fine quality.
David Levy, a first generation diamantaire who established his own diamond company in 1979, explains his decision to specialize in HPHT processed diamonds as follows: “Small and medium sized diamond companies that wish to continue to serve the market, need to apply their expertise, skills and knowledge to niche products. HPHT diamonds are special diamond products that, if produced and marketed correctly and properly, can and will do very well in the diamond jewelry market, because the diamonds’ quality is superb and their price point highly advantageous.”
Over the years, the David Levy Diamond Manufacturers and Exporters has developed a diverse production range of diamonds that include round stones and fancy shapes in sizes ranging from 0.5 carat to 25 carats, with clarity grades ranging between VVS and P1.
“By submitting unprocessed, off color diamonds to a process of high pressure and high temperature (HPHT), we literally put the finishing touch to the process that nature did not manage to complete, millions of years ago, deep in Mother Earth’s crust,” explains Levy, who regards the creation of the HPHT Group brand as “yet another step in enhancing our company’s recognition in this highly-specialized diamond business niche”.
Certification and Consumer Confidence
All HPHT diamonds processed by the HPHT Group, which complies fully with the Kimberley Process standards, are sold with full disclosure of the nature of the processing and each diamond is accompanied by an internationally recognized diamond grading report.
“Our company not only recognizes, but also insists that there is an absolute need for the preservation of consumer confidence in our products throughout the supply pipeline. Trust in our integrity, knowledge and expertise— in addition to highly attractive prices —is essential to our company’s reputation and success,” explains Levy.
The Israel Diamond Centre House of Diamonds (IDC), owned and operated by Avi Tavisal and producing every style of jewelry ranging from those valued at a few hundred dollars to several million dollars, follows a strict policy of disclosing exactly which processing has been performed on the stones they sell and hosts one of the largest showrooms with enhanced diamonds. “At IDC we believe that while processing has become common place, customers should always be made aware of the process,” notes Tavisal.
Since 1999, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has accepted HPHT processed diamonds for full grading reports. Other international renowned gemological institutes followed suit and HPHT processed diamonds are now available to consumers worldwide with the proper certification.
Courtesy of the Israel Diamond Institute