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Gemstone Enhancement Guide - Information on Gemstone Treatment
First ... it is important to note that ...
It is perfectly OK to enhance the appearance of
Humans do this stuff all the time. We put spices and food coloring
into our food to make it taste or just look better. We dress up
lots of things we own to improve the way they look ... adding studs
or patches to clothes, a rhinestone encrusted case for a phone,
adding cool stuff to cars ... we even do it to ourselves. Everybody
gets tattoos. And uses haircolor. Women wear makeup.
OK maybe you don't tell your date about all your cosmetic surgery.
At least not right away. But gems are different. Buyers need to
know what they're purchasing. This really is important.
This is called disclosure. When someone is going to buy a
they should be told it was enhanced. There is nothing wrong with
selling heated sapphires ... as long as the customer knows.
All stones used in our jewelry are naturally mined gems unless specified in the description.
The letter codes below indicate whether
they are known to have been enhanced.
You will see these letter codes used on our site when gemstones are offered.
If not, then we state right in the description if a stone is natural or enhanced.
N - Natural stone and color. Untreated in any way.
H - Heated to permanently intensify or change the natural color of a gem.
As an example, virtually ALL
carnelian, citrine, ruby, and sapphires
used in widely available, commercial quality jewelry are heat treated gems -
naturally colored stones are extremely rare and expensive.
R - Irradiated to intensify or change
color. A good example of this
treatment is London Blue, Swiss Blue and other deep shades of
Blue Topaz. These are extremely rare natural colors for topaz. Virtually all
deep blue color topaz is naturally a very slight blue to clear gemstone
which is irradiated and then heat treated to create the blue color.
A - Assembled from what may be a
combination of natural and
created materials. A good example of this treatment is Baltic Amber,
most of which is heated and pressed to form large pieces. This amber
occurs naturally as very small droplets floating on water. It is recovered,
and the droplets are fused together with heat. Another example of an
assembled gemstone is an opal triplet, which is a thin slice of genuine or
created opal (or a mosaic of opal pieces) sandwiched between a dark colored base
(usually potch, or common opal) and a clear cap or top (usually crystal quartz).
D - Permanently dyed - Examples include
many varieties of agate, virtually all
black onyx, most rose quartz and inexpensive (chalk) turquoise.
S - Synthetic - A man made gem with the
same appearance and
physical characteristics as a natural gemstone. Examples of synthetic gems are
Gilson® opal, Moissanite, lab grown emeralds, rubies and sapphires and virtually all hematite.
O - Oiled - Wax, oil or resin may be used
to fill small pits, cracks and cavities
on the surface of a stone. This treatment is commonly used on emeralds.
Other treatments of commercial quality stones for jewelry are:
Reconstituted - Powdered gemstone
material is mixed with a coloring agent to improve the color and an
epoxy type binder. This mixture is molded to form large pieces which are then cut into cabochons or beads.
Examples include reconstituted lapis lazuli, coral and turquoise.
Stabilized - This treatment is done to improve the surface durability of soft stones, and is primarily used on turquoise. A clear layer of liquid acrylic is applied to the surface. This seals the stone and helps to protect it from damage.
Chemical Diffusion - This is the addition of a chemical to the surface of a gemstone under extreme heat to produce an intensification or a change in the color of a gemstone. The chemical actually diffuses into the surface of the stone, combining with the existing mineral - which produces a color change. Many of the intense orange colored Padparadscha sapphires currently being produced in Thailand are enhanced this way.
These treatments are widely used and are accepted, common practices in the jewelry industry.
Consumers have the right to be informed of any treatment used on gems in the jewelry they purchase.
We will prominently disclose any known treatment used on the gemstones used in the jewelry we sell.
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