ABOUT GEMS: TREATMENTS AND ENHANCEMENTS
Today, most gemstones are enhanced or treated. Although many of the treatments are stable, some are not.
Common diamond treatments today are clarity enhancement and laser drilling. Clarity enhancement is the process in which imperfections are filled with a glass-like substance to improve the appearance of the diamond. Extreme heat, such as that from a jeweler’s torch, or specifically formulated chemicals can remove the filler.
In laser drilling a laser is used to reach dark inclusions within the diamond. Often a bleaching agent is added to make the inclusion less visible. Laser drilling is stable.
Rubies and Sapphires
Rubies and sapphires are usually heated to improve their color and clarity. Sometimes, a glass-like substance is used to fill the cavities, and improve the appearance of the gemstone.
Emeralds are a naturally included gemstone, and have been oiled for hundreds of years. Today, more sophisticated resins and hardeners are used to enhance the clarity of emeralds. These treatments are not permanent, so this gemstone should be treated with extreme care.
Tanzanite brings to the minds of most jewelry lovers a bright blue or violet color. However, just about all tanzanite comes out of the mines an orange-brown color. It is then heated to produce the spectacular violet-blue we are familiar with. This is a permanent process.
Amethyst and Citrine
Amethyst and Citrine are members of the quartz family. If amethyst is heated to a certain temperature, it turns into the bright yellow or orange color of citrine. This is a permanent and stable enhancement.
Blue Topaz is rarely produced in the beautiful shades we are familiar with. After the topaz is mined, it is irradiated to brown and then heated to blue. This is a permanent process.
Check our booklist of jewelry, diamonds, gemstones and watches for more information.