15 X 12MM - 19 X 15MM
|Globally Accepted Gemstone Treatments|
Just as wood furniture needs to be lacquered, so too gemstones require finishing before they are ready to be sold. Critical as good cutting and polishing, treatments have become an integral part of the modern gemstone industry. Akin to aging fine wine, most of the techniques used simply facilitate the beautiful end results of the earth’s natural processes.
While these treatments are taken as commonplace within the industry the general public's awareness has been much lower. This page provides clear answers to common treatment questions. If you need any further information on treatments, please access the guidelines provided by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
Is the use of treatments globally accepted?
Are all the treatments used permanent?
Why are natural gemstones treated? Most commonly used to improve the color or appearance of the finished product, some gemstones simply would not exist in salable quantities without treatment. For example, heating greenish brown Zoisite to 600 degrees Celsius produces the currently popular vibrant violet-blue Tanzanite. No heating, no Tanzanite! Please note that the term “natural gemstones” refers to those formed in the earth, whether or not they have been treated after mining - this is in distinct contrast to “lab”, “man made” or “synthetic” gems.
Does treatment affect a gem’s value?
The most common treatment technique is heating. This technique is so common with Ruby and Sapphires that most gemologists would tell you they are “probably heat treated”. The difficulty here is that because the procedure so closely resembles what happens in nature, a gemologist can't always tell if they have been treated. While microscopic examination will occasionally reveal an inclusion that burst during heating, there is often no way to tell if the material was treated. Another example is Aquamarine. When properly heated, Aquamarine loses its green tint becoming a pure blue. As this is identical to what happens in nature, there is no way of telling if it was done after mining.
A crystal fragment from deep within the earth, a raw, natural creation...how did man's timeless desire to capture, enhance and possess its beauty result in such rich, luxurious color? This is a natural gemstone's power: to draw from us our invention, to free its beauty from impurities that may dull the luster we believe lies within.
For thousands of years, man has fashioned uncut gem specimens into faceted and cabochon shapes, experimenting with cutting techniques, learning to enhance the play of light across its surfaces, coaxing brilliance or fire from deep within. This art of cutting is the lapidary's craft. A fine cut gemstone offers a full array of Nature's visual beauty, releases through the talents of the lapidary's art.
Majesty, mystery, allure, luxurious color and brilliance...these are among the qualities that draw us to natural gemstones. Over the many centuries, we have learned countless methods to improve the natural properties of gemstones. These techniques are known as "enhancements." The represent our desire to draw from Nature's bounty the truest and purest color and brilliance, to fashion her creations into our own fine jewelry, a gift of a lifetime to be enjoyed b generations to come.
Although gemstone cutting is the most basic enhancement method necessary too fully display the beauty of a gemstone, there are many fascinating methods by which man has demonstrated his ability to draw maximum color, luster, clarity and brilliance from Nature's earth-bound treasured. A basic understanding of these enhancement techniques will add to your appreciation of the beauty, durability and the value of the gemstone jewelry you already own, purchase now, or int he future.
Amethyst & Citrine
Darker hues of Amethyst are rarely enhanced, but sometimes if they are too dark, they are heated to lighten the color. Brownish varieties are commonly heated and magically turn into the bright yellow or orange colors known as Citrine. This enhancement method is permanent and will last for the life of the gemstones.
The very name, Aquamarine, brings to mind the limpid, clear blue tint of the sea. Many Aquamarines are greenish when mined and cut. For those who prefer the purer blue, these gemstones are heated to enhance their blue color permanently. Some Aquamarine fanciers prefer the greenish hues, saying the greener tones remind them more of the sea. The color tones of Aquamarine are subtle and varied. Its soft luster is a wonderful addition to any natural colored gemstone jewelry collection.
Nature rarely produces Topaz in the blue variety, although some examples have been found. Challenged by this rare occurrence of Nature, man has discovered an enhancement method to "excite" blue color from a clear to brownish Topaz variety. After the raw Topaz is mined, it is irradiated to brown and then heated to a rich sky blue. This enhancement process is permanent.
Pearls have been treasured for their lustrous, creamy textures and their subtle iridescent reflections since the dawn of humankind. Because natural Pearls are so very rare and so very difficult to recover from the ocean's depths, man invented the technique of "culturing" salt and freshwater Pearls from mollusk carefully seeded with irritants similar to those, produced by Nature. This painstaking effort of "culturing" is one of the most dramatic examples of man's quest to coax beauty from Nature.
Unique in the world of gemstones. Diamond is the hardest of all materials. Perhaps it is because of this durability that Diamonds are treasured as symbols of devotion and purity.
And yet, within the structure of Diamonds we often find impurities, or "inclusions" that trap light, distracting our eye from the radiance we so value. Sometimes these tiny imperfections are removed by cutting them away. Often we employ methods that do not sacrifice precious Diamond the process. Today, we have perfected a fascinating enhancement technique that focuses tiny beams of laser light at imperfections and vaporizes them. The minute passageways created by the laser beam may be filled with clear resins or glass-hard substances, rendering them nearly invisible to the naked eye. Only extreme heat or specifically formulated chemicals removes the filling form the laser passageways. This method is also utilized to fill fissures that reach the gemstone's surface, thereby rendering them less visible to the naked eye.
Diamonds may also be colored in a variety of hues. Extreme heat and/or irradiation permanently enhances certain innate color properties, allowing them to display their hues in more brilliant array/ Whether irradiated, lasered or cut from the most perfect raw state, your jeweler will inform you of the magical journey your Diamond has followed, from deep within the earth's mantle to the fine, finished gemstone you see before you.
Emerald, to many, symbolizes rebirth and life abundant. The rich green hues bring to mind regeneration of life in spring and hope of new possibilities. Yet, perfection in Emerald, as in all things, is among the most rare of Nature's treasures. When they are mined from the earth, almost all Emeralds have unique birthmarks that distinguish them as truly natural gemstones.
Passion, excitement, luxurious opulence ... these are just a few words that describe our fascination with this most precious of gemstones. For thousands of years, man has sought to own precious Rubies as symbols of devotion and objects of desire. Imperfections and impurities may be removed by controlled heating of the gemstones. Occasionally Rubies with small imperfections are permeated with a silicate by product of the heating process. Care should be observed when wearing fissure filled Rubies. This enhancement technique may wear over time if treated harshly or exposed to strong solvents or abrasives. Your jeweler will inform you of the best method to care for your natural gemstone treasures.
Soothing, sensuous blue; liquid blue; evening sky blue; cornflower blue ... these are among the many shades of this lovely gemstone. And yet, there are many colors and hues of Sapphire from which to choose: the hot and soft pinks; the oranges, greens, purples, golds, yellows and whites...all for your pleasure.
Tanzanite is renowned for the exquisite combination of purple and blue hues of this loveliest of gems discovered in modern times. Mined in Tanzania at the feet of the majestic Mount Kilamanjaro, virtually every Tanzanite is heated to permanently change its color from orange-brown to the spectacular violet-blue color for which this precious gemstone variety is known.
Tourmalines are found in an abundant array of colors. They offer a wide variety of choice for the discerning gemstone jewelry enthusiast. A complete collection of all the colors represents a fascinating quest for the knowledgeable seeker of Nature's bounty. Dark blue, blue-green and green Tourmalines are occasionally heated to lighten their color. Red Tourmalines (also known as Rubellites) and pink varieties are often heated and/or irradiated to improve their colors. Heat and irradiation color enhancement of Tourmalines are permanent.
|Size to Weight conversions||Gemstone Enhancements||Gemstone Care|