Gemstone Treatments and Enhancements

Heat treatment is the most common way to enhance the color and appearance of gemstones. Gemstone treating is not a new phenomenon and dates back as far as 50AD. Treating gemstones is normal in the industry and may or may not affect the value.

High quality unheated rubies and sapphires are extremely rare and command a higher price over treated stones. These untreated stones comprise about ½ of 1% of the total market so a normal consumer is unlikely to find one at the local jewelry store. Most people buy jewelry for appearance so treated stones fill the bill nicely and keep the prices reasonable.

Common Gemstones that are treated

Ruby: nearly all are heated to improve color and appearance.
Sapphire: nearly all are heated to improve color and appearance.
Tanzanite: heated to produce violet blue color.
Emerald: oiled with colorless oil to improve appearance.
Aquamarine: heated to improve color.
Blue topaz: irradiated and or heated to produce blue color.
Jade: generally impregnated with colored resins and or colorless waxes.

About Rob

I have been designing military coins and jewelry for nearly 40 years now.