One common question we get is if a gemstone is treated does that still mean it is natural? Yes! A treated gemstones has just been enhanced to display the best color or clarity, but is still a natural gemstone. Now this means that they should be sold as natural with an explanation as to why they have a special sparkle and color. In fact, it’s a law that anyone selling a gem must disclose the treatment procedure it received. Full disclosure of gemstone treatments isn’t just a matter of obeying the law; it’s about the ethics and obligations of a jewelry professional.

You should feel comfortable asking about any gemstone enhancements, their stability (whether permanent, long lasting or short-lived), and any special care required. A trustworthy jeweler will explain all of this to you. Gemstone grading reports or receipts from the jewelers should also include details regarding the gem treatment.

Common Gemstone Treatments

Now let’s take a look at some of the most common diamond and gemstone treatments. This will help you better communicate with your jeweler when shopping for gemstone jewelry:

Bleach – chemically treated (hydrogen peroxide) to alter or remove color, and is practically undetectable, even to the trained eye. Used for pearls and jadeite jade.

Diffusion – heat treating a stone and adding other elements, like beryllium, to permanently enhance its color. Most often seen with corundum, which are rubies and sapphires. This treatment is not always the most stable, and can fade with time and exposure to certain elements.

Dye – a process that dates back to the first century A.D. and is most often used on lower quality pearls but also turquoise, black onyx, lapis lazuli, chalcedony, emerald, quartz and ruby. Dyes can fade over time or alter, so do not expose to acetone, rubbing alcohol and prolonged direct sunlight (like a day at the beach).

Filling – process of filling small fractures or cavities in the gemstone, with glass, resin, oil or wax to smooth surface and enhance clarity. Seen in diamonds, rubies, emerald and sapphires. The enhancements is not permanent. Avoid high heat, hot water, changes in air pressure and household cleaners, which can potentially alter the filler.

Heat – gems exposed to high temperature to permanently alter their color.  One of the most common gemstone treatments; for example, over 95% of all rubies on the market today are heat-treated. In most cases the treatment improves the gem’s apparent color and/or clarity. Traditional heat treatment results in a very durable gem requiring no special care or handling issues. Common heat-treated gems include amber, amethyst, aquamarine, citrine, ruby, sapphire, tanzanite, topaz, tourmaline.

High Heat High Temperature (HPHT) – used for diamonds. Changes brown diamonds permanently to colorless, or to yellow, orange, blue. Colored diamonds treated this way are not considered Natural colored diamonds.

Irradiation – using small doses of radiation to physically alter the gemstone’s color permanently. Blue topaz is achieved through irradiation combined with heat treatment. Irradiation may also treat sapphires, quartz, and colored diamonds (like black, green, blue, yellow and red).

Oil – treatment for gemstones with surface inclusions, like emeralds. The oil smooths the surface and improves clarity. This treatment is not permanent and care must be taken to avoid ultrasonic cleaning techniques. Take this gemstone jewelry to your jeweler for professional cleaning instead.

Find the Perfect Style at Simply Majestic!

Simply Majestic is your source for unique, fine jewelry. Owned and operated by Susette Tibus and Chuck Sneddon, Simply Majestic is located at 59 Williams Avenue in Mystic, CT. Whether searching for a traditional engagement ring; or a custom-design, our team will help with every jewelry need. Simply Majestic has a beautiful and extensive selection of wedding rings, bracelets, necklaces, diamonds, loose diamonds, gemstones, watches, earrings, charms and pendants.

From repair to re-design; from remount to restoration – or custom jewelry creations – enjoy the comfort of knowing utmost care of your treasures is top priority. Simply Majestic will clean your jewelry at no charge. Our repairs are legendary – from simple sizing to total restorations for antique and vintage jewelry. We set the standards others try to follow and while your jewelry is here to be serviced, why not get an up-to-date appraisal for your insurance company. You can be the designer – using your creativity with Simply Majestic’s Digital Design Studio – new technology meets old world craftsmanship. Design on our website or come to our store. We can’t wait to help you start your journey!