Learn about common gemstone enhancements in the jewelry and rock industry.
Common and Accepted Gemstone Enhancements
Gemstone enhancement treatments have been used for the many centuries, such as heat treatment of ruby to enhance its color. In today's jewelry and stone industry, many types of gemstones are normally treated to enhance their appearance, durability, or color before they are offered on the market at all internationally. This makes beautiful gemstones available For instance, the blue-purple tanzanite that is so well loved, would be prohibitively rare and expensive without enhancements, because what causes the lovely coloring is heating green brown zoisite to 600 degrees Celsius.
Permanent gemstone enhancments are universally accepted. In some cases, less permanent enhancements are also accepted, as in the case of cut emeralds that are often treated with colorless oils or polymers. Because most cut and polished gemstones and beads are treated before they leave their origin or shop where they are cut, beads and stones such as cabochons and faceted stones are assumed to be enhanced in some way.
Some common gemstone enhancements are below:
|Agate||Dye or Heat||Often|
|Amazonite||Colorless Wax, Oil, Hardened Resin||Often|
|Aura Quartz||Heat and Pressure combined with Gold or other precious metals or minerals; including Aqua Aura, Angel Aura, Titanium Aura, etc.||Always|
|Diamonds||Irradiated (Enhanced Diamonds Only), Laser,||Always for "Enhanced Diamonds", Never Otherwise|
|Emerald||Colorless Oil or Polymer||Often|
|Opal Doublet||Assembled||Always, for doublets|
|Pearl (Cultured)||Bleach, Dye, Chemically Enhanced||Usually|
|Quartz (All colors)||Heat, Dye||Often|
|Ruby||Heat, Dye||Usually, Often|
|Topaz (Colored)||Heat, Cobalt, or Diffusion||Usually|
|Tourmaline||Heat||Common for blue green colors, Rare for other colors|
|Zircon (Blue & White)||Heat||Usually|
Many stones are also known by trade names. I have an article on stone names to help damp down some of the confusion.