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The Scoop on Gemstone Treatments

Colored gemstones have so much personality! They can have bright, stunning intensities of color that grab you from across the room or have a soft, sensual color that lures you in. Colored gemstones can take center stage in an engagement ring or be the perfect accent to your ring stack. But, did you know that most gemstones have had some sort of treatment done?

Since ancient times, colored gemstones have been routinely treated to enhance the color or improve clarity. We have more scientific processes now, but the concept is still the same. Some gemstone treatments are stable and need minimal care while others require special care which is important for you to know when purchasing a lovely gemstone to grace your special person or yourself.

Heat Treatment: Heat treatment is one of the most common and accepted gemstone treatments. The idea behind it is that it is continuing what mother nature would have done if it stayed in the Earth. The gemstone is exposed to high heat which deepens, stabilizes, or changes the color and is the most durable and permanent of all the treatments. Some of the most common stones that are heat treated are Ruby, Sapphire, Amethyst, Citrine, and Aquamarine, so when you encounter one of those gems with incredible color that has not been heat treated, oh boy, you are seeing something very special!

Fracture or Cavity Filling: Emeralds are filled with oils and resins to improve their clarity, but they do need special care. Hot water from dishes, heat from a jeweler’s torch for repair, and chemicals can all damage the filler altering the look of your Emerald, and in some cases, it is permanent.

Surface Coating: Surface coating is one of the oldest treatments. A coloring agent is applied to the back/bottom surface of the gemstone or to the surface of the whole gemstone which changes the color of the gemstone. You may have seen a gemstone advertised called Mystic Topaz. It is clear Topaz with a surface coating that is ultra-reflective making it dark with rainbow flashes. The coating can be scratched and damaged, so you will want to take care with it. This is also a treatment that significantly lowers the price of a gemstone.

This is not an exhaustive list of gemstone treatments but some of the most common. According to the FTC, gemstone treatments must be disclosed in the description and at the time of purchase. It’s important for you to know what you are buying in order to take care of your gemstone.

I would love to help you with a gemstone purchase and custom design! Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:

  • One-on-one appointments (personal attention and no crowds!)

  • Discretion and privacy (surprises remain surprises!)

  • Expert help from a Graduate Gemologist with 25 years of experience (yep, that’s me!)

Book your FREE appointment with me today!

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