Gemstone Treatment And Care
Historically and traditionally nearly all natural gemstones have been enhanced to improve their appearance. The enhancement techniques vary within each stone variety and change as new and better methods are developed. Defined below are some of common types of enhancement treatments that improves the appearance or durability of a gemstone. Some enhancement processes are universal and permanent, such as heated and irradiated treatments. Others are common and may require special care to avoid damage, such as coating or oiling. Color range varies on all natural stones so please allow for slight variations in shades.
- • Bleaching - The use of heat, light and/or other agents to lighten or remove a gemstone's color
- • Coating - The use of such surface enhancements as lacquering, enameling, inking, foiling or sputtering of films to improve appearance, provide color or add other special effects.
- • Dyeing - The introduction of coloring matter into a gemstone to give it new color, intensify present color or improve color uniformity.
- • Filling - The filling of surface-breaking cavities or fissures with colorless glass, plastic, solidified borax or similar substances. This process may improve durability and/or appearance, and/or to add weight.
- • Heating - The use of heat to effect desired alteration of color, clarity and/or phenomena. Heat enhanced color and/or clarity treatments are permanent.
- • Heating & Pressure - The use of heat and pressure combined to effect desired alterations of color, clarity and/or phenomena.
- • Impregnation - The impregnation of a porous gemstone with a colorless agent (usually plastic) to improve durability and appearance.
- • Oiling/Resin Infusion - The filling of surface-breaking fissures with colorless oil, wax, resin or other colorless substances, except glass or plastic, to improve the gemstone's appearance.
- • Irradiation - The use of neutrons, gamma rays or beta particles (high energy electrons) to alter a gemstone's color. The irradiation may be followed by a heating process. Irradiated enhanced colors are permanent.
- • Diffusion - The use of chemicals in conjunction with high temperatures to produce ARTIFICIAL color change and/or asterism-producing inclusions.
- • Waxing/Oiling - The impregnation of a colorless wax, paraffin or oil in porous opaque or translucent gemstones to improve appearance.