Common Gemstone Treatments
Today many gemstones have some kind of treatment to enhance it’s beauty. Below are some of the most commonly used treatments with a short explanation on how they are done.
- Coating : Using surface enhancements such as lacquering, enameling, inking, foiling, or sputtering of films to improve appearance, provide color or add other special effects. This is a temporary or permanent enhancement. Some Common Examples: Mystic Topaz, Mystic Quartz, Glass.
- Diffusion: The use of chemicals in conjunction with high temperatures to produce color and/or asterism-producing inclusions. This is a permanent treatment. Examples: Topaz, Sapphire.
- Dyeing : Introducing coloring matter into a gemstone to give it new color, intensify present color or improve color uniformity. This is a temporary enhancement. Examples: Quartz
- Filling : A by-product of heat enhancement, the presence of solidified borax or similar colorless substances. This is a temporary enhancement. Examples: Ruby, Emerald, Opal.
- Heating : Using heat to achieve a desired alteration of color, clarity,and /or phenomena. Mainly used for Clarity. This is a permanent treatment. Examples: Aquamarine, Quartz, Sapphire.
- Infilling : The intentional filling of surface cracks or fractures usually with glass, plastic, or other hardened foreign substances to improve durability, appearance and / or weight. This is a temporary enhancement. Example: Ruby, Emerald, Mexican Opal.
- Laser : Using a laser and chemicals to reach and alter inclusions in diamonds. This is a permanent treatment.
- Waxing/Oiling: The impregnation of a colorless wax, paraffin and oil in porous opaque gemstones to improve appearance. This is a temporary enhancement. Examples: Emerald, Opal.
- Oiling/Resin Infusion: The intentional filling of surface breaking cavities with a colorless oil, wax, natural resin, or unhardened man-made material into fissured transparent gemstones to improve appearance. (i.e., oil, man-made resin, cedar wood oil, Canada balsam, paraffin, etc.) This is a temporary enhancement. Examples: Emerald.