Today, gemstone treatments are prevalent. It is estimated that up to 95% of all ruby, sapphire, emerald, and tanzanite used in jewelry are treated.
Common gemstone treatments include heating, irradiation, dyeing, bleaching, impregnation, fracture filling, lattice diffusion, laser drilling, high pressure high temperature (HPHT), and surface modification.
These treatments and others are responsible for bringing many desirable gems to market, and in fact, are often necessary to meet the demand for some popular gems.
All known and suspected gemstone treatments must be disclosed at time of sale.
It is vital that consumers have this information in order to make informed purchases, and also to understand how treatments might affect wear, repair, and care.
Unfortunately, some retailers are not knowledgable about gemstone treatments or simply fail to disclose.
As a result, jewelry shoppers are best served by being aware of common gemstone treatments, at least enough to know what questions to ask before completing a sale.
In addition to understanding the differences between natural and treated gems, it is interesting and useful to know about synthetics and simulants (imitations).
All of these topics are covered in the Arpaia Jewelry Newsletter: Good Stuff to Know when Shopping for Gemstone Jewelry: A Friendly Primer on Gemstone Treatments, Synthetics, and Imitations. Just click this link!