Gemstone Treatments, Detection & Disclosure of Treatments in Gemstones

Gemstones are naturally occurring precious minerals, which are formed over millions of years under natural conditions. Gemstone Rocks are extracted from their mines and gemstones are cut from rough rocks. These Cut-Gems vary widely in their Quality, in terms of various Parameters like Color, Transparency, and Inclusions etc. Good Colored and Clear Gemstones command higher prices. Low Quality Gemstones are often treated for enhancement to invite better prices. Even organic Gemstones like Coral, Amber and Pearl are treated for Enhancement.  GJI Gem Testing Laboratory is fully equipped to identify and detect any level and type of treatments in Gemstones. Visit www.gjionline.com to know more.

US Federal Trade Commission Guidelines for the disclosure of Gemstone Treatments:

As per the US FTC guidelines, “It is unfair or deceptive to fail to disclose that a gemstone has been treated if:
(a) the treatment is not permanent. The seller should disclose that the gemstone has been treated and that the treatment is or may not be permanent;
(b) the treatment creates special care requirements for the gemstone. The seller should disclose that the gemstone has been treated and has special care requirements. It is also recommended that the seller disclose the special care requirements to the purchaser;
(c) the treatment has a significant effect on the stone’s value. The seller should disclose that the gemstone has been treated.
Gemstone seller must disclose the Treatment (if any) in Gemstone to the customers for their interest. But, most of the sellers do not disclose full information to the customers. Shubh Gems has team of certified Professional Gemologists who are qualified to detect any treatment in Gemstones. The customer is given complete information and nothing is hidden about the gemstone.

Types of Treatments:

Treatments can be classified as First Degree, Second Degree and Third Degree. Degree defines the intensity of the treatment. Mild treatments fall under first-degree treatments while Extreme Treatments fall into Third Degree Treatment. First-degree treatments are acceptable for astrological stones.

1. Heating:

Gemstones are exposed to high temperatures to enhance the color, Clarity or both. This Treatment is very simple, commonly used and is quite acceptable. Heating is thus a first degree treatment. This treatment is applicable for Sapphires, Rubies and some Quartz.  Sapphires are normally heat treated for enhancement. Heating is not applicable to gemstones which are sensitive to Heat. Stones like Emerald, Coral and Opal may break when exposed to heat. Slightly heated gemstones are very well accepted for astrological purposes.

2. Oiling:

Sometimes stones are immersed in oils; Colorless or Colored. Colorless Oil is used just to retain their appearance & durability. However, if colored oil is used to enhance/change their color, it is considered as a Treatment and is not acceptable. Oiling is common in Emeralds. Emeralds are heat sensitive stones, so they are generally stored in oil. Colored Oiling is a second Degree Treatment.

3. Dyeing

Injecting colored dyes into porous or fractured gemstones to change/enhance their color.  Such fractures are sometimes purposely induced by heating the gem so that an otherwise non-porous material can more readily accept the dye. Such artificially colored Gemstones should be avoided as such stones will have no astrological benefits.

4. Waxing:

Waxing is generally used for opaque gemstones. It is done to improve the appearance & stability of porous gemstones. Surface cracks & cavities are often covered with wax to improve the surface texture of the stone. This Treatment is commonly done on Coral and Turquoise. Waxing is a second Degree Treatment. Such Treatment is not acceptable in astrological stones.

5. Fracture Filling/Glass Filling:

Sometimes, Fissures and cracks of stones are filled with molten glass. This improves the Clarity and Surface finish of the stone.  At times, it is also used to improve the color of the stone when colored glass is filled into stone. This is a Third-Degree Treatment and should be avoided. Glass filled stones are much cheaper and less durable.  Glass filled stones are also heat sensitive and may crack when exposed to heat.

6. Re-construction:

Very common in case of Coral and Turquoise, the powdered stone is used to construct a new stone under favorable conditions of Temperature and Pressure. It is a Third Degree Treatment and these should not be used in astrology. Reconstructed stone are often used in junk jewellery.

There are many more types of Treatments which are commonly done to gemstones. A Customer should be aware about the treatment when he/she buys the stone.

How to find out if your Gemstone is treated?

Buy Certified Natural Gemstone from a Gem dealer, not a Jeweller. Buy gemstone only from trusted Gemstone dealer. A Gemstone Dealer, who specializes in Gemstones, is qualified to check for any treatment himself. However, jewelers simply trade gemstones without knowing much about them. Jeweler himself may not be fully aware about the treatments in a stone.
Secondly, when you buy a gemstone, always ask for Lab-Report from Reputed Laboratory. The Report must mention any observations indicating treatment. It must also mention the Treatment, if any.
Shubh Gems deal in Certified Natural and untreated Gemstones. All gemstones are pre certified and tested by qualified Gemologists. You can buy online or visit SHUBH GEMS at Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi, India. Call us at 8010-555-111 or E-mail at shubhgemsindia@gmail.com.

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