|For thousands of years , man has fashioned raw, uncut gemstones into polished and faceted shapes to enhance the play of light across their surfaces and coax brilliance and fire from within. Majesty, mystery, allure, luxurious color and brilliance are among the qualities that draw us to natural gemstones. Over the many centuries we have learned countless methods to improve upon the natural properties of gemstones. A basic understanding of these enhancement techniques will add to your appreciation of the beauty, durability and value of the gemstone jewelry you own or plan to purchase in the future. As you read on you will see the importance of using a jeweler with integrity for the care and future purchase of fine gemstone jewelry.
Tiny laser beams can be used to remove impurities in gemstones and the minute passage ways created by the beams of light can be filled with clear resins or glass-hard substances. These glass-hard substances are also used to fill fractures within the diamond that come through to the surface. Irradiation or extreme heat can permanently enhance certain innate color properties in gemstones to display their hues in more brilliant array.
Fresh and saltwater pearls are often bleached to obtain uniformity in color.
Dyeing is the introduction of a coloring matter into a gemstone to intensify present color or improve color uniformity. Naturally colored cultured pearls are in short supply so some are dyed or irradiated to achieve rich black, grayish, golden and pink hues.
Heat and Pressure can be used individually or in combination to improve color and clarity. Virtually all tanzanite are heated to change their color from their natural orange-brown to a spectacular violet-blue. Citrine begins as a brownish amethyst that is heat treated , magically bringing out the bright yellow and orange colors. Nature rarely produces topaz in a blue variety. After the raw topaz is mined, it is irradiated to brown and then heated to a rich sky blue.
Impregnation of a porous gemstone with a colorless agent will give it durability and improve appearance. Occasionally rubies with small imperfections are permeated with a silica byproduct through a heating process. Emeralds may be clarity enhanced with waxing , oiling and resin filling of open fissures.