A few methods commonly used to enhance gemstones:
- Heat and radiation are often used to change or enhance gemstone colors.
- Diffusion is used to deepen a gem's color, but it only intensifies a gemstone's outer layers.
- Oil and waxes make a gem appear more richly colored -- the coatings fill-in fine surface cracks, blending them away temporarily.
- Fracture filling coats gems with a clear or colored epoxy resin or another substance. The treatment fills-in cracks, which improves the appearance of the gemstone, and is more durable than oils.
- Laser drilling removes inclusions, improving clarity.
If any form of the word enhanced is used in jewelry ads or disclosures, the gem has been treated in some way.
Are Gemstone Treatments Permanent?Some treatments are permanent, but others are not. Heat treatments can go either way, because they create permanent color changes in some gems and temporary changes in others.
Always ask if the jewelry you are interested in purchasing contains treated gemstones. If it does, ask which treatments were used and if those treatments are guaranteed to be permanent.