Defined as any process other than cutting that improves a gems’ appearance (e.g. color, clarity, phenomena, etc.), durability, value, or availability, with approximately 90 percent of gemstones enhanced in some way, these processes have become an important part of the modern jewelry industry.
In a world where many enhancements are very difficult to detect (or even undetectable) using standard gemological equipment, enhancement disclosure can be confusing for the consumer. The World Jewelry Confederation (CIBJO or Confédération Internationale de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie, Orfèvrerie, des Diamants, Perles et Pierres) is the organization that records accepted trade practices and nomenclature for the global gem and jewelry industry. Under their guidelines, all jewelers should be aware of how the gems they sell are enhanced, disclosing this information to their customers. We always ensures any gemstone enhancements and treatments are fully disclosed, and only use stable, permanent, and accepted enhancements or treatments.
To make sure each gemstone reaches its full potential, lapidaries and jewelers employ a variety of techniques. Some of these, like cutting and setting, are immediately visible, while others such as enhancements or treatments remain relatively unknown, despite being used for thousands of years. Practiced in India for over 4,000 years, the earliest known gemstone enhancement is heating a gem to improve its color. Oiling to improve a gem’s clarity is another ancient technique that has been used for over 2,000 years. Not all gemstone enhancements can trace their origins to antiquity. Some, such as the beryllium bulk diffusion of Sapphires, are the result of more recent innovations. In the gem industry, the term ‘enhancements’ sometimes exclusively refers to traditional techniques that are so common they are seldom mentioned, reserving ‘treatments’ for more modern methods. The problem is that this is not universal – both terms are often used to refer to the same processes. Given the prevalence of enhancements, one term that still has a universal meaning is ‘natural’. A ‘natural’ gemstone is one that has not been enhanced or treated in any way.
|Antsirabé Labradorite||Impregnation (Colorless Resin)|
|Australian White Opal||None|
|Diego Suarez Apatite||Heat|
|Kings Plains Sapphire||Heat|
|London Blue Topaz||Heat & Irradiated|
|Madagascan Rose Quartz||None|
|Marambaia London Blue Topaz||Heat & Irradiated|
|Marambaia Sky Blue Topaz||Heat & Irradiated|
|Marambaia Swiss Blue Topaz||Heat & Irradiated|
|Marropino Morganite||Heat & Irradiated|
|Rift Valley Rhodolite||None|
|Sky Blue Topaz||Heat & Irradiated|