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GEMSTONE TREATMENTS AND ENHANCEMENTS

Some treatments are commonly accepted by the jewelry industry and do not necessarily require disclosure at the time of the sale to the consumer.

Reputable Jewelers: The jewelry industry runs on ethics, honesty and very often the handshake deal. A jeweler's solid reputation is his or her livelihood if they expect to maintain the public's trust. Their financial stability and ethical behavior are just as important if they want to do business in the time honored fashion with reputable wholesalers

Reputable Mines, Manufacturers and Wholesalers: Likewise, the mine operators and subsequent manufacturers and wholesalers must be reputable, especially in disclosing to the jeweler any information about the jewelry or gemstones which the public might need to know. Self-regulation and the dissemination of information within the industry is a critical aspect of it, especially where gemstones are concerned.

Gemstone Treatments and Enhancements: Disclosing gemstone treatments or enhancements at each and every step along a stone's journey from ground to store is essential to fairly pricing gemstones. Individual jewelers may not have the equipment or the time to test each and every stone thoroughly, especially smaller stones which are are bought in lots for repair or manufacturing purposes. So each jeweler must find honest and trusted sources for their stones, and spot check lots frequently to be sure that everyone along the way has done their jobs. Inevitably, some stones sneak through - again, usually the smaller, less noticeable stones. But when real money is at stake, both the jeweler and the consumer need to be as knowledgeable as possible about the gemstone they are paying for..

Guidelines are often unwritten but known throughout the industry, and may differ according to the type of stone, or the size of a stone as compared to others like it.

Common Enhancements, Disclosed or Not Disclosed. Certain gemstones have been treated throughout history - so much so that all stones are assumed to have been treated and only larger stones would be singled out for examination in the hopes of increasing the price as a prime color, untreated stone would be worth more. Aquamarines, Sapphires and Tanzanites fall in to these categories.

Example: An example of an acceptable, common and rarely disclosed treatment would be the heating of some gemstones to improve their color. A jeweler would not bother to examine a parcel of reasonably priced, small to tiny blue sapphires bought from a reputable wholesaler, as it would be assumed that some, if not all, had been treated to improve the color. Sapphires are routinely heated to bring them to their top color, and often heat treatment will change the color to a more desirable color, like yellow, pink or green. However, an exceptionally fine and large stone would be examined for treatment at just about every step from mine to consumer, as a natural untreated sapphire of top color would be worth more than a treated one and this fact would be noted to the jeweler and the consumer.

Common Enhancements, Used To Take Advantage. Some treatments are meant to make a less desirable stone seem more valuable, and while some of these treatments are also common to the industry, it is important that the consumer be told at the time of the sale that the stone has been "enhanced" to look better. In some cases just making sure the stone or mounted jewelry be labeled, priced and sold in line with industry standards for that kind of stone is all that is necessary. Some companies actually make the enhancement a selling point as in the case of fracture-filled diamonds from companies like Yehuda Diamonds.

It is only when treated stones are passed for untreated stones and sold for much more than they are worth that the wholesalers, jewelers, and ultimately the consumer suffer.

The topics below discuss gemstone terminology, consumer information on inexpensive birthstone jewelry, and some common gemstones used in jewelry and the treatments which are commonly used on them, the reason the treatment is necessary, how often it is done, the stability of it, and any special care that the stone requires after treatment.

Gemstone Treatments Which Are Not Generally Disclosed
Gemstone Treatments Which Should Be Disclosed.
Birthstone Jewelry Discussion.
What is a Fake, Simulated, Synthetic or Treated gemstone?

We hope you enjoy our discussion of gemstones and their treatments and enhancements. Please be sure to Email us if you have any questions.

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