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
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
Treatments Which Are Not Generally Disclosed
Treatments Which Should Be Disclosed.
Birthstone Jewelry Discussion.
What is a Fake,
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.