The journey from a gemstone to a gem of a stone!
Gemstones coming from the Earth are unique. They are born naturally in many bright, dull, transparent, opaque or many kinds in between.
Like us humans need cosmetics, certain minerals, need to be processed to bring put their inherent life and beauty.
Such processing could be : cutting to reflect & refract light. Or other processes could be that enhances colour or clarity. As can be expected, an untreated gemstones, naturally beautiful is the most preferred. Most rare. And more pricey. However nature produces very few of them.
As such processing or as they may be termed in the industry – treatment – of a gemstone is crucial to making a gem into a gem of a stone! – a masterpiece of great elegance and beauty. Processes used are : mineral heating/ mineral treating/ gemstone oiling (oiling is after the cutting process, while other processes are in the rough mineral prior to cutting). It is to be assumed that most gemstones are processed or treated or enhanced in some manner. At C Krishniah Chetty Group of Jewellers, untreated gemstones, rare gemstones, certain rare origin gemstones, or any exceptional gemstone will normally be accompanied with an external laboratory report or certificate, and may also be accompanied with a At C Krishniah Chetty Report as well.
The common processes or treatments or enhancements for gemstones are.
1) Bleaching: The gem is chemically treated (with hydrogen peroxide or alternate) to enhance or remove color, a process undetectable even to a trained eye. This is more often the case with gems such as pearls and jadeite jade.
2) Diffusions: The stone is treated by adding other elements such as beryllium to permanently enhance its color, often seen with corundum, which are rubies and sapphires.
3) Dye: This process has been in use since the 1st century AD, often in lower quality pearls, turquoise, black onyx, lapis lazuli, chalcedony, quartz and rubies. Dyes can fade overtime or change when exposed to direct sunlight.
4) Filling: Small cavities or fractures in the gemstones undergo the process of filling, with glass, resin, oil or wax used to smoothen the surface and enhance clarity. The gems often treated are diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires. These enhancements are not permanent. At C Krishniah Chetty treated Diamonds are not offered for sale, except in cases of black diamonds and will be specifically stated on your bills
5) Heating: Gems/ minerals are exposed to high temperature to permanently enhance their color or clarity. In fact, 95% of all rubies available in the market are heat treated. This traditional approach results in durable gems that require no special care in handling subsequently. Common heat-treated gems include amber, aquamarine, amethyst, citrine, ruby, sapphire, tanzanite, topaz and tourmaline.
6) High pressure high temperature (HPHT): This is another popular method used only in diamonds to alter their colors. HPHT treated diamonds are not considered, not represented as natural colored diamonds at C Krishniah Chetty Group.
7) Irradiation: This involves treating the gemstone with small doses of radiation to physically alter its colour permanently. Blue topaz is achieved through irradiation’s combined with heat treatment. Too strong an irradiation is not good for skin. C Krishniah Chetty Group does not offer for sale any strong or medium irradiated gemstones.
8) Oiling: This treatment is undertaken for gems with surface inclusions such as rubies, emeralds, quartz, jadeite, nephrite and other opaque gemstones, figurines, idols. The oil smoothens the surface and enhances clarity. This treatment is not permanent and care must be taken in handling the stone subsequently. Such oiled gemstones require periodic oiling. At C Krishniah Chetty Group we recommend gemstones & jewellery be bright to us once every two years for such inspections & actions to preserve the beauty longer.
9) Coating: A thin film is applied on the surface of the gem either partially or completely to modify the color, luster, or brilliance. Commonly coated materials include quartz, beryl and topaz. C Krishniah Chetty does not offer coated gemstones for sale.
10) Flux treatment: In this case, flux components are heated to melt them into rubies and sapphires. They solidify on the surface to reach stone factures improving their clarity. C Krishniah Chetty does not offer coated gemstones for sale.
At C Krishniah Chetty provides an independent Certification of Authenticity, origin, absence of treatments/ enhancements for gemstones.
End Note: At C Krishniah Chetty Group we recommend gemstones & jewellery be bright to us once every two years for such inspections & actions to preserve the beauty longer.