Hello Readers, This is most difficult blog subject I had ever come across. Seriously, you have to trust me on that. To answer this subject is not easy and straight-forward. As sourced from industry experts more than 80% of the total gemstones traded in market are treated or enhanced in some or the other way. Let me first brief you about Untreated and Treated Gemstones.
Untreated Gemstones- Untreated Gemstones are the ones which are not enhanced in any way. They remain similar to what they has been mined from Earth’s crust. These gemstones are only cut and polished so that we can appreciate stones and wear in jewelry. Fine examples of untreated gemstones are:
Types of Treatments:-
1. Heating– The gemstone is exposed to high temperatures to alter its color and/or clarity. The most commonly encountered heated gems are Amber, Amethyst, Aquamarine, Citrine, Ruby, Sapphire, Tanzanite, Topaz and Zircon. Heating is accepted in market.
2.Oiling– Oiling of Rubies and Emeralds is very common and old practice. Oil makes surface inclusions less visible. Gemstones like Alexandrite, varieties of Chrysoberyl and Demantoid Garnet are often treated by oiling.
5. Bleaching– Gemstone has been bleached by use of chemical to reduce or alter the entire color of the porous gemstone. Jadelite Jade, Pearl, Chalcedony and Tiger’s eye are bleached to reduce the color.
6. Dyeing– The fractures of gemstones are introduced to colored dyes. Gemstones like Pearl, Coral, Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli, Howlite, Jade, Chalcedony and Quartz are often dyed. You can perform a simple action at home using acetone to check whether a stone is dyed or not.
7. Diffusion– Chemicals like beryllium were infused into the gemstones at very high temperatures.
Other methods are:
•Impregnation and Stabilization.
Points in favor of Untreated Gemstones:-
1.Treated Gemstones are less durable- High heat treatments makes gemstone surface brittle. After the period of time, the faceted edges will come out which makes Gemstone looked as chipped and this will surely reduces it future value.
2.Irradiated Gemstones might be a risk to the health- Right from the evolution of Irradiation treatment containing beryllium (a radio-active material) people are worried about possible harmful rays that might came out of Irradiated Gemstones.
3.Treated Gemstones does not retain their value- Every new day a new method of treating the gemstones is coming into the market. With the invention of new treatments, the price of entire varieties crashes. Some examples from the past are:
•During the Tucson Gem Show in 90’s, the price of heated Yellow Sapphire crashed immensely when new treated Yellow Sapphires are introduced there.
• After the invention of Irradiation Treatment, it’s became very easy to radiate and heat colorless Topaz into blue color. As a result, the highly prices Blue Topaz is now available in just few dollars.
4. Some unique Untreated Gemstones- Despite of many gem treatments, still there is a bunch of proliferation of gemstones which are never treated or enhanced in any manner. These gemstones have a great combination of good hardness, durability, brilliance, clarity, outstanding clarity and amongst all they are available in affordable price ranges. They are Spinel, Spessartite Garnet, Rhodolite Garnet, Tsavorite Garnet, Tourmaline, Peridot and Orange, Brown and Rose Zircon.
5. Treated Gemstones are unnatural and not rare to be found.
Points in favor of Treated Gemstones:-
1..Treated Gemstones comes in variety of price ranges- This is the foremost advantage of Treated gemstones. Everyone cannot afford to buy a Emerald worth of $50,000/carat (non-treated) but has a desire to wear a Emerald. The solution to their problem is Treated Emerald. A price of treated Emeralds starts from $10/carat-$1o, 000/carat. A person can choose among these price ranges according to his budget.
2.Treated Gemstones are easily available- Untreated Gemstones in bigger sizes are very difficult to be found. An Untreated Diamond above 5 carats is rarest to be found and would cost millions of dollars. While, treated Diamonds or any other gemstones are available in almost all possible sizes.
3.Change in Trend and Fashion- “Big and bold is the call of the hour”. Moreover, every new day one wants something new to wear. The high prices and rarity of the Untreated Gemstones does not fulfill the needs of the buyers.
4.Treated Gemstones not as an Investments- Many people do not invest in treated gemstones for the sake of profits. They purchase gemstones and jewelry rather as keepsakes for sentimental value.
Conclusion- Both Treated as well as Untreated Gemstones has their respective pros and cons’, selecting one is a difficult task. We advice your readers to weigh their decision on the basis of two factors –
As long as buyer does not hold any objections against Treated Gemstones then why should we? It’s just a matter of personal preference what to buy and what not to buy. The person who is willing to sacrifice in size, color, clarity and gem quality can easily buy Treated Gemstones. The spectrum has both lower as well as upper end customers. Lower end may be satisfied by small treated stones while upper end might want the largest and most beautiful gemstone. Budgeted Allowance means how much a person wants to spend in purchasing a particular gemstone.
There is a room in the Gem Market for all types of stones- imitation, lab-created, heated, treated, enhanced and natural. Buyer should ask seller to fully disclose the enhancement treatments performed on the gemstone.