Many people who own jewelry usually do not realize that their gemstones have undergone some sort of treatment to improve their color, clarity, and durability. Come common gemstone treatment include heat treatment, diffusion, fracture filling, and irradiation. These treatments fix any flaws on the surface of the crystal and alter the way the crystal structure absorbs light and thus, modify their color.
The gemstones that routine undergo these sorts of treatments are the ones that are the most expensive and sought-after gemstones such as sapphire, ruby, emerald, and diamonds. Depending on its origin, a gem-quality ruby will cost 50 percent more than its heat treated counterpart while a fracture treated ruby may sell for as little as 50 percent of the price of a standard heated ruby. This is because the fracture treatment uses oil, wax, glass, epoxy, or borax to fill tiny dead spots that interrupt the passing of light. However, an untreated gem will sell for a much higher price. This is because untreated gemstones possess alluring natural colors that are extremely rare and thus, command a heftier price tag. Untreated gemstones are also very rare which is why they command a much higher price in the market.
Many people prefer to buy jewelry made with completely untreated gemstones. This is because the pure, natural, and untainted nature of the untreated gemstones appeals to the raw nature of the buyer’s psyche. There are more than 100 different types of untreated gems available in the market.
Treated gems are much more affordable than untreated gems and simply by their appearance alone, the difference is almost impossible to detect. Even the most expert jewelers experience difficulty while determining whether a gem has been treated or not. Sometimes using advanced equipment also does not detect many gem treatments. Therefore, as long as gem treatments are openly disclosed by the sellers, there is nothing underhanded about buying and selling treated gemstones.