Gemstone Definitions with On-Air Codes
||The assembling of natural with natural and/or man-made parts to improve durability or appearance. Examples: opal doublet, mabe pearl, quartz triplet.
||A method of applying moderately low heat and pressure. Commonly done with copal to create green amber. This treatment simulates a rapid aging process, making the stability of copal comparable to amber while also creating a green color.
||The process of darkening the bottom of a piece of amber to alter the color. Blackening the bottom of golden amber creates a greenish color.
||The use of heat, light, and/or chemicals or other agents to lighten or remove a gemstone's color. This is sometimes accompanied by subsequent dying and/or impregnating to stabilize the resulting color. Examples: cultured pearl, golden coral.
||The use of such surface enhancements as lacquering, enameling, inking, foiling, or sputtering of films to improve appearance, improve durability,provide color or add other special effects. Examples: some pearls, black star sapphires, some topaz, many beads.
||Composed of disparate pieces of various gem materials that are bonded together. May be dyed or bonding agent may impart color. Components may all be one type of gem material or mixed varieties. Examples: polycoral, mosaic turquoise, rainbow calsilica.
||"Chemical Vapor Deposition" - A high-tech coating process that is commonly applied to the pavilion (bottom) of stones to change or improve their color. Examples: diamond, mystic topaz.
||The high temperature diffusion of coloring elements, such as copper, along certain channels in feldspar. Example: andesine-labradorite.
||The introduction of coloring matter into a gemstone to give it new color, intensify existing color or improve color uniformity. Examples: dyed green jadeite, lapis.
|Excel/infused with hardened polymers
||The filling of surface-reaching fissures with colorless polymers to improve clarity. Includes the proprietary Excel™ treatment as well as other semi-permanent processes which allow for ease of care and normal cleaning without degrading the appearance of the stone. The latest generation of treatment technology, these processes bring out the natural beauty of the emerald while minimizing care concerns.
||During heat enhancement, fluxes may be used to heal natural fissures. The process leaves glass residues, but minor when compared to infilling or lead glass treatments. Example: ruby.
||The filling of surface-breaking cavities or fissures with highly refractive colorless glass. This process improves apparent clarity. Example: diamond
||The use of heat to alter color, clarity, and/or phenomena. Examples: ruby, sapphire, tanzanite, aquamarine, demantoid garnet.
||The use of high heat and pressure combined to affect desired alterations of color. Example: colored and near-colorless diamonds.
||The impregnation of a porous gemstone with a colorless agent (usually plastic) to give it greater durability and improve appearance. Examples: stabilized turquoise, coral.
||The filling of surface-breaking cavities or fissures with colorless glass or fluxes during the heat treatment process. Improves clarity and color, and it may possibly add weight. Lead is not present in these materials. Example: ruby.
||The use of neutron, gamma, ultraviolet and/or electron bombardment to alter a gemstone's color. The irradiation may be followed by a heating/annealing process. Examples: blue topaz, colored diamonds.
||The use of a laser and chemicals to reach and alter inclusions. Example: diamond.
||The heat treatment at high temperatures with beryllium that deeply penetrates the gem material to alter the color. Examples: some padparadscha or yellow sapphires.
|lead glass filling (hybrid)
||A similar process to "infilling" using lead glass. Performed at lower temperatures, this is a less durable treatment and should be treated gently. Improves clarity, color, and may add weight through the filling of voids and fissures. In sapphires, cobalt is usually added to improve color. Requires Special Care.Examples: plum star ruby, Mahaleo ruby, cobalt-lead sapphire.
||In between professional cleanings, preserve your jewelry with "normal care" by cleaning it with room temperature water, mild soap, and a non-abrasive cloth. For thorough cleaning, visit a jewelry professional you trust who is familiar with the gemstones in your jewelry.
||The filling of surface-breaking fissures with a colorless oil, wax, resin, or other colorless substance except glass or plastic, to improve the gemstone's clarity. Example: emerald and any stone with surface reaching fissures.
||The process of partially melting and pressing together smaller pieces or powders of natural resins such as amber and copal. Pressed amber retains the same properties of unpressed amber. In addition, it usually improves clarity and may have color added.
||Physical Vapor Deposition Coated - A coating that is commonly applied to the surface of the product; which is then sealed with a polymer to protect it. Example: watches.
||A process mainly applied to quartz. By placing super-cooled stones into a very hot fluid, can add color while inducing a pattern of cracks. Example: green quench-crackled quartz to imitate emerald.
|reconstructed (see composite)
||Small particles of natural material compressed and bonded into a larger whole. Also referred to as reconstituted, but better classified as composite. Example: some turquoise.
||In the smoke treatment process, smoke penetrates the opal to darken the background color. This process results in a better contrast and brings out the play of color. Example: Ethiopian Chalama opal.
||Not to be confused with reconstituted turquoise, the more valuable stabilized turquoise is solid, whole turquoise that has been filled with colorless polymer to reduce porosity, providing a polished finish that protects the stone against breakage and discoloration. The color always improves as a result of the treatment, but some processes may add additional dyes as well. When color is added, this is additionally disclosed.
||In the sugar treatment process, the matrix opals are heated in a saturated sugar solution. The matrix material absorbs this sugar. It is then immersed in concentrated sulfuric acid. A chemical reaction takes place between the sugar and acid, leaving only the remaining carbon. This carbon darkens the background color of the gems which enhances the play-of-color and makes the stone appear brighter.
||The outside-in diffusion of elements via high-temperature heat treatment to produce a layer of color and/or asterism. Examples: some blue sapphire, some star sapphire.
||The impregnation of a colorless wax or paraffin in porous gemstones to improve their surface appearance. Examples: coral, amazonite.
||Zachary processed turquoise has been treated with chemicals, and then heated. The process does not alter the properties of the turquoise, but does improve color and stability.