Earth Mined and Treatments

Supply and demand rules in true gem buying as in every other human investment.

Each earth mined gem is a unique work of art by mother nature , unlike the lab produced stones that can be produced in unlimited quantities. Each earth mined gem has “fingerprints” visible with a microscope.
Even if copies of art are produced  in a small run  limited edition, no one would expect them to be worth the same as the original, even if they look great on the wall. It is the rarity that provides the value. Same with gems.
Some people will never understand why people buy an original work of art when they can buy a print or a  poster for next to nothing.
Earth mined gems are for those that do. Invest in quality.

Related to the above supply and demand rule, over 95% of earth mined gems have been treated in some way. This can vary from heating to improve colour and clarity, a practice accepted by all gemologists, to more invasive and sometimes damaging and/or temporary  treatments.
Unless otherwise stated all the gems we sell are untreated other than heat. If a gem has not been heated, due to it’s rarity (less than 5%) it is more valuable. A gemologist can tell what treatment has been applied due to changes that are visible with magnification  or other techniques.

As I get time, I will add information on the various treatments . I start here with a few of the better known.

Glass filling:
Often done with rubies, this is something to avoid! There are a huge number of lead glass filled rubies on the market….
All they are are very  low grade corundum heated at high temperatures with coloured lead glass…often up to 90%!!!
Basically, what you are buying is a pretty glass bead. DON’T! Rubies are one of the most expensive gems on the market.
Rubies can sell for in excess of $1,000,000 A CARAT! Do not expect perfection in an earth mined ruby…perfect colour, clarity… for bargain prices.
What you are getting is a piece of glass…and the seller is making an (gl)ass out of you

Heat treatment:
Gems have been treated by heating  since Roman times to produce better colours and clarity. The treatment is stable and permanent and is accepted throughout the gem trade. Heat treatment is usually easy for an experienced gemologist to detect with a loupe or microscope as the heat melts inclusions and give them a different appearance. 95% of  rubies and sapphires are heat treated, so those that show no evidence of same usually command a significant premium.

Beryllium Diffusion:
Done to improve or alter the colour. The gem is heated to close to the melting point of the gem itself, in the presence of beryllium When first done, this penetrated  less than a half a millimeter into the stone, and polishing could over time remove the colour. The technique has advanced so far today that it often penetrates the entire stone, and is becoming more accepted, except on the most valuable of stones. Indeed detecting it  can often only be done in advanced gemological labs, and is expensive.


As in all cases…. if you are not sure…. please contact me.