When it comes to purchasing gemstones, there are two different types you can buy. The first is natural, which means they have not been altered in any way, and the second is enhanced, which means they have undergone a process to improve their aesthetic qualities. One of the most common ways to enhance gemstones is using heat, and below is a short explanation of the process and which gemstones are treated in this way.
Humans have been treating gemstones with heat for centuries, and heat-treated gemstones are common worldwide in the jewellery industry. Heat treating gems can alter the appearance and quality of the gems, and it can make the colour lighter, darker, or completely change the colour of the gemstones. The heat can alter the gems at a microscopic level and enhance their looks, making them more visually appealing. Below you will find the gemstones that are often treated in this way that you can find in jewellery stores worldwide.
Amber is commonly heat-treated, and one way to do this is to submerge the gem into hot oil, which is sometimes linseed oil. The hot oil can make the gemstone darker and create glittery and sparkly inclusions in the gem.
Rubies are another gem which are often heat-treated to enhance their appearance and desirability. The heat applied to the ruby can make it go a deeper red colour and can also remove a substance known as “silk” which are very thin inclusions.
You can also treat sapphires with heat, and the process can have various outcomes. You can enhance them to become a richer and deeper blue, and these gemstones were formally discarded as they have little aesthetic appeal if they are not treated. Sapphires can also have similar inclusions to rubies, so treating them with heat can help remove them and make them sparkle more.
Tanzanite is also treated with heat, but it is often a much lower temperature than you would heat-treat other gemstones. The heat treatment will help eliminate the brownish hue to the gem and give it a much stronger blueish purplish tinge.
You can also use heat to treat diamonds, which needs to be done at extremely high temperatures. The heat-treatment of diamonds can help eliminate the brownish tones that are sometimes found in these gemstones and make them more appealing and increase their value.
There are other gemstones that you can treat with heat, and there are also different ways you can enhance gems. You can click here to find out more information on the enhanced gemstones and how it is done.