Feature Gems & Gemology, Fall 2010, Volume 46, No. 3

Gemstone Enhancement and its Detection in the 2000s

Advances in technology and increased demand for lower-priced gem materials contributed to the proliferation of new treatments throughout the first decade of the 2000s. The developments that made the most difference were the diffusion treatment of corundum with beryllium, diffusion of copper into feldspar, clarity enhancement of ruby and diamond, and heat treatment of diamond, ruby, and sapphire. Gemological laboratories and researchers have done their best to keep up with these treatments, and the jewelry trade has struggled with how to disclose them. This article summarizes these developments and the methods used to identify the various enhancements.