Feature Gems & Gemology, Winter 1988, Vol. 24, No. 4

Gemstone Irradiation and Radioactivity

With the increasing use of radiation to color enhance gemstones, the issue of radioactivity has become a source of concern for gemologists worldwide. This article examines the basic characteristics of radiation and radioactivity, the sources of radiation in the earth and in the laboratory, the radiation treatment of gemstones in particular, and the detection and measurement of radiation. Also included is a discussion of potential health hazards and current government regulations regarding gemstone radioactivity.