Various Ruby Treatments
Updated: Jan 6
This week’s topic is centered on various treatments for rubies and other types of corundum.
Rubies may undergo heat treatment to enhance their aesthetic; it is used to remove the brownish color. This process is a common and accepted practice in the gemstone industry. What’s essential is supplier transparency on any process undertaken, if any, eliminating false representations. We all want our jewelry to be visible, and color plays a significant part in making it pop.
My previous blog mentioned that rubies from Myanmar are formed in marble, and they thrive because of the absence of iron and higher concentration of chromium. Because of this, you can find there the top quality, pure red in color rubies.
Other stones are found in alkali-basalt host rocks like in Thailand and Cambodia. This results in a darker appearance.
When a gem gets accidentally damaged despite its natural hardness, fracture or cavity filling treatment comes in. A special kind of resin is used to fill in the gaps. It also acts as a glue to keep the gemstone intact. This process, however, can darken your ruby through time, devaluing your jewelry’s value.
Advance technology using Lattice-diffusion, on the other hand, is the treatment that artificially alters the color of any gemstone, inside and out. The treatment is done by integrating the chemical, Beryllium (Be), heated at 1,800°C.
Other treatments such as quench-crackling and dyeing are generally done for synthetic rubies. I will discuss these in more detail in my next post.
Note: The picture I used was lifted from the gia.edu website which also appears in my Gemology Book from the same school.