Ruby Stone Treatment

About Ruby Stone Treatment.

Since the overwhelming majority of the extracted rubies and sapphires has plenty of impurities miners try to manipulate the red stones to appear better and fetch a higher price.

The mining of gemstones differs greatly from that of most metals and industrial minerals. Unlike rough gem materials, which are generally useless unless of high clarity and cuttable sizes, industrial minerals can be processed to extract the desired product. By means of crushing and smelting, it is possible to separate usable material from the waste, or 'slag', as it is known. Gems are far too fragile to withstand such abuse and thus, out of a mine's entire yield, only a tiny fraction is of sufficient size and quality to warrant cutting. Defects in clarity and colour and insufficient size preclude the use of the remainder.

Because of the scarcity of ruby gem-quality materials, various attempts have been made over the years to improve the appearance and/or stability of inferior samples, Heating or irradiation to improve the colour and oiling to hide fractures are but the tip of the gem treatment 'iceberg', a virtual potpourri of different recipes aimed at increasing the beauty and saleability of the., gems and ornamental stones. 

By developing treatments, traders have, in part, solved the dilemma with regard to the inability to process lower grades, as is done for industrial minerals. Thus, treatments allow a larger percentage of the total production to be utilised as gemstones, in effect finishing the job that nature started. The legitimacy of certain treatments has in recent years been called into question because, in many cases, the treated gems cannot be distinguished from those which are completely genuine. 

This has created an unfortunate situation, with colour and/or clarity enhanced ruby stones competing directly against the natural product. Although many treatments have been practised for centuries, modern technology today produces far more dramatic changes than those obtained in the past. The question then arises of where to draw the line between acceptable treatment and simply producing a totally synthetic gem. This issue of whether or not treated gems should be sold as natural gems is currently an item of hot debate in trade circles.