Type of Treatment Used on Rubies and Sapphires

Posted on June 12th, 2023 05:54 PM

Rubies and Sapphires are the longest-known and most valuable gemstones in the world. They are desired because of their beauty and benefits. Their timeless elegance and durability make them the best for making high-quality, alluring jewelry. 

These gemstones are found in the core of Earth and are formed over hundreds of years through geological processes. Hence, they have some inclusions and flaws. To reduce these blemishes, enhance the clarity, and improve the clarity, many treatments are done on them to polish them. 

Before you buy a ruby or a sapphire, you must be aware of these treatments and know how your gem is polished and if you want a gemstone of that treatment or a natural one. But before we dive into the treatments, let's first gain a little knowledge about these two gemstones.

Get Certified Ruby Stone

Ruby and Sapphire Significance

Ruby gemstones come in hues of red and are the most well-known gemstones in the world. It is famous for its deep, blood-red color and exceptional shine and transparency. This gem has a rich history and is known to be a stone of royalty, loyalty, divination, love, passion, and determination. It is also known as the King of Gemstones because it is believed that the stone can enhance the leadership skills of its wearer and bring them to a position of power. Also, it is in association with the astrological planet Sun and brings its blessings like individuality and boldness.

Sapphires come in a range of colors like blue, yellow, pink, green, etc. Blue sapphires are the most common, longest-known, and expensive sapphires. They are known in history as the stones from heaven and are believed to bring you wealth and fame. All the colors of the gemstones are unique, but the blue sapphire is most loved. Sapphires bring you mental clarity, peace, and healing.

Both the rubies and sapphires belong to the corundum mineral family and have a hardness of 9. However, the color elements in these stones differ from them. Ruby gets its red by the presence of chromium in it. To know more about the difference, click here – Ruby vs Sapphires.

What are treatments?

Want to know about the treatments, what is it. Well, gemstones are susceptible to treatments, which are a sort of alternation to the appearance of the gemstone. They are purely done to improve their quality. Specific treatments are done to reduce the inclusions and improve the clarity, while some are done to enhance the color and increase their beauty. These treatments can also increase their luster and toughness. These procedures are widely used for all kinds of gemstones, not just rubies and sapphires.

Sapphire Heat Treatment

As the name suggests, heat treatment is the process in which heat is used to enhance the appearance of gemstones. However, the heat is used at very controlled temperatures under experts; otherwise, the gems might get damaged. It enhances the overall beauty and natural characteristics of rubies and sapphires, and they become more edged. It also changes the gem structure.

They are treated at various lengths of time, from around 200 degrees Celsius to 2000 degrees Celsius. This process can take a few days to several days and can be repeated many times until the desired result is achieved. 

Ruby Heat Treatment

Benefits Of Heat Treatment For Rubies And Sapphires

The primary purpose of treating gemstones like the Ruby and the sapphires under heat is to improve their color. By heating the gemstones under specific temperatures, we obtain very appealing colors. The natural hue of the gem intensifies, making them more vibrant; hence, some low-quality gems with light colors or non-uniform distribution can also turned into more captivating hues—the heat treatment results in a more uniform distribution. And brings out the inherent beauty of a gemstone.

Even the stones with colors that are entirely faded out, like a brown ruby or a ruby with an orangish tone, are also treated through this method. This modifies their color and changes these undesirable tones into desirable ones. The overtones are removed, and brown can be changed to light red.

Furthermore, this treatment will also improve the clarity of the gems, which means the heat will reduce the internal inclusions or flaws. The inclusions are mostly reduced, but sometimes they can be entirely removed as well. This improves the transparency of the stone and promotes its shine. The gem will appear clearer, and light will pass through directly, increasing the luster.

This method can also contribute to the durability and stability of the stone. The stability can ensure that the gem will withstand daily wear and tear and will not get scratched. Because of their popularity these days, rubies and sapphires are highly used to make jewelry, especially engagement rings, which are worn on a daily basis.

Heat treatment is the best method to get the best out of a gemstone. It is a widely known technique in the gemstone industry as well as other sectors as well. In many industries, controlled heat is used to increase the durability of their products.

Diffusion Treatment

Diffusion treatment is more common in sapphires than rubies. This treatment is used to change the color of gemstones. It is also used to enhance the hue of low-quality gemstones. This method intensifies the colors within a gemstone and gives them more vibrancy. Mainly, an external coloring element is added to the gemstone to increase the intensity of the color; that is, diffusion takes place. 

Benefits Of Diffusion Treatment For Rubies And Sapphires

Diffusion is one of the most essential methods in the industry which is highly used to diffuse the colours and elevate the overall appearance of the gemstones. This method, basically, broadens the spectrum of the available colors. It also allows the creation of new colors in gemstones, which can lead to new and unique shades that are not found in nature. This increases the options in colors and adds diversity. 

Through this treatment, color zoning is also addressed. It is the distribution of color throughout the stone. Many stones have a non-uniform distribution of shade, which is why they are sold at very low prices. To uniformly distribute the color, the diffusion treatment is done, and specific elements are added to create a more balanced color throughout the surface. 

Sometimes, the diffusion treatment is also used to create an asterism on the surface by adding certain elements or compounds. An asterism is a star-like symbol; it is also found naturally, but not that often. 

Irradiation Treatment

Irradiation treatment is another prominent technique in the gemstone industry, which is used to enhance the colors of these precious gems. Rubies and sapphires are subjected to controlled radiation levels to make a significant change within the stones. This method results in stunning transformations.

Some people worry about whether it's a safe method since nuclear reactors are used for the process, though it is safe and is done entirely by following the rules set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 

Benefits Of Irradiation Treatment For Rubies And Sapphires

This treatment exceptionally improves the hues of a gemstone, intensifying the existing color and introducing or producing new shades as well. Unique color variations created by the process open the world for new opportunities, especially in the fashion industry, which has always been enthusiastic about new colors and shades in gems. 

The gemstone irradiation treatment enhances all the optical properties within a stone when artificially exposed to radiation. High levels of ionizing radiation will also change the atomic structure of the gemstone and its crystal lattice. This will alter the optical properties, but it can also help reduce the visibility of inclusions. It will also increase the stability and durability of the gemstone, which means the gem can withstand wear and tear and can be worn daily. 

Most of the gems that undergo this treatment do not show any visible sign of irradiation; however, the color of these gems might fade away when exposed to extreme heat or sunlight. 

Fracture Filling

The fracture filling treatment is mostly done to improve clarity and durability. This method increases the appeal of a gemstone as well. In this treatment, certain materials are filled to cover holes and underlying cracks. 

Both Rubies and sapphires have internal fractures or cavities that affect their clarity, quality, and price. To fill these imperfections, appropriate materials are used, such as lead glass, epoxy, resin, wax oil, etc. These filling materials can be solids or liquids but are mostly colorless. This method increases the stability and appearance of the gem. Sometimes, this method is also used to add weight to gemstones. 

How Is Fracture Filling Beneficial For Rubies And Sapphires?

The filling of the material will minimize the visibility of the fractures and make the gem appear more clear and inclusion-free. This will increase the clarity and, hence, the value of a gem. 

The choice of filling material depends on the fractures and cracks as well as the color of the gemstone. The filling must strengthen the gemstone and provide additional support to areas that may be weakened by internal fractures. It will reinforce the gems and make them more resistant to potential damage. They will be less prone to cracks and wear and tear. It will increase their longevity. 

Subscribe to our Newsletter:


Your Shopping Bag

Your shopping cart is empty.