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Some Of The Various Ways Coloured Gemstones Are Enhanced

You may not realise it, but it is common to treat coloured gemstones to enhance their looks and make them more appealing. There are many ways that you can improve the colour of gems and make them look more beautiful. Below are some of the various techniques for enhancing gems that are used on different kinds of gems, so you have more idea of what you are buying when purchasing beautiful gemstone jewellery.

Heat Treatment

One of the most common ways to get color enhanced gemstones is using heat treatment on them. You can use heat treatment to improve gems’ colour and clarity, and it is often used on rubies, sapphires, citrine, amethyst, and aquamarine. Gemstones can be heated up to 1600 degrees centigrade, almost hot enough to melt the gems. When you take two unenhanced gems of the same appearance and quality, they will look drastically different if you do heat treatment on one and then compare them.


Another common enhancement that is typically used with emeralds is oiling. This process can help repair gemstones that have inclusions that are close to the surface. The gems are treated with a viscous oil that can penetrate them and fill the voids, leaving them almost unnoticeable. However, oiled gemstones require special cleaning, so this is something you will need to get done at a specialist jewellery store.


Filling gemstones is often considered controversial as it hides the imperfections of a gem. However, this technique is still used, and many people have gemstone jewellery that has been treated this way without knowing it. People will often use this method with rubies, and you take a gem that is not suitable for sale and fill the voids with glass. To the untrained eye, you cannot tell the difference, but a skilled jeweller will be able to say when this technique has been used.


You can also use irradiation to treat gemstones, and this technique can drastically alter the colour. You use subatomic particles and bombard the gemstone with them, and the result can be fantastic. You can take a topaz with no colour, use irradiation on it, and the resulting colour is an electric blue colour, which is highly popular in the market.

These are a few enhancement techniques used to alter gemstones, but there are more besides, including dyeing and diffusion. When shopping for gemstone jewellery, always ask how the gems have been enhanced to know you are buying something high-quality.

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