Marketing

ADVICE TO GEMSTONE AND JEWELLERY BUYERS


Purchasers of gemstones should note that the Queensland Sapphire Producers Association has a firm policy which requires its members to promote the sale of authentic, natural sapphire - which may include simple heat treatment only.

Whilst most gemstone buyers are well aware of the existence of synthetic gemstones of all kinds, they may not be aware of the existence of a whole series of chemical modifications and artificial treatments used to either make lower grade material more saleable, or to change the colour to make a gem more desirable.

These treatments vary from heat and injection treatments on diamonds to improve the clarity and hide imperfections to the radiation treatment of topaz to produce the bright "London Blue" and "Super Blue" colours.

In the case of sapphires, the treatment varies from the simple heat treatment which has been in existence for decades and generally accepted throughout the industry, to the recently developed beryllium diffusion type chemical modification used to produce the bright and flashy colours often seen today.

Whilst the manufacturers have developed treatments for almost all gemstones to enable them to produce modified gems which are bright and attractive, buyers should be aware that these artificially treated stones are nowhere near as valuable as genuine, natural gems.

In order to protect the consumers, many countries have strict laws requiring the disclosure of all gemstone treatments prior to sale, in a form which can be readily understood by the intended purchaser - but unfortunately Australia does not yet have clear, effective laws and consumers can still be caught out.

It is strongly recommended that, prior to purchase of any significant gemstone or piece of jewellery containing a gemstone, you should satisfy yourself that what you are buying is what it is supposed to be - and that you are not paying natural gemstone prices for an artificially treated stone.

Purchasers of any significant gemstone should always request a Certificate of Authenticity which guarantees the true nature and gives details of any treatment applied to the gemstone. If you have any doubts about a purchase, you should immediately contact an independent, Registered Gemmologist or Jewellery Valuer.

genuine sapphire - made by nature

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