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
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
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
Resource on the Australian Sapphire Industry