Fine precision cut gemstones, gemstone rough and jewellery

Sapphire Treatments

We’re going to be providing a lot of sapphires for sale over the coming months, all of them will be from the Central Queensland Gem Fields (greens, yellows and partis) or from the New England Gem Fields (blues) in New South Wales.  We will not be selling sapphires from any overseas sources nor will we be selling treated or glass filled sapphire.  All of our sapphire will be natural, untreated material.  zfor your information, we provide details of some of the treatments that you may find on other sites who are not as particular about what they sell:
There are many types of sapphire treatments that are common practice in the market today and we will outline them on the following tabs.  Non-disclosure of these treatments could cause a person to believe that a particular gemstone was of higher quality naturally and therefore be more valuable than it actually is.  An added challenge is that treatments can be permanent, long lasting, or short-lived under normal jewellery use.  Treated gems may require special care by their owner. 
Sapphire treatments refer to the process of improving the clarity, colour and value of Sapphires that have been mined out of the ground. Note here that even though we talk about improving the clarity, colour and value, we are talking about sapphires that were substandard to start with and would be rejected without this treatment.  Top quality sapphires do not require heat treatment, untreated sapphire is the rarest and most expensive form of sapphire. This means the only process applied to the stone after it has been mined is cutting and polishing. The production of untreated Sapphires account for less than 1% of all sapphires sold globally.  All of our sapphire falls within the untreated category. 

Simple Heat Treatment

Simple heat treatment is considered acceptable in the jewellery trade as no chemicals are added and the sapphire is not changed chemically apart from the removal or conversion of the rutile inclusions. This is a simple process brought about by a one-off heat treatment, and the resultant clarification of the sapphire is permanent and irreversible. This is the oldest form of sapphire treatment.

Multiple Heat Treatments

In certain cases the amount of included material is too great to be removed by the simple one-off heat treatment process. So multiple heat treatments are done, sometimes in the presence of fluxing agents, which eventually lead to a clearer or brighter stone of an acceptable colour. This form of treatment is also accepted in the industry as simple heat treatment.  
Beryllium treatment is the chemical diffusion process is carried out by multiple heat treatments of the sapphire in the presence of the artificially introduced element beryllium, which penetrates the structure of the sapphire.
The Beryllium treatment is carried out to produce golden, yellow, orange, apricot, padparadscha and similar colours from lower grade rough sapphire or from sapphire of less desirable colours. The beryllium can penetrate the sapphire to a considerable depth and can be difficult to detect. The chemically modified stone may have good colour and brilliance, but it is no longer a ‘natural sapphire’ and cannot be sold without proper and adequate disclosure of the treatment it has suffered.
This treatment is very similar to the beryllium treatment, however titanium is used to “coat” the Sapphire. The titanium treatment is carried out to enhance the colour and brilliance of blue Sapphires, but the depth of penetration is far less than that for beryllium treatment and consequently re-polishing of a stone may remove part of the chemically imposed colour. Persons selling treated sapphires are required to disclose the fact clearly and adequately to purchasers.
This is a relatively new treatment for sapphire. It is common for ruby but recently has expanded to sapphire. A low quality sapphire that contains surface reaching fissures or cracks is filled with a cobalt rich form of glass. The cobalt turns the sapphire blue while the glass fills the cavities and improves the clarity. This treatment must be disclosed clearly on all sapphires.

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