Treatments for Colored Gemstones

In today’s technically advanced world, all of us should be aware of exactly what we are purchasing in the gemstone world. Treatments, synthetics, and imitations can easily look like the real thing! Consumers need to know about treatments because they can easily affect the price of the gemstone and would also determine how a jewelry piece would be repaired or re-sized. I am going to discuss the different treatments so you know about them, but at the same time keep the amount of science down to a minimum (for both of our sanities)!

A treatment in colored gemstones is defined as any human-controlled process beyond cutting and polishing, that improves the appearance, durability, or value of a gem grown by Mother Nature. A treated gemstone is not a synthetic or an imitation. Those are completely ‘grown’ by man in a lab, Mother Nature had nothing to do with it. There are those that say a synthetic could be defined as “real” because it has the same chemical structure as a real gemstone, but it all goes back to the fact that they were developed by man, therefore they are synthetics. So please be aware of this whenever you are shopping for colored gemstones and yes, thanks to new technology, now even diamonds.

Any reputable and ethical dealer should disclose this information to you willingly. However I would go under the assumption that the colored gemstone you are looking at is most likely treated in some form, which may or may not be known. I have heard (but could not verify) that the amount of treated colored gemstones in the marketplace today could be as high as 80% – 95%!  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides the framework of industry ethics. If you are interested in reading the full description by the US FTC, you will find it in Section 23.22 entitled “Disclosure of Treatments to Gemstones”.

There are ten types of gemstone treatments:

1: Bleaching

A treatment that uses chemicals to lighten or remove color. Cultured pearls are commonly bleached to remove dark spots and produce a uniform color.

2: Cavity Filling

Treatment that fills and seals voids to improve appearance and add weight. This treatment is often found in rubies.

3: Colorless Impregnation

Filling of pores or other openings with melted wax, resin, polymer, or plastic to improve appearance, luster and stability. Commonly used in turquoise and jadeite. Dye could be added to the filler. This would be considered two treatments, impregnation and dyeing.

4: Dyeing

A treatment that adds color or affects color by deepening it, making it more-even, or changing it. Like bleaching, dyeing is done mostly to porous gems such as jadeite, coral, and cultured pearls.

5: Fracture (Fissure) Filling

Using a filler to conceal fractures and improve the apparent clarity of a gem. The fillers include plastic, glass, polymer resins, and oils (Canadian balsam, cedarwood, and palm oil). Emeralds almost always have fracture filling as well as rubies. Due to this type of treatment, whenever having a repair done to a piece of jewelry with an emerald or ruby, always insist on the jeweler using no heat. I would even go so far as to have “no heat” written on the repair ticket. Also if a jeweler offers to clean that piece of jewelry, again insist on no heat. Most ultrasonic cleaners that jewelers use are heated.

6: Heat Treatment

Heat treatment is one of the oldest and most common of treatments. Heat treated gems were found in the tombs of ancient Egyptian kings. Heat treatment is exposing a gem to rising temperatures for the purpose of changing it’s appearance, usually color.

7: Irradiation

Exposing a gem to radiation to change or improve the color of the gem, however it is possible for the new color to revert back to the original color. Sapphires and tourmalines are likely candidates for irradiation.

8: Lattice Diffusion

The penetration of certain elements into the atomic lattice of a gemstone during heat treatment, with the objective of changing or accentuating its color.

9: Sugar and Smoke Treatments

Used on opals to bring out the play-of-color (the multiple colors usually found inside opals), sugar treatment is soaking an opal in a hot sugar solution and then sulfuric acid to deepen the color of the opal. Smoke treatment is heating a wrapped opal until smoke or ash penetrates the surface to darken the color of the opal. Of these two processes, sugar treatment is the most common. (FYI, it is a good idea to soak your opals in distilled water every once-in-a-while so they do not lose their moisture which then leads to damage.)

10: Surface Modification

Altering a gem’s appearance by applying backings, coatings, or coloring agents. The three basic methods are backing, coating, and painting. Backings to gems include silver or gold foils, fabric, paper and even colored feathers. Backings have fallen from fashion and are not commonly seen in gemstones, but are often used in costume jewelry. One gemstone that we do commonly see today that has a backing is mystic topaz. Since heat can often melt the backing, mystic topaz should not be exposed to heat. Coatings include wax, varnish, plastic, ink, and metallic compounds. Painting gem materials is another ancient practice from the Renaissance period (1300’s – 1500’s). Painting was obviously done with paint, but also ink, and nail polish.

As I am sure you have noticed, treatments are used to improve the color, clarity, and durability of a gem. Treatments are not a bad thing. Because of treatments, lesser gems can be treated to become beautiful gems and at a more affordable price, making them available to more people. If it were not for treatments, the industry would be limited to the supply of naturally created gemstones beautiful and durable enough to use as gems. In that case, the mighty and the rich would be the only ones to own them.

Gem Lady Treasures proudly uses natural gemstones, but that is not to say that at times we would use a treated gem. For example, in my quest for locating turquoise, I am looking for a turquoise that has been treated for stabilization (but not color) because it is a notoriously unstable gemstone. Of course, we would disclose the treatment.

I hope that you found this article helpful, interesting, and maybe even eye-opening. If you are interested in even more detailed information on treatments, Click Here to access “An Introduction to Gem Treatments” from GIA. Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is a world renown institute known for its research, education, and ethics in the field of gemology.

*Information for this article was provided by “Colored Stone Essentials” by GIA (11/2008).

The Humanization Trend of Dogs

Do you actually LIKE being woken up to a cold nose in the morning?

Do you home cook meals or bake treats for your dog(s)?

Do you refer to your dog(s) as fur babies?

Do you purchase coats, sweaters, dresses, or outfits for your dog(s)?

Do you have more pictures of your dog(s) on your phone than family?

If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, then I have news for you, you are a Crazy Dog Person, and you are not alone! Announced by the 2015-2016 American Pet Products Association survey, 54.4 million households in America – 44% – own atleast one dog.

Young families are waiting longer to have children and instead are adopting dogs, hence Fur Babies!

In an article written by Roberto A. Ferdman, he says that “it could just be a coincidence that Americans are birthing fewer babies at the same time as they’re buying a lot more … dogs. But there’s pretty good reason to believe it isn’t, Damian Shore, an analyst at market-research firm Euromonitor, told Quartz. ‘There’s definitely some replacement happening there,’ he said.”

“One telling sign that the two are not entirely unrelated is that the same age groups that are forgoing motherhood are leading the dog charge. ‘Women are not only having fewer children, but are also getting married later. There are more single and unmarried women in their late 20s and early 30s, which also happens to be the demographic that buys the most dogs,’ Shore said.”

“There’s also evidence people are treating their dogs a bit more like little humans these days. Premium dog food, the most expensive kind, has grown by 170% over the past 15 years, and now accounts for 57% of the overall dog food market.”

According to an article written for Bloomberg Business Week by Ben Crair on August 18, 2015, he stated that “family sizes are shrinking, pet owners no longer treat their animals as property but as children, pampering them with products and services that would have once seemed ridiculous: bottled water, gluten-free kibble, doggy diapers, designer beds. The ‘humanization’ trend has benefited more than just animals. The U.S. pet industry has more than tripled over the past 20 years and pet care was one of the few retail industries to grow during the Great Recession.”

According to an article in Consumer Affairs by Sarah D. Young on August 15, 2016, “Americans spent upwards of $60 billion on pet products last year, and that number is expected to climb by $2 billion this year.”

Ms. Young continues by saying that “dropping dough isn’t the only way we show love to our favorite felines and prized pooches. A pet parent’s love can often be seen in what they would be willing to do for their dog or cat.”

The website Adobo.com  recently set out to see just how far pet owners would go for their pets. In a survey, 2,000 dog and cat owners were asked what they would sacrifice for their pet’s health and happiness. As it turns out, the better question might have been, ‘What wouldn’t a pet owner do for their pet?’

The results of the survey showed that pet parents would do just about anything for their cat or dog, even if it meant giving up a big part of their life. Sixty-three percent of participants said they would choose their pet over a significant other. What else would pet parents be willing to give up for their pets? Here are some more interesting findings from Adobo’s infographic:

89% would save their pet in a fire over a priceless family heirloom

85% would starve for a day so their pet could eat

78% would give up their favorite food if it meant their pet could live forever

58% would rather keep their pet and live in a shack than give up their pet for their dream home

54% would lose a finger so their pet could keep a limb

Pets are furry bundles of love and loyalty, and pet parents want nothing more than to return some of that devotion.

I personally have always treated my dogs as fur babies. For those that say they are dogs not kids, I can unequivocally state that like children; I provide my kids with a roof over their head, food in their belly’s, and a comfy bed to sleep in. I teach them right from wrong, I take care of their health needs, and most of all, I give them all the love that I have.

I am a Dog Mom and proud of it!

 

 

 

Gem Dogs Have Arrived at Gem Lady Treasures!

I am so very excited about our new handmade gemstone pendant necklaces ~ Gem Dogs! In case you haven’t noticed, Gem Lady Treasures logo was the very first Gem Dog. We now have a fabulous selection of ‘real’ Gem Dogs that are just waiting to be adopted!

Gem Dogs are made from a natural gemstone cabochon. The head, ears, eyes, nose, feet, and tail were created by hand manipulating wire. The eyes are accented with faceted Swarovski crystals and their noses each have a Swarovski black pearl. Each Gem Dog hangs from a black vegetable dyed leather cord.

These whimsical Gem Dog pendant necklaces are adorable and perfect for any dog lover. Gem Dogs are very well behaved, good on a leash, house broken, current on their shots, and rides well in a car. They are looking for good ‘furever’ homes ~ how about yours? We really loved creating them and just know they will make someone a wonderful friend!

Turquoise Gem Dog
Turquoise Gem Dog
Dalmatian Jasper Gem Dog
Dalmatian Jasper Gem Dog
Serpentine Gem Dog
Serpentine Gem Dog

 

 

 

 

 

Purple Creek Jasper Gem Dog
Purple Creek Jasper Gem Dog
Serpentine Gem Dog
Serpentine Gem Dog
Dragon's Blood Jasper Gem Dog
Dragon’s Blood Jasper Gem Dog

Gemstones; The Beauty of Earth’s Treasures

When I was thinking about writing a blog on this particular subject, I asked several of my gemological friends what was their favorite gemstone and why. The responses I received were surprising. Only a few people were able to narrow it down to one gemstone.  Douglas Liebman, GG* and owner of an Estate Jewelry business claimed that Cats Eye Alexandrite was his favorite. “The reason being is that it combines the two most interesting phenomenon in gemstones; color change and chatoyancy (cats eye).”   Cornelis Hollander, Fine Jewelry Designer, favors Paraiba Tourmaline due to its “most beautiful neon green colors” he has ever seen.   Dana Hanna, owner of Scottsdale Sparkles admires Pink Tourmaline for its metaphysical properties. “The vibration of this lovely pink crystal brings an influx of love, joy and happiness into your life.” Everyone else had more than one. Shelly Sergent, Curator of Somewhere In The Rainbow, A Modern Gem & Jewelry Collection, stated that “I can’t answer that…impossible!!!” Shelly went on to say that she likes “bright or sultry gems that sing, dance and are sexy”.

Color Change Cat’s Eye Alexandrite
Paraiba Tourmaline
Paraiba Tourmaline
Pink Tourmaline
Pink Tourmaline

 

 

 

 

There were a couple that could narrow it down to a favorite gemstone to collect and a favorite gemstone for a piece of jewelry. William F. Ashford, ADM FGAA – Qualified Jeweller, Gemmologist, and Diamond Grader in Australia stated his favorite for jewelry was the classic diamond due to its “eternal beauty, durability and rarity”. As an Australian Gemmologist William chose Fine Precious Opal for a collection piece. It “exhibits full spectral colours rarely seen in any other natural gemstone”. Fellow Australian Donna Bollenhagen, Gemmologist and Diamond Grader, loves Tourmaline for jewelry and Rainbow Lattice Sunstone to collect. As far as collecting is concerned, Marc Allen Fleischer, GD, AJP* and Curator/Online Editor of Fleischer Museum prefers to collect specimens. His favorite specimens are the different varieties in the species of Tourmaline. Marc states that “Tourmaline is quite complex in its chemistry and is the last to crystallize in a cavity/pocket. That is how you get those wonderful color zones as the ‘soup’ of liquids and gases mix.” he further says that cutting a tourmaline loses the “termination and the striations that are observed in a natural crystal.”

Opal, Photo Courtesy of Craig Lynch
Opal, Photo Courtesy of Craig Lynch
Australian Rainbow Lattice Sunstone, Photo Courtesy of Donna Bollenhagen
Australian Rainbow Lattice Sunstone, Photo Courtesy of Donna Bollenhagen
Tourmaline Specimen, Photo Courtesy of Marc Allen Fleischer
Tourmaline Specimen, Photo Courtesy of Marc Allen Fleischer

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Lynch, GG* and Certified Insurance Appraiser is the owner of Ouellet & Lynch. He prefers to separate his favorites by color. “Red = Spinel, Green = Tsavorite (Garnet), Blue – Kashmir Sapphire, Orange – Spessartite (Garnet), Pink – Spinel, Pink/Orange – Padparadscha (Sapphire) or Topaz”. Whereas January Gaul, GG* favors gems with lots of color and movement in them such as Agates and Jaspers. I as well have two favorites, the first being Red Beryl. Red Beryl is a very rare gemstone which is principally mined in Utah, but there are also a couple of mines in New Mexico. It’s red color has been referred to as gooseberry red, carmine red, and scarlet red. My other favorite is Bi-color Imperial Topaz.

Padparadscha Sapphire
Padparadscha Sapphire
Agate
Agate
Rough Red Beryl
Rough Red Beryl

 

 

 

 

So what do you see when you study these photographs? I see gemstones with intense color, gemstones with two or more intense colors, and gemstones with phenomenon. All gemstones that Mother Nature creates are beautiful in their own right, but thanks to these gemological enthusiasts and professionals we have been exposed to some very special colored gemstones. Maybe next time when you visit a fine jewelry store, you may spend a little bit more time looking at them!

*GG: Graduate Gemologist degree Gemological Institute of America

*GD: Graduate Diamond degree Gemological Institute of America

*AJP: Accredited Jewelry Professional degree Gemological Institute of America

 

 

 

 

What You Wanted To Know About Gemstones But Were Afraid To Ask: All About Color!

There is so much information available for those who want to learn about diamonds, but not a lot about colored diamonds and colored gemstones. Did you know that a round brilliant cut white (clear) diamond is graded differently than a round brilliant cut colored diamond? When looking at diamonds for the purpose of buying, the Four C’s (Clarity, Cut, Color, and Carat) come into play. The most important ‘C’ depends upon the person looking at the diamond, what they like to see in a diamond. When it comes to a colored diamond, the most important ‘C’ is color, color is everything!

When a cutter is given a rough white diamond, it is carefully looked at to determine what shape it should be cut into, to save as much weight of the material as possible. When a colored diamond is cut, bringing out the color is the ultimate goal, even if it comes to forfeiting some weight to achieve that goal. Cutting colored gemstones is the same as cutting colored diamonds, sacrifices will be made to achieve the best color possible.

When scientists and gemologists look at color, they view it with three things in mind; hue, tone and saturation. Hue is the first impression of an objects basic color. Tone is the degree of lightness or darkness of a color, and Saturation is the intensity or strength of the color. In the fine jewelry industry, color quality and gem value are inseparable. Each gemstone is given a color range that is acceptable. For example the green color range for an emerald and the green color range for a peridot will be completely different due to the chemical makeup of the gemstone. Without going into all the detailed science behind colored gemstones, color in a gemstone is determined by what chemical(s) was introduced to the crystal when it was growing. Nitrogen will cause a diamond to be yellow, but not a sapphire to be yellow, that would be iron.

This is just a highlight on the intense subject of color. I didn’t even get into the complicated subject of color treatments. What matters to you, the consumer, is what YOU are looking for in a colored gemstone ~ buy what you like. Even though I am aware that the highest color value in a tanzanite is a deep purplish-blue, I purchased a pair of pale violet-blue tanzanite’s to accent an aquamarine I have. The more vivid color would have been to harsh next to the sea blue of the aquamarine.

Hopefully this will help you begin to understand why prices on colored gemstones are all over the place. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line or you can check out http://www.gia.edu/gem-encyclopedia. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is world-renown for it’s education and research in the field of gemology.

Colored Gemstones
Colored Gemstones

New Products From Gem Lady Treasures!

Thanks to so many Gem Lady Treasures admirers who asked us to create additional products, we have been busy at work! I am happy to say that we have added three new products with many selections of each. There are bottle stoppers, keychains, and bookmarks ~ all at great prices!

There are two different bottle stoppers, one at 4 1/4″ tall and the other at 5″ tall. Just what every dog lover, gemstone lover, and wine lover needs! Our bottle stoppers come in a variety of looks. Made from silver-plated zinc with durable silicone gaskets, they will look great crowning any wine or champagne bottle! They do meet USDA food grade standards and should only be hand washed. We have used natural gemstone beads, glass beads, ceramic dog bone beads, and an antique silver-plated paw print charm.

Short Bottle Stoppers
Short Bottle Stoppers
Short Dog Bone Bottle Stopper
Short Dog Bone Bottle Stopper
Long Bottle Stopper
Long Bottle Stopper
Long Gemstone Bottle Stopper
Long Gemstone Bottle Stopper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our new key chains are so much fun! Whether it be the mailbox key, the pool key, or your spare house or car keys, they will easily be spotted with these unique keychains attached to them. By the way, did you know that they would also look great dangling from your favorite handbag strap?

Dog Lovers Keychain
Dog Lovers Keychain
Hearts Keychain
Hearts Keychain
Hearts Keychain
Hearts Keychain
Rose Quartz Keychain
Rose Quartz Keychain
Orange & White Keychain
Orange & White Keychain
Blue & Green Keychain
Blue & Green Keychain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also have added a few great bookmarks. The shepherds hook style bookmark is 3 1/2″ in length and cast from a lead-free zinc alloy. Whether it be a text book, a casual reading book, or a coffee table book, show your personality with these fabulous and unique bookmarks!

Dog Lovers Bookmark
Dog Lovers Bookmark
Hearts Bookmark
Hearts Bookmark
Hearts Bookmark
Hearts Bookmark
Gemstone and Dog Bone Bookmarks
Gemstone and Dog Bone Bookmarks

The Phoenix Pet Expo

This coming weekend, April 16-17, is the Phoenix Pet Expo located at WestWorld in Scottsdale. Gem Lady Treasures will be there and we are really looking forward to a fun-filled weekend!

We have been working hard to prepare for this event and have a wonderful selection of our unique Leather and Natural Gemstone Dog Collars. We also have beautiful Sterling Silver and Natural Gemstone Necklaces for Dog Lovers (that also happen to match our Dog Collars)!

Bring your Fur Baby and enjoy Fabulous Prize Giveaways for the Two-Legged AND Four-Legged! There is a Pet Talent Contest, Pet Costume Contest plus Pet & Guardian Musical Chairs! Dozens of Rescue Groups for a Mega-Adoption Event, Discounted Vaccinations, Microchipping and Heartworm & Flea Preventatives, FREE Nail Trims, Live Entertainment, Obedience Demonstrations, Learn how to Travel With Your Pet, Grooming, Pet Behavior and Training, Veterinarian FAQ and MORE!!!

Visit Gem Lady Treasures in Booth #238                                                                 (Between the Disc Dogs Course and the Agility Course)                          Bring Your Fur Babies!!!

2016 Phoenix Pet Expo
2016 Phoenix Pet Expo

And The Transition Begins!

On Monday I started my new job. When I left for work Nathan had no idea that this was about to become a daily habit. When I returned home, he was very happy that Mommy was home! I noticed that he had napped in bed all day and that he had re-arranged all six pillows.

The second day he hesitated in taking his ‘cookie’ when I left for work. Again when I returned home he was very excited and yes, more pillows had been re-arranged to his liking.

On the third day, it was all I could do to get him to take his ‘cookie’ when I left for work, only to find when I got home that he had not eaten it all day long. His way of letting me know that he is not happy with this new schedule. The re-arrangement of pillows has now become a daily routine. I have a feeling that he is no longer arranging the pillows for his comfort, but as a way to deal with his frustration that Mommy wasn’t home.

I will admit that Nathan is not the only one dealing with separation anxiety. It is so hard to leave those big, brown, beautiful and adoring eyes! Like all parents do, I have taken a picture of him to work and it is sitting on my desk. The cute one of him sticking his head out of the sunroof the day I adopted him. It brings a smile to my face by just looking at it and remembering that special day. I just wish a picture of me would help him through the day.

Nathan's Adoption Day
Nathan’s Adoption Day

Two more days of this and the weekend will be here. I can all ready tell you that the two of us will be spending both days, all day, together, as it should be!

A Major Change For Nathan

I took a two month leave of absence from my job under the Family Leave Act to help take care of my parents when my Dad fell and broke his hip. At that time I was working a commission only sales job of Fine & Fashion Jewelry at a major department store. When I went back to work, due to returns while I was gone, my sales were in the negative. Due to working commission only, this meant that I had to dig myself out of the negative before I could start earning money again. Needles to say I was not thrilled to be working for nothing, so I left. This gave me the opportunity to continue to help my parents.

During this time Lady Lacy Marie passed away, it was such a heart wrenching event for me. The house was so empty without the pitter patter of her paws and her silly antics that always kept me laughing. After two months, even though I was still grieving for Lacy, I just couldn’t stand the loneliness anymore. This was when Sir Nathan Asscher came into my life. Even though I still missed Lacy, the minute Nathan walked into the house it became a home again.

Nathan
Nathan

He loved the fact that I was home with him all day as I was just getting Gem Lady Treasures of the ground. He loves being right next to me all the time. He wants to be close enough so that some part of him is always touching me whether it be his paw or his back while he is napping. But times are changing.

After nine months of constantly being together, I start a new position working with Estate Jewelry as well as Loose Diamonds and Colored Gemstones next week. Due to this, Nathan is now going to be home alone several days a week. I know that he will eventually adjust, but being the doting Mother that I am, I want to make the adjustment period as easy as possible for him.

I plan on playing the radio while I am gone to give him some noise. I also thought I would leave some dirty clothes in his favorite napping spots so he will have my scent. Other than that I am not sure what to do for him. I have thought about getting him a brother or a sister, but I don’t know if he would like sharing me with another Fur Baby. If anyone has any other suggestions, please leave them in the comment section. Any ideas will be greatly appreciated!

Gemstone Dog Collars Verses Dog Jewelry

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These adorable little fur babies all have the same doggy necklace on. For fun, like in the magazines, who is wearing it the best?

 

 

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3.
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I will be the first to admit that dogs wearing jewelry are adorable, but I will admit there is a strong practical side of me.

Whenever I see a picture of a dog wearing a piece of dog jewelry they are usually not wearing a collar. I do understand that some pet parents don’t keep collars on their fur babies all the time, but there are a lot who do. I do because if my fur baby Nathan ever got away from me, I want him to have his ID tag on so hopefully with the help of someone, he can find his way home to me. Another reason is that it is really easy to clip a leash onto a collar but not a doggy necklace. They are just not made strong enough to control a dog through the use of a leash. I have also seen warning tags on doggy jewelry to not leave the jewelry on the dog when the dog is alone, choking could be a dangerous issue.

I made doggy necklaces for my Dalmatian Mix Lady Lacy Marie, however hers were always worn with the collar that she had. The reason for this was that I could not locate a fun ‘Princess’ collar in her size. They were all made for XSmall or Small dogs of which she was not.

Gem Lady Treasures created our Unique, Handmade Leather and Natural Gemstone Dog Collars for many of these reasons. Our beautiful collars use real natural gemstones unlike most dog necklaces. The natural gemstones are securely attached to our collars by hand sewing and knotting. Nathan has been wearing his Natural Poppy Jasper collar for nine months now and not one gemstone has even come loose. Double dee rings provide room for attaching a leash and tags without crowding. In addition, there is no danger for choking!

Gem Lady Treasures Gemstone Dog Collars are also made in all sizes, XSmall to XLarge plus have the benefit of being Unisex. Boys as well as girls can wear them! Please click on the link above to see all of our fabulous collars.