Gemstone Enhancements

Where would we be without enhancements in most areas of our life?  From the foods we eat to the clothes we wear and the homes we live in, they are all around us.  Many of the enhancements we are familiar with are there to make a product more accessible, affordable, durable, and even make them more attractive!  Imagine if we all wore natural colored cotton clothes! Boy would that be boring.  Colored stones are no exception.  Many colored stones come out of the ground looking very little like the rich colors we have grown to love.  The concept of applying an enhancement to a gemstone has been around for thousands of years. Perhaps the simplest of enhancements is just good old fashioned cleaning with bleach.  When a pearl comes out of its shell (a living organism) they are soaked in a mild bleach solution that not only cleans the pearl, but can also enhance and even out the color.  Heating is by far the most common of all the enhancement processes.  Sapphires, rubies, tanzanites, and amethysts, just to name a few, are gemstones that are routinely heated to strengthen, deepen and even out their natural color.  Most of the enhancements are permanent, but a few can be removed.  Emeralds for example are routinely filled with a resin to enhance their clarity.  Under certain jewelry repair conditions that filling can come out of the stone.  Professionally trained jewelers and gemologists can usually detect many of the treatments currently used.  As always, if you have specific questions or would like a more detailed explanation, please email us at