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How They Improve The Appearance Of Coloured Gemstones

When you purchase coloured gemstones, the likelihood is that they have been treated to enhance their colour, which is common throughout the world. There are a few ways that gems have had their colour enhanced, making the colours vibrant and stand out. Below are some of the techniques that jewellers use to improve the colour of their gems that they offer and make them pop to increase their desirability.

Heat Treatment

One of the most common ways of gemstone enhancement is through the use of heat, and you will find most rubies, aquamarine, and sapphires have been treated in this way. Heat treatment closely resembles how the gems were formed in the earth, as it is heat and pressure that makes the gemstones in the first place. To enhance these gems’ colours, they will place them in an oven that is heated to 1,600 degrees Centigrade, and it may require specific gases to be present to achieve the best results. The time it takes depends on the quality and type of gems you have and how much you are looking to enhance them.

Radiation Treatment

Another way that you can enhance gemstones is through radiation, and the gems that you can improve in this way are as follows:

  • Diamonds
  • Topaz
  • Pearls
  • Tourmaline
  • Amethyst
  • Beryl

When enhancing gems in this way, they use Gamma radiation, and it is something that many jewellers do not like to disclose in case it puts off customers from buying them. However, irradiated gems are not radioactive, and they will not hurt you, so this method is entirely safe and can have a significant effect on how the gemstone looks and increase its appeal. It is also a natural process and similar to one that the gems go through when they form in the earth.


Another method to enhance gemstones and increase their appeal is through oiling, and unlike heat and radiation, it is not something that gems naturally go through. Oiling is commonly used on gems such as emeralds and is a way that internal imperfections can be hidden and improves the look of the gemstones. They fill the tiny fractures in the gemstones with oil which has similar properties in reflecting light as the gem being oiled. If you have an oiled gemstone, you need to be careful with it and avoid wearing it when doing the dishes, which may reduce the brilliance of them, and using heat or ultra-sonic cleaning systems can damage them.

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