With over 90 percent of gemstones treated, Zultanite® is one of the few gemstones that are never enhanced.
To make sure each gemstone reaches its full potential, lapidaries and jewelers employ a variety of techniques. Some of these, like cutting and setting, are immediately visible, while others such as enhancements or treatments remain relatively unknown, despite being used for thousands of years. Defined as any process other than cutting that improves a gem’s appearance (e.g. color, clarity, phenomena, etc.), durability, value or availability, with the vast majority of gems enhanced in some way, these processes have become an important part of the modern gemstone industry.
Practiced in India for over 4,000 years, the earliest known gemstone enhancement is heating a gem to improve its color. Oiling to improve a gem’s clarity is another ancient technique that has been used for over 2,000 years. Not all gemstone enhancements can trace their origins to antiquity. Some, such as the beryllium bulk diffusion of Sapphires and the physical vapor deposition (PVD) of Mystic Topaz, are the result of more recent innovations. In the gem industry, the term ‘enhancements’ sometimes exclusively refers to traditional techniques that are so common they are seldom mentioned, reserving ‘treatments’ for more modern methods. The problem is that this is not universal – both terms are often used to refer to the same processes. Given the prevalence of enhancements, one term that still has a universal meaning is ‘natural’. A ‘natural’ gemstone is one that has not been enhanced or treated in any way.
In a world where many enhancements are very difficult to detect (or even undetectable) using standard gemological equipment, enhancement disclosure can be confusing for the consumer. The World Jewelry Confederation (CIBJO or Confédération Internationale de la Bijouterie, Joaillerie, Orfèvrerie, des Diamants, Perles et Pierres) is the organization that records accepted trade practices and nomenclature for the global gem and jewelry industry. Under their guidelines, all jewelers should be aware of how the gems they sell are enhanced, disclosing this information to their customers.
In a marketplace rocked by enhancement controversies, Zultanite® brings instant peace of mind.