The Power of Oil Treatments on Emeralds and Sapphires All Entries
Gemstones such as sapphires and emeralds are naturally prone to include a number of inclusions and fractures. These imperfections have an undesirable effect on the clarity and color of the stone and that is why heat and oil treatments are used to dissolve the inclusions and fill the fractures. It is safe to assume that most sapphires and emeralds have been treated, unless a certificate is provided stating otherwise.
Although heat treatment is the preferred methods when enhancing gemstones such as sapphires, it is never applied to emeralds that are known to crack and shatter when exposed to such high temperatures. Oil treatments on the other hand can be applied to both sapphires and emeralds. One reason that heat treatment is preferred is because the results are permanent, whereas oil treatment needs to be reapplied every few years. Feel free to contact Ralph Mueller & Associates in Phoenix, Arizona for information on where to have emeralds serviced.
In spite of the maintenance aspect, oil treatment remains a popular practice, particularly for emeralds that are unable to undergo heat treatment. During the oiling process the emerald is heated just enough to open the pores and allow the penetration of oil, usually cedar oil, into the smallest of fractures that in turn help to hide some of the inclusions.
Although oil treatment can greatly enhance the visual appearance of an emerald, it can have a negative impact on the value of the gem. As with all treatments, heat treatment included, a gem’s value tends to decrease the more it is treated. It is estimated that untreated emeralds constitute only 0.5% of the market and for this reason the value of a large untreated emerald, of good quality, can be up to 200% higher than a similar but slightly treated emerald.
It is important to keep in mind that emerald jewelry can suffer from wear and tear. If you are buying an already treated emerald it may make future repairs or recutting more difficult as the treatment may disguise some of the emerald's underlying fragility.
At Ralph Mueller & Associates we sell only the best quality gemstones and look forward to being of assistance when you visit our store in Phoenix, Arizona. Stop by during store hours to view our extensive range of emerald and sapphire jewelry.