This page is a work in progress and is not complete.
First and foremost, a note on gemstone treatments:
I get a lot of emails asking if the gemstone in one of my tie tacks was treated. I get the impression that these people think that a treated gemstone is somehow a bad thing and undesirable. It is not, the truth is that most of the gemstones on the market have been treated in some way. Let me give you some examples starting with one of the most praised and revered gemstones - the Emerald.
99% of all gem quality emeralds are treated. This is because the emerald is a class three gemstone. Class three gemstones are stones that are prone to be included and Emeralds are on the top of the inclusions list. Because of thier inclusions the face of a faceted Emerald has tiny scratches across it. These scratches are treated with a wax-like filler to give the stone a flat clear finish. This does NOT effect the quality or price of the gem, if fact inclusions are considered to be part of the Emeralds mystique.
Blue Sapphires are often treated to get the rich dark blue color people think of in a Sapphire. A good portion of the Sapphires mined have an uneven blue color, light in some areas and dark in others. These stones are treated to get an even dark blue color throughout the stone.
If you own a Topaz in any color other than yellow, you own a treated gemstone. Natural Topaz is yellow in color and needs to be radiated to get the Swiss blue color most people prefer in a Topaz. Topaz can also be treated to get light blue, dark blue, pink, red and a few others.
Lastly, Citrine is a heat treated Amethyst. Unwanted pale blue Amethyst can be heated to get the golden yellow color most desired in a Citrine.
Yes, there can be a inclusion free emerald but if it costs under 6 figures it is included. Natural blue Topaz is possible but extreamly rare, so is yellow quartz (Citrine) but the odds are if you own one of the above gemstones; it was treated.
A karat is 1/24th gold by weight. Therefore a piece of jewelry that is 12 karat gold has 50% gold and 50% some other metal.
18 karat, or 75% gold, is sometimes used in pendants and earrings. It is more "yellow" than 14k but is soft and wears easily. Some dealers sell 18k rings; I do NOT recommend 18k rings, they will wear down.
14 karat, or 58% gold, is the most popular karat used in jewelry. It is hard enough to sustain light wear and yellow enough to look like gold.
10 karat, or 42% gold, is used mostly in rings. It is whiter than 14k or 18k but is harder and doesn't wear down.
Gold filled means that the item contains at least 1/20th gold by weight and that the gold is at least 10 karat.
Gold plated means that the item has a coating of fine gold no less than 0.000007 inches (or about .0002 mm) thick.
Gold washed is a plating of fine gold less than 0.000007 inches thick.
Man Made Emeralds
If you go on eBay and do a search for Emeralds the vast majority will be man made and a good portion of them will not say they are. Here are some trade names that will alert you that the stone is man made.
Names of Man Made Emeralds. If the emerald you are looking at is listed below, it is not a natural Emerald.
Names of Man Made Emeralds:
Names of Emeralds that are doublets:
Names Emeralds that are glass:
Mount St. Helens Emerald (Helenite)
Other gemstones that are sometimes called Emeralds:
Emeraldine - Chalcedony
Congo Emerald - Dioptase
Emerald - Fluorite
Bohemian Emerald - Fluorite
South African Emerald - Fluorite
Traansvaal Emerald - Fluorite
Uralian Emerald - Green Garnet
Emerald - Peridot
Night Emerald - Peridot
Cape Emerald - Prehnite
Indian Emerald - Green Quartz
Oriental Emerald - Green Sapphire
Emeraldite - Tourmaline
Sapphires and Rubies
Sapphires and Rubies come from the mineral corundum which is easily created in laboratories. Many sellers on eBay will try to keep you from knowing their gemstones are man made. Here are some things to watch for.
Diffusion Sapphire - Diffusion is a way to produce lab created Sapphires.
Diffusion treatment - Some sellers will put "natural" in their title and have diffusion as a type of treatment in the description. Diffusion tratment is a way to darken light blue sapphires.
Gemstones in general
Always read the entire description!!! I was looking for a Tanzanite on eBay and came across a "Natural Tanzanite". As I read the description it said "color - blue", "shape - round", "clarity - VVS", "Treatment - Quartz". See what I am saying? This seller out of China was trying to sell a blue quartz as a Tanzanite. Needless to say they are no longer selling on eBay.
If you come across this type of seller I urge you to contact eBay about them. There is a link across the page from the gems photo under "Other item info" that says "Report Item". Use this link to report the misleading item to eBay. If for some reason you don't feel right contacting eBay, email me with the item number and I'll contact eBay. This is the only way we will get these misleading sellers off eBay.