Enhancement of gems

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Processes which alter the appearance of a gemstone are known in the jewlers' trade as enhancements. While some treatments, such as irradiation, are strictly modern many enhancements of gemstones date back to ancient times.

Traditional enhancments:

  • cutting & polishing (not strictly an enhancement in the traditional sense, but will be considered here none-the-less)
  • dyeing (see also the entry on agate)
  • heat treating
  • oiling
  • waxing

Modern enhancements:

  • improved heat treating
  • reconstitution
  • irradiation