The term "enhancement" is defined to be any treatment process other than cutting
and polishing that improves the appearance (color/clarity/phenomena), durability,
or availability of a gemstone.
Many people confuse gemstone enhancements with the terms synthetic, man-made, lab-grown
or other processes which involve the creation of materials not found in the earth. Natural
gemstones are those created by natural processes. Man-made, laboratory grown or synthetic materials
are those created by non-natural processes. Enhancements are additional treatments performed
on natural, or synthetic materials to generally improve their appearance. A natural gemstone that is enhanced
is still considered a natural gemstone.
Some gemstone enhancements are less stable than others, meaning that some treatments
are temporary. It is the policy of Gem Hut to sell only those gemstones whose
enhancements (if any) have good to excellent stability.
All gemstones can be divided into three basic categories.
Not Enhanced, (symbol N)
The "N" symbol appears by gemstones that are not currently known to be enhanced
(Alexandrite, Garnet, etc.), however the "N" symbol can also be used for other
stones in the event that a stone has received no enhancement. We will provide
a guarantee that there has been none and that fact will be noted on the invoice
which accompanies the gemstone.
Many people confuse the symbol "N" with the term "Natural". The symbol "N" is not intended to indicate that a gemstone is natural.
Natural gemstones that have received enhancements are still natural.
Normally Enhanced, (symbol E).
The "E" symbol appears by gemstones that are routinely enhanced. Since many enhancements
are difficult or impractical to prove definitively, the approach taken is, unless otherwise indicated,
to assume that such enhancement has been applied to that particular gemstone. This
assumption is made to protect both the buyer and seller. If a more specific method of
enhancement is known, then the specific enhancement code will be used.
For those gemstones not covered by the "N" and "E" symbols, the specific code which
covers the gemstone enhancement will be listed.
Symbols For Specific Form of Enhancement
ANot Normally Enhanced; Typically not enhanced, enhancements (if any) are unknown.
BBleaching: The use of chemicals or other agents to lighten or remove a gemstone's color.
CCoating: The use of such surface enhancements as lacquering, enameling, inking, foiling, or sputtering of films to improve appearance, provide color or add other special effects.
DDyeing :The introduction of coloring matter into a gemstone to give it new color, intensify present color or improve color uniformity.
FFilling: As a by-product of heat enhancement, the presence of solidified borax or simliar colorless substances which are visible under properly illuminated 10X magnification.
GGamma/Electron Irradiation: The use of gamma and/or electron bombardment to alter a gemstone's color; may be followed by a heating process.
HHeating: The use of heat to effect desired alteration of color, clarity, and/or phenomena. (Residue of foreign substances is not visible under properly illuminated 10X magnification.)
IInfilling: The intentional filling of surface breaking cavities or fractures usually with glass, plastic, opticon with hardeners and/or other hardened foreign substances to improve durability, appearance and/or add weight.
LLasering: The use of a laser and chemicals to reach and alter inclusions in diamonds.
OOiling/Resin Infusion: The intentional filling of surface cavities of a colorless oil, wax, natural resin, or unhardened man-made material into fissured transparent/translucent gemstones to improve appearance. (i.e., oil, man-made resin, cedar wood oil, Canada balsam, paraffin, etc.)
RIrradiation: The use of neutron, requiring an environmental safety release from the Nuclear Regulatory Commision (NRC), with the combination of any other bombardment and/or heat treatment to alter a gemstone's color.
SBonding: The use of a colorless bonding agent (commonly plastic) within a porous gemstone to give it durability and improve appearance.
UDiffusion: The use of chemicals in conjunction with high temperatures to produce color and/or asterism-producing inclusions.
WWaxing/Oiling: The impregnation of a colorless wax, paraffin and oil in porous opaque gemstones to improve appearance.
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