I’ve been shopping around for a padparadsha. I know there are a lot
of fakes out there, such as lesser colors treated with beryllium. I
have found quite a few that claim to be natural, but heat treated.
What is the purpose of heat-treating a stone? Is it possible to
create a false padparadsha using heat treatment? Should I take care
to buy only one that has not ever been treated or heated in any way?
Heat can be used to deepen color and remove some minor flaws in the
stone, beryllium treatment will ad color. I would only buy from
someone who will disclose the treatment methods. I’d guess that over
80% of ‘rare’ stones are treated in some manner (sapphire, tanzanite,
emerald (oiling), etc) to improve color and clarity. Personally I
don’t think heat treatment is that big of a deal since it’s the
stones own properties being enhanced.
All varietes of corundum (ruby and sapphire) are subjected to
heating. The practice goes back at least a thousand years. Today,
with the ability to precisely control the temperature and duration
of the process heat treating has become ubiquitous. A heat treated
sapphire is not a “false” sapphire. Heat can only affect whatever
chemicals are present, fine heated stones are very rare, though not
as rare as their unenhanced bretheren.
It is done to improve the beauty, color and clarity of the gem. Heat
can clarify the crystal and improve the color in ruby and sapphire.
Padparadascha, is a light to medium toned pinkish orange to orangy
pink sapphire. The word comes from the Sinhalese "padma raga"
meaning “color of the lotus”. Heat treated or natural, it is a very
I have bought padparadascha stones in Asia and Africa. I currently
have two, both heat enhanced. For further on saphire I
suggest my book, check out the link below.