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How to heat treat aquamarines


#1

Hello everyone

I recently got about 8 Aquamarine crystals that are too small to
facet. I thought of mounting them in pendant/earring so that the
crystal could be seen.

The colour is about a 4+ on a scale to 10 with no inclusions. They
range in length from .75mm - 2.5mm and.3mm -.8mm width.

I was wondering about heat treatments. Is this something I can do
myself? I have searched but cannot find any on How to
…OR is this a place where angels fear to tread?

Thanks
Simone in Ottawa
Today will be +10C and tonight will be -15C OR 50F day and 5F
night


#2

Heat treating aqua must be done carefully. It is usually done to
drive off the secondary greenish hue, leaving a more blue stone. It
does NOT increase the saturation of blue, and if you don’t know what
you’re doing, you risk having the stones shatter.

Wayne


#3
I was wondering about heat treatments. Is this something I can do
myself? I have searched but cannot find any on How to
....OR is this a place where angels fear to tread? 

Sure you can, as long as you understand the risks. Aquamarine can
become brighter after annealing, but if you go above the color
change temperature, it can loose color completely. Every mine
produces aquamarines with different color change temperature, so it
needs to be determined by experiment. You can start with 400 Celsius
and adjust as required.

It is common practice to pack stones in pure quarts sand for
treatment. Bring temperature up slowly, and allow to cool overnight
before unpacking.

The first description of gem treatment comes from Pliny. If those
guys could do it, we should have no trouble at all.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com