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Opinions on fissure filled stones


#1

i have an opportunity to purchase some ruby my favorite and
birthstone, but it s treated by filling fissures, would like
opinions and facts on this technique, that is used on various stones,
does it decrease the value? i know its is something done alot, also
while I’m on stone treatment what about heat treating stones all,
does that also effect the value? all is wanted very much,
if $30 a kt for fissure filled rubies is a fantastic value then would
like to catch this before they are gone, i know they also use this on
emeralds as well. and thanks for all the beautiful help on my hand
as well…


#2

If you buy it, NEVER heat them with a torch! Tell whoever works on
the piece that the stone is fracture filled or you will have MAJOR
problems if ever the piece needs repair work near the stone. The
filling material will expand and more than likely cause the stone to
explode. Just some FYI. Steve


#3

well this is definatly an eye opener,ssmng that thee tnes are for
semimounts already cast? is it is better to not have the fissures
filled,i have been hearing arguements for and against Ruby is
mybirthstone so love it but also emeralds have been a favorite.i have
so any variablesp of stones to work with i dont know where to start,
but have been seriously thinking of working copper, since i have
scrap, just lookng for a way to smelt it and any other metals decide
to melt down.


#4
but it s treated by filling fissures, would like opinions and facts
on this technique 

And then there is a variant worth being aware of, a form of
"extreme" heat treatment that actually partly heals fractures. Stones
are heated in a flux bath, not terribly unlike how the flux grown
synthetics are produced, which allows the fissure walls to start to
dissolve in the flux, and recrystalize again as the stones are
cooled. The result is what started as a fissure ends up more like a
"fingerprint" inclusion, with the fissure being now a zone of tiny
inclusions surrounded by mostly or partially healed material. It’s
much improved in clarity AND strength, and unlike some fissure
filling via various resins or the like, the flux mix used is not
exceptionally heat sensative. The Hmong Su rubies are often treated
like this, or so I’m told. I saw a parcel of these at this summer’s
SNAG conference, where one dealer had a fair number of rather
impressive looking rubies at a hundred bucks a carat (I think). Nice
color, attractive stones. Fairly “cloudy” looking, with lots of
inclusions, but clear enough to get some decent internal reflection
and a sort of sleepy brilliance out of them. Pretty, and for the
price, I thought they were a great deal.

there are also rubies treated by filling fractures or external
cavities with, quite literally, glass. Under a loupe, you can easily
see where the exposed parts of glass filled cavities have a different
reflectivity than the ruby part. More heat sensative, but still not
the resin or oil filled ones which, if heated at all, turn black as
the resin or oil burns. Unlike the Hmong Su treated types above, the
treatment only fills fractures and cavities, and doesn’t restore
much of the strength of the original material, so they’re more
fragile.

Peter Rowe


#5

wow, I feel like such a fledgling. and see this is better to use to
explain any of this to the family members who just dont get this
"hobby" of mine (grrrr) no one seems to understand the science
involved in one stone. I had an idea for my booth to try to produce a
story of a gemstone that was there in my booth, to show what all went
into that “cute little ring, but gosh over a hundred dollars, thats
too high”, I charge what i pay and for my work, I do my very best to
not over price and be fair without shafting myself. Right now just
sitting here recovering from this hand thing, I am still working on
the mental aspects of this. I really love the emails that go through
here (from my college experience) I just don’t think a classroom at a
college could be this interesting


#6
....purchase some rubybut its treated by filling fissures, would
like opinions and facts on this technique, that is used on various
stones, does it decrease the value? 

Lead filled rubies were being sold loose in bins at a recent Tucson
Show for about USD$ 5.00/carat at one of the Chinese vendors booths.
Lead glass filling actually increases the value (for the seller) of
the stones since they would not be able to be sold if they had not
been fracture filled.

Apparently some of the chemicals that Jewelers routinely use in the
shop will eat the lead glass and ruin the appearance of the stones.

what about heat treating stones.. does that also Affect the value? 

Tanzanites are all heat treated. If they were not heat treated they
would be Brown and ugly. Heat treatment raises the value of
Tanzanite.

Aquamarine is usually heat treated " it makes the stones bluer, in
general, and raises their value.

Paraiba Tourmalines from Brasil are almost all heat treated " if
they come out of the heat treatment Neon Blue their value increases
many times.

Almost all Citrine on the market is heat treated amethyst. It doesnt
necessarily increase their worth as it takes a nice amethyst to
produce a nice citrine.

Prasiolite is either heat treated amethyst (from specific locations)
or irradiated and heated clear quartz (also from specific
locations). It obviously increases their worth as clear quartz is
basically very inexpensive.

Tourmalines and Yellow Beryl are routinely heated. If dark
tourmalines lighten up, their worth is increased. Yellow beryl is
heated to make the parcels more uniform in color.

Some Rubelites are heated. If they lighten a up and brighten up then
their worth is increased.

All Blue topaz is irradiated and heated. It obviously increases
their worth as clear topaz is basically very inexpensive.

if $30 a ct for fissure filled rubies is a fantastic value 

USD$ 5.00 to 10.00 might be a good value $30 a ct seems only to be a
good value for the Seller.

I know they also use this on emeralds as well. 

In general the accepted treatment for Emeralds is oiling with a clear
removable oil. Permanently filling Emeralds has not usually been an
accepted practice " except for the Gem-a-Trat (now Excel) people who
have been trying to convince the public that their Permanent method
should be the standard treatment for Emeralds.

Best regards,
Robert P. Lowe Jr.
Lowe Associates - Brasil


#7

From what I can tell, $30 per carat is a fair price for glass filled
ruby, but not what I would call a fantastic deal. If the filler is
resin or oil, I would skip it.

Steve
Gems Evermore


#8

peter, those rubies are going for 5 to 10$ /ct just check ebay

bill glickman


#9

If one knowingly buys glass-filled ruby, how does one know how much
of the stone is glass and how much of the stone is ruby ?

But I have a different question. I understand desire to buy natural,
untreated stones. Under some circumstances, I can accept heat
treated stones, But why in a world, one would buy heavily treated
stones. Isn’t it more honest simply use lab-grown material. It looks
better and definitely better value than heavily treated gems.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#10

First of all thank you so much for answering.

Tanzanites are all heat treated. If they were not heat treated they
would be Brown and ugly. Heat treatment raises the value of
Tanzanite. 

Just so I am understanding this correctly, the natural color of
tanzanite is brown? Well, how did they know it would turn out so
beautiful? And then really, the value isn’t the hardness? it’s the
rarity of the color even if it’s helped? And not meaning to over
simplify this, but alot of the different colored stones were colored
because someone said “hey what if we do this to it?”

And really, (what do you call a person who does all this to a
stone?) it's a crap shoot, a geological grab bag? 
All Blue topaz is irradiated and heated. It obviously increases
their worth as clear topaz is basically very inexpensive. 

OK, someone said to me once that topaz from Texas was too light and
wasn’t popular, so that was kinda BS, since it can be treated to
turn it, correct?

Almost all Citrine on the market is heat treated amethyst. It
doesn't necessarily increase their worth as it takes a nice amethyst
to produce a nice citrine. 

So then is ametrine, half treated and half untreated amethyst?

sorry, I am a sponge sometimes. I do get questions alot about what I
have and I really want to get it right, but trying to explain to
customers how this is, why it costs what it does, can be
exasperating. And so the difference between light and darker
Tanzanite is the way the stone took the heating?

And it doesn’t come out of the ground that way at all? I’m not being
stupid I hope, I’m truly intrigued and my eyes are the size of
teacup saucers ,lol.


#11
peter, those rubies are going for 5 to 10$ /ct just check ebay 

Yeah, I’ve seen the cheap ebay stuff. It really is, and looks like,
junk at those prices. what caught my eye with the stones I saw at
the SNAG convention is that they looked really good. Inclusions, yes.
But still clear enough for good light return, and a really good
color. There’s lots of cheap ruby on ebay or the web. These were a
good deal better than that. Now, they may have been priced higher
than they should have been, or that I’d have found them for at
Tucson, but they weren’t 5 and 10 dollar a carat stones. I thought
the asking price was quite fair. Some of these were quite sizable too
(3 to 4 carat). But then, I can’t say I frequently buy ruby, so
perhaps I’m out of touch and they were way too much. But I don’t
think so…

Peter Rowe


#12
All Blue topaz is irradiated and heated. It obviously increases
their worth as clear topaz is basically very inexpensive. 
So then is ametrine, half treated and half untreated amethyst? 

There is natural blue topaz from Brazil, but as with most gems not
likely enough to meet the demand.

Ametrine from the Anahi Mine in Bolivia is natural, but there is a
process, developed in Russia, for lab-grown ametrine.

Ray Prater


#13

I think the problem is two-fold.

One- The beryllium filled rubies are being sold as a higher clarity
than they really are. Two- The durability. What if you have to retip
a
prong on one of these beauties in the future, and don’t remember that
is was filled, then YOU have to deal with the aftermath. I’ll pass,
on
the sale, and the repair.

I feel this is where customer service starts or perhaps ends. You
wouldn’t want your sister (if she were in your good graces.) to
purchase one of these stones, so treat your customers the same way.
My 2 cents


#14
I really love the emails that go through here (from my college
experience) I just don't think a classroom at a college could be
this interesting This brought to mind a pithy saying I came across. 

It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot,
irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is
known, but to question it. [From The Ascent of Man by Jacob
Bronowski,
1973]

I think we have this in Orchid. Sure, many of the same questions
seem to be asked over and over as new people learn techniques new to
them that more experience people have already encountered, but many
also as “Why???” or “Why not???” with all the irreverence of
Bronowski’s ragamuffin irreverent barefoot student. There should be
more of that in education.

This prompts another thought. When I was in the military we had
innumerable rules, regulations, customs, and traditions which needed
to be followed. I found that once I knew them well enough to go
beyond them to understanding the why of them I was better able to
apply the principles upon which they were built to novel situations
not conveniently covered by them. Isn’t that at the root of needing
to know “why”?

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Henderson, NV


#15

Here’s a thought to consider for those that consider 'heat treating’
stones unnatural.

I’ve not heard of any test that can be done to a colored stone that
came out of the ground a given color (one or more) that can determine
if the color was that color when the stone formed or if the color is
a result of the stone undergoing a heating session while still in the
ground. It could be that mother nature has been heating stone for a
looong time.

Dave


#16
I've not heard of any test that can be done to a colored stone
that came out of the ground a given color (one or more) that can
determine if the color was that color when the stone formed or if
the color is a result of the stone undergoing a heating session
while still in the ground. It could be that mother nature has been
heating stone for a looong time. 

One can tell if gem was heat-treated or not by:

  1. Loss of transparency, but one has to be familiar with appearance
    of untreated specimens.

  2. discrepancy in color saturation between color of the gem and
    pleochroic colors. in untreated gems they match.

  3. Lack of characteristic inclusions and/or presence of high
    temperature damage to crystal structure.

Loss of transparency is the most noticeable one for unaided eye. Gem
dealers are getting away with it, because practically all commercial
stone are treated and customers do not have a basis for comparison.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#17

All Blue topaz is irradiated and heated. It obviously increases
their worth as clear topaz is basically very inexpensive.

OK, someone said to me once that topaz from Texas was too light
and wasn't popular, so that was kinda BS, since it can be treated
to turn it, correct? 

Not necessarily, there are SOME natural blue topaz, most of them are
very light in color. However SOME customers appreciate the fact they
are not treated enough to accept that and they will sell for as much
(or maybe more) as the treated material. If they are sold as a
specialty or regional item they may even go for a fair bit more than
the treated ones.

Almost all Citrine on the market is heat treated amethyst. It
doesn’t necessarily increase their worth as it takes a nice
amethyst to produce a nice citrine.

So then is ametrine, half treated and half untreated amethyst? 

In many cases no, as mentioned there are SOME natural citrines
although in general they tend to be lighter and more brownish that
the nice yellows and oranges you can get with heating. If you look at
ametrine you can see that the citrine portion of it would not be very
special if it did not also have the bicolor effect with the amethyst
in the same stone. Most people would not be that interested in a
pure citrine of that color.

Ametrine has been shown to come out of the ground with those two
colors naturally. Synthetics have been made though.

And so the difference between light and darker Tanzanite is the way
the stone took the heating? 

Sort of, in general the darker rough starts out the darker it will
be after heating, even though it will be a different color.

A great resource for these kind of gemology related questions is the
Gemology Online Forum, just reading through the past conversations
will teach you more than you had imagined possible.
http://gemologyonline.com

And it doesn't come out of the ground that way at all? 

Actually yes some of it does come out of the ground purple or blue
without treatment.

AGL (AMerican Gemological Laboratories) has even recently started
issuing certificates as they are able to tell in some cases if the
tanzanite has been heated or not.

Regards,
John Dyer


#18

So then the Ametrine would have to have been formed close to either
an ancient or active heat source for it to form in the manor it
does, how amazing.

I mean for a stone to be formed in that color combination. Is there
an explanation as to how it could do that without it effecting the
entire stones color? Tourmaline for example and Fluorite as well, I
understand the formation relies on the minerals in the area to
compose what gemstone is formed but for the multicolored ones to
form in the manor they do in the natural environment, how is that
explained? Is it simply more of one substance (copper for instance)
happens to be more concentrated say in that one little spot just
right that whatever heated that area to form the stones there and
it’s just a fluke of nature?


#19
These were a good deal better than that. Now, they may have been
priced higher than they should have been, or that I'd have found
them for at Tucson, but they weren't 5 and 10 dollar a carat stones.
I thought the asking price was quite fair. 

I’m praying I make it to Tucson this coming year, I did go to
Quartzite, but we werent able to stop in Tucson that year. I am told
there is nothing that compares to it.


#20

I have a set of ruby stud earrings, untreated I got for a steal,
just dumb blind luck, and I was also lucky the person was honest. But
this is a problem I am dealing with because I love rubies and since
two granddaughters are also July babies, I wanted for myself to have
something in ruby to pass on later. My husband called my attention
to HSN and some jewelry clearance they were having and they were
saying the ruby was fissure filled, but they didn’t say how or what.
I told him i would rather wait until i was in the presence of someone
who knew maybe in Tucson, before we made anymore filled anything
purchases. I did have a ring my mother got me for my 13th birthday,
ruby of course but when I accidentally chipped the stone I was
devestated. I probably just need to get over my facination of rubies
and stick to tanzanite at least it shouldn’t be as fractured. Better
yet chocolate diamonds, since I want any of it to last.