[orchid] Gemstone Treatments

I enjoy gemstone conversations and frequent retail outlets at all
opportunities. Today I visited Bailey Banks & Biddle of the Zales
Corporation and began to ask the usual specific questions about
gemstones and treatments. After being told, “our gems are all
natural and never treated” I turned to the fine print of their own
catalog and read the following statement: “The gemstones may have
been treated by heating (generally), .diffusion (sapphires),
irradiation.” What does this mean? Not a single employee, to include
the jewelers & managers, had any idea what diffusion was or that it
is artificially coloring the (eg. The Wall Street Journal
Thailand Treatments article several months ago)

Anyhow, the Kashmir sapphire rough is covered in a white clay like
matrix. This seperates Kashmir from all other rough sapphire in the
world and is the key identifier in determining if the rough has been
heated. The clay begins to melt under extremely low temperatures and
no longer looks powdery soft but instead like plaster.
(http://www.kashmirblue.com/Research/research.html) -to see

Again, some treatments are more controversial than others and may
affect the prices dramatically. I believe all people, at all levels,
in the jewelry trade should do their best to educate themselves and
the public so a few bad apples won’t spoil the bunch.

Enjoy the holiday,
Ed Cleveland

It is simply a question of supply and demand, not rarity. 

All right you guys, stop it already! You’re trying to disagree about
something that you agree on. Rarity IS the supply part of the supply
and demand equation.