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An Introduction to Gemstone Treatments

Many gemstones are treated with various methods to improve color and clarity. Some of these methods are widely accepted in the trade today, while other methods are not. The accepted trade methods are the ones that change the color of the gemstone permanently.

Heated Yellow Sapphire Gemstone
Heated Yellow Sapphire

All reputable gem dealers fully disclose gem treatments. In our view, it is important to provide buyers with detailed information so that they know exactly what they are buying. So we have provided some information below that will help educate you about the common treatments, as well as some recent innovations. Keep in mind that most colored gemstones are treated, and this is a perfectly legitimate practice as long as all facts are disclosed to the buyer. If you know the facts, then you can feel safe about buying a gemstone that you will enjoy for many years to come.


Heat treatment
Beryllium treatment
Diffusion treatment
Fracture filling treatment
Irradiation treatment
  • First Published: April-04-2006
  • Last Updated: October-23-2017
  • © 2005-2018 GemSelect.com all rights reserved.
    Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of GemSelect.com (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.
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Size and Weight

Gems are always measured in Millimeter (mm)

Dimensions are given as;
length x width x depth,
except for round stones which are;
diameter x depth

Select gems by size, not by weight!
Gem varieties vary in density, so carat weight is not a good indication of size

Note: 1ct = 0.2g

Size Comparison Chart