Beautiful Lies: The Slippery Slope of Gem Treatment

An expert in the gemstone market warns that treatments are no longer simply improving quality but creating itSince ancient times, humans have coveted the classic gemstones because they exhibit a beauty unique to the mineral world. It is this beauty, combined with the perception of rarity as well as durability, that motivates people to seek out—and spend significant amounts of money on—the earth's most precious resources.In recent years, however, the trade has witnessed the birth of a new breed of "gem" that has forced buyers and sellers to revisit the very meaning of the term. Subject to extensive treatment, these so-called gems bear little resemblance to the much-desired stones that have inspired traders and collectors to cross continents over the centuries.The American Gem Trade Association defines gem treatment as "any traditional process other than cutting and polishing that impr

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