If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Gem Business: Part IV

The issue of heat-treatment is not just about disclosure. It's also about value. A gemstone's value depends on three factors: rarity, beauty, and durability. How much is based on rarity? If you think you know, you can probably answer this: "Should the price of a high-pressure/high-temperature-treated D, E, or F color diamond be the same or nearly the same as that of a natural colorless diamond?" It takes less than two minutes for high pressure and high temperature (HPHT) to squeeze the brown color out of a diamond. But that brown diamond is an uncommon—even rare—Type IIa. It's the geuda sapphire of the diamond industry because it takes only a little furnace heat to dramatically change the color. As discussed in Part II, heated geuda was priced the same or nearly the same as natural sapphire when it first hit the market. Now, it's 30%-40% below natural-color Burmese. Should the va
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