Storm Over Sapphire

The controversy over the treated pink/orange "padparadscha-like" sapphire coming from Thailand is becoming more complex as research gemologists in the major laboratories study the stone's chemistry, trying to figure out what's creating the color. In fact, the investigation is expanding to most color varieties, including Mong Hsu and Songea ruby and blue-green, yellow, orange, and purple sapphires. The decades-old surface-diffusion treatment of blue sapphire was 100% detectable—we knew how the color was introduced. But the new high-temperature sapphire enhancement performed in Thailand remains a mystery: We don't know how it enhances color. It's synthetic. In an online newsletter, Ken Scarratt, director of the American Gem Trade Association's Gem Testing Center, claims the high-temperature-treated sapphire has been altered to the point of recrystallization—using flux melts the sur

This content is exclusive to JCK Pro subscribers. Subscribe now to access this and much more with discount code GOPRO21 for $199 for an entire year of access (reg. $249).


Already a JCK Pro? Log in

A JCK Pro subscription is your all-access pass to people and resources on the
cutting edge of the retail jewelry industry, from the industry authority you
know and trust

Learn about the Perks of JCK Pro

Log Out

Are you sure you want to log out?

CancelLog out