Traditionally Heat-Treated Sapphires

Mother Nature simply doesn't create enough fine gem-quality ruby or sapphire to satisfy the demands of consumers. Actually, the problem has been around for centuries, and necessity being the mother of invention, the home cooking of corundum (ruby and sapphire) to improve color and clarity was reported centuries ago. To satisfy the current demand for natural ruby and sapphire, heating mass quantities of corundum is the only solution. For that reason, the industry has accepted heat treatment. (See "If You Can't Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Gem Business," p. 129.) The practice of heating sapphires and rubies on a grand scale has flourished only recently—since the 1980s—and has made great advancements as technology has improved over the past two decades. Now, it seems, the industry wants to separate sapphires and rubies by how much heat treatment they've received, or by the type of

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