Truth or Consequences – The Case for Full Disclosure of Ruby Treatment

Gem dealers in Thailand discovered years ago that heating ruby often improves its color. Early methods were crude, involving furnaces made of 55-gallon drums lined in clay. The heat not only deepened the color but also sometimes would dissolve silk inclusions and thereby enhance the clarity of the gem. We learned to accept heat treatment without reservation mostly because we had no other choice. Unheated gems commanded a premium price, but the market for these rare finds was limited. Then in 1991, everything started to change. Mong Hsu ruby debuts. That year a new deposit of ruby was discovered in the Mong Hsu region of Myanmar (Burma), southeast of the historic Mogok deposit. By 1992 the new Mong Hsu ruby began to appear in Bangkok, the ruby-trading capital of the world. Abundant and affordable, the new Burma rubies initially generated excitement. But the enthusiasm soon cooled. T
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