Disclosure Policy

In 1998 the SSEF supported by its foundation board members, decided to formulate a full gem treatment disclosure policy. SSEF Test Reports provide clients with a description of all types of gem treatments whenever such treatments are identifiable.

We use the most sophisticated instrumentation available in gemstone science and are dedicated to applying expert scientific knowledge in our work. We apply CIBJO and LMHC rules, and in many cases go further than these in our application of our own SSEF Standards & Applications. Our Standards & Applications book is currently being revised to reflect recent developments in the gemstone trade and will soon be available publicly.

The most frequent treatments observed are the heat treatment of corundum and the filling of fissures in emeralds. The SSEF has experience since the 80s in their identification, and we have been noting such treatments on our worksheets during all this time. In cases where no treatment is present, we have also been mentioning this situation in the "Comments" section of a Gemstone or Test Report.

Treatment of Corundum (rubies & sapphires) :

We distinguish the following cases :

  • corundum which is heated only
  • corundum which is heated with flux additives to assist the healing of fissures
  • the amount of these residues is qualified as "minor", "moderate" or "significant"
  • corundum where fissures are filled with glass (e.g. lead glass), a treatment often applied to low quality stones
  • corundum which has been diffusion treated

Filling of fissures of emeralds :

Here, we disclose the presence of filler and even its identity unless the client does not require it. In the latter case we mention in the Report that a filler is present, but that its identification was not requested. The SSEF Laboratory has identified fillers in emeralds using both infrared spectrometry (since 1991) and Raman spectrometry (since 1995).

The degree of treatment is mentioned in the report according to its impact on clarity enhancement and is described as "minor", "moderate" or "significant".