Heat treatment of ruby, sapphire and other colour varieties of corundum is one of the main issues for the gem trade. As such, detecting such treatment is a major task of gemmological laboratories issuing gemstone reports. Unfortunately, and especially lately, the detection of such heating is not always straight
Titanium diffusion treatment is known since decades: it can lead to a surface-related blue colour in corundum. Basically, this treatment is a heating process requiring high temperatures in combination with titanium (oxide) as an additive. During the treatment, titanium atoms penetrate into a superficial layer o
Padparadscha is one of the most attractive corundum varieties in the trade and is sought after for its subtle pinkish orange to orangey pink colour. Padparadscha, originally known from Sri Lanka only, is found today also in other deposits such as for example in Madagascar and Tanzania, both part of East Africa
Zircon ZrSiO₄ a very intriguing mineral, not only because it can be used as an attractive gemstone (Figure 1) but also due to the fact that it can contain minute traces of radioactive elements (U, Th), which decay over time to lead (Pb) isotopes.
Zircon inclusions in unheated pink sapphires from Ilaka […]
Presentation at the online 2021 International Gemmological Conference by Dr. Michael S. Krzemnicki.
Raman spectroscopic investigation of zircon in gem-quality sapphire: Application in origin determination
Raman spectroscopic investigation of zircon in gem-qual […]
Having personally tested gemstones for more than 20 years now, the author of this short note was quite shocked in recent months to see distinct laser damage features on quite a number of sapphires which were submitted to us by different clients.