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AGTA Treatments

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Gems are among the most durable of nature’s creations. With a little care, they will be as beautiful for generations to come as they are today. Keep in mind these gem care tips.

  • The best way to clean your gemstone jewelry is in a
    bowl of water with a few drops of ordinary dish detergent. Using an old toothbrush or other soft brush, scrub gently behind the stone where dust and soap can collect. Then just rinse and pat dry with a soft cloth.
  • A home ultrasonic cleaner should be used with extreme caution. It can be used to clean Ruby, Sapphire, Diamond, Amethyst, Citrine, Garnets, Chrysoberyl, and unadorned gold jewelry but it may damage gems like Emerald, Tourmaline, Peridot, Pearls, Coral, Lapis Lazuli, Turquoise, and any gem that has many inclusions. When in doubt, don’t use it.
  • Remove your jewelry before vigorous activities.
  • Every day household items can ruin your gemstone jewelry. Make sure you don’t expose your gems to the chemicals in cleaning products, hair care products, fragrances and cosmetics.
  • When getting dressed, put your jewelry on last. At the end of the day, take your jewelry off first. Store your jewelry in a cloth-lined box or pouch and keep them away from other jewelry, which might scratch them.
Alexandrite

Alexandrite is rated “excellent” for everyday wear. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Emerald

Emerald is rated “fair to good” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Peridot

Peridot is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Amethyst

Amethyst is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Garnet

Garnet is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Quartz, Smoky

Smoky Quartz is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Ametrine

Ametrine is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of
mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Iolite

Iolite is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Ruby

Rubies are rated “excellent” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Aquamarine

Aquamarine is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Jade - Nephrite

Jade is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Sapphire

Sapphires are rated “excellent” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Bloodstone

Bloodstone is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Lapis

Lapis is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Tanzanite

Tanzanite is not for everyday wear, and one should take care when wearing. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Cameo

Cameos are quite fragile and are not for everyday wear and special care should be taken wearing. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, wipe gently with a moist cloth.

Marcasite

Marcasite is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat and protect from scratches and harsh blows. Typically, the surface will oxidize over time. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Tiger's Eye

Tiger’s Eye is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Carnelian

Carnelian is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Moonstone

Moonstone is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Topaz, Precious

Precious Topaz is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Chalcedony - Blue and Lavender

Chalcedony is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Onyx

Onyx is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Topaz, Blue and White

Blue and White Topaz is rated “fair to good” for everyday wear with care. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Chrysoprase

Chrysoprase is rated “fair” for everyday wear. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Opal

Take care when wearing Opal. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Topaz, Diffused

Diffused Topaz is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid contact with chemicals. Re-cutting is not
recommended. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Citrine

Citrine is rated “good” for everyday wear. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. Avoid contact with chemicals. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.

Opal, Mexican Fire

Take care when wearing Fire Opal. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Tourmaline

Tourmaline is rated “fair to good” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

Coral

Coral is not for everyday wear, and one should take care when wearing. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, wipe gently with a moist cloth.

Pearl

Pearls are not for everyday wear, and one should take care when wearing. Avoid exposure to heat and protect from scratches and harsh blows. Avoid contact with chemicals, especially perfumes, perspiration and hair sprays. To clean, wipe gently with a moist cloth.

Turquoise

Turquoise is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and protect from scratches and harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

. Zircon, Blue

Blue Zircon is rated “fair” for everyday wear with care. Avoid direct sunlight and exposure to heat which may cause color to fade. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water.

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**Article and information from AGTA and one of our suppliers.

 

 

American Gem Trade Association Codes, you may see when buying jewelry.  Most are common treatments and are not listed with every item.  But this is good information to have.

Enhancement: Any treatment process other than cutting and polishing that improves the appearance (color/clarity/phenomena), durability, or availability of a gemstone.

N: The “N” symbol appears on the chart only for natural stones which are not currently known to be enhanced; however, the “N” symbol can also be used for other natural gemstones in the event that a gemstone has received no enhancement and the seller will provide a guarantee that there has been none.

E: The “E” symbol indicates that a gemstone has undergone its traditional enhancement process.

ASBL Assembled:
“ASBL” is the tag code for products made for multiple layers or combinations of manufactured and/or natural material fused, bonded or otherwise joined together to increase stabilty and/or imitate the appearance of a natural gemstone, create a unique design or generate unusual color combinations.
B Bleaching:
The use of heat, light and/or other agents to lighten or remove a gemstone's color.
C Coating:
The use of such surface enhancements as laquering, enameling, inking, foiling, or sputtering of films to improve appearance, provide color, or add other special effects.
D Dyeing:
The introduction of coloring matter into a gemstone to give it new color, intensify present color or improve color uniformity.
F Filling:
The filling of surface-breaking cavities or fissures with colorless glass, plastic, solidified borax or similar substances. This process may improve durability, appearance, and/or add weight.
H Heating:
The use of heat to effect desired alteration of color, clarity, and/or phenomena. If residue of foreign substances in open fractures is visible under properly illuminated 10X magnification HF should be used.
HP Heat & Pressure: 
The use of heat and pressure combined to effect desired alterations of color clarity and/or phemonena.

IMIT Imitation: 
“IMIT” is the tag code used for a manufactured product fabricated in such materials as glass, ceramic or plastic designed to imitate or resemble the appearance, but not duplicate the characteristic properties of a natural gemstone.

“IMIT” is also the tag code for a simulant, which is defined as a man-made single crystal product that is used to simulate appearance, but not duplicate the characteristic properties of a natural gemstone it imitates.

I Impregnation:
The impregnation of a porous gemstone with a colorless agent (usually plastic) to improve durability and appearance.
L Lasering: 
The use of a laser and chemicals to reach and alter inclusions in gemstones, unusally diamonds.
O Oiling/Resin Infusion:
The filling of surface-breaking fissures with colorless oil, wax, resin, or other colorless substances, except glass or plastic, to improve the gemstone’s appearance.
R Irradiation:
The use of neutrons, gamma rays or beta particles (high energy electrons) to alter a gemstone’s color. The irradiation may be followed by a heating process.
SYN Synthetic:
The tag code may be used to describe “synthetic” materials that have essentially the same optical, physical and chemical properties as a naturally occurring counterpart.
U Diffusion:
The use of chemicals in conjunction with high temperatures to produce artificial color and/or asterism-producing inclusions.
W Waxing/Oiling:
The impregnation of a colorless wax, paraffin, and oil in porous opaque or transluscent gemstones to improve appearance.

  Information from AGTA Standard Gemstone Treatments

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