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Education Your Guide to Become a Jewelry Expert
Value Determinants
Determining the value of a gemstone is not an easy task. The various factors that need to be considered while evaluating a gemstone are:-
For gemstones, rarity is a sliding scale. The rarer the gemstone the more valued and cherished it is. But its not just rarity that makes a gem more valuable. For instance, Tsavorite Garnet is rarer than Emerald, but Emerald's history makes it more sought-after and valuable.
Durability refers to a gemstone's ability to withstand wear, heat and chemicals. Gems that are more durable are more valued, not always though.
Demand for a gemstone influences its value. Some rare gems are relatively unknown and thus get a reduced demand as well as value. Sometimes marketing of these unknown gems leads to a surge in popularity boosting their value. Tanzanite used to be relatively unknown but has become quite popular in recent times.
Enhancement Techniques
Enhancement refers to any kind of treatment given to a gemstone other than cutting and polishing, in order to improve its appearance, durability and strength. The enrichment techniques vary with every variety of gemstone.
Commonly used enhancement techniques are:
Bleaching: It is used to lighten or completely remove the color of the stone.
Coating: The stone is given a coat of film, enamel, foil etc. to improve appearance, alter color or add other effects.
Dyeing: Dyeing involves use of coloring matter to intensify color or establish increased color uniformity.
Laser Treatment: A laser beam is used to reach the deeper inclusions in the stone and alter them.

Irradiation: This is another technique used to alter the color of the gemstone. It involves use of neutron and other bombardment and/or heat treatment.
Bonding: Bonding refers to the filling of a porous gemstone with a non-colored substance, usually plastic, to give strength.

Waxing/Oiling: Waxing/oiling is a technique of improving the appearance of a porous stone by the infusion of colorless wax, paraffin or oil in the pores of the stone.
Note: Gemstones may have been enhanced to improve their appearance or durability and may require special care.