Buying Tips - Jewellery  

Here at Richard Hung Jewellers, we believe that there is a piece of jewellery for everyone, no matter the occasion or budget. Be it a gift for someone special, an engagement ring, jewellery to make a statement, or even to invest, our friendly staff will be happy to guide you through the process, ensuring that you make the best decision for your circumstance.

Coloured Gemstones

Generally, people who are not familiar with gemstones, identify them based on their colour (ie. blue - sapphire, red - ruby etc). This is a misconception as sapphires come in a variety of colours and not all red gems are rubies! To complicate matters, natural gemstones are frequently altered to improve their appearance and apparent quality.

A large proportion of gemstones sold today have been treated in one way or another, with untreated gems being the exception rather than the rule. Treatments are performed to improve the colour or clarity of a gem. Examples of treatments are heating, irradiation, use of nuclear bombardment, application of coloured or colourless oil or epoxy-like resins, wax, plastic, glass, surface diffusion, coating, impregnation or dyeing.

The list of popular gems routinely treated includes amethyst, aquamarine, citrine, jade, lapis lazuli, opal, pearl, ruby, sapphire, tanzanite, tiger's-eye, topaz turquoise, chalcedony and zircon.

Some of the treatments used have been around for a long time and have either been recognized by the gemstone industry or have been readily identifiable. However, some of the newer forms of modification are very sophisticated and are much more difficult to detect by anyone other than trained gemologists

While treated gemstones are widely available in the market, a premium is usually charged for a fine-quality untreated gemstone that comes with a lab report stating that there is no evidence of treatment.

Besides treated natural gemstones, there are also man-made gemstones (synthetics) in the market. These are created in a laboratory. Synthetics do not have the rarity of naturally coloured gemstones, and are generally inexpensive. Unlike imitations that look like natural stones in appearance only (e.g. glass, plastic, or less costly substances), synthetics gemstones have the same chemical, optical and physical properties as natural gemstones.

We strongly believe it is our customer's right to know if they are buying a treated gemstone in order to make an informed choice for their purchase. Click here for our Policy of Treatment Disclosure.

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