Heat treatment is considered to be a natural type of enhancement as it is a continuation of the processes that occur in the earth when the stone was originally formed.
What Happens During Treatment?
During treatment, the stone is heated to very high temperatures (approximately 1600 Celsius) causing inclusions, chemical elements, and other impurities to reform themselves and change the color of the stone.
This color change may result in the stone being darker, lighter, more intense or of a different color. An example of this is the dissolving of rutile silk inclusions in blue sapphires, which improves both clarity and color. This heat treatment is permanent and irreversible.
Centuries ago, men sitting in front of charcoal fires were the first practitioners of the art of heat treatment. They would use pieces of bamboo to blow air into glowing charcoal where a few stones were placed, in an attempt to coax some new colors into their stones.
Commonly Treated Stones
Amethyst, Citrine, Ametrine, Aquamarine, Tourmaline, Topaz, light green Tourmaline, Sapphire, Ruby, Tanzanite, and Blue Zircon are gemstones that are typically color-enhanced by heat treatment.
Amethyst – lightens the color and will change the color of pale amethyst to Citrine
Aquamarine – removes the greenish undertones and deepens the color
Kunzite – improves the color
Morganite – changes to color from orange to pink
Ruby – dissolves inclusions and fills tiny cracks
Sapphire – intensifies the color
Tanzanite – produces a more desirable shade
Topaz – helps to produce blue and red varieties
Tourmaline – lightens darker shades of tourmaline
Zircon – helps to produce red, blue, or colorless stones
Q: Has the Citrine in my ring been heat treated?
A: Most likely. If it has a vibrant Yellow color, it has likely been heated
Q: Are Citrine Geodes real?
A: Yes. They are heated after harvest, but are still a genuine stone.
Q: Can I get a naturally formed citrine geode?
A: No. Natural Citrine is a pale yellow/smoky color. They are usually found in small clusters and points, not in geodes. There are no naturally formed Citrine Geodes on the market that we have seen in our many years in the business.
Q: What is the metaphysical difference between a naturally grown Citrine and a heat treated Citrine?
A: The properties associated with Citrine remains constant. Positivity, Wealth, Abundance, and so much more are associated with both formations. The only difference energy workers often find is related to formation. Natural Citrine takes generations to form, so is thought to carry a ‘grandmother’s wisdom’, while Citrine that has gotten it’s color more recently tends to encourage a person to embrace the moment, carrying a ‘younger souls view on the world’.