Natural Colombian Emeralds
Columbian Emeralds
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Enhancements

Given the special characteristics of the emerald, the presence of fissures, flaws or impurities, there is a constant search for new processes that might yield better and more satisfactory cleaning and beautification methods for the stone.

One of the most common and currently accepted methods is to use acid to clean the stones. After the material is acid-cleaned it is left in long enough to reach neutralization and is then given a thorough acid wash out. After clean up, the stones are treated in our state of the art laboratory with cedar oil or Permasafe. To improve durability of the stone we use Permasafe enhancement from CGIE, a wide world accepted treatment.

Our company uses the basic standard of emerald enhancements of ICONTEC (Colombian Institute of Technical Law and Certification). This standard is GTC 46 approved from 11/26/1997, for the Colombian National Council of industrial procedures.

Cedar Wood Oil: Oil distilled from the leaves of the "Juniper's Virginian". It is a colorless liquid dissolved in alcohol.
Specific Gravity: 0.94 y 0.98
Refractive index: (20°C) 1.50 and 1.52

PermaSafe (NEW): To improve the durability of emerald enhancements and to reestablish market confidence among wholesalers, dealers and customers, our company uses only the new emerald filler named PermaSafe from CGIE.

PermaSafe is a durable epoxy resin and can withstand ultrasonic cleaners and the heat of a cutting wheel. PermaSafe reportedly can be removed from the emerald and fluoresces a pale blue in long wave ultraviolet light for easy identification. PermaSafe is touted to be transparent and closer to emerald's refractive index, thereby concealing fissures more effectively. It is also less viscous and can permeate emeralds with a minimum of heat and pressure.

The text below about permasafe is taken from an article, dated April 1999, on the professional Jeweler web site.


New Emerald Treatment at the Source
A Colombian company tackles the problem of filler durability with PermaSafe Not everyone accepts the gloom enveloping the emerald business. In Bogotá, Colombia, the world's most important emerald source, C.I. Gemtech Ltd. has taken a proactive approach. "PermaSafe," a new durable emerald enhancement, is the product of a partnership Gemtech forged with a gemological laboratory, the Center for Gemological Studies of Emerald, Bogotá. The lab's director, Rodrigo Giraldo, a graduate gemologist, says PermaSafe offers durability and safety. "And that goes to the heart of the problem with emeralds," says Gemtech President Jaime Rotlewicz Cohen.
Many gem dealers agree with Rotlewicz. They say improving the durability of emerald enhancements and explaining to buyers what exactly is in an emerald will go a long way toward reestablishing market confidence.
What Is It?
PermaSafe is an epoxy resin, similar in some ways to the secret material used in the Arthur Groom-Gematrat enhancement (Professional Jeweler,April 1998, p. 50), Giraldo says. Both treatments are durable and can withstand ultrasonic cleaners and the heat of a cutting wheel, he says. PermaSafe reportedly can be removed from the emerald and fluoresces a pale blue in long wave ultraviolet light for easy identification.
PermaSafe is touted to be transparent and closer to emerald's refractive index, thereby concealing fissures more effectively. "It is also less viscous and can permeate emeralds with a minimum of heat and pressure," says Giraldo. Arthur Groom of Arthur Groom-Gematrat, New York City, says there probably are more differences than similarities with his product. Nevertheless, Groom welcomes the development of PermaSafe. "It is a positive development because in Colombia, they are beginning to understand the importance of durability in emerald enhancements," he says. Another U.S. emerald dealer agrees. "It seems to be pretty stable," says Ray Zajicek of Equatorian Imports, Dallas, TX. "I've run several durability experiments on emeralds treated with PermaSafe and am positive about the results." Gemtech and its lab say they've sent samples of the new treatment to all of the world's major laboratories. In the U.S., the Gemological Institute of America Gem Trade Laboratory in Carlsbad, CA, and the American Gem Trade Association Laboratory, New York City, confirmed having received samples for study. (GIA expects to release the first part of a report about a wide variety of emerald fillers in an upcoming issue of Gems & Gemology, its quarterly journal).
- by Robert Weldon, G.G.

 
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