This page contains the Table of Contents for the book “Gemstone Coloration and Dyeing” written by George W. Fischer. Click on the links to be directed to the respective pages.

This book is the culmination of some twenty-five years of personally supported research on the use of inorganic chemicals to induce color and inclusions in gemstone. Prior attempts to use dyes for gemstone colorations had proved very disappointing.

The fact that native color in gemstone is derived from the presence of compounds of certain metals as inorganic components (impurities) of the gemstone suggested that the inorganic salts of these metals (dyes are organic [1]) might serve well to induce color where color is lacking or needs enhancing. A brief account of Easy Ways to Color Agate,in The Agates of North America [2] was encouraging. Then, in 1963,a series of articles by John Sinkakankus, C.G. appeared in the Lapidary Journal under the title,Color Changes in Gemstones. One of these articles dealt with the impregnation of gemstone with chemical coloring agents and further confirmed the probability that inorganic salts of certain metals would be very effective to induce color in gemstone.

In the ensuing years, I have conducted many hundreds of experiments on chemical coloration of gemstone, using dozens of chemical compounds to induce color in more than thirty kinds of gemstone. While the great majority of these experiments were more or less failures, the results of those that were successful have been very gratifying, and in some cases, fantastic.

The primary purpose of this book is to share with other rockhounds and lapidaries the coloring processes I have developed during these years of experimentation. I hope this will open to them, as it has to me, a tremendously rewarding whole new facet and world in this fascinating hobby of rockhounding and the lapidary arts. Then they, too, can experience the thrill of creation in chemically coloring gemstone. In countless instances, the true beauty potential of a piece of gemstone can not be fulfilled until it is subjected to chemical coloration. The inward joy and satisfaction that results from bringing to completion an exquisite cabochon from a slab of gemstone so colored defies my ability to describe it.

  1. Introduction
    • Chemical Coloration vs. Dyeing
    • Why Color Gemstone?
    • What Gemstone Varieties Lend Themselves to Coloration?
    • Who Can Color Gemstone?
    • What Facilities are Required?
    • Does Chemical Coloration Produce “Fast” Colors?
  2. The Technique of Chemical Coloration
    • Cabochons, Slabs or Chunks?
    • Plaster Casting of Small Gemstone Pieces
    • Preparation of Gemstone for Coloration
    • Cleaning and Drying
    • Acid Treatment (where necessary)
    • Soaking in Chemical Solution
    • Heat Treatment
    • Chemicals and Chemical Solutions
    • Treat Chemicals as Poisons
  3. The Blues: Copper Series
    • [1] Copper Nitrate
    • [2] Copper Nitrate – Sodium Phosphate
    • [3] Copper Nitrate – Sodium Carbonate
    • [4] Copper Nitrate – Ammonium Carbonate
    • [5] Copper Chloride – Sodium Carbonate
    • [6] Copper Chloride – Aqua Ammonia
  4. The Blues: Cobalt Series
    • [7] Cobalt Chloride – Aqua Ammonia
    • [8] Cobalt Chloride – Sodium Carbonate
    • [9] Cobalt Chloride – Ammonium Carbonate
    • [10] Cobalt Chloride – Ammoniated Sodium Phosphate
  5. The Blues: Iron Process
    • [11] Potassium Ferrocyanide & Ferric Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate
  6. Pinks and Reds
    • [12] Cobalt Chloride
    • [13] Cobalt Chloride – Sodium Phosphate
    • [14] Iron Nitrate – Heat
    • [15] Ammonium Dichromate – Silver Nitrate
    • [16] Potassium Iodide – Mercuric Chloride
  7. Browns and Yellows
    • [17] Chromium Trioxide
    • [18] Sodium Chromate
    • [19] Sodium Chromate – Lead Acetate
    • [20] Nickel Nitrate – Sodium Chromate
    • [21] Sodium Dichromate
    • [22] Iron Chloride
    • [23] Potassium Permanganate
  8. The Greens
    • [24] Chromium Chloride
    • [25] Sodium Dichromate – Heat
    • [26] Copper Chloride – Potassium Dichromate
    • [27] Copper Chloride – Sodium Acetate
    • [28] Copper Chloride – Borax
    • [29] Nickel Nitrate
    • [30] Copper Nitrate – Sodium Nitrite
    • [31] Copper Nitrate – Sodium Dichromate
    • [32] Chromium Trioxide – Copper Nitrate
    • [33] Cobalt Chloride – Sodium Nitrite
  9. Black
    • [34] Honey – Sulfuric Acid
    • [35] Silver Nitrate – Potassium Chloride
  10. Chemically Induced Inclusions – Dendrites Moss Plume
    • Basic Principles.
    • How a Discovery was Made
  11. Chemically Induced Inclusions – Copper Inclusions
    • [36] Copper Inclusions: The Basic Process
    • [37] Copper Inclusions: "Ghosts"
    • [38] Copper Inclusions: Complementary Coloration
      • Sodium Nitrite Treatment
      • Aqua Ammonia Treatment
      • Ammonium Dichromate Treatment
  12. Chemically Induced Inclusions – Tin Inclusions
    • [39] Tin Inclusions: The Basic Process
    • [40] Tin Inclusions: Complementary Coloration
      • Cobalt Chloride Treatment
      • Chromium Sulfate Treatment