Learning Center

Gemstone Coloration and Dyeing

Treatments that affect gemstone coloration and dyeing are common. Learn how specific colors and even inclusions can be added to jewelry stones.

Gemstone Coloration and Dyeing – Introduction

The prime requisite for coloration of gemstone is that it be porous . That is to say there must be spaces or vacancies into which the coloring chemical, in solution, can penetrate deeply in order to impart the desired color. These spaces are usually…

Gemstone Coloration and Dyeing – Iron Process

There are several reactions well known to chemists, involving iron compounds and prussiate compounds (ferrocyanides and ferricyanides) that yield characteristic blue precipitates. All are applicable to chemical coloration of gemstone,…

Gemstone Coloration and Dyeing – Cobalt Series

The use of cobalt compounds to impart blue hues to glass, glazes and enamels has been known for centuries. “Cobalt blue” glass is familiar to just about everyone. It seemed logical that cobalt compounds could be useful to impart color to gemstone…

Gemstone Coloration and Dyeing – Copper Series

Various and attractive shades of blue can be induced in gemstone by the use of copper compounds. This is perfectly logical, considering that several of our blue gemstone or mineral species owe their color to the presence of copper compounds.…

Gemstone Chemical Coloration Techniques

The most important detail in the preparation of gemstone for chemical coloration is that it be clean. Oil and grease, especially, must be entirely removed. I have found it practical to keep a bucket of detergent solution (ordinarily laundry…

Gemstone Coloration and Dyeing – The Blacks

There are only two ways that I know of to induce black into gemstone. One of these involves carbon while the other is silver. Theoretically, there should be several other methods possible. I have tested these out however, and they have proved…

Gemstone Coloration and Dyeing – Pinks and Reds

There are only a few inorganic processes, in my experience at least, that will impart pinks or reds to gemstone. These involve primarily four metals – cobalt, iron, mercury and silver. We already know cobalt can induce blue, purple, amethyst,…

Gemstone Coloration and Dyeing – Browns and Yellows

At first consideration, it might seem poor organization to include browns and yellows in the same chapter. However, I do this because in some instances the same process imparts brown hues to some gemstone varieties and yellow to others. Admittedly,…

Gemstone Coloration and Dyeing – The Greens

It seems that everyone likes the greens in chemically colored gemstone. Probably this is because greens are almost universally pleasing to the eye. No doubt this accounts for the great popularity of naturally green gemstone such as jade,…

Gemstone Coloration and Dyeing – Table of Contents

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.…

Chemically Induced Inclusions – Copper Inclusions

Since the discovery that the principle of electrochemical displacement of metals can be used effectively and easily to induce inclusions in snakeskin agate, I have tried the method on several of the other gemstone varieties and have found…

Chemically Induced Inclusions – Dendrites Moss Plume

Dendrites, moss, plume and similar inclusions have added interest
and value to gemstone for about as long as man has been aware of the
beauty and gem potential of such “rock”. But apparently up to now,
man has been dependent…

Chemically Induced Inclusions – Tin Inclusions

Tin inclusions can be induced in agate and other gemstone varieties in much the same way as with copper. Just as copper inclusions are made from copper chloride, so tin inclusions are made from tin chloride. Copper chloride imparts green and…