ARTICLES: Emerald Gemstone Treatments | Oil Treatment in Emerald | Emerald Astrology Stone

Emerald Gemstone Treatments | Oil Treatment in Emerald | Emerald Astrology Stone

 Precious Gemstones are valuable, exotic and can command incredible price.


This single reason is enough to understand why there exist all kinds of treatments and processes that promise to make an ordinary gem material catapult into the league of scintillating gemstones that awe and amaze.


Why are emeralds treated | Treatments in Emerald gemstone

That the gemstones are created over millions of years in unimaginably tough conditions is now a relatively well-known fact. This is especially true of emeralds that go through rough and tumble of time leaving it with cracks, fissures and marks. Most of the emeralds that one comes across have streaks of other minerals that crept in during its process of formation. There are numerous inclusions, often termed jardine inside the emerald crystal. There are hardly a handful of emeralds that come out relatively clear and without any streaks.

So what about all those beautiful emeralds that you have seen in jewelry that is clear, has beautiful color and beautiful cuts and has come at a very-very affordable price? The fact of the matter is that 99 percent of the emerald mined today goes through some or the other process of enhancement and treatment. (This is due to the nature of the mineral). The trade accepts a reasonable level of oil-treatment and that the treatment disclosure should be made to the buyer also.

Epoxy Should be avoided in Emeralds for Jyotish Purposes

Epoxy Should be abolutely avoided in Emeralds for Jyotish Purposes


Emerald Oil Treatments

However, emeralds are subjected to a variety of treatments (ranging from highly sophisticated means to backyard experimentations) to enhance their beauty and clarity that eventually improves the look, makes them more saleable and of course fetches a price way higher than it would have before treatment.

What must be categorically understood is that only surface reaching fissures enable success of oiling and therefore degree of clarity enhancement through treatment is directly proportional to surface reaching fissures.

Let us take a look at the various known oiling filler that are used to give the emeralds a make over:

  1. Organic and synthetic oils: As the times have advanced, so has the ingenuity of the treaters – from a time when they experimented with filling emerald cracks and fissures with oils ranging from castor, coconut, cottonwood, mineral, palm, peanut, olive and others to a combination of oils… they have come to understand that they need to choose an oil that has a refractive index similar to the emerald and that the oil must have a fairly high viscosity.

A suitable refractive index allows the oil filler to blend and merge as one without creating visual differences. The crystal has a uniformly constituted look to the eye. High viscosity at room temperature implies that the filler will not thin out and exit easily.  This gives stability to the gem’s appearance. It must be kept in mind that enhancement treatments are treatments are transitory in nature and the gem will revet to its original look as the filler decomposes and dissociates over time. It will then need another round of “oiling” to regain lost glory. Cedarwood oil over the years has emerged as favourite filler for emeralds and is accepted in the gem trade, although disclosure of treatment is a must. Cedarwood oil has a refractive index of nearly 1.512 and it remains colorless over the years in comparison to ‘palma’ or palm oil, which turns milky white with time. The R.I. of emerald is 1.577 - 1.583 + .002. The gem report detecting this oiling is likely to read E - colorless – oiled.

  1. Canada balsam is another preferred filler. Canada balsam cannot exactly be categorized as oil, but rather as an oleoresin.  Canada balsam is generally considered a natural resin and is used to seal the Cedarwood oil. Canada balsam has a refractive index of 1.520. The gem report detecting this oiling is likely to read E - colorless – oiled.
  2. Of late epoxy resins (polymers used as adhesives) have started replacing oils. The most popular is a synthetic polyester epoxy resin, going by the trade-name "Opticon", notoriously effective as a fracture sealer that has found favor because it is more stable than oil. Opticon is transparent and comparable in viscosity to that of Canada balsam. It has refractive index of about 1.545. Sometimes hardeners may be added to the polymer but they are generally avoided as it would pose a problem when re-oiling of the emerald is required. There have been instances now where colored Opticon (mixed with green organic dyes) is now being used on emeralds as well.  The gem report detecting this oiling is likely to read E-Colorless- Resined and / or T-Dyed
  3. Gematrat and ExCel: The Arthur Groom, New York brought out two products for enhancement of emeralds – Gematrat a product, essentially an improvement on Opticon - An enhancement that will not turn yellow. The other enhancement is called ExCel.  It also goes by the nickname “1.52” in a bid to get it acceptability like Cedarwood that has the same RI. The gem report detecting this oiling is likely to read E-Colorless- Resined.
  4. Joban: This is the Joban oil treatment that is used by the emerald traders in India. The green oil is dyes the gem. The gem report detecting this oiling is likely to read T – Dyed.
  5. Permasafe: This is one of the most advanced filler for emeralds. The Permasafe Lab, Bogota provides an option for permanent enhancement.  Permasafe does not color treat the emeralds.  The gem report detecting this oiling is likely to read E-Colorless- Resined.

*** T – Treated ; E – Enhanced


Acceptable Level of Oil for Planetary Gem therapy

The world of jyotish quality gemstones accepts cedarwood oiled emeralds. Now the big question is that even in oiling, what extent of oiling is and what is acceptable? Produced below are  two images of the gem report issued by the GRS Gem Research Swisslab, which explicitly define the level of treatment in their comments. The GRS website lists the criteria for evaluation as thus:

GRS Certificate for the above Emerald

CE(O): Grading of Clarity Enhancement of Emeralds are specified as:

  1. None
  2. Insignificant
  3. Minor
  4. Minor to Moderate
  5. Moderate (filler mentioned if resin)
  6. Significant (filler mentioned if resin)

Non-enhanced clarity features indicates presence of empty or dried out fissures during examination.

Other treatments will be specified on the front page as following:

  • C.) Coating
  • D.) Dyeing
  • O.) Application of colorless oil and/or epoxy-like resins and/or wax,
  • R.) Irradiation, use of nuclear bombardment,
  • U.) Conventional surface diffusion, or any combination of the above.

(Above content in italics is from the GRS website).

Based on the above notations, the assessment of the emerald reads that it is a natural emerald of Colombian origin with comment - CE(O) indicating Clarity enhancement (oil). The comment further reads “minor”.

Gemstones in astrology, especially Jyotish quality emeralds are acceptable which may get an assessment ranging from NONE to those reading MINOR TO MODERATE. Resin filled emeralds are a strict no-no and are ineffective for planetary gem therapy.

GRS Certificate stating various treatments

 Do make a note however, that emerald price per carat with no oil treatment is extremely high and one may have to think twice considering the prohibitive price point.

Please see Video below of A non Oil Afghanistan Emerald from the Gemstoneuniverse online inventory of precious gemstones.

You can click here for to see the inventory of gemstones online. Gemstoneuniverse is a world renowned online gems store for natural planetary gems.


Selected Rings, Pendants and Talismans made available to patrons in July 2013 Table Natural Colombian Emerald Gemstone Facts

Detailed Views of the Colombian Emerald ring


Natural Colombian Emerald


2.26 carats


None. Fully Natural



Planetary Energy


Patron Location


All inclusive Price

$ 5461.20/ INR 327672


Featured today is a beautiful emerald stone ring with a natural Colombian emerald of 2.26 carats. The octagonal cut gemstone emerald has a magnificent deep emerald green color and fantastic clarity. It is a prized gem set in 22-karat gold Mercury talisman ring. The guardian angel wing design beautifully holds the gem in place.

According to Hindu astrology, Natural emerald or panna gemstone has the power of Planet Mercury/ Budh and is used to harness its energies. Emerald gemstone is an indispensable astrological gemstone.

Note: The above links generally exist on the website for a period of 40 days after which they are periodically deleted to make way for new gemstones and to enable faster browsing.

Enjoy it in Video:


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