Glass Filled Ruby Discussions - In The News...

Glass-filled rubies appear in investigative report (2010)

(National Jewelry Network)

San Francisco - A TV news report claiming that lead-glass filled rubies were sold without proper disclosure at Macy's stores aired earlier this week on the West Coast, marking at least the second time that the stones made consumer news headlines...
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Treatments Under the Microscope

Important gemstone industry issues took center stage at Tucson conference.

By Deborah Yonick (

...Although they've been on the market for many years, lead glass-treated ruby continues to plague the industry with concerns. A buyer-beware report that aired prior to Christmas on "Good Morning America" alleged that inexpensively priced glass-filled rubies were being sold at Macy's

Learn More - < Treatment Discussion
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Putting Things in Perspective

(Owner of All That Glitters Comments)

Yes, MANY Rubys are glass filled, especially those coming from Madagascar. This is similar to the Oiling of Emeralds, and improves the clarity of the gemstone by filling cracks. Unlike Oiling, this glass filling is more stable when ultrasonic and/or steamed cleaned. However, the trade does believe that treatments/enhancements should be disclosed. Since we have known that many Rubys are glass filled, our finer important Rubys like our Burmese Rubys, have been tested and the reports indicate heating (expected for the most part, as most Sapphires are also being heated as well as most Tanzanites to create that blue purple color. Aquamarines are typically heated to drive off the yellow component leaving a more true blue color behind). We don't feel that heat is really an issue unless someone seeks a non-heated gemstone. For the Burmese Rubys we have encountered, they have been heated in borax which acts as a flux and if there are any pits, scratches, etc. the borax will fill in these voids. The reports that we obtain will indicated the slightest 'filler' which in these cases is usually just the borax filling in voids, and it is not glass. In fact, we have a beauty of a Burmese Ruby that did test out as having filler, but this is borax and the amount was nothing to be concerned about. We would purchase similar gemstones because of the beauty, clarity, color, etc. However, while in Thailand, we have seen the glass filled Ruby coming out of the ovens. The glass filling is used for typically the poor quality Ruby to make it marketable. At times, there may be more glass than Ruby! This is something that we have stayed away from - though for some in the trade as well as consumers, having a very large Ruby that has passable inclusions and is glass filled, is ideal because of the price usually associated with it, but the seller should disclose this fact.

All this said, it sometimes pays to know the exact questions to ask when it comes to specific gemstones. In the case of Ruby, a simple question of - "Is it Natural Ruby" is not enough. Answering Yes from many sellers may indeed be correct - it is a natural Ruby, BUT, it may have been Glass Filled, Heated, etc. Glass Filling or Heating has nothing to do with Natural Origin - so the seller would have been correct if the Ruby was indeed Natural and mined from the ground. It is the disclosure that is the issue. We have even read an article written by an American living in Thailand who was indicating the questions to ask - his question of whether it was Natural in relationship to the Beryllium Treatment of Ruby or Sapphire was again, not sufficient. He needed to ask not only if it was Natural, but whether ANY treatment had been performed, and this would include Heat, Glass Filling, Be Treatment, etc.

The other issue with asking questions about treatment, natural origin, etc. especially in a store (and in the case of a large retail store such as Macys), is that the person providing the information just doesn't know. That information is typically lost or never even disclosed. They might know that it is a Natural Ruby, but the origin and any treatments is beyond their knowledge. This is even beyond the scope of many selling gemstones in the very countries where dealers like myself make purchases to disperse gemstones to the public and the trade throughout the world. Many people in Thailand, Brasil, African and all other gem producing and cutting areas of the world, are selling their wares to make a living or a profit to supplement their income. They are not gemologists. They have no idea at times about treatment. They are purchasing from other individuals who tell them perhaps only one thing - it is a Ruby they are buying. Saying something is a Ruby too, doesn't mean that it wasn't grown in a lab and is therefore a Synthetic Ruby. (A Synthetic Ruby is indeed a Genuine Ruby, just not of natural origin!) These sellers don't know if the Ruby originated in Africa, Sri Lanka, Burma, Madagascar or even from North Carolina, never mind about any form of treatments... They are just concerned about buying an item for resale and have limited knowledge.

This is why it is advantageous to purchase gemstones from those in the know, who travel the world and see/read what goes on out there. Buying from those mining the rough gemstones or purchasing with only one source between the miners provides All That Glitters with insight to where something originated, what treatments might have been applied. If we have concerns, we will have it certed for verification of what we were told or what we believe or suspect. This dealing direct with All That Glitters gives the trade and online customers a big foot up on all other sources out there. The history, the origin, the treatment and much more is known in detail and hasn't been lost when purchasing from one of the direct sources - All That Glitters.

Many times the information that a store has is limited, and the person behind the counter may not have any information at all. They are salespeople and are many people removed from the source. With All That Glitters, you are right on top of the source, where we may have even faceted the gemstone from the rough. Again, know those you purchase from. We have a 10 Day Satisfaction Guaranteed Policy, not to mention our
LIFETIME Guarantee. We do our best to provide you with all the information we know about a particular gemstones. What you purchase from us today, may be returned at any time for non-disclosure. Buy direct from those who shield you from issues and be safe in the knowledge that you won't have to worry or question your purchase...