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AGL warns of new treated ruby variety

The American Gemological Laboratories (AGL) says a new treated ruby exported from Thailand is making its way into the market.

A new ruby treatment combining fissure healing and in-filling to improve a stone’s appearance is entering the market, says American Gemological Laboratories (AGL).

Providing a low-cost alternative to traditionally heated rubies, the stones are a modification of the lead-glass or composite ruby treatment. The rubies—which originate mostly from Mozambique but are exported from Thailand—are treated using various chemicals or fluxing agents.

“With the introduction of this new treatment, it was unclear as to whether these stones would fall under the classification of composite ruby by AGL, the more traditional format of fissure healing involving the quantification of heating residues, or yet another new form of disclosure,” said AGL president Christopher P. Smith.

AGL’s investigation found fissure healing in some samples, while others indicated fissures were being in-filled with a glass-like material. As would be the case with a typical composite ruby, no lead or bismuth was detected.

AGL has decided not to classify the new treatment as composite ruby, or to develop another classification for disclosure. Instead, it will expand the disclosure information for stones with both fissure healing and in-filling.

For rubies exhibiting mostly healing of fissures, the traditional disclosure nomenclature applies. In stones where the in-filling of fissures is done in combination with fissure healing, the disclosure wording addresses both heating residues and in-filling, and the comments section includes an expanded description.

“It is our opinion the wording policy we have put in place for this material provides a practical approach for the industry and labs to address these stones and maintain that adequate disclosures are being made available to consumers,” Smith added.

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