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The Emerald Oil Treatment: Unmasking One Of The Emerald's Most Sacred Secret.

Updated: Jan 21

Trillion Emerald oil treatment
An Almost Eye Clean Emerald Transparency Level

The emerald, with its vibrant green hues and captivating brilliance, has fascinated humans for millennia. From the stunning treasures of Cleopatra to the crown jewels of many empires around the world, these captivating gems have symbolised wealth, power, and undeniable beauty. But beneath their mesmerizing surface lies a hidden secret: the emerald oil treatment.

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What is Emerald Oil Treatment?

Detail Colombian Emerald Emerald Oiling
Detail Colombian Emerald "Gardens" or Inclusions.

Emerald oil treatment is a centuries-old practice, refined and standardised by modern science, which aloud enhancing the clarity, brilliance and durability of an emerald gemstone by using natural oils and resins without affecting the structure and value of the gemstone. Imagine a world where microscopic fissures and fractures mar the flawless beauty of an emerald. This is the reality for most emeralds, naturally prone to inclusions and imperfections, commonly known as gardens. Emerald oil treatment steps in as a guardian of gemstone perfection, filling these tiny cracks with a colorless oil, typically cedar-wood oil, to enhance clarity and brilliance.

A Timeless Tradition: From Ancient Alchemy to Modern Science.

Vacuum Machine for Re-Oling Emeralds
a Vacuum Machine for Re-Oling Emeralds, Thanks to Justin K Prim.

The practice of enhancing emeralds with oil dates back centuries. Ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks employed various oils and resins to improve the appearance of their prized gems. Today, emerald oil treatment has evolved into a refined process, utilizing advanced vacuum chambers and heating techniques to ensure optimal oil penetration and stability.

Unveiling the Benefits of Emerald Oil Treatment.

So, why does emerald oil treatment reign supreme in the gem world? Here's a glimpse into its transformative effects:

Enhanced Clarity: The oil fills fractures, masking imperfections and creating a more flawless appearance. This significantly increases the gem's visual appeal without affecting its market value. Cedarwood oil and certain resins are very recommended and commonly used because of its refractive index that is very similar to the one from the gemstone itself.

Improved Brilliance: As the oil fills the cracks, it acts like a magnifying glass, intensifying the emerald's natural fire and brilliance. The gem comes alive with a mesmerizing depth and vibrancy.

Increased Durability: Oil treatment can strengthen the emerald's structure, making it less prone to chipping or breaking due to internal stresses. This is particularly crucial for everyday wear.

What Are the Risks of Enhancing Emeralds?

While emerald oil treatment boasts undeniable benefits, it's not without its nuances. Here are some key aspects to consider:

Emerald Before oiling treatment
Ultra Violet Rays: (Left) Before Oiling vs (Right) After Oiling

Transparency is Key: Disclosure of treatment is crucial for ethical and informed buying. Reputable jewelers will always disclose any treatments undergone by their emeralds, usually shown in the jewelry certification document from an independent gemological laboratory.

Not All Emeralds are Created Equal: The type and quality of oil, as well as the treatment process, can significantly impact the stability and longevity of the enhancement. Opting for professionally treated gems from reputable sources like Emerald Whisper Jewellery ensures quality and peace of mind.

Maintenance Matters: Oiled emeralds require proper care. Avoid harsh chemicals, ultrasonic cleaners, and excessive heat, as these can damage the oil and compromise the treatment. Gentle cleaning with warm water and mild soap is recommended.

Beyond Oiling: Exploring Alternative Treatments.

Vacuum Machine to re oiling emeralds
Vacuum Machine to re oiling emeralds can be used to apply resins also

Emerald oil treatment is not the only method for enhancing these captivating gems. Other options include:

Resin Infiltration: Similar to oil, resins can fill fractures, but they offer greater permanence and stability. However, they can slightly alter the emerald's color and appearance.

Fracture Filling: This technique uses colorless glass or polymers to fill larger fractures. While it can be effective for significant damage, it's considered a more invasive treatment and may affect the value of the gem.

The Ethical Choice: Balancing Beauty and Transparency.

The decision to purchase an emerald oil treated gem is a personal one. By understanding the benefits, limitations, and ethical considerations, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your values and preferences. Remember, transparency is paramount. Always seek reputable jewellers who disclose any treatments undergone by their emeralds and provide detailed information about the process used.

Investing in Beauty: The Enduring Allure of Treated Emeralds.

When adorned with an emerald oil treatment gem, you're not just wearing a piece of jewelry; you're embracing a legacy. You're carrying a piece of history, a testament to the creativity of gem artisans and the enduring appeal of natural beauty. So, the next time you encounter an emerald radiating captivating brilliance, remember the hidden secret that lies beneath its surface – a testament to the art and science of gemstone enhancement.

Emerald Oil Treatment: FAQs

Q: Is emerald oil treatment permanent?

A: While the oil can last for many years, it's not permanent. Factors like heat, chemicals, and ultrasonic cleaning can cause the oil to evaporate or degrade. Re-oiling is possible, but it's recommended to consult a professional gemologist. On average Emerald Whisper Jewellery's experts recommend doing this procedure every two or three years.

Q: Does an emerald oil treatment affect the value of the gem?

A: It depends. Professionally treated emeralds with disclosed treatment can still hold significant value, especially if the treatment enhances clarity and brilliance without compromising the gem's natural characteristics (Natural Oils and Resins). However, undisclosed treatments or those using low-quality oils can negatively impact value.

Q: Can I safely clean my gems after an emerald oil treatment?

A: Yes, but with caution. Avoid harsh chemicals, ultrasonic cleaners, and excessive heat, as these can damage the oil and compromise the treatment. Gentle cleaning with warm water and mild soap is recommended. If you have any concerns, Here a complete Blog about cleaning emerald jewelry, but always try to consult a professional jeweler for cleaning advice specific to your gem. Quoting our GIA authoritative friends stating that: "Since the great majority of fashioned natural emeralds contain filled fractures, it’s risky to clean them ultrasonically or with steam. Ultrasonic vibrations can weaken already-fractured stones, and hot steam can cause oil or unhardened resin to sweat out of fractures. Using warm, soapy water coupled with gentle scrubbing is the safest way to clean emeralds."

3 Recommendations Before: Choosing Your Emerald.

Colombian Emerald Before (Left) and After (Right) Re Oiling Treatment
Colombian Emerald Before (Left) and After (Right) Re Oiling Treatment

Whether you're captivated by the captivating fire of a Colombian emerald or the serene depths of a Zambian gem, emerald oil treatment offers a path to unlock their hidden potential. When selecting your emerald, prioritise reputable jewellers who offer transparency and detailed information about the treatment process and origin of the gem. Remember, an educated purchase is a confident purchase.

1. Understand Your Priorities:

  • Clarity: If flawless clarity is paramount, even at the cost of treatment, an enhanced emerald may be a good option. However, natural emeralds with exceptional clarity also exist, though at a higher price point.

  • Color: Both natural and enhanced emeralds can showcase stunning green hues. Enhanced emeralds may have their color slightly intensified, but natural stones offer unique color variations and inclusions that tell their own story.

  • Durability: Oil treatment can improve an emerald's resilience to chipping or cracking. This might be important if you plan to wear it daily. However, natural emeralds with good inherent structure can also be durable.

  • Budget: Enhanced emeralds tend to be more affordable than natural emeralds of comparable size and clarity.

2. Seek Out Transparency and Expertise:

  • Reputable Jeweler: Always purchase from a trusted jeweler who clearly discloses any treatments done to their emeralds. They should be able to provide detailed information about the type of treatment used and its potential longevity.

  • Gemstone Lab Reports: Consider obtaining a lab report from a reputable gemological institute, such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This can verify the gemstone's identity, origin, and any treatments it has undergone.

  • Independent Appraisal: If investing in a high-value emerald, consider an independent appraisal to ensure its market value reflects its natural characteristics and treatments.

3. Weigh the Ethical Considerations:

  • Full Disclosure: Transparency is key. An ethical jeweler will always disclose any treatments done to their emeralds. Hiding treatments is considered unethical and can impact the gem's value.

  • Natural Beauty vs. Enhancement: Some individuals prefer the inherent beauty of a natural emerald, appreciating its imperfections as part of its unique story. Others feel comfortable with the subtle enhancements of oil treatment, considering it a way to optimize the gem's potential.

  • Sustainability: Certain treatments, like resin inlays, can be more permanent but raise concerns about the gemstone's future restoration possibilities.

Ultimately, the choice between an enhanced and natural emerald comes down to your personal preferences and priorities. By understanding the pros and cons, seeking reliable information, and considering ethical factors, you can confidently choose the emerald that speaks to your heart and fits your values.

Remember, both natural and enhanced emeralds offer beauty and intrigue in their own way. Embrace the story your chosen gem tells and enjoy its captivating brilliance!


While emerald oil treatment may seem like a modern marvel, its history stretches back centuries, echoing in the adornments of ancient Egyptians and Romans. Today, it remains a widely accepted and even expected practice, enhancing the gem's inherent beauty and protecting against future damage. But remember, even oil, like beauty itself, fades with time. Consider re-oiling your emerald every two years, a gentle touch that preserves its mesmerizing brilliance, vibrant color, and captivating fire. This act of care not only safeguards your gemstone's intrinsic value but also ensures it continues to radiate its captivating allure for generations to come. Let your emerald, with its timeless beauty and whispered story of ancient artistry, forever captivate with the help of this age-old tradition.


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