"I'm Josh. You might know me from previous Gem Lab episodes. I play the token gemmologist on the team. I wanted to take a minute and introduce myself. I am in fact a certified gemmologist and jewelry appraiser. I've been at Misfit since 2021. I handle a lot of the uploads, the website, and, as a gemmologist, I do a good handful of gem grading, diamond grading, and occasionally put together some gemmology lessons for the team.
"On our newest episode, our characters are talking heat treatment, so I wanted to take a minute and explain what heating is and why some stones are heated and why some are not. The majority of sapphires in the jewelry industry are treated using a high-heat method. Heating a sapphire may result in either deepening the stone's saturation, creating a more even coloring, and/or dissolving its inclusions, resulting in a less included crystal. Heating has occurred for centuries and, while many sapphires are heated using large furnaces, some traditional open flame techniques are actually still being used today.
"Recently, we have some stones that are heated using a low-heat method, and this method serves to preserve parti-coloring, color zoning, and inclusions in stones, and when sent to major gem labs, these heated stones actually come back certified unheated. However, at Misfit we are always disclosing any treatment that is being used on sapphires. Now, heating is neither good or bad; it really depends on what you're drawn to. Sapphires can have really remarkable natural inclusions, growth patterns, in which case it's better to leave those stones unheated. If you're looking for a bold, more even color, heated may be the way to go. At the end of the day, look for a stone that really speaks to you. It could be a pastel blue or an opalescent purple – something with really stunning hexagonal growth patterns or color zoning. Or maybe you're looking for a deep teal with no inclusions, in which case you might want to look for a heated stone.
"So that's a little about me and a little about heat treatment. Check out our online selection of stones. We're really proud of our collection of heated and unheated sapphires. And, as always, comment below if you have any gemmology questions."