Destructive Gemstone Tests: Dye Testing
Step 3: Practical Gemology
Gems are frequently dyed to enhance their color. Distinguishing natural from enhanced stones is an essential skill for gemologists. The materials used for dye testing will vary with the gems you’re examining, but the procedures remain essentially the same.
Exhaust The Alternatives Before Dye Testing Gemstones
You can often distinguish dye in a gem with a microscope. See Identifying Inclusions Found in Enhanced Stones for more information on this. Remember, dye testing is a destructive test, so always examine your specimen with a microscope first. The testing procedure presented here is a last resort in cases where the microscope exam proves inconclusive.