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Article: Colombian emeralds and perma- culture


Colombian emeralds and perma- culture

Emeralds, known for their exquisite green tone, have captivated humanity for centuries. However, in the world of precious gems, it is common to find treatments aimed at improving their appearance.

One of these methods, perhaps the best known and equally impactful, is the use of resins, also known as "Perma." Let's find out what they are, who uses them, how they are applied, and the relevance of this treatment today.

What is PERMA in the Emeralds?

In the context of emeralds, the term "Perma" refers to substances used in gemological treatments to improve the appearance and clarity of the gem. These treatments involve filling fractures or natural inclusions in the emerald with a transparent substance, usually a resin, in order to improve the transparency and brightness of the stone.

There are several types of resins that are used in the treatment of emeralds. Some of the common resins include:

  1. Natural oils: Oils such as cedar oil are traditionally used to fill fractures in emeralds.
  2. Synthetic Resins: Artificially created Resins, such as epoxis, are used to fill cavities in gem.
  3. Polymers: Acrylic Polymers, such as the Opticon, are used to improve the transparency and brightness of the emerald.
  4. Liquid Glass: Liquid glass solutions can be used to improve appearance and provide better shine.

How was the Perma discovered?

The discovery that resin improved emeralds is part of the continuous evolution in the history of gemology and mining, where workers and traders sought ways to enhance the qualities of precious stones. Here are some key steps in this process:

  1. Empirical observation: Initially, miners and traders observed the characteristics of different emeralds, including the inclusions and fractures that affected their clarity and brightness.
  2. Transparent substance experimentation: Given the transparency of emeralds and their propensity to have inclusions and fractures, traders and miners began experimenting with transparent substances to fill these imperfections.
  3. Use of Natural Oils: In ancient times, it was discovered that the use of natural oils, such as cedar oil, had a positive effect on the appearance of emeralds. These oils were able to penetrate the fractures, improving the transparency of the stone.
  4. Synthetic Resinse Development: With advances in chemistry and material synthesis, synthetic resins were developed, Perma, which could effectively fill the cavities and emerald fractures.
  5. Continuous experimentation: Over time, gemologists and miners have continued to experiment with different types of resins and treatments to improve emeralds. This experimentation remains an integral part of the gemological industry today.

How to Identify Emeralds Treated with Perma

Identifying emeralds treated with resins may require a trained eye. However, there are some common signals that could indicate the presence of this treatment:

  1. Improved brightness: Emeralds treated with resins often display improved brightness compared to untreated ones.
  2. Less Visible Inclusions: The presence of resins can reduce the visibility of natural inclusions in emerald, which can affect the perception of its clarity.
  3. Testing with Luxe: A thorough examination with a magnifying glass can reveal small bubbles or specific characteristics associated with the use of resins.

The Perma today

Treatment with emerald resins remains a relevant practice today, especially to improve the appearance of stones with natural characteristics that could affect their marketing.

It is important to note that ethical disclosure of treatments is essential to ensure transparency in the gem industry. Whenever you want to buy or sell an emerald it is important to ensure that the stone does not contain these treatments in case you want to trade or buy a gem without this feature.

Paula A. Bonilla 

Social communicator and journalist from Sergio Arboleda University in Colombia. She is also a jeweler and is passionate about constantly learning about precious gems and national high jewelry.

Currently, she is working for one of Bogotá's most important jewelry stores, Emerald by Love. This jewelry store has over 40 years of experience and has 2 physical branches in the capital city of Colombia, located in the city center.

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