Saturday, November 30, 2013
The gemstone irradiation is a process in which a gemstone is artificially irradiated (exposed to radiation) in order to enhance its optical properties. High levels of ionizing radiation can change the atomic structure of the gemstone's crystal lattice, which in turn alters the optical properties within it. As a result, the gemstone's color may be significantly altered or the visibility of its inclusions may be lessened. The process, widely practised in jewelry industry, is done in either anuclear reactor for neutron bombardment, a particle accelerator for electron bombardment, or a gamma ray facility using the radioactive isotope cobalt-60. The irradiation enabled creation of certain gemstone colors that do not exist or are extremely rare in nature.