AGTA Codes

American Gem Trade Association Codes

Enhancement: Any treatment process other than cutting and polishing that improves the appearance (color/clarity/phenomena), durability, or availability of a gemstone.

E: The “E” symbol indicates that a gemstone has undergone its traditional enhancement process.

(N) Natural

No modification; natural stones which are not currently known to be enhanced (or currently has no known modification process).

(B) Bleaching

The use of heat, light and/or other agents to lighten or remove a gemstone's color

(C) Coating

The use of such surface enhancements as lacquering, enameling, inking, foiling or sputtering of films to improve appearance, provide color or add other special effects.

(D) Dyeing

The introduction of coloring matter into a gemstone to give it new color, intensify present color or improve color uniformity.

(F) Filling

The filling of surface-breaking cavities or fissures with colorless glass, plastic, solidified borax or similar substances. This process may improve durability and/or appearance, and/or to add weight.

(H) Heating

The use of heat to effect desired alteration of color, clarity and/or phenomena. If residue of foreign substances in open fissures is visible under properly illuminated 10X magnification, H F should be used.

(HP) Heating and Pressure

The use of heat and pressure combined to effect desired alterations of color, clarity and/or phenomena.

(I) Impregnation

The impregnation of a porous gemstone with a colorless agent (usually plastic) to improve durability and appearance.

(IMIT) Imitation

A simulant, which is defined as a man-made single crystal product that is used to simulate the appearance, but not duplicate the characteristic properties of the natural gemstone it imitates.

(L) Lasering

The use of a laser and chemicals to reach and alter inclusions in gemstones,
usually diamonds.

(O) Oiling/Resin Infusion

The filling of surface-breaking fissures with colorless oil, wax, resin or other colorless substances, except glass or plastic, to improve the gemstone's appearance.

(R) Irradiation

The use of neutrons, gamma rays or beta particles (high energy electrons) to alter a gemstone's color. The irradiation may be followed by a heating process.

(SYN) Synthetic

Synthetic materials that have essentially the same optical, physical and chemical properties as a naturally occurring counterpart. In all cases, stones must be referred to as "synthetic ruby," "laboratory grown sapphire," or "Chatham-Created emerald," etc.

(U) Diffusion

The use of chemicals in conjunction with high temperatures to produce ARTIFICIAL color change and/or asterism-producing inclusions.

(W) Waxing

Waxing/Oiling: The impregnation of a colorless wax, paraffin or oil in porous opaque or translucent gemstones to improve appearance.