Rumors about irradiated emeralds from Columbia have been floating around for months, and last week, for the first time, American Gemological Laboratories identified a number of irradiated emerald gems, leading to the issue of this warning.


Nearly 20 years ago, irradiation of emeralds (both natural and synthetic) was shown to modify the coloring of the stones. However, evidence of irradiated emeralds cannot usually be identified by the color of the stone itself, and must be examined under a spectrometer for anomalous light absorption. The emeralds identified have also been clarity-enhanced, and AGL advises jewelers and gemologists to be on the lookout for more of these stones, as they are unsure of the number present in the marketplace.