The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) research team in Bangkok has identified spinel treated by nickel diffusion in a parcel of gems acquired for research purposes. In the examination of the spinels believed to be treated with cobalt, GIA researchers discovered high concentrations of nickel consistent with diffusion treatment, which is a new discovery not seen by GIA or reported in the gemmological literature.
This treatment is responsible for the blue-to-green color range in pale-colored spinels and is accompanied by artificial healing of fractures resulting from the heating process.
The research has been published in GIA's quarterly professional journal, Gems & Gemology, and will appear in the Spring 2023 print edition of the journal.
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