Hyperion Siamese Twins • Gem Inclusion Pairs

by Lotus Gemology

Why should Hugh Hefner be the only one who has enjoyed twins? This special Hyperion Inclusion Gallery features images contained in the Lotus Gemology Hyperion Inclusion Database, but are shown as pairs so that one can directly compare details like changes in lighting and treatments.

It would be both an identical work of art only by virtue of its difference.
The same but different, he suggested, like twins.
Johnny Rich, The Human Script
Demonstrating that the inner world can be as captivating as that outside, this Madagascar sapphire displays a small fingerprint scar with a beguiling moiré pattern. The undamaged nature of this inclusion testifies to the natural, untreated origin of the gem. When a rutile-silk containing sapphire is artificially heated, titanium from the rutile dissolves into the surrounding sapphire. Once in solid solution, the titanium reacts with iron, creating a blue color. The result is tiny blue halos surrounding the remnants of the rutile silk, a process dubbed “inkspot internal diffusion” by John Koivula. This partially dissolved silk with blue color concentrations is a clear sign that the sapphire was heated and is the opposite of chromophore cannibalization.

Left: Demonstrating that the inner world can be as captivating as that outside, this Madagascar sapphire displays a small fingerprint scar with a beguiling moiré pattern. The undamaged nature of this inclusion testifies to the natural, untreated origin of the gem. Photo: E. Billie Hughes
Right: In this sapphire from Sri Lanka, evidence of high temperature heat treatment can be found in this moiré-patterned fingerprint. The once-lovely lacy pattern of liquid droplets is now besmirched by circular “explosions,” where the pressure from heating caused ruptures in the microscopic negative crystals, thus deflowering Mother Nature’s exquisite work of art. Photo: Richard W. Hughes

Many Mozambique rubies contain mica crystals, which are extremely heat sensitive and will be damaged by heat treatment, even at relatively low temperatures (800–1000°C). Unheated Mozambique ruby. After heat treatment, Mozambique rubies with mica crystals will display glassy fissures around the mica, as shown here. Heated Mozambique ruby. Photos: E. Billie Hughes

Left: Many Mozambique rubies contain mica crystals, which are extremely heat sensitive and will be damaged by heat treatment, even at relatively low temperatures (800–1000°C). Unheated Mozambique ruby.
Right: After heat treatment, Mozambique rubies with mica crystals will display glassy fissures around the mica, as shown here. Heated Mozambique ruby. Photos: E. Billie Hughes

Many rubies and sapphires contain shallow fissures on their surfaces. These typically display yellow to orange epigenetic iron oxide stains, as shown here. Unheated Mozambique ruby. When such a stone is heat treated, the stains turn white and bubbly fingerprints begin to appear. Heated Mozambique ruby.

Left: Many rubies and sapphires contain shallow fissures on their surfaces. These typically display yellow to orange epigenetic iron oxide stains, as shown here. Unheated Mozambique ruby.
Right: When such a stone is heat treated, the stains turn white and bubbly fingerprints begin to appear. Heated Mozambique ruby. Photos: Richard W. Hughes

This image clearly illustrates what master photomicrographer John Koivula has termed “chromophore cannibalization.” As a sapphire crystal cools, titanium is drawn out of solid solution to form exsolved rutile silk. This causes the surrounding area to be decolorized, as the titanium is no longer available to produce a blue color. This is a natural process and proof the sapphire has not been subjected to artificial heat treatment. When a rutile-silk containing sapphire is artificially heated, titanium from the rutile dissolves into the surrounding sapphire. Once in solid solution, the titanium reacts with iron, creating a blue color. The result is tiny blue halos surrounding the remnants of the rutile silk, a process dubbed “inkspot internal diffusion” by John Koivula. This partially dissolved silk with blue color concentrations is a clear sign that the sapphire was heated and is the opposite of chromophore cannibalization.

Left: This image clearly illustrates what master photomicrographer John Koivula has termed “chromophore cannibalization.” As titanium is drawn out of solid solution to form exsolved rutile silk, the area in the immediate vicinity is decolorized, losing its blue color. This is a natural process and is the reverse of “internal diffusion,” where heat treatment sends the titanium back into solution, creating blue clouds or “inkspots” around the rutile remnants. Photo: E. Billie Hughes
Right: When a rutile-silk containing sapphire is artificially heated, titanium from the rutile dissolves into the surrounding sapphire. Once in solid solution, the titanium reacts with iron, creating a blue color. The result is tiny blue halos surrounding the remnants of the rutile silk, a process dubbed “inkspot internal diffusion” by John Koivula. This partially dissolved silk with blue color concentrations is a clear sign that the sapphire was heated and is the opposite of chromophore cannibalization. Photo: Richard W. Hughes

Dark red, high relief crystal of primary rutile; surrounded by halo of fine particles; unheated sapphire, Songea, Tanzania; Darkfield + oblique fiber optic illumination. When a sapphire or ruby containing rutile is heated, titanium bleeds from the rutile into the surrounding corundum (entering into solid solution), creating a blue halo. Heated sapphire (actually Be diffused), Songea, Tanzania; lightfield (white filter). Photos: E. Billie Hughes

Left: Dark red, high relief crystal of primary rutile; surrounded by halo of fine particles; unheated sapphire, Songea, Tanzania; Darkfield + oblique fiber optic illumination.
Right: When a sapphire or ruby containing rutile is heated, titanium bleeds from the rutile into the surrounding corundum (entering into solid solution), creating a blue halo. Heated sapphire (actually Be diffused), Songea, Tanzania; lightfield (white filter). Photos: E. Billie Hughes

Secondary healed fissures in corundum are often filled with carbon dioxide, but usually in liquid form. On occasion we see it in both liquid and gaseous form. This series of four images shows liquid carbon dioxide with a gas bubble (the yellow area). As the heat of the microscope warms the specimen, the gas bubble shrinks and eventually disappears. The critical temperature at which the phase changes is 31.2°C. Solid carbon dioxide is what we know as “dry ice.” The existence of carbon dioxide inclusions in sapphire was first noted by David Brewster in 1826. He also noted the explosive nature of such inclusions, which burst at temperatures generally between 250–400°C. Secondary healed fissures in corundum are often filled with carbon dioxide, but usually in liquid form. On occasion we see it in both liquid and gaseous form. This series of four images shows liquid carbon dioxide with a gas bubble (the yellow area). As the heat of the microscope warms the specimen, the gas bubble shrinks and eventually disappears. The critical temperature at which the phase changes is 31.2°C. Solid carbon dioxide is what we know as “dry ice.” The existence of carbon dioxide inclusions in sapphire was first noted by David Brewster in 1826. He also noted the explosive nature of such inclusions, which burst at temperatures generally between 250–400°C.
Secondary healed fissures in corundum are often filled with carbon dioxide, but usually in liquid form. On occasion we see it in both liquid and gaseous form. This series of four images shows liquid carbon dioxide with a gas bubble (the yellow area). As the heat of the microscope warms the specimen, the gas bubble shrinks and eventually disappears. The critical temperature at which the phase changes is 31.2°C. Solid carbon dioxide is what we know as “dry ice.” The existence of carbon dioxide inclusions in sapphire was first noted by David Brewster in 1826. He also noted the explosive nature of such inclusions, which burst at temperatures generally between 250–400°C. Secondary healed fissures in corundum are often filled with carbon dioxide, but usually in liquid form. On occasion we see it in both liquid and gaseous form. This series of four images shows liquid carbon dioxide with a gas bubble (the yellow area). As the heat of the microscope warms the specimen, the gas bubble shrinks and eventually disappears. The critical temperature at which the phase changes is 31.2°C. Solid carbon dioxide is what we know as “dry ice.” The existence of carbon dioxide inclusions in sapphire was first noted by David Brewster in 1826. He also noted the explosive nature of such inclusions, which burst at temperatures generally between 250–400°C.

From Top Left to Right: Secondary healed fissures in corundum are often filled with carbon dioxide, but usually in liquid form (solid carbon dioxide is what we know as “dry ice”). On occasion we see it in both liquid and gaseous form. This series of four images shows liquid carbon dioxide with a gas bubble (the yellow area). As the heat of the microscope warms the specimen, the gas bubble shrinks and eventually disappears. The critical temperature at which the phase changes is 31.2°C. The existence of carbon dioxide inclusions in sapphire was first noted by David Brewster in 1826. He also noted the explosive nature of such inclusions, which burst at temperatures generally between 250–400°C. Photos: Richard W. Hughes

Many crystals contain shallow fissures on their surfaces. In sapphires from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Madagascar, these fissures often contain yellow stains (left). High-temperature heating not only destroys the yellow stains, but begins a process of healing, where the fissures turn white and start forming fingerprints, as we can see at right. Photos: Richard W. Hughes Many crystals contain shallow fissures on their surfaces. In sapphires from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Madagascar, these fissures often contain yellow stains (left). High-temperature heating not only destroys the yellow stains, but begins a process of healing, where the fissures turn white and start forming fingerprints, as we can see at right. Photos: Richard W. Hughes

Left: Many crystals contain shallow fissures on their surfaces. In sapphires from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Madagascar, these fissures often contain epigenetic yellow stains caused by deposits from Fe-rich fluids. 
Right: High-temperature heating not only destroys the yellow stains, but begins a process of healing, where the fissures turn white and start forming fingerprints, as we can see here. Note that such yellow stains are generally missing in the fissures of Kashmir sapphires. Photos: Richard W. Hughes

Rosette inclusion surrounding a mica crystal in an unheated Mozambique ruby, seen in transmitted (left) and reflected (right) light. Reflected light reveals surface detail that is masked in transmitted light. Photos: Richard W. Hughes Rosette inclusion surrounding a mica crystal in an unheated Mozambique ruby, seen in transmitted (left) and reflected (right) light. Reflected light reveals surface detail that is masked in transmitted light. Photos: Richard W. Hughes

Left: Rosette inclusion surrounding a mica crystal in an unheated Mozambique ruby, seen in transmitted.
Right: Reflected light reveals surface detail that is masked in transmitted light. Photos: Richard W. Hughes

In this flattened negative crystal in a Sri Lankan padparadscha sapphire, multiple phases can be found, including both liquid and gaseous carbon dioxide and a diaspore needle. Because diaspore’s refractive index (nα = 1.682–1.706; nβ = 1.705–1.725; nγ = 1.730–1.752) is so close to corundum (nω = 1.762; nε = 1.770) the diaspore needle almost disappears into the sapphire, appearing like a narrow indentation into the negative crystal. Liquid carbon dioxide becomes a gas at a fairly low temperature, with just the heat of the microscope causing the bubble to disappear. Intact negative crystals such as this are positive proof that the specimen has not been heat treated. In this flattened negative crystal in a Sri Lankan padparadscha sapphire, multiple phases can be found, including both liquid and gaseous carbon dioxide and a diaspore needle. Because diaspore’s refractive index (nα = 1.682–1.706; nβ = 1.705–1.725; nγ = 1.730–1.752) is so close to corundum (nω = 1.762; nε = 1.770) the diaspore needle almost disappears into the sapphire, appearing like a narrow indentation into the negative crystal. Liquid carbon dioxide becomes a gas at a fairly low temperature, with just the heat of the microscope causing the bubble to disappear. Intact negative crystals such as this are positive proof that the specimen has not been heat treated.

Left: In this flattened negative crystal in a Sri Lankan padparadscha sapphire, multiple phases can be found, including both liquid and gaseous carbon dioxide and a diaspore needle. Because diaspore’s refractive index (nα = 1.682–1.706; nβ = 1.705–1.725; nγ = 1.730–1.752) is so close to corundum (nω1.762; nε1.770) the diaspore needle almost disappears into the sapphire, appearing like a narrow indentation into the negative crystal. Liquid carbon dioxide becomes a gas at a fairly low temperature, with just the heat of the microscope causing the bubble to disappear. Intact negative crystals such as this are positive proof that the specimen has not been heat treated.
Right: Reflected light reveals surface detail that is masked in transmitted light. Photos: Richard W. Hughes

At left we have a fingerprint with many small negative crystal channels showing no signs of heat-induced damage in a sapphire from Madagascar. At right is a classic example of a heat-altered fingerprint. One can clearly see that each of the negative crystal channels has burst from the heat treatment. At left we have a fingerprint with many small negative crystal channels showing no signs of heat-induced damage in a sapphire from Madagascar. At right is a classic example of a heat-altered fingerprint. One can clearly see that each of the negative crystal channels has burst from the heat treatment.

Left: A fingerprint with many small negative crystal channels showing no signs of heat-induced damage in a sapphire from Madagascar.
Right: In this heat-altered fingerprint, one can clearly see that each of the negative crystal channels has burst from the heat treatment. Also note the glassy circular "discoid" fissures. Photos: E. Billie Hughes

Brown monazite crystals are sometimes found in sapphires from Madagascar’s Ilakaka region. In this gem one can see glassy tension halos around each, indicating that the gem was subjected to low temperature (less than 1400°C) heat treatment. When viewed with dark-field illumination, the glassy tension halos around each monazite crystal are more distinct.

Left: Brown monazite crystals are sometimes found in sapphires from Madagascar’s Ilakaka region. In this gem one can see glassy tension halos around each, indicating that the gem was subjected to low temperature (less than 1400°C) heat treatment.
Right: When viewed with dark-field illumination, the glassy tension halos around each monazite crystal are more distinct. Photos: E. Billie Hughes

A heat-altered crystal with an iridescent decrepitation halo, alongside a surface cavity filled with glass (left). When the direction of the reflected light is changed to show the surface, it reveals patches of glass on the surface (right). Photos: Richard W. Hughes A heat-altered crystal with an iridescent decrepitation halo, alongside a surface cavity filled with glass (left). When the direction of the reflected light is changed to show the surface, it reveals patches of glass on the surface (right). Photos: Richard W. Hughes

Left: A heat-altered crystal with an iridescent decrepitation halo, alongside a surface cavity filled with glass.
Right: When the direction of the reflected light is changed to show the surface, it reveals patches of glass on the surface (right). Photos: Richard W. Hughes

	 Secondary "fingerprint" in a Mong Hsu (Myanmar) ruby before (left) and after heat treatment with flux. 	 Secondary "fingerprint" in a Mong Hsu (Myanmar) ruby before (left) and after heat treatment with flux.

Left: When a crystal is heated (either by a magma or artificially by human intervention), it expands. Tension is often relieved by a fissure in the weakest direction, which in corundum is in the basal plane. Such fissures are difficult to see in dark-field illumination.
Right: If the lighting is changed from dark field to overhead fiber-optic, the flat tension disc appears in dramatic relief. This example is in a heat-treated blue sapphire from Bo Ploi (Kanchanaburi), Thailand. Such inclusions are quite common in both rubies and sapphires recovered from magmatic sources. Photos: Richard W. Hughes

Kashmir sapphires are unique in that the skin of many crystals feature deep blue spots of color, like spots on a leopard’s back (left). These are sometimes incorporated into finished stones, where they will be found just below the surface (right). Kashmir sapphires are unique in that the skin of many crystals feature deep blue spots of color, like spots on a leopard’s back (left). These are sometimes incorporated into finished stones, where they will be found just below the surface (right).

Left: Kashmir sapphires are unique in that the skin of many crystals feature deep blue spots of color, like spots on a leopard’s back.
Right: These blue spots are sometimes incorporated into finished stones, where they will be found just below the surface. Photos: Richard W. Hughes

	 Secondary "fingerprint" in a Mong Hsu (Myanmar) ruby before (left) and after heat treatment with flux. 	 Secondary "fingerprint" in a Mong Hsu (Myanmar) ruby before (left) and after heat treatment with flux.

Left: Secondary "fingerprint" in a Mong Hsu (Myanmar) ruby before heating. Note the angular nature of the negative crystal channels.
Right: Following heat treatment with flux, one can see the "necking down" and rounding of the channels. For more on this, see "Fluxed Up: The Fracture Healing of Ruby." Photos: Richard W. Hughes

A lovely rosette inclusion surrounds a mica crystal in this ruby from Mozambique’s Montepuez region. This “rosette” actually consists of negative crystals flattened in the plane of basal pinacoid (perpendicular to the c axis). At left the rosette is seen with oblique fiber-optic lighting, while at right it is seen with dark field and oblique fiber-optic illumination. A lovely rosette inclusion surrounds a mica crystal in this ruby from Mozambique’s Montepuez region. This “rosette” actually consists of negative crystals flattened in the plane of basal pinacoid (perpendicular to the c axis). At left the rosette is seen with oblique fiber-optic lighting, while at right it is seen with dark field and oblique fiber-optic illumination.

Left: A lovely rosette inclusion surrounds a mica crystal in this ruby from Mozambique’s Montepuez region. This “rosette” actually consists of negative crystals flattened in the plane of basal pinacoid (perpendicular to the c axis). Oblique fiber-optic lighting.
Right: When viewed with dark field and oblique fiber-optic illumination, the appearance changes dramatically, illustrating the importance of utilizing various illumination techniques with the microscope. Photos: Richard W. Hughes

Mozambique silk before (left) and after (right) heat treatment. Note the breakdown of the daughter crystals after heating. Mozambique silk before (left) and after (right) heat treatment. Note the breakdown of the daughter crystals after heating.

Left: Mozambique silk before heating shows a high luster rutile needle and an attached lower luster daughter crystal.
Right: When such a stone is heated to a high enough temperature, the daughter crystal begins to break down. Photos: E. Billie Hughes & Richard W. Hughes

Undissolved (left) vs. partially dissolved (right) rutile silk in sapphire. When a silk-bearing sapphire is heated at a high temperature, the titanium quickly moves into solid solution, while other impurities (such as iron) do not, leaving behind silk skeletons. Undissolved (left) vs. partially dissolved (right) rutile silk in sapphire. When a silk-bearing sapphire is heated at a high temperature, the titanium quickly moves into solid solution, while other impurities (such as iron) do not, leaving behind silk skeletons.

Left: Undissolved rutile silk in sapphire. This forms along three directions, intersecting at 60/120° in the plane of the basal pinacoid (perpendicular to the c axis).
Right: When a rutile silk-bearing sapphire is heated at a high temperatures (1400°C or more), the titanium quickly moves into solid solution, while other impurities (such as iron) do not, leaving behind silk skeletons. Photos: Richard W. Hughes

Negative crystals can be seen in this untreated Mogok, Myanmar (Burma) sapphire in transmitted light (left). However, when illuminated with oblique fiber optic light, small exsolved plates become visible (right). Negative crystals can be seen in this untreated Mogok, Myanmar (Burma) sapphire in transmitted light (left). However, when illuminated with oblique fiber optic light, small exsolved plates become visible (right).

Left: Negative crystals in an untreated Mogok, Myanmar (Burma) sapphire in transmitted light. 
Right: When illuminated with a fiber optic light from above, small exsolved plates become visible, in addition to the negative crystal. Photos: E. Billie Hughes

These transparent crystals can be seen in transmitted light (left), and can be hard to distinguish from negative crystals. When observed between crossed polars (right), they reveal their doubly refractive nature in this untreated sapphire from Sri Lanka. These transparent crystals can be seen in transmitted light (left), and can be hard to distinguish from negative crystals. When observed between crossed polars (right), they reveal their doubly refractive nature in this untreated sapphire from Sri Lanka.

Left: Transparent crystals, seen at left in transmitted light, can be hard to distinguish from negative crystals. 
Right: However when observed between crossed polars (right), the interference colors reveal their doubly refractive nature. Untreated sapphire from Sri Lanka. Photos: E. Billie Hughes

With oblique fiber optic illumination (left) these primary rutile crystals in an untreated Madagascar ruby show a dark red appearance. However, with the addition of reflected light (right) we can also see that they display a submetallic luster where they were cut through on the surface. With oblique fiber optic illumination (left) these primary rutile crystals in an untreated Madagascar ruby show a dark red appearance. However, with the addition of reflected light (right) we can also see that they display a submetallic luster where they were cut through on the surface.

Left: With oblique fiber optic illumination, primary rutile crystals in an untreated Madagascar ruby show a dark red color.
Right: In reflected light, we can also see that they display a submetallic luster where they were cut through on the surface. Photos: Richard W. Hughes

Mobile bubbles in negative crystals, as seen in this Madagascar ruby, cannot withstand heat treatment and thus are proof of natural origin. By gently tilting the stone we can distinguish the bubble from the frozen gas bubbles that are sometimes found in heat treated stones. Mobile bubbles in negative crystals, as seen in this Madagascar ruby, cannot withstand heat treatment and thus are proof of natural origin. By gently tilting the stone we can distinguish the bubble from the frozen gas bubbles that are sometimes found in heat treated stones.

Left: This ruby from Madagascar contains a large cavity with a mobile CO2 bubble.
Right: As the gem is rotated in the stoneholder, the bubble moves. Such fluid-filled cavities (generally filled with liquid and gaseous CO2) cannot withstand heat treatment and thus are proof of natural origin. Photos: E. Billie Hughes

	 Birefringent crystals light up in different colors in this sapphire from Sri Lanka as the polarizing filters are rotated. 	 Birefringent crystals light up in different colors in this sapphire from Sri Lanka as the polarizing filters are rotated.

Left: Birefringent crystals light up in different colors in this sapphire from Sri Lanka when viewed between crossed polars.
Right: Note the change in appearance of the included crystals when viewed between parallel polars. Photos: E. Billie Hughes

Partially healed "fingerprint" in Sri Lankan sapphire, before (left) and after (right) heating. Heating causes tiny microfractures as the negative crystals burst, creating shiny discoid areas and a hazy appearance. Partially healed "fingerprint" in Sri Lankan sapphire, before (left) and after (right) heating. Heating causes tiny microfractures as the negative crystals burst, creating shiny discoid areas and a hazy appearance.

Left: Partially healed "fingerprint" in a Sri Lankan sapphire, before heating. Note the pristine nature of the tiny negative crystals.
Right: Heating of such a fingerprint causes tiny microfractures as the negative crystals burst, creating shiny discoid areas and a hazy appearance. Photos: E. Billie Hughes

Undissolved (left) vs. partially dissolved (right) rutile silk in sapphire. When a silk-bearing sapphire is heated at a high temperature, the titanium quickly moves into solid solution, while other impurities (such as iron) do not, leaving behind silk skeletons. Undissolved (left) vs. partially dissolved (right) rutile silk in sapphire. When a silk-bearing sapphire is heated at a high temperature, the titanium quickly moves into solid solution, while other impurities (such as iron) do not, leaving behind silk skeletons.

Left: Laser-Induced-Breakdown-Spectroscopy (LIBS) is used by some gem labs to test for beryllium. Unlike Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy (LA-ICPMS), the surface is actually melted (rather than ablated), producing the circular rippled mark we see in the center of the girdle on the stone at left.
Right: In contrast, LA-ICPMS ablates the gem, producing the symmetrical holes we see in the image at right. Photos: Richard W. Hughes & E. Billie Hughes

 

 
 
 
 
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