The particular advantage of luminescence dating is that the method provides a date for the archaeological artefact or deposit itself, rather than for organic material in assumed association.
The heating must have taken the object above 500° C, which covers most ceramics, although very high-fired porcelain creates other difficulties.
Ideally this is assessed by measurements made at the precise findspot over a long period.
For artworks, it may be sufficient to confirm whether a piece is broadly ancient or modern (that is, authentic or a fake), and this may be possible even if a precise date cannot be estimated.
This energy is lodged in the imperfect lattices of the mineral's crystals.
Heating these crystals (such as when a pottery vessel is fired or when rocks are heated) empties the stored energy, after which time the mineral begins absorbing energy again.