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Author Topic: Where has All the Girasol Quartz Gone?  (Read 6356 times)
Jamey S.
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« on: June 02, 2011, 01:17:21 AM »

Well, little tidbit here for you all. I discovered where all the Girasol Quartz is going, and no it is not to all the crystal people to sell as Girasol(opal) nor Blue Opal.

To give you a quick background info rundown... Girasol quartz is actually a fav by many cutters because of how the resulting finished stones come out!! As well as using it to cut 6-ray star cabs out of and then use other solid color materials to back the cabs with or to have the backs treated by CVD with mystic type coatings to create really wild looking 6-ray star cabs! Lots of uses for the Girasol quartz. But then suddenly a few months back almost all of it disappeared off the market in any facetable or nicely clean cabbing material, just the heavily feathered and included material was available. Immediately I figured that the Chinese were buying it up because they had figured out a way to treat it to look like star sapphires! Apparently that was just a bit of paranoia on my part, lol.

So, to get to the actual story here now. "Where has all the Girasol gone?"(sung to the tune of "Where have all the cowboys gone").

It has not gone anywhere. It is now being flooded into the market as Lemon Citrine/Quartz, Smoky Quartz, and Amethyst from what I can tell! Not sure if being done in Brazil or if being done in China, but it is coming through into the market via China. I was seeing some odd looking pieces of the aforementioned rough being sold at various sources including Ebay. Lots of rather large chunks too compared to normal. Suddenly lots of it showing up as well! And lots of finished cut stones of the same materials showing up by Chinese sellers all over the Internet. So I knew something was awry, possibly thinking new synthetics. Apparently they, whomever it is, developed a way of treating the Girasol Quartz into other color quartz! I ordered some of the suspect material. Sure enough when it arrived it was obvious to see that it was NOT the normal material treated for the appropriate results. The amazing looking saturated amethyst had an almost glow to it, and under magnification was immediately obvious it was Girasol Quartz. Same for the Lemon Quartz/Citrine(Oro Verde style colors), quite obvious under magnification.

Then the Smoky Quartz. It too is apparently now derived from the Girasol Quartz, but it also has yet another part with it, the material is highly cooked! Not sure if just irradiation or a combo of heat and irradiation. And either the heat is crazy high almost to flow point, or it is a different irradiation technique! Because this stuff has an almost brittle crumbly crust on it just like many other material that have been seriously cooked and/or nuked.

The amethyst and lemon materials were normal, so I am guessing some sort of combination of heat and cobalt-60 or e-beam irradiation techniques are being used.

There also is a cognac colored material being touted as Oro Verde cognac quartz. It seems this is just the smoky quartz but not taken to the extra level or as high of heat or something, because there is much more internal stuff present giving some an almost glow of normal Girasol quartz as well.

This is not a bad thing, especially considering that nice glow Girasol quartz can have, imagine that in Amethyst!!!!! Looks stunning! Also since the microscopic natural inclusions that Girasol Quartz has(what creates the stars) are still there(what is causing that glow) it is easy to ID this material as definitely natural and not synthetic, a real nice bonus! Same goes for the lemon material. Whatever is being done to the Smoky though ends up eliminating most of the glowing effect but there are still some internal stuff present to be able to ID as natural material.

I am trying to get my hands on some of this amethyst to cut, it will look killer! Imagine the look of the Girasol quartz you cut Gaylon but with the nice deeply colored and saturated purples of amethyst!!  For those that have not seen this stuff, imagine that gorgeous rose quartz and star rose quartz that has the internal glow but as amethyst instead! Wow!

I would say they were treating the rose star quartz material found in the same locale, but it is still out there in full supply as it always has been. The Girasol quartz variety(which is just the white/clear variety of the star rose material) is the only one not available much anymore in facet or high end cabbing material. So it leads me to believe that the Girasol quartz material is the stuff being used to treat to the smoky, cognac, amethyst, and lemon.

For once, I think this is a good thing, lol! Creating some new, easily ID'ed as natural and not synthetic, beautiful material to cab and facet and carve!

I will post more info if/as I find more out.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 10:38:04 PM by Jamey S. » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2011, 12:07:14 PM »

Please do!  Tongue
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2011, 12:52:09 PM »

nice write-up and investigative report, jamey!!
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2011, 01:08:16 PM »

I'm not sure if you are pushing my buttons Jamey - or if you are for real. Tell me how you think about goldstone. Not much difference if you ask me, but your right about this new "find" - it should be celebrated. I mean with the industry already infused with all the crap to lower the prices, and values of high end jewelry - why not promote the low end? I know - let's all get some for our shoe laces!
 People can't afford the prices of gold, they can't afford the prices of real gemstones. I keep hearing this crap from all the same broke people that couldn't afford it in the first place. The real problem is that I know for a fact that should they choose to want it - they get it. All of a sudden these very same people that couldn't afford it last month have found a way. The ones that are promoting all this downward trends to jewelry that has no future value are the ones selling it! The Chinese are laughing all the way to the bank. Most Asian people won't wear alloyed gold - it's considered junk jewelry. Not worth the price, and they won't wear it. But they will sell it! Because we as a people have to have a box full of jewelry! They sell enough of it, and they get to buy more 24k. Most of the stuff being sold as gemstones out there now - should be sold as maybe art supplies.
 Sorry for the rant - I just have to draw the line on fake gemstones. Far as I'm concerned - to me - they belong in the toy stores.    
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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2011, 01:40:52 PM »

 Cool very interesting to read about girasol!  sad that they are using the best of the material to treat it and sell it as a gemstone that it is not, if that's what going on. looking forward to your findings, jamey, and the 'amethyst' piece.

jim, that's amazing that the chinese won't wear alloyed gold and consider it junk, and they manufactured jewelry that hit the US markets a while back that contained cadmium.  

yes, it is sad that people cannot afford luxury purchases, such as gems and jewelry, thanks to the increase in neccessities (especially gasoline, groceries, and utilities) and trying to make ends meet on one income, which is downright depressing.  but, there are certain times that those people can make purchases--tax refund time Tongue Wink, birthdays, Christmas, and anniversaries.

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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2011, 02:30:11 PM »

They can - it's just that everybody wants it all, and they want it all now. No restraints at all, and then they wonder why the kids won't go to work.
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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2011, 02:54:58 PM »

Not pushing your buttons Jim. This is for real, lol. Goldstone, lol, come on the Monks have to make money somehow!  Roll Eyes  Cheesy The latest I have been seeing all over Etsy is Goldstone now being sold as natural sandstone with copper in it, OMG!!  Huh?

I actually like Girasol Quartz truthfully. I don't classify it in the low end but that is my opinion. Any natural stone with a phenomena like chatoyancy, asterism, etc. is OK in my book! Neutral about them treating to lemon variety, no big deal since all the lemon stuff is irradiated anyways. The amethyst I am torn between though, the colors are amazing and very reminiscent of the old top end stuff but with a little bit of a glow, and with the inclusions that cause the asterisms it makes it a super simple ID of being natural and not lab created, which is a bonus in my book. Top color amethyst was never a low end stone really until the advent of the synthetic variety that could not be detected except by expensive lab testing, then amethyst and all quartz gemstones bottomed out in price and became a lower end stone. But prior to that good color amethyst demanded great prices as did good color citrine even! While this material is treated, it is done so by a permanent and quite accepted treatment now, and maybe it will bring amethyst back up into more of a stone it was in yester years.I have always loved top color amethyst like the stuff from Uruguay, AZ, GA, and even some in NC.

I think the main reason we all keep hearing the "I can't afford the good stuff" is largely in part to all the lies and misinformation the TV jewelry shows, Ebay sellers, and Joe & Suzie Homemaker(the ones that could care less about legitimately representing their wares). Many people think that quality gemstone and jewelry sellers are just ripping them off and price gouging them. I get emails about it to this site almost daily! Always hearing the same thing, "why should I buy it from them when I can buy it wholesale on Ebay or TV Shows, the same places they buy their stuff!?" They have this in their heads because all these Ebay sellers and TV Show sellers make these BS statements a few thousand times per day in their ads and shows! They've been taught that windows are no big deal and do not make a cut bad, they've been taught that there is no real difference between treated and untreated gemstones. Heck a certain show constantly pushes glass composite rubies as fracture filled and state how it is just used to fill surface stuff and nothing more and that it does NOT have any affect on durability nor value of the gemstone! You would be surprised on how many people still think that "you can't say it on TV if it is not true!" and that people couldn't sell it if it was fake! Then to top it off even more you have these Appraisers out there all over, at least in this area they are, with no education, NOT Gemologists, at most a GIA A.J.P. and pretending to be a GG, and so on doing these outrageous appraisals on poorly cut junk and classifying it as higher end stuff! I mean, just encountered an appraisal the other day here in the local area done by a supposed local appraiser that was on a ruby and in the appraisal called it a ruby then in parenthesis stated it may be synthetic, but still valued it into the thousands of dollars!!!! I mean, WTF!!??  Huh? If you can not tell the difference between a synthetic and a natural stone then you shouldn't be doing the job!

Then you have all these chain stores in malls and such using these fly by night supposed Labs to do lab reports on their colored stores and diamonds that mention no treatments even when obvious, grade the diamonds like 2-3 grades higher then they should be, same for colors always a grade or two better, and then slap a retail appraisal value on there of 2-3x the selling price, or even more sometimes!

Consumers have been so misled in this Country and lied too so many times, many do not know good stuff when they even see it, and if they do, they still think that it does NOT demand a premium over the junk they are being sold! Jen just had a client a few days ago who wanted a 1ct natural and untreated ruby, although heated was acceptable if color and clarity were good, and she quoted them a price and they literally laughed at her! Made the statement "You are a rip-off and ridiculous!" to her face, well over the phone to her! Then proceeded to make the statement they could buy it on TV for a fraction of that cost, mentioning Maheleo as they said it! When Jen tried to explain that she has examined these stones before, even recently, and they were largely glass and not just ruby and that is why the costs were so low, they said she was just lying and hung up on her! I mean come one, do you really think you can buy top quality rubies for like $20-$25/ct!!!??  Huh? Undecided

Now, granted, some stating they can't afford it is true. At least in this State it is. And even tax time is not going to make a difference because tax refunds are needed to pay for all the other BS. They doubled tax rates on us two years in a row and are doubling or tripling them again this year they said. Not to mention the State passed all kinds of BS allowing insurance companies all kinds of BS and they doubled premiums and copays but cut coverage almost in half! Then the Governor did away with the health insurance for lower income working families and left 40,000+ families without any insurance! And now because of all the insurance company freedoms and such the hospitals and doctors all want their money up front and no longer accept the insurance, so you have to pay out of pocket at the time of service and then seek reimbursement from your insurance. The problem there is they dictate what can be charged for procedures and regardless of what the medical place charged you you will only get back what the Insurance company says is a proper charge! The Governor that just lost his office, on his way out, accidentally overlooked the regulatory laws on electric companies keeping rates affordable and allowed them to expire. Well, now the electric companies have decided they need to make up for lost revenue and even put TV ads out informing people that the average bill will be doubling in cost this year! They are shutting down schools, firing teachers left and right, cutting school days down less hours, proposing a 4 day school week instead of 5 day, cut kindergarten and preschool funding, and so on. So now the school will be jacking up property taxes as well! Our State is literally screwed and the important government officials aren't going to give up anything, heck, they even took huge raises!!! Many people are fleeing the ship here in PA! In our area literally about every third house is up for sale because folks can not afford all the raised taxes, costs, and now the utility caps being allowed to expire. So, in some areas, the not being able to afford it excuse is legitimate, sadly. In fact, most all folks around here are selling their real jewelry, not buying anything new! Jen probably gets at least 10 calls per day of folks trying to sell their jewelry, the problem is, most of it turns out to be TV show garbage and they are asking more then they paid for it, rofl!

I am sure it is much different in many other areas, and similar in many as well.

IMHO, regulations need to be put into place to make this trade be a properly licensed one like all other skilled trades are as well as start enforcing the FTC laws and other laws on the books.

At the very least just actively enforce the FTC Guidelines!! Put policies in place like a 3-strike policy, where when a store/seller/vendor has had a violation for a third time that they have their business license suspended for at least 30 days, and so on until they just pull their licensing permanently! Enforce mandatory jail sentences for these vendors who continuously and knowingly misrepresent their wares and rip off the consumer, TV Shows are a prime example of such! A consumer should NOT have to worry about having to file a lawsuit on a vendor down the road because they were ripped off. They shouldn't have to worry about becoming ripped off by national chains, TV Shows, and larger businesses, nor even smaller ones. But you know there is a serious problem when Vendors on National TV are blatantly allowed to lie, cheat, and steal from consumers with no fear of any repercussion really!

I flipped through the TV last night and early this morning due to not being able to sleep because of the pain and boredom being bed ridden for past couple days, and came across three different TV shows selling gemstones and/or jewelry, and within 20mins of each they misrepresented numerous items!! And this was with supposed Gemologists sitting beside them that would have known the difference/truth if they were worth a darn! One the other day was even being condoned by a well known organization/group and I could not believe they would be a part of defrauding the consumers/general public like they were! Selling obviously treated pieces, since they do not exist in nature as they were, without ever mentioning that they were treated verbally nor on the screen with text, not even in fine print!

KNOWINGLY selling glass composites as barely treated gemstones or heated ones is technically a criminal offense in many States, and it should be a criminal offense! I mean come one, a business can be shut down and fined, and the owner even imprisoned now for simply hiring an illegal, so why should folks be able to knowingly lie, cheat, misrepresent, and steal from consumers, yet still be allowed to continue to do business!!!???!!

Something is seriously wrong with this Country!
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 03:18:02 PM by Jamey S. » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2011, 06:00:57 PM »

OK - so, I see that we kinda agree, and I can understand not being able to afford all my wants. My point is that these people buy this stuff because it's cheap, and they can put on an air of something that they are not. This does not give them anything that is an investment for their money. Another words - they are just throwing away their money - whereas the poor Chinese farmer that only wears a 24k gold wedding band has more value in it than 99% of all the junk that Americans wear on a daily basis.
 What are you saying when you present yourself as a lie? Do these people really think that others can't tell the difference between the high end jewelry, and the JbV crap? They are only fooling themselves, and they have nothing in the end as far as re-sale value. You only get what you pay for in this industry.
 Now my question to you is - what's the difference in a man made imitation, made from Girasol, that calls itself Tanzanite Blue, then the other say, Zandradites made of another synthetic man made creation, or the Bulhareo rubies?
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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2011, 06:54:18 PM »

The Walmart effect (selling "rock bottom prices" to move junk, instead of selling on the basis of quality) just keeps growing, and the executives running other chain stores no longer bat an eye, but just jump on the wagon. I wonder if Paris Hilton's new 20ct diamond is all it seems on the surface—I doubt it, but maybe that's appropriate for a category of celebs who aren't anything BUT surface. People used to save for good stuff, but like Jim said, they want it "all" and they want it now. Too bad that the "all" may easily turn out to be not what they really wanted, after all.

The other problem with that ethos is that it eventually drags down prices on qenuine and quality gems and jewels to where it drives the good guys out of business. Why should the average person pay extra for the real deal, when s/he can't count on the big names to deliver genuine stones in well-crafted settings? The average person actually believes that they can trust big stores to deliver what they advertise. I know why the real stuff has more value, and that there is widespread deceptive tinkering going on, but I don't think the average person appreciates/realizes.

Karat gold is another issue. If they follow the FTC guidelines, I have no problem with it (actually, .999 gold and .999 silver are poor choices in my book for jewelry—for bullion/melt value, yes,  but the durability suffers). I'm more concerned that the hallmark reflects the purity. Doesn't matter if it is marked 24k or 10k, trusting the little stamp isn't a given anymore (and a .999 mark in and of itself isn't going to let you skip testing if you decide to sell for melt). Again, and as for gems, it is a matter of (non)enforcement. Gutting the consumer protection agencies 30 years ago left them with almost no resources to actively check on what is being sold, and much of their remaining personnel are directed toward drugs and terrorism. If enough people make a loud enough ruckus, something might happen, but the more likely recourse is going to be an expensive lawsuit these days (that might eventually deliver a slap on the wrist to big offenders, who often look at civil suits as just a "cost of business").
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 07:01:39 PM by rocks2dust » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2011, 08:50:37 PM »

Could you please post some pictures, and a definition of Girasol?  From what I've read here so far, I think I might have a couple of pieces...
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2011, 09:35:08 PM »

i have a nice one - it's like rose quartz without the pink:  all nice and silky shimmery not quite perfectly transparent.  i'll have to get a pic.

i suspect some of it made its way to whomever this seller is getting their stuff from - but jamey, do you think the irradiated/treated girasol would show pleiochroism?  that would be an easy test if it does.  and if i have time to pull out the one i got from them (it is soooo pretty!  and was sooooo cheap!) and gaze thru my dichroscope at it...

http://shop.ebay.com/srilankamall/m.html?_trksid=p4340.l2562
Mod Note: GemAddicts is in no way recommending this as a safe seller. This seller has NOT been investigated yet. But there are a lot of things that stick out as possible issues, so we do recommend using caution and making sure to test stones thoroughly for possible treatments and/or synthetics. We will be investigating them in the near future.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 11:16:39 PM by Jamey S. » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2011, 09:45:50 PM »

Here is a quickie pic of the newer stuff coming from Madagascar:

Here is a piece of star quartz from Sri Lanka which looks similar (sun's going down, so stars aren't showing very sharp):

And here is one with the color treatment on the back of a Madagascar star quartz like Jamey was talking about:

Girasol is old French and Latin for "turns [in or toward] the sun". It is used for transparent/translucent fire opal for the internal glow/reflection of the light source.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 09:50:39 PM by rocks2dust » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2011, 10:15:10 PM »

Real shame too - it is pretty on it's own right.
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« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2011, 10:33:18 PM »

There seems to be some confusion here, Jim, and in the same instance I can answer Cindy's question as well, even though R2 beat me to that for the most part, lol.

Girasol is NOT what we are discussing. Girasol is technically speaking an opal whose color follows the light source around as it moves. Typically a golden color.

Girasol quartz is actually just quartz, it is NOT man-made nor synthetic nor simulated material, it is natural untreated mined from the Earth quartz. It contains microscopic platelets that cause the material to display and asterism, 6-ray toe be exact. To be exact the stone is a white star quartz. It was first seen in Madagascar(I know I keep saying Brazil but I always get it backwards.. so much treated stuff comes out of Brazil I get mixed up) as rose quartz that had this intense and beautiful glow inside, then during tumble polishing, as I understand it, someone discovered hey this stuff gives a 6-ray star. So it became extremely popular for this reason. It, the rose quartz variety, is almost identical to the material from Hogg Mine here in the USA. The more this new star rose quartz was mined the deeper and further along the vein they got and then they started hitting this clear/white material that had the same kind of glowing inside as the rose quartz and realized hey this stuff gives a 6-ray star too. Then it was realized that this material displayed yet another characteristic, that it gave off internal golden type glows that followed along with the light source, so it got dubbed Girasol Quartz using the term Girasol as a descriptor for this specific type of quartz. I believe there was a pocket hit that had a bluish glow instead of a golden one and it was dubbed Blue Moon Quartz.

This material, the Girasol Quartz(white star quartz) is though 100% natural and untreated as far as I know and have ever been able to find out. I've seen pictures of the large boulders of the material, lol, almost identical, again, to those seen in the Hogg Mine here in the USA.  There are different clarities as well from super super clear almost like normal quartz but still with that golden or bluish glow that follows the light to really cloudy material.

What is going on now, is they have found a way, apparently, to treat this quartz like they have been doing with other quartz for years now. Using a combination of heat and cobalt-60, e-beam, or x-ray irradiation methods. Being able to now turn this quartz into other colors like the yellow/golden/lemon citrine/quartz and a beautiful saturated and multi-shaded amethyst. I have also been seeing a new very wild color of the star rose quartz unlike a pink I have ever seen, almost an orangish/peachish pink, which I believe is being treated as well, but it could very well be natural, but since coming from the same sources as this other stuff, I have my doubts, lol.

But, Jim, this stuff is NOT a man-made/synthetic like what I think you are thinking it is. It is natural quartz mined from the Earth, bro. Big difference between that and a man-made material. To call this stuff man-made would then have to call any good color citrine, any prasiolite, any tourmaline, any sapphires, rubies, tanzanite, emeralds, etc. just because they are treated!! Just because a tourmaline is irradiated does not make it man-made and not natural any longer?! Just because a sapphire or ruby is heated does not make it a man-made material?! And so on. The White star quartz(aka Girasol Quartz) is the same thing, 100% natural Mother Nature made mineral. The resulting other colors are merely from heat + irradiation or irradiation +heat or some other combination of the two. But it is NOT a man-made material anymore then a heated ruby or heated sapphire is!

Here are some pics I had been promising other folks in another thread, will place them here. Excuse the poor quality though. Just handheld with room light and hand holding the camera without a tripod. I wille dit this post as soon as get on the other PC where the pictures are.
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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2011, 10:41:34 PM »

Here are the crappy pics, lol, sorry. These are the Girasol Star Quartz with the backs done with CVD, one blue, one purple, and one Mystic like deal. Sorry, the Canon camera did not play well with the blue and purple colors, always turns the purples blue, lol!


Nice thing is with this material too is the stars are typically razor sharp too!!! Coating the backs was being seen in reds and blues and light pinks I am guessing to probably pass off as star sapphires to unknowing buyers, but haven't seen them in a while now.

Here are some shots of the natural white star quartz(aka Girasol Quartz).
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 10:43:08 PM by Jamey S. » Logged

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