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Diffusion of Gemstones, Specifically Tourmaline, Topaz, and Garnet

February 15th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I have been reading so much on this topic as of late, and debated not even touching it on a personal note, but have decided the need to do so anyways.

First off, there seems to be two sides to this debate/debacle, those in the Industry who are either turning a blind eye and/or screaming everywhere and anywhere they can to deny the diffusion treatments of garnet, tourmaline, and other gemstones. Some of these are big Industry names, like some well known bloggers… writers.. labs, for example, and some are nobodies trying to become somebody. This group has not provided ANY research support or proof to back up their claims that these new treatments do NOT exist. They have not done any research at all into the matter either. They just sit behind a computer and type insults on blogs directed towards those who are actually diving in head first and doing the research to uncover exactly what is going on with these gemstones. Keep in mind that this group contains mot of the same persons that were on this side of the great Andesine debate and debacle, and, were wrong then as well! Many of the persons in this group have a lot riding on these treatments remaining hidden and undisclosed to the general public because it would severely impact sales as well as cause many refunds and returns as well as even tarnish some reputations. Whilst this is understandable, wanting to protect livelihoods and professional standings and reputations, it is inexcusable to do so on the backs of the unknowing consumers!

The other group are those, like the ISG and Robert James for example, who are diving in head first discovering and actually researching the treatments to get to the bottom of this situation. They are putting their reputations on the line, as well as there businesses, in order to look out for the consumer’s well being and shopping safety. They have published loads of proof to back up their claims and provided factual scientific data to backup their claims as well. This group is also comprised of resellers, vendors, wholesalers, miners, collectors, and consumers. Many of the supporters are Professionals looking out for their clients, and by doing so, they are taking the chances of harming their businesses! There has been threats overheard about blacklisting any supporters of the ISG and Mr. James in his endeavors. This means that these businesses looking out for your, the consumers, rights are not only putting their professional reputations on the line, but are putting their livelihoods on it as well! Because without miners and wholesalers to purchase materials from they will have a bit of trouble doing business in the future! So, please, support these Retailers as much as possible, that doesn’t have to be in purchasing from them, but can also just be a pat on the back and a thank you as well! Let them know they are fighting the good fight and are not doing it for nothing!

So, you may ask, or want to know, where GA stands in all of this? Well, currently we have to be in the second group, backing the efforts of the ISG and Robert James. Why, you ask? Simply put, Mr. James is the only one that has provided proof and factual scientific evidence to back up his standing on this topic. The other side has produced nothing but words and more words, followed by insults and more insults and attempts to degrade and tarnish the reputations of the ISG, Mr. James, and anyone supporting this side of the debacle. If evidence is provided by the first group supporting their claims that the treatments are non-existent, then we here at GA will re-evaluate our standing based on the new evidence. We are not blindly following any group nor person in these matters. We are making educated decisions based off of the facts at hand. We have also done some of our own investigating and researching as well. More on that later.

What it all boils down to though, is the consumer, as well as the smaller time stores and vendors, have a right to know the truth and the real facts! They need to know exactly what they are spending their hard earned money on, especially during this time of great economic troubles. Since we here at GA are comprised of consumers, professionals (large and small), collectors, etc. we want to know the truth! We don’t want coverups and lies, nor do we want informed years later after it is too late to recover our losses! Perfect examples are the be Sapphire debacle and the Andesine debacle, not to mention the GIA Diamond scandals.

Uncovered in our own research are quite a few bits that support the claims by Mr. James and the ISG. We have had in our own hands rough and cut stones that are definitely treated materials, and I don’t mean just irradiation either! Rough with odd coatings and surface substances, rough with odd chemical smells to it, cut stones exhibiting odd inclusions not natural to tourmaline nor garnet, and so on, most all of which came from Thailand. We have also had individuals in the trade overseas in Thailand confirm all the odd cut and rough materials coming across their desks! To add some icing on the cake, we uncovered a few US Patents as well for the treatments of tourmaline, garnet, and other stones as well. Two of which, actually specifically mention turning yellow grossular garnets into green and blue-green colors!

US Patent 7033640 – Method of coloring cut gemstones

US Patent 6376031 – Method for enhancing the color of minerals useful as gemstones

US Patent 5888918 – Method for enhancing the color of minerals useful as gemstones

A nice article by the JCK done in 2008 on materials from Brazil. Topaz, beryl, tourmaline, quartz, kunzite, and fluorite. Whilst this is using the Cobalt-60 irradiation method, it still plays into jst how rampant the treatments of gemstones are, and not being disclosed.

JCK Web Feature: Brazil Boasts Local Treasures

Some other random patents

US Patent 6635309 – Process for the color enhancement of gemstones

US Patent 5084909 – Method of processing gemstones to enhance their color

Garnets also heated, clarity enhanced, etc.

PLEASE, do not think we are condemning treatments of gemstones!!! Gemstone treatments make stones affordable to people that would not otherwise be affordable. Treatments can help make a fragile gemstone into a tougher one allowing for longevity of wearing. Treatments can enhance the clarity and turn an otherwise ugly piece of junk into a beautiful gemstone you would be proud to wear and show off. Treatments allow rough that could not normally be used for gemstones to become suitable for cutting and polishing. Treatments, in reality, are a very good thing! They just need to be disclosed to the buyers! Whilst treatments are an excellent tool for gemstones, they are a tool that is too often being used unscrupulously by scammers and shiesters to separate the unknowing from their hard earned money. They are too often sold as untreated gemstones, which means they are sold well above their value typically. Treatments are meant to bring affordability to gemstones, as well as stability, beauty, etc. But as with all good things, comes those who use them for the bad. That is what we, the ISG, Mr. James, and others out there are trying to stop, not the treatments themselves, just the misuse and misrepresentation of these treatments! Personally, one of my favorite gemstones are be Treated sapphires, I love them due to the awesome bright colors and affordable prices when compared to their untreated counterparts, but the last thing I want to do is spend my money on an untreated gemstone and receive a treated one!

In closing, while soaking in all of the information on this topic, please keep a few things in mind:

1. Who has all the evidence and proof?

2. Who was correct with the entire diffusion of Andesine debacle?

3. Who still has not come forward and apologized and admitted they were wrong in the entire Andesine scandal?

4. Who tried to cover up the Andesine scam and steer consumers away from the truth?

5. Who cared more about their pockets, reputations, and Industry standings instead of the safety of the consumer?

6. Lastly, who went out on a limb, dove in head first, put their reputations and businesses and Industry standings on the line to help the consumer?

With those things in mind, it is fairly easy, at this point in time, on what side should be taken and who should be listened too! Bearing any new evidence to the contrary, we will continue to support the ISG and those fighting the good fight. Give us facts and proof to back them up to the contrary, and we will gladly examine them and do an article on those as well. We are here to take the side of those who are correct and finding the answers, regardless of which side that may actually be!

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