I just came back from a daylong seminar in New York City at the
American Gem Trade Associations Gem Labs on corundum treatments.
Richard Hughes, probably the world’s foremost living authority on
corundum, gave the seminar. He was entertaining, amusing and
amazingly informative and the course was worth every penny paid for
it. The three (yes only three, which made it that much better–and
they only will take a maximum of eight) participants were not only
able to look at numerous treated and untreated corundum, but also
were allowed to work on some of the more sophisticated lab equipment,
something that none of us (and probably most of you) will ever have
an opportunity to do again. Additionally we were allowed an
opportunity to look at some of the stones that were currently in
house from customers and render our own opinions as to their
treatment status. Nothing like playing around with a bunch of 5 ct
and up sapphires to really make your day. For those of you who sell
sapphire and ruby, this is an absolutely invaluable course to have
experienced, as the treatments are getting more and more
sophisticated and harder to detect and there are more and more stones
out there that have been treated. If you don’t know they’ve been
treated and you don’t disclose that then you’re not only breaking the
law, but being unfair to your customers, yourself and the other
jewelers out there who are trying to properly educate the public.
Incidentally as a corollary to this I have noticed, in the last two
years, that the price difference between similar quality
treated/untreated stones has risen dramatically. This means that you
are in fact obligated to disclose almost all treatment under the FTC
guidelines as they state that you must disclose treatment when there
is a significant difference in price.
You can never get too much education, and you can never get too old
to learn so get out there and learn something new.
Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambrige, MA 02140