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Changing the color of gems (odd YAK)


#1

Hi all!

I’m helping create a murder mystery for a group on AOL. The
murder victim will be dumped in a large walk-in pottery kiln (up
to 2300 deg F) for 24 hours and then cooled for 24 hrs. For the
purposes of the story, this will turn her body to ash. One clue
will be the remains of her jewelry found in the kiln.

Here’s my question…

What gems could take this treatment and survive but look
different? Basically, I’m looking for something that will change
color. However, ANY clever ideas you have about what would happen
to jewelry under these conditions would be welcome clues.

We can play a bit fast and loose with reality (temps, time,
etc). The main thing is for them to figure out that what is found
was once the victim’s jewelry.

I know (well, hope) that none of you are evil kiln-killers, but
I have a feeling you’ll have some bizarre ideas for me.

Thanks,

Karen


#2

Hello Karen Can i suggest that the gemstone was amythest
(quartz) on heat a plenty in the kiln the gemstone changed to
(Citrine) Smokey Quartz

Regards John Drummond (Aurum)

Ps Love to know the whole plot. Really like planing. I am a
cunning clot… Love me hate me do your worst. Setting exams is a
thirst. >:)


#3
 What gems could take this treatment and survive but look
different? Basically, I'm looking for something that will
change color.  

We have taken in platinum diamond rings that went through the
cremation process with some poor dead soul, only to be retreived
by a family member who decided they might like the ring as a
keepsake after all. The diamonds are burnt from the heat and any
seams from soldering are showing. Burnt meaning the diamonds are
frosty looking. By the way this is not how I would dispose of one
of my victims. Mark P.


#4

Hello Karen Can i suggest that the gemstone was amythest
(quartz) on heat a plenty in the kiln the gemstone changed to
(Citrine) Smokey Quartz

Careful!  Amethyst will turn to Citrine under heat, but my 
understanding is that Smokey Quartz is produced by exposing 
plain (clear) quartz crystals to radiation.

Here's another possibility:  

Dark red tourmaline can be turned to pink by heating.  Perhaps 
the victim owned a set of rubies, but had been scammed out of 
them, (the thief having replaced them with red tourmaline).  
Putting aside the fact that it's unlikely you could find red 
tourmaline that would look like ruby (perhaps she didn't see 
well?) this might work.  

Or:

Turn up the heat a bit, to about 1800 deg. C, and either ruby 
or sapphire (any corundum) would probably lighten a bit in color 
(if it were untreated to start with, which is rare), or it could 
even turn to some other color.

Or:

Perhaps those "rubies" she wore to all of her society functions 
were, in fact, pyrope garnets.  Garnets with enough imperfections 
(such as might be used to pass as rubies, which are seldom truly 
"clean") will crack under enough heat.  

Well, that's a start.  Have fun!

Tom
*   Tom's Gems -- Rough & Cut Gemstones            *
*   Email -- @Tom_LaRussa		   *
*   Web Site -- http://www.digiweb.com/~mrlablee   *

#5
   Here are two great sources for info on the treatment of
stones: Mark Liccini's web page:        http://www.LICCINI.com
Ted Themelis' web page:       
http://gemkey.com/host/tools/gemlab/

…and I must add Ted’s corner at Ganoksin.com…Ted has a few
websites and the one at Ganoksin is the best of them all :slight_smile:

http://www.ganoksin.com/gemlab/

Hanuman
Hanuman
The Ganoksin Project


#6

Karen,

I should add:

Here are two great sources for info on the treatment of stones:

Mark Liccini’s web page: http://www.LICCINI.com

Ted Themelis’ web page:
http://gemkey.com/host/tools/gemlab/

These guys have forgotten more than I’ll ever know about gems &
gem treatments. AND, most of what I do know, (about treating
gems), I learned from their web sites.

Be sure to check them out.

Tom


#7

Hi! My name is Robby and I own and operate Renaissance Jewelers
in Gainesville Florida. Last week a very distressed pawn broker
brought me a diamond he had cooked. While working on the prongs
he failed to clean the diamond properly. In addition he did not
flux the diamond and proceeded to overheat the diamond. He did
what would probally happen to your kiln diamond. If the owner
had a accurate appraisal it could be used to identify the
diamond. The diamond did not look at all like a beautiful
sparkling gem. It was completly opaque. At first I did not
believe it was a diamond. I tested it with a thermal conductivity
unit. It was a diamond. If the diamond was flourecent it would
light up under black light. In addition your diamond could have a
very unusual and unmistakable inclusion. There are many other
parameters which could be used to identify the gem. The appraisal
could be hidden and come in to play at the last minute and prove
the case. The tale could unfold as the cutter repolishes the gem.
Even the polishing could be potentially a place for mystery. I
would love to see the results . Good Luck Robby


#8

As a diamond cutter a burnt diamond would pose no problem and
would lose very little weight to repolish maybe .01 carat if
light burn and as much as 5% if it had gone through a cremation.
This is based on a one carat diamond. Ron www.kreml.com


#9

Karen, The only stones that come to mind are sapphire, it becomes
lighter when heated, and I am sure you know about zoisite, found
in tanzania, when heated turns from greyish broun to tanzinite.
Moast stones do not do well in heat. I know that amithyst can
change to a citrine color under heat however, I dont have the
info. on temperature. The book sounds a bit scary let me know
the title when it is done, if you are publishing it. good luck,
Amber