Future Jewelry

Thank you for an interesting and lengthy essay. I would like to
reply to the various points one at a time.

Tomorrow is history from the perspective of the day after tomorrow
and thus the expression “future history” is not as oxymoronic as it
may sound at first (or maybe I should spend less time with the

If you were to write a book on Precious Stones: Past, Present and
Future, what units would you include?

I would like to see a chapter on comparative prices (and the reasons
for them). For example: was diamond almost worthless in Roman times?
Was aluminum once more valuable than gold? Did the nobility of
ancient China and Mexico value jade so highly that a commoner could
be punished harshly or even executed for possessing it? What other
questions might we ask about comparative values in pre and post Ice
Age human history up to the present?

I’d like to read more about ruby as simply meaning “red stone”. I
also wonder if jade to the Ancient Mexicans meant “green stone”.
Peterson writes in his anthropology text on Ancient Mexico that the
Mexicans advised prospectors to go where the mist was rising from
the rivers to find the jade. When the river stones are glistening
with moisture, you get the best colours in my experience. Rock 9 may
find the same. I now have enough more-or-less flat and well tumbled
green river stones to make a nice top for my patio pad this spring.
Are they really fibrous actinolite-tremolite (nephrite jade)? It
doesn’t matter for this project though it does for others.

---- As long as they can main control of the market,  and as
long as there is still enough demand for them, they can still set
the price as though they are rare, regardless of whether or not
they are still actually rare --, just as long as we are willing to
pay the price they ask. 

Bingo. If Coca Cola had kept Pepsi away from their approximation to
the coke formula they would have made twice as much. The principle is
the same for natural or synthetic.

If you have a load of Lunar regolith carrying He3, what are the
prospects on the gemology market for the product? I use assays in the
ppb for gold and PGE. A 1 ppg sample of stone carrying Au or PGE is
not worth much to a prospector, but what if the Rock 9 prospector is
Lunar and the company grubstaking him is playing Monopoly like De
Beers? A sample assaying 1 ppb of He3 has gemological implications
because of its rarity score. Aesthetics-Beauty? No greater than air;
and all kinds of crystals viewed from a few feet away are as high on
the aesthetics score as diamond. Durability? Encase it in a shiny,
sparkly, glassy bubble and it lasts forever. De Beers is the jeweller
which “cannot tell a lie” - but Diamonds are far from forever. He3
amulets could out-last them by far.

So add up your total score on the 3 gemological criteria.

I was thinking of buying a lot of good, strong strands/strings for
FJ bracelet and necklace use. High quality artistic pieces will be
done first in clay and scanned into “Robojeweller” and that gives us
a high aesthetics rating. I have the clay artist. The rarity depends
on how many tiny figurines we turn out. We could contract with the
customer to limit it - eg you buy 1/100 or 1/1000.

Can anyone recommend a supplier for the strands/strings to which the
figurines will be added?

(Da Vinci Beads markets $10 beads this way here, on $20 strands. We
can market $10 figurines or $1,000 figurines, depending on the target

If you were to write a book on Precious Stones: Past, Present and
Future, what units would you include? 

There is a subject that nobody teaches as far as I know, but
nevertheless I like to think about from time to time.

I mentioned about importance of chromium to gemologists. But what
about other metals, even more rare.

Gold comes to mind right away. What is real Paraiba tourmaline
controversy has been around for a while. Everyone accepts that unique
electric glow these tourmalines have is the result of copper. But
there are some even more breathtaking stones, which contain gold in
concentration over 1000 times higher than concentration of gold in
Earth crust. These gemstones look like they are overflowing with
color and about to burst. Price per carat - whatever your
imagination can handle. Most of the dealers however have more
relaxed ideas of what Paraiba is and offer it at much more
affordable levels. Anybody care to speculate what such addition of
gold would do to stones like Aquamarine, Morganite, and other pale
colored And if we indulging in flights of fantasy, let’s
go to the very top and talk about Iridium. Iridium has concentration
in Earth crust of only 0.0004 parts per million. This is remarkably
low concentration. If there were to be a gemstone

found containing Iridium, it would be more rare than Pigeon Blood
Ruby of perfect clarity and been over 100 carat in size.

What would we call such a stone - Iridianite ? What color would it
be ? Could it be harder than diamond?

Gemstones of the Future - what a fascinating subject. Let’s just
hope that when this future arrives, we still remember how to work
metal with our hands, and not been completely enslaved by
technology. Iridianite deserves a nice handmade setting.

Leonid Surpin

Exactly 6 platinum group elements? Well, that depends on whose
version of the periodic table you accept for grouping. Some published
papers include gold in the platinum group elements, e.g.
A case study of optimising UG2 flotation performance. Part 1: Bench, pilot and plant scale factors which influence Cr2O3 entrainment in UG2 flotation - ScienceDirect to bring the PG element count to

The minuscule 7-PGE crowd is almost invisible beside the 6-PGE crowd
though, and it also has to distance itself from 7-PGE people who
misread and then misquote articles like this:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1mm [PDF file]

I’m a mainstream 6-PGE person myself.

Mark Bingham


I know certified gemologists who get fooled by the new treatments
used these days as more and more greed driven practices infect the
trade. I have a reputation for the quality of my work and all that
will come tumbling down if I make a bad call on trying to be 100%
sure of a stones authenticity. 

“Certified Gemologist - A title awarded by the American Gem Society
to qualified jeweler-members. To qualify, a person must study colored
stones and their identification and diamond grading and appraising.
Also, he must prove his proficiency with several written
examinations, a diamond-grading examination, and pass a 20-stone
gem-testing examination without error. This is the AGS’s most
advanced title.”

I am a Graduate Gemologist, I received a diploma as a Gemologist in
Residence as I attended for 6 month. I did not try to get certified
by AGS after graduation from G.I.A.

I am curious, could you please substantiate which new treatments
fooled the certified Gemologists that youknow?

Your main issue is using gems in your work is that you are required
to provide disclosure as to treatments thatare used to enhance gems
you sell. I provide disclosure on gems whether I sell it or not.
Some treatments need to bedisclosed, even if you did not supply the
gems, a customer might hold you accountable for having spent money
on a gemmaterial that does not hold up as anticipated.

Do you know any competent Gemologists? Might look into that, hanging
out with the right people might lead tomore knowledge that might
allow you to be more professional.

" New treatments", enhancements, are not necessarily a means to
acquire profit by fraudulent misrepresentationas the FTC has
guidelines to follow. The purpose of enhancement is to take lower
quality material and make it moreattractive or more durable. As far
as making a bad call, if I am steaming, ultrasonically cleaning a
gem, heating, or putting pressure ona gem while setting, without
proper knowledge, I am vulnerable to reduce the quality of a treated
gem, and I believe thatcan affect how a customer trusts me and the
quality of my work.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.

If Coca Cola had kept Pepsi away from their approximation to the
coke formula they would have made twice as much. 

Maybe not. It depends on other factors, as well. Is there an
acceptable substitute? Do similar products improve while the
artificially rare product stagnates?

It’s often said that Polaroid’s downfall was winning the instant
picture patent suit against Kodak. There was room for both in the
market, and the competition would have benefited both manufacturers
and their customers.

Kodak’s current problems are at least in part a result of dominating
the market for film while everybody else was eliminating the need for

The pseudo-rarity game in diamonds has worked pretty well for a long
time, but it must be a pretty delicate balancing act.

Al Balmer
Pine City, NY

I would not call what I do expert guidance. 

That’s what I took from your statement “Your customer should depend
on your expertise.” My point is that most people don’t know the
difference between natural and synthetic, but many will pay for the
knowledge (or belief) that their possessions are rare, unique, or
better than the next door neighbor can afford.

I’m not trying to argue, especially since the rest of your post
indicates that you are not one of the “natural only” bigots anyway

Al Balmer
Pine City, NY


Point well taken, I wasn’t trying to convey the appearance of lack
of knowledge by anyone in the field of Gemology, it’s just a caution
statement meant for everyone in the field of jewelry.


I think it was about 2 years ago that I posted a URL which claimed
that Johnson Matthey in effect accepted Re as 7th PGE. I guess it is
in Orchid archives. Also what does the Dana Grouping say?