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Gemstone Treatments Disclosure


#1

All, I would like to hear from more people who shop the wholesale
shows. Are the dealers disclosing treatments? What are your
impressions of the accuracy of dealer supplied disclosure? I would
especially like to hear from Gemological Graduates about the accuracy
of dealer supplied disclosure and sales pitches on the floors of
wholesale shows. Names are not necessary, just experiences.

I would also like to hear from the shoppers if they even care about
disclosure. Do you care about disclosure in stones that are
inexpensive? Like tourmalines, peridots, beryl, etc? You know the
stones that sell for under $400 per carat. Yes, I know many of these
stones can sell for much more than $400 per carat, but I am
interested in the less expensive stones. You are the people that buy
these stones for resale and should be in the best position to give
first hand observations on disclosure at the wholesale level. What
are your observations and opinions?

I am in the process of developing a handout to go with each of my
stones at the time of sale. AGTA seems to have the best handle on
disclosure, but they have taken the easiest route by simply stating
that it is acceptable to say for inexpensive stones that they are
assumed to be treated. Your responses will help me to develop my
handout and make up my mind as to how much time I need to spend
identifying the treatments on stones that I am not sure about.
Selling price of the stones will remain the same, but I would like to
know how to better serve the customer.

Gerry Galarneau


#2

Hi Gerry. I just may be the newest G.G. in the forum. As usual in the
gem trade, some dealers are disclosing, and most are not. What I see
at wholesale shows is that most “high end” dealers are either
disclosing treatments, or are selling gems and gem materials which
are either not treated or are selling materials, the treatment of
which are difficult or impossible to detect without proper testing
equipment. This is NOT to say that they are willfully practicing
non-disclosure, as most of them probably have no idea that many
stones are treated before they’re even cut.

Probably the best example was the gentleman who was convinced that I
should buy a ruby ring he had on display in his case. Just for fun,
I inquired as to whether the rubies had been treated (they were very
small, princess cut, melee stones, channel set). He gave me a firm
shake of his head as he avoided my gaze and replied “no”. I looked
into one of the stones and immediately saw the blobs of partially
melted rutile needles, a sign of probable heat treatment. This is
often considered acceptable for rubies, which is why it usually
isn’t disclosed. Just as tanzanite and topaz are nearly all heat
treated before fashioning, which is usually not disclosed. I realize
that most consumers have no idea that most of the gemstones they see
in stores have been treated as a matter of course, and might be
likely to not make a purchase if they knew. I suppose that it is
ethical to sell ROUTINELY treated stones without disclosing their
treated nature, but people with internet connections learn more
every day. These are the people who will be incensed when they find
that their precious blue diamond has been irradiated to achieve it’s
color. Gemstone dealers and retailers who do not disclose, don’t be
surprised when a customer with a DSL connection and an attitude
return to your store or trade show booth with their jewelry item in
hand and a lawsuit on their lips. Or worse, a rookie television
reporter with something to prove!

Remember the undisclosed emerald fracture-filling debacle of the
1990s!!!

James


#3
I would especially like to hear from Gemological Graduates about
the accuracy of dealer supplied disclosure and sales pitches on the
floors of wholesale shows 

I don’t know about gemstone wholesalers, but I can tell you that, in
my experience with retail jewellers and auction houses, many
professionals (including gemmologists) quite often get the details of
treatment wrong. So having gemmological qualifications doesn’t
necessarily equate to an in-depth knowledge of treatment techniques.
You need to know the basics to pass your exams, but the range of
potential treatments is so broad that very few people in the industry
have detailed knowledge.

For example, just last weekend I overheard a qualified gemmologist
in an auction house tell a customer that the vast majority of
emeralds were dyed green, and that the heavily-flawed emerald in
question might break, but “only if you hit it with a hammer or
something like that”. In fact, as far as gem-quality emeralds are
concerned, the majority of oils and fillers are actually colourless
(“commercial-grade” stones are a different matter). As far as the
second statement goes: one should always advise a customer to treat a
heavily-fractured emerald with care, because they can and do break in
normal use.

?:sunglasses:
-Michael.


#4

This is a matter, not to look at; in a kneejerk fashion.
Relationships with customers, suppliers, and covering ones self are
all important. Seeking advice from an attorney on how to proceed,
learning and keeping well informed; about the current status of
various treatments; then intercommunicating and acting with a most
responsible regard, with this matter is the thoughtful and safest
course, all around.

DM Allen


#5

Seeking advice from an attorney on how to proceed,

I would have to disagree here as most attorneys are not aware enough
about this issue to help. It would be far better to talk to some
people at the JVC or the AGTA, and possibly your state attorney
general’s office first.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers


#6
 I would have to disagree here as most attorneys are not aware
enough about this issue to help.  It would be far better to talk to
some people at the JVC or the AGTA, and possibly your state
attorney general's office first. 

I would assume that anyone with a modest amount of good sense, would
get all the data available on an issue, write out what questions,
prepare to answer questions with regard to point of sale; that you
may be involved in and take that with you to an attorney. What
attorneys are very aware of is how to set up a program with which
you can avoid a law suit that is particular to your own personal
situation.

DMA