Glad to see someone with your gravitas bringing up this subject, and
I would encourage everyone here to read this article. These "fakes"
are the elephant in the room, and if our industry doesn’t take
control of this monster, it just might squish all of us.
The ISG has been a leader in identifying this problem, and Robert
James has my personal thanks for his untiring efforts. He is
currently testifying in the class action suit against Direct Shopping
Network for their alleged undisclosed selling of diffusion treated
andesine. This isn’t an isolated problem - it’s systemic. (By the
way, I have absolutely no affiliation with the ISG, I’m just a fan.)
Macy’s should know better than to sell lead glass filled corundum as
"natural rubies." In my opinion it stinks, and woe to the jeweler
who takes a piece of this jewelry in for a repair - puts a torch to
it - and bang! It’s all over but the weeping.
Of course the short term profits are huge when you can buy lead
glass filled rubies for a buck a carat, and then sell them for
hundreds or even thousands per carat. But, what is the cost to the
industry in the long term? What happens when you show a real treasure
of a ruby to someone who then tells you they can buy the same thing
on the “web” for a few dollars…the argument that everyone is a
crook but “us” only goes so far.
Imitations, synthetics and lead filled stones all have their place,
but proper disclosure is paramount. That’s all the ISG and Mr. James
are asking for, and I don’t think that’s too much to ask. We’d all
better get a handle on this issue, or it will get it’s handle on us.
I never want to misrepresent anything, especially my work. Today I
find myself becoming more and more cynical. The short term profits
are just too great, and someone in the gem industry sales chain no
doubt sees that too. I’m constantly concerned about that one faceless
entity, that “one person,” who is willing to look the other way.
That’s all it takes, just one unscrupulous person, one doctored
stone, one needed sale, to wipe out years of building credibility and
Thanks for posting this Hans, I’m Glad you too are concerned.
Rgds…Ski & Cathy
Rocks to Gems