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Happy opal story


#1

To all, Greetings, I had to rejoin orchid again because I couldn’t
find the answers I needed somewhere else.

I just wanted to bring up something related to ethics. I had an
appraisal done on an opal at a local jewelery store (what many would
probably consider to be a “high-class” place). The stone came back
"created" from them. Then I brought an opal into several other local
jewelers, virtually all of them said the stone was created. I sent
the stone to GIA lab, it came back NATURAL. The stone is even
pictured (p. 218, “Lab Notes”) with a short write-up in the Fall
2001 issue of the GIA “Gems and Gemmology” as being a routine
examination easily determined to be natural. The stone has a quite
unusual pattern, maybe this is why the local guys said it was
created, I don’t know. I finally took a long drive to a larger city
to another gem lab for an appraisal as a genuine stone. This
appraisal came back with a value over TEN TIMES the first appraisal
as a created stone (not even considering that this stone could be an
opalized fossil, as in the GIA article).

My question is why can’t the jewelers simply say that they don’t
know, instead of giving complete guesses? I mean, I paid for this
service, are they not concerned about integrity? People could lose
money over these screwey judgement calls.

Anyway, now the only question is the stability of the piece (with
crazing). Is a year enough time to be able to say for certain if
generally an opal will be stable, if problems have not been
encountered previously? The stone is from Coober Pedy 14-mile, I
haven’t heard anyone tell me that there are problems specific to
this locality.

Thanks.
Blaine Buckman


#2

Hi Blaine,

  Is a year enough time to be able to say for certain if generally
an opal will be stable, if problems have not been encountered
previously?  The stone is from Coober Pedy 14-mile, I haven't heard
anyone tell me that there are problems specific to this locality. 

In one sense, any opal can craze at any time. In fact, I’ve heard
it said that every opal will craze eventually though it could take
many, many years. On the other hand, if you’ve had an opal for a year
(especially if it’s been subjected to various temperatures and
weather conditions), it’s probably a pretty stable stone.

I did recently get a piece back from consignment that has several
small Coober Pedy opals in it. One has begun to craze and I will
have to replace it. I don’t know if this is typical of the location.

Beth


#3

Blaine, Your right!!! Unfortunately I think egos get in the way.
I have a small mom & pop jewelry store and specialize in custom
design & service. I have found that being truthful to your customer
is your #1 priority. If you don’t know then tell them you don’t or
get someone who does.

I do the same thing with repairs, If you damage a piece or stone
by accident, then tell the customer. Accidents do happen, but being
sneeky about it will only bring other troubles.

Kevin F
Hasko Jewelers


#4

Blaine I have learned that there is great valve in being able to say
"I don’t know." But I will help you find an answer to your
question." The result is that my clients eventually get their
question or problem solved, I pick up a new resource, and I learn
about one more piece of the jewelry puzzle, and most of all I
enhanced my integrity in the “word of mouth” community. In the end
this is what makes or breaks us as crafts(men/women), artisans.

Part of the problem lies in a society that looks to the
"professional" as being “all knowing.” As “professionals” it is all
too easy for us to blindly foster this attitude. To be found not
"all knowing" is to be seen as being inferior or so the competition
would say. Now we are at the integrity issue and the need to educate
ourselves, our customers or at least those who want to be educated.
To say "I don’t know " also puts the responsibility to learn more on
our shoulders. I have known too many in too many fields too damn
lazy to go learn more. Knowledge, skill, and integrity tend to go
hand in hand.

Also keep in mind that most “jewelers” are just sales people. This
comment ought to stir up a furor for sure.

Beware the jeweler with a philosophy degree! Hope you had a pleasant
Thanksgiving.

Bill


#5

Dear Blaine,

Opal and Gem in Buena Park, California should be able to answer all
of you questions. They are excellent. The American Opal society is
also in Orange County and accepts out of area members.

Pauline