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Heat treatment of Songea Sapphires



I am not sure what your point is regarding the heat treatment of
Songea Corundum, maybe I’m missing something. If as you stated after
heat treatment "…the Sapphires changed into bright red colors. Yes,
into ruby by Gia standards. " how can you separate out the heated
Songea material from the heated red Corundum from other provenience
in the parcel of melee and what would be the purpose? This would
only become an issue if the vendor was trying to sell the parcel as
not heat treated, or untreated natural ruby .Again am I missing
something here?

Although valuable I find the inclusion of a warning
regarding synthetics being sold at Tuscon, in the same post as the
one regarding Songea Corundum being heat treated, to be mixing
apples and oranges as these are two very separate and distinct issues
for buyers. Doug Frey


All, I do not find the issues of selling synthetics and selling
treated material without disclosure as being different issues. Both
issues involve fraudulent presentations of goods. Especially when
you are taking a marginal sapphire and changing it into a ruby. To
me it is fraud to not tell a customer that the ruby they are about
to purchase was at one time an almost worthless sapphire. This is
as much fraud as selling a synthetic quartz as natural. Both the
same issue. Fraud. The issue gets buried deeper when you start
looking into melee (stones 3.0mm and under). Several gemologists
that specialize in gemstone identification have told me that they
suspect that most packages of sapphire, ruby, and quartz melee are
salted with synthetics. Does anyone check melee?

I wish that the many ORCHID members that have personally emailed me
concerning these issues would post their own personal horror stories
on ORCHID. If they have posted them and they have been censored by
Dr. Aspler, I wish you would reconsider and post them.

Gerry Galarneau


Gerry, I don’t quite get where you are coming from. You suggest that
it would be fraud to not advise that a treated Songea sapphire which
has become , for all intents, a ruby, was the result of heating an
otherwise “worthless” sapphire. Come now !..Otherwise
"worthless" sapphires have been coming out of Sri Lanka for
decades…and have been transformed into beautiful gems by such
treatment. These “worthless” sapphires don’t really need to be
stigmatized by such negativism. I would prefer to use the more
moderate approach that is used by Stuller wherein it is suggested
that treatment of certain gems is a “given” Furthermore, it has
generally become known that the various treatments are usually
acceptable and very often undetectable. In the real world I think
that enhancement would be a preferable term. This does not mean that
one should accept treatments that are superficial, lacking in
durability or otherwise impermanent. All of us would definitely
prefer to think that our stones are quite natural, but a true purist
would insist that only a natural crystal would be
acceptable…after all, faceted gems do not occur in
nature…Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA


Hi Gang,

You suggest that it would be fraud to not advise that a treated
Songea sapphire which has become , for all intents, a ruby, was
the result of heating an otherwise "worthless" sapphire.<< 

This rasises another question, how do you know that $2000/ct ruby
that came out of the ground isn’t a naturally heated 'worthless’

The same can be said for stones whose color has been
changed/enhanced by radiation. How do we know that a ‘naturally blue
topaz’ wasn’t zapped by mother nature before being mined?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t endorse pulling the wool over someone’s
eyes. If a stone is ‘enhanced’ in any way the consumer MUST be told
when they purchase the stone. If they aren’t, then jewelers will end
up with a reputation worse than used car salesmen & lawyers.