Reply to Ron at MillsGem
Your expertise in stones is evident and there was much in your post
about stone durability that was useful.
Perhaps you would like to make a stab at a stone durability rating,
informal though it may be, that would give us your opinion of the
practical durability of various stones. It would be good if you were
to include reference to toughness, as well as hardness, in the same
Personally, I would be interested in your comments about the harder
stones like corundum, beryl, spinel, and chrysoberyl.
One minor quibble about your comments is that I get the impression
that you are of the opinion that stones which can’t hold a high polish
have demerits attached to them due to that. I get that impression
from your comments about jade in particular. If true, I think this
reveals a bias on your part that stones must be able to keep a high
polish in order to be judged durable. I would disagree with that
opinion, at least in certain cases, and here’s why.
I saw a client wearing a jade wedding band that had been on his finger
for some 25 years or so. The finish, by wearing it steadily all that
time, was in my opinion aesthetically insuperable, aside from the fact
(and maybe because of the fact) that it was very finely abraded all
about. The finish that the ring had acquired was intimately his, and
the softness of that finish was really beautiful.
So in this case, the toughness of jade was amply demonstrated, and the
fact that it was subject to abrasion is not a defect, but in fact an
asset, at least in my opinion.
As long as we are on the topic of surface finish, allow me to extend
the point to finish on metal as well. Surface finish can vary from
matte to mirror, and there is no intrinsic reason to value one over
the other. Finish is an aesthetic choice basically.
Even so, I notice a predilection toward high polish in the great
majority of cases in this culture at this time. It wasn’t always so,
and it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way now. I would like to
remind people to be sensitive about surface and to think about the
range of choices that are available before blindly committing to the
highest polish that they can achieve.
By the way, I am aware that high polish results in more sales. Even
so, in my view that is not a compelling reason to use it all the time.