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Naming gem materials


#1
 Actually, this leads to a question for me: do you trust Rio? Or
Fire Mountain? I know the former has GGs on staff, and I've been
told they spot-check the beads, but I would bet they don't test
everything. 

I’ve noted that Fire Mountain is being pretty cautious in its naming
of materials, but don’t know if that means they test, or if they
parrot what their sources tell them. I personally went around with
them a bit over the “Ching Hai jade” question - their paper catalogs
had quotation marks around the “jade”, but their website didn’t. My
initial inquiry got a throwaway answer that there were no quotes,
and of course jade comes in many different colors. I kept at it
until someone (who sounded a bit more knowledgeable about
stones)replied that the stuff was a form of dolomite. Now that I
can test for … but of course, I haven’t yet … In general I’ll
believe anything that they announce as treated, is; but I got some
gorgeous faceted rock crystal, sold as natural quartz, for such a
steal that I seriously wonder.

Surely there are some Fire Mountain insiders lurking out there that
can give us the straight of it?

Tas
www.earthlywealth.com


#2
   Actually, this leads to a question for me: do you trust Rio? 

My personal belief is that Rio has infinitely more to loose if their
reputation were to be damaged by a “scandal” (such as beads or
stones that were misrepresented) than they could possibly gain from
the extra profit that dishonesty might get them. In short, yes, I
trust them.

It is not really an act of faith to trust, in this situation. Just
as it is not an matter of ethics for such a company to deliver what
is promised (I am not saying the ethics are not there, just that
they aren’t relevant here). It is a clear-eyed business decision. So
all I’m really trusting is that Rio is smart enough to realize the
cost/benefit of honesty vs ill-gotten profit. Experience over the
past decade-plus supports the conclusion that, yes, they are smart
enough.

Noel


#3

Tas, How did you get Fire Mountain to reply?

I sent a query to determine just what Yellow “Jade” was and have yet
to receive an answer.

I think there is a need for “” being explained.

I have been deleting their online catalog unread. All questions
deserve an answer.

Terrie


#4
  Tas, How did you get Fire Mountain to reply? 

I tried their “contact us” function. Also, you can call their 800
number. I made it clear I was questioning their veracity and
technical expertise - guess they felt obliged to say something. Try
forwarding your original e-mail, with an added line about “why don’t
you respond?”. Point out you can’t continue to order from them if
they won’t answer your questions.

Tas


#5
 I sent a query to determine just what Yellow "Jade" 

PS - My experience has been that yellow “jade” fizzes in
hydrochloric acid, which means calcite or aragonite.


#6

In a recent and ongoing thread I used Fire Mountain as an example. I
had communicated with them about their use of Yellow “Jade”

I received a direct communication from Tas who did some leg work and
found two entirely different possibilities, died quartz or
serpentine.

How can there be truth in advertising when a major catalog company
can advertise two different substances under one name.

Cherry Quartz cover was finally blown, but not before many bought it
thinking they had a natural mineral than a died glass.

People will buy what attracts their eye first. The price with
disclosure will either seal or stop the purchase. That is as it
should be.

I had a rather strong position with a dealer at club shows selling
coral beads. With pressure from a couple of us they begrudgingly in
extra fine pen, wrote in glass. I questioned the show organizers
for several local clubs as to why this dealer was allowed to
continue selling at several club shows. The answer was, “they are
such nice people.” In truth they were basically thieves yet
continued to be foxes in the club show hen houses.

I feel very strongly about this issue, it cannot be tolerated simply
because it is a “Bead” related business. Many designers of fabricated
pendants, etc. create necklaces and bracelets utilizing chain and
beads, myself included. We need to purchase materials in full trust
of what we are buying. A standard needs to be set and met regarding
fanciful naming of traditional materials. Dyed yellow quartz, and/or
yellow serpentine will not stop me from purchasing these as long as
the color meets my needs.

Perhaps another category for Orchid could be an "Expose Scams"
location. There are too many lurking.

thanks
Terrie


#7
    I think there is a need for "" being explained. 

Typically, when a vendor lists a gem material with the nomenclature
in quotes, i.e., Transvaal “Jade”, or Korean “Jade”, etc., it means
that the word enclosed in the quotes is a misnomer, or "trade term."
They are a misleading stitch in the side of tradespeople and
consumers alike. This is a world-wide problem and there is little to
do about it, unfortunately. That is, apart from education. That
takes care of tradespeople, but doesn’t do much for consumers, who
can’t be expected to know our various trades. As I see it, we must
all educate our customers to the extent they will allow. The rest is
up to them.

James in SoFl


#8
 My experience has been that yellow "jade" fizzes in hydrochloric
acid, which means calcite or aragonite. 

If it fizzes, then it’s not jade. Pure and simple. jadeite can be
yellow, orange, brownish, etc, in addition to greens, whites, reddish
browns, lavenders, etc. Not necessarily dyed either, though it may
have been.

Peter


#9

A couple of years ago I ordered what was advertised on the website
of Fire Mountain as natural color citrine. I always give my beads a
quick wash in soap and water and when I did this to the “natural
citrine”, most of the color washed off. Fire Mountain took them
back and said they would check into the matter so I just assumed that
they had bought them in good faith as I did, but they certainly
couldn’t have checked them.

Betty Belmonte


#10

James, I strongly feel the onus is on the seller to first determine
what they are buying from their supplier, and then be honest with
their buyer, be they professional or amateur.

I am creating silver backgrounds for natural stones, many self
collected. I want to complement them with chains and beads. I will
buy the color I feel I need preferably natural, but with proper
disclosure, I may also consider dyed. I insist on knowing dyed what.
That must be disclosed on my sale.

Terrie


#11
      Tas, How did you get Fire Mountain to reply? 

“why don’t you respond?”. Point out you can’t continue to order from
them if they won’t answer your questions.

You might also let them know that this discussion is being posted on
Orchid ( a WORLDWIDE organization of jewelers,)

…and that the members of Orchid are VERY interested in their
policies regarding honest nomenclature. In strength of numbers ,
there is power.

David Barzilay
Lord of the Rings
607 S Hill St Ste 850
Los Angeles, CA 90014-1718
213-488-9157


#12

I can’t imagine anyone on this list mistaking yellow jade for
"serpentine’ which is as soft as butter (it’s soapstone after all)
when compared to jade; why not just take out your trusty steel
pocket knife and try to scratch it? Only Corundum, beside jade
wouldn’t scratch…good ole ‘Moh’. I always ‘narrow down’ my
possibilities with the easiest protocol being done first.


#13
    I can't imagine anyone on this list mistaking yellow jade for
"serpentine' which is as soft as butter (it's soapstone after all) 

Although closely associated, they are really not the same. Soapstone
is talc. Talc is different from serpentine.

Checkout:

http://mineral.galleries.com/minerals/silicate/serpenti/serpenti.htm

You can look up talc while you are there


#14
I can't imagine anyone on this list mistaking yellow jade for
"serpentine' which is as soft as butter (it's soapstone after all)
when compared to jade; why not just take out your trusty steel
pocket knife and try to scratch it? Only Corundum, beside jade
wouldn't scratch...good ole 'Moh'. I always 'narrow down' my
possibilities with the easiest protocol being done first. 

Captain,

I hate to be blunt. But attempting to identify any unknown gem via a
scratch test is a really good way to find yourself buying something
you didn’t want to own, after you’ve damaged the hell out of it with
a destructive test.There are better ways, that don’t damage the
merchandise.Hardness tests, while useful with rough uncut materials,
should generally not be used with cut and finished stones. And you
REALLY need to go back and check your mineralogy books. Serpentine
may be soft (3-4 on the mohs scale), but it’s not soapstone, (also
known as talc, or steatite), nor is it as soft as soapstone (which is
1, at the bottom of the scale, and can be scratched with a
fingernail).Jadeite is often found in close association with
serpentine, and some serpentine carvings are quite close in
appearance to jade, and it’s considered, despite being softer and
more fragile than jade itself, quite tough enough for good carving
material. Jadeite’s hardness usually around 6.5, and nephrite is
usually around 5.5 to 6, so indeed, most steel pen knives won’t
scratch it. But some modern steels are harder than you’d expect,
and given the state of knife making these days, I’d not suggest this
is a reliable test. plus, even with a stone harder than the knife,
persistent or unlucky scratch testing can cause unfortunate damage
via chipping. And, may I point out that while corundum indeed won’t
be scratched by your knife, at a hardness of 9 on the mohs scale,
neither will any of the other MANY minerals out there that are 6 or
harder, including a whole raft of quartz gems, agates, jaspers, and
others that might easily be mistaken for or used in similar
applications as jade. In fact, it’s probably safe to say your trusty
pen knife won’t be able to scratch the majority of gems in use today
using a true scratch test method. Yet, I promise you that if you push
hard enough with the sharp tip of your knife, in just the wrong place
on that corundum, (as discovered by many a stone setting with a
burnisher or graver), you can indeed cause a sort of scratch on the
sapphire. It’s not that the tool is harder, just that the tool can
transmit enough pressure to cause a series of small crush or bruise
marks that look just like a scratch…

Peter Rowe


#15

Cap’n Kirk, Hard to do a scratch test to an online catalog, or even
the paper catalog at home.

Terrie


#16

Cherry Quartz cover was finally blown, but not before many actually,
FMG never sold cherry “quartz” as anything but cherry glass…and
were very clear that the product was being sold by other dealers as
natural stone.

i’ve used FMG for almost 22 years, and found the quality to be
excellent…i have had to do more computer/catalogue shopping due to
stupid cancer and loss of some lungs…it slows me down but i can
always spend money…

if i have ever questioned any item i received, and didn’t feel
comfortable with it, i send it back. they have a policy that as
long as you keep the invoice and return the entire item, there is
(or hasn’t been) a time limit on returns. if you order 30 and only
needed 25, you can’t return the 5, 3 years later… but i’ve been
sitting on some bell caps i bought for my craft partner in crime,
she carves eggs with a dental drill and i ordered them for her. and
ordered the wrong ones. 3 years ago. i still have them, sealed in
the plastic, and with the invoice…gotta find a box or bubble
bag…

pat
wild poppy designs
http://imageevent.com/patmcaudel


#17
   If it fizzes, then it's not jade.  Pure and simple.  jadeite
can be yellow, orange, brownish, etc, in addition to greens,
whites, reddish browns, lavenders, etc.  Not necessarily dyed
either, though it may have been.

My friend recently returned from Guatemala and brought me back some
jadeite from there. I have been slabbing the material and found that
it was white with pastel colors inside. Some of the material I
received is white with lavender, pink, blue, and green colors. Most
of the shades are pastel in color. I also received some blue/green
jadeite and green. You can try to scratch this stuff with a knife all
day all you will do is dull your blade. It was hard enough to cut
this stuff with a diamond saw.

James Carpenter
Unconventional Lapidarist
http://www.UnconventionalLapidarist.com


#18

The important thing is its hardness (3-3.5) which would make it
ridiculous to mistake it for jade. 'Same goes for aragonite.
(Someone said they’d believed the so-called jade to be serp. or
arag.)


#19
 I hate to be blunt. But attempting to identify any unknown gem
via a scratch test is a really good way to find yourself buying
something you didn't want to own, 

You certainly make startling statements here; in my 40 years of
lapidary I never saw a “scratch” to appear on corundum unless there
was an imbedded foreign mineral there. And quartz will easily
scratch with good steel. And a needle is sufficient to make the test
on a small bead with no apparant damage to the piece. 'Guess I just
don’t understand those who complicate every little matter. I’ve
succeeded in this profession by usually sticking with my favorite
philosophy: ‘keep it simple’. And you can’t take a $10 "jade"
necklace to a gemologist and pay $25 for an academic ID just every
day…(Which you’d be forced to do under your suggested protocols).


#20
  The important thing is its hardness (3-3.5) which would make it
ridiculous to mistake it for jade. 'Same goes for aragonite.
(Someone said they'd believed the so-called jade to be serp. or
arag.) 

When you’re buying beads at a show, you CANNOT scratch them with a
knife, or pour acid on them, or crush them to look for cleavage
planes. Please keep this in mind as you shop. :wink:

Tas
www.earthlywealth.com