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Natural vs treated stones


#1

Was: Blue jade

Hi Guys,

The beauty of a stone consists largely in its natural coloration.
If a stone with an uninteresting color is "enhanced" with dyes, any
beauty it displays becomes an artificial one - ie -fake. 

I would agree that a natural stone exhibits it’s own beauty, however
some stones come alive after treatment. Of course some stones are
artificial, but no less desirable.

I picked up a lovely topaz a while back, and it’s a beautiful deep
sky blue… obviously irradiated. It wont look terrible in a setting,
in fact it would look better that an untreated topaz, which would
usually be colourless.

So really it depends on what the customer wants or what you’re
trying to achieve.

Next year I need a black diamond. For the project the diamond needs
to be almost perfect… I could not afford a natural black diamond,
but a synthetic is on budget. Of course if I could afford a natural,
I’d buy it.

Is a synthetic a fake? Well yes and no. “Yes” Chemically it can be
the same, and can exhibit the same qualities, even flaws can be
added. “No” if you equate man-made as fake.

The smart jeweller can use whatever he’s given to produce exquisite
pieces that people want to own (imo).

Regards Charles A.


#2

As much as I love natural stones, use them when ever I can, and
deeply appreciate them, my motto is “I’ll take artificial beauty over
natural ugly any time.” Of course disclosure of treatments is a must.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#3

A manmade stone not found in natue is a synthetic (and a lab created
version of a natural stone I think,cat is on my lap, can’t reach my
books). A treated stone from nature, and synthetics are NOT fakes
unless they are being offered as something else. Even a spinel of
the right color is a fake if it is being sold as a ruby.

A good example is howlite, a mineral that’s white with balck matrix
streak through it. When sold as itself, untreated, that’s the natural
stone. When dyed blue and sold as itself, that’s treated. But when
dyed blue and sold as turquoise, that’s fake.

Jo really nailed it on the use of stones.

Best regards,
Kelley Dragon


#4
I would agree that a natural stone exhibits it's own beauty,
however some stones come alive after treatment. 

Stones may come alive after treatment in words. Barbara’s essay on
disclosure was excellent and could perhaps be titled, “Treat stones
and jewelry any way you want but be honest about it”.

The treatment of stones is also in the language we use to describe
and promote them. It is not “fakery” to sell oyster secretions under
the name of pearl rather than “clam gunk”. We know that diamonds can
easily be shattered and burned but most say it is within marketing
norms to use a slogan like “diamonds are forever”. Even the name
"black diamond" which you gave earlier could be called fakery. Do we
have to sell it as “metamorphosed rust” to be honest?

Is jade really “the stone of heaven”? If not, Leaming committed a
fraud by sub-titling his “Jade Fever” book as he did. The price of
jade in China has soared in the last decade because of the new free
market capitalism there but also because of the jade tradition. Jade
is culturally associated with all sorts of blessings from healing to
good luck to good character. We are told that in Ancient China and
Ancient Mexico only the nobility could own jade jewelry. In China you
do not have to hire an expensive marketing team as De Beers does
because the history, tradition and positive associations are now
culturally, though not literally built into the stone.

Coprolite jewelry does not have this advantage, Charles. You may have
already discovered it is a hard sell.

If I then use “Jade sells Itself” as an advertising slogan, is that
fakery? Would De Beers hire lawyers to chase me though the courts
from LA to Shanghai if it is “Diamonds are Forever but Jade sells
Itself”? How many millions would they make for me through the
publicity (free advertising) in China when the story gets covered in
the Chinese business news? In my best Clint Eastwood impersonation, I
might respond to the threat of litigation in Mandarin with “Make my
day” which in Mexican-Amerindian sign language is the logo stamped on
every Future Jade jewelry piece:

$$$


#5
Stones may come alive after treatment in words. Barbara's essay on
disclosure was excellent and could perhaps be titled, "Treat
stones and jewelry any way you want but be honest about it". 

I agree with this statement 100%. You sell to a customer and tell
them exactly what it is. This is very wise in Australia, as you can
get sued easily.

Coprolite jewelry does not have this advantage, Charles. You may
have already discovered it is a hard sell. 

Lol, haven’t sold coprolites myself, but I have seen some work
exhibiting specimens… the problem is if you put crap on
something… it looks like crap.

Regards Charles
P.S. I appreciate the time you took to contact us off list :slight_smile:


#6

Personally, whatever stone I set, I don’t care if it is natural or
man made. As long as I know what the materials are so that I can do
proper disclosure, I’m fine with either natural or man made. However,
it is curious that so many natural stones are so badly cut, it takes
longer to set them. I almost prefer man made stones for they are
better cut, often calibrated, very precise, and so easy to set. I
don’t have to do much tweaking to make the man made stones sit
properly. Natural stones are so crooked, or rounded, or thick
girdles, it can take a typical 5 minute job and drag it out to a hour
long job.

I find myself buying more man made stones, esp. in the larger sizes,
for the color, cut, and shape is so much better. I’ve set thousands
of stones in my 27 years so I’ve come to really appreciate a good
cut. It’s true that you do get fussier as you get older and that’s
the case with me - I’m more careful of what shapes I buy. It’s too
bad that so many of the emeralds, sapphires and rubies from
India/Asia are so “off” in their cuts, but that’s what I find I’m
dealing with when it comes to resetting clients’ rings. They are
more like faceted cabs than actual faceted gems.

Joy


#7
I agree with this statement 100%. You sell to a customer and tell
them exactly what it is. This is very wise in Australia, as you
can get sued easily. 

In the US of A, it’s more than just good business, it’s the law.
Failure to disclose treatment of any kind to a gemstone may not only
get you sued, it can bring criminal action from law enforcement. If
you are a professional (i.e. make money selling jewelry), even if you
didn’t know a stone you sold was treated (and most are in one way or
another, a fact not always disclosed by the supplier or vendor
either, even though they are bound by the same law), you can still be
held liable if it was and you didn’t disclose it at the time of sale.
Seller beware.

Dave Phelps


#8
Coprolite jewelry does not have this advantage, Charles. You may
have already discovered it is a hard sell. 

I’m all for full disclosure. You can get sued in Australia if you
sell something that is not as advertised.

Never sold coprolite jewellery, but a fossil turd still looks like a
turd. Saw a nice pattern welded knife, but the maker used a huge
coprolite as a grip… in my opinion it really detracted from the
workmanship put into the blade.

Regards Charles A.


#9
However, it is curious that so many natural stones are so badly
cut, it takes longer to set them. I almost prefer man made stones
for they are better cut, often calibrated, very precise, and so
easy to set. I don't have to do much tweaking to make the man made
stones sit properly. Natural stones are so crooked, or rounded, or
thick girdles, it can take a typical 5 minute job and drag it out
to a hour long job. 

To which I must respond that thereal culprit is thecutting, not
the fact that the stone is “natural.”

Joy’s post seems to refer to native cut or sloppily cut commercial
stones. I offer this: American (or other skilful lapidaries) produce
cabs and faceted stones, finely cut to extreme accuracy, and easily
make calibrated stones when required to do so and if the value of
the material permits the waste. Most man-made stones are made of
materials that have almost no value, so wasted material is not a
consideration. Also, numerically controlled machines permit cutting
multiple identical calibrated stones simultaneously, so cutting cost
per stone can be very low. Off-shore cutting houses may use manually
cutting, but standards of accuracy and finish aren’t always good. A
10X loupe reveals the difference.

Dick Davies
Faceter in Virginia, USA


#10

Dave is absolutely correct. It’s not about the “product” but,
rather, about the you provide to a prospective buyer! By
the way, I’ve just started my very first “blog”. on Orchid. and my
first post (yesterday) touches on this very topic. Hope some of you
will visit my blog!

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1i0

Thanks.
Antoinette

Antoinette Matlins
AntoinetteMatlins.com