Has anybody heard anything more about, or had any firsthand
experiences with the postal irradiation process? It has not been
discussed recently. I saw the results of the tests that GIA did,
there were some very dramatic changes. Is there a way of getting a
package exempt from the irradiation? I’m sure other industries have
the same concern, pharmaceutical for one. I don’t know a safer
method of shipping in and from the U.S. than registered mail. Thank
You, J.D. Wriston
Has anybody heard anything more about, or had any firsthand
According to my postmistress, all USPS priority mail items
(letters and packages) are being scanned automatically. She has had
me write “Do not scan - gemstones enclosed” on all of my priority
mail packages and insure them (which I do anyway, but feel much
better since "is written on the package). So far, every
one has made it to it’s destination without any changes/problems etc.
Wired Contemporary Jewelry
There is a very detailed and scientific explanation of the effects
of the new postal radiation that has been put out by the
The current edition of National Jeweler carries photos of pearls
that have been darkened and sapphires that have changed from blue to
orange as a result of postal irradiation. Ronb at Mills Gem, Los
She has had me write "Do not scan - gemstones enclosed" on all of my priority mail packages and insure them (which I do anyway, but feel much better since "is written on the package). So far, every one has made it to it's destination without any changes/problems etc.
Writing "on the package being shipped is begging some
less than honest postal employee to steal them. This violates every
tennant of security shipping policies.
I don’t know how safe I would feel having “written on the
box, even if it is insured. Perhaps it would be better to write
"sensitive materials” or even “seeds” so that you don’t bring
attention to the package as a high dollar value item. I wouldn’t
feel so bad if it was registered rather than just insured (I’m sure
you know the difference but it isn’t clear from your post).
It seems to me that this is opposite to the advice from Jewelers’
Security Alliance and other wise people to NEVER use wording on
packages which indicates jewelry as contents. I only use L.O.T.R. in
my return address.I send things to XYZ Company, NOT XYZ Diamonds,
I believe a package marked “gemstones enclosed” would be much more
likely to be stolen in transit. David Barzilay, Lord of the Rings.
I Would highly agree, DO NOT MARK YOU PACKAGE. I believe there is a
bigger threat of the package being stolen…
Re:“Do not scan…gemstones enclosed” being too much of a
temptation to a less-than-honest postal employee: How about
labeling the package “do not scan…mineral specimens enclosed.”?
Writing "on the package being shipped is begging some less than honest postal employee to steal them. This violates every tennant of security shipping policies.
G’day - and couldn’t agree more. When I send silver or gold
plus gemstones or jade, overseas, I write, ‘Metal and stone
ornament(s)’ on the customs declaration. Never had a problem
In the US I would write, ‘Do not irradiate; stone specimens’ or
…‘geological specimens; sensitive to radiation’
Cheers for now,
John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ
Also the post office has given and madman with a grudge , or
terrorist a safeway tos send what ever the want thur the mail. Thus
defeating the entire system. It may not be a better or safer way, but
perhaps if you have gems to ship, go to the Postoffice and Have the
items checked there, with you on looking,then have the post office
pack, again with you watching, the gems, then marked as contactacts
being checked and passed Federal inspection. I believe a security
guard should be there, to insure everyone’s safety, as well as
keeping an eye on the gems. then they shoulbe placed in completely
taped box with seals. The seals should go on every package anyone
ships. Yes this will take time and perhaps a fee. But which is
better, a litttle extra time, and money to assure everyone’s safety,
aswell as the gems, or giving the wackos another chance to kill, or
to damage commerce? Just passing thru.
It is doubtful that the label “Do Not Irradiate - Sensitive
materials” would be too specific, yet get the point across. Try it.
As to USPO irradiating mail - I went to the PO today and asked, and
they said that no irradiating was being done anymore - that the first
bit was a pilot project and there were problems created (as we all
know) and they discontinued it.
If I can figure out the site, I’ll submit the question to the USPO
and let you all know the answer.
I was mailing a package yesterday and was shown a letter from USPS
which said that there was irradation being done - only to certain
zip codes (US Government offices) in the northeast.
I was mailing a package yesterday and was shown a letter from USPS which said that there was irradation being done - only to certain zip codes (US Government offices) in the northeast.
I checked with my post office about this too, and they said the
same. Basically mail going through the Washington, D.C. hub is
irradiated. The postmaster said the equipment is exhorbitantly
expensive, and they will begin by putting them in the major hubs
where there is high-density population, first. If there seems to be a
problem, then mail will be rerouted through the hubs that have the
I live in the Washington, D.C. suburbs. The Washington Post ran an
article earlier this week on irradiation. Apparently most of the
irradiation equipment for the east coast is located in two places and
so far, only mail destined for government zip codes is being
separated and irradiated. The Washington Post has a website and you
may be able to find the article there. Donna in VA
Hello All – I just received my March newsletter from Stuller, which
included an article about the postal service’s irradiation practices
and a test that they ran with the help of the company that produces
the equipment that the post office uses (a subsidiary of Titan Corp.)
. They made up three packages of materials that included two types
of cultured pearls and eight different gem species – all of which
were natural – and packaged them the same way that they would
package them in their own mailings. They had the packages scanned
anywhere from one to four times, with the understanding that any one
stone is often in the mail more than one time.
The first thing they checked for was residual radiation and did not
detect any. Then they checked the stones / pearls for any obvious
changes in appearance. All of the gem material – except for the
diamond – showed a dramatic change in color; this was whether or not
the material had been scanned once or multiple times. (In their
test, they found that only the colorless quartz showed degrees of
change based on the number of scans.)
They also spoke with officials in the postal service, who indicated
that the post office is now only scanning a small portion of the
mail and of that, only letters and flat envelopes. They were also
told that certified / registered mail would probably not be scanned
as they all require from the sender. They also contacted
U.S. Customs Service, Brinks, UPS, Fed Ex and Malca Amit about their
practices and were told that they were not planning to use
irradiation procedures at this time.
Just more info folks –