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Quartz treatments


#1

Dear Orchidians,

I feel I must explain a recent post of mine further, and apologize
to Gerry G for any unintended interpretation of my words.

In a past post, when I said: “All quartz has not been treated. This
is a blanket statement made out of ignorance.” In reference to Gerry
saying: “Most dealers I have met have told me that heat treatment of
quartz is an acceptable treatment and you can assume that all the
quartz you see has been heat treated.”

What I meant was: If someone (dealer) does not know (ignorance) if a
gem has been treated, then they should not make the assumption that
it has been treated. It is an assumption based not on knowledge but
on “ignorance”.

I was using the word “ignorance” to describe lack of knowledge, and
not as any sort of insult.

So my apologies to Gerry G to whom my word “ignorance” was not
intended to be directed or percieved in a negative manner. I
apoligize again if it was. Steve : )

I would like to elaborate a little further on this topic of
treatment and assumptions of.

Take for example blue topaz. There are sources for natural blue
topaz in the world. Right here in Colorado it can be found in the
Tarryall Mountains, and also in Virgem da Lapa, Brazil. Natural blue
topaz is found in small quantities, light color saturation, and
infrequently. Sound factual knowledge also exists that vast amounts
of cut blue topaz on the market today was originally colorless or
brown (natural) material treated (irradiation and heat) by man to
change the color to blue. Are we to assume that all cut blue topaz
we see is treated? My answer would be yes, based on factual
knowledge of the quantities of each that occurs… very little
natural blue -versus- vast quantities of treated blue. However, one
must know his sources in this instance in order to recognize the
natural material from Colorado or Virgem da Lapa and give it it’s
recognition. In the uncut crystal state, natural blue topaz is
definitely recognizable as to locale by crystal habit, once cut
there is little hope of proving locale and thus the untreated
quality - other than trusting your source.

Now let’s turn that around. Anyone who has seen amethyst deposits
knows that from many occurences it comes from the ground in large
quantities and in purple colors that are marketable without any need
for treatment. It is also known that amethyst coloration can be
altered with heat. Are we to assume that all amethyst is heat
treated? My answer is no. Again, based on the above reasoning and
knowledge that was applied to the blue topaz. Many amethyst locales
cut perfectly well with no treatment necessary.

I know of dozens of mines that fit that description. So, even though
the color can be altered with heat there is no reason to assume that
it has been unless there is specific knowledge to the contrary. In
many cases there is not much to be gained from heating and it may
even prove detrimental to lighter material. I know of many mines
which produce amethyst that is cut and sold with no treatment
what-so-ever.

Amethyst is just one of the gems in the quartz family. There are
many others that are also brought to market without heat treatment.
Since I have taken on the task of defending them from the statement
made at the top of the page I will list some others which I am
familiar with and feel very confident that they are not heat
treated:

Strawberry quartz Rose quartz Golden rutilated quartz Red rutilated
quartz Russian Rock crystal Colorado smoky quartz Quartz with edenite
needles Mozambique citrine Madagascar “red-fire” quartz Chrysoprase Gem
silica Chrysocolla Numerous Agates Ametrine Carnelian Green Chalcedony
Holly Blue Chalcedony Blue Chalcedony and many more not named on this
list

When it comes to heat treatments I have a strong dislike for
assuming that it is heat treated when in fact it is undetectable and
all evidence points to it not being heat treated. Just because you
cannot tell if something is treated is not reason enough to assume
it has been treated IMO.

If nothing else, I hope to dispell the myth that everthing is
treated out there. It simply is not true. I also would like to say
that I have enjoyed this lively discussion and again wish to
apologize for any misinterpretation, or offenses on my part. It was
not my intention to attack, dicredit, embarass, or be mean-spirited.
I too have learned things throughout this thread and have realized I
may not have been as clear or thorough as I originally thought.
Again my apologies.

Regards, Steve Green - Rough and Ready Gems your source for
briolettes - some treated some not - but all real pretty!
www.briolettes.com