Rubies on Ebay

You do not want to use nitric acid to etch silver because of the
’chemical issue’. In my opinion, diluted nitric acid is absolutely
not dangerous on the condition that you are careful and use commen
sense. Right, you do not want it on your hands or in your eyes and
you do not want to inhale it’s fumes, that goes for Sparex too and a
lot of other things. The great thing about nitric acid is that it
works fast unlike other acids people use to etch silver and that its
bite does not produce an undercut. When you work, use the materials
that give you the best results in the shortest time. Be careful and
nothing will happen to you. It is just being professional about it.
I have been tyring to etch enamel from a piece of silver with EtchAll
for three weeks by (seriously) and I am really losing my patience. I
wish I could use some nitric on it, but I can’t.


post one

Personally I love the how natural mAterials make me feel. I get a
thrill from how varied and beautiful nature can be. I like finding
something special. I don't think I would enjoy my work as much or
my clients would appreciate it as much without that extra thrill. 

post two

I know that there are many lovely, lab grown stones. However,
there is so much customer resistance to them because, as Tracy
pointed out, customers equate them with low quality.

I probably sell more different kinds of natural gemstones set in
jewelry than anyone on this forum, dino bone to diamonds. When you
have a customer that wants a birthstone, 5mm round ruby, lab created
is $450, natural between $2000-$3000, do you give the customer an
option or watch them walk?

In my 30 years of retail, most customers are quite accepting of a lab
created gems, and a lot of the time they are happy with simulated
gems. Especially grandmother on a limited budget.

There is a big difference in lab created, some companies have pinkish
synthetic ruby stones, and some companies have a true ruby red
synthetic that are really hard to tell from a natural ruby.

If you cannot tell which ruby is natural, how can you tell how you
feel without knowing which is real? If it is based on intellectual
knowledge, might be about thinking rather than feeling.

Particularly at this point in time, with the economy not very kind to
most of us, if I want to stay in business, I am glad that I am able
to give my customer the choice.

I did sell a one carat natural very fine ruby for $8,000. But what
choice can you give a customer that wants a ruby and only has $500 to

Perhaps because I have a brick and mortar store, perhaps because I am
a Graduate Gemologist, I am able to sell lab created gems. I do tell
the customer that the synthetic is made to look like the best quality
natural gem which is usually out of the price range for most people.
I do have some people who do not want lab created gems.

They usually do not make any kind of gem purchase. ( They say they
will wait to afford what they want. Price of gems goes up faster than
most wage increases).

I do not know how you cannot make a sale of a synthetic/simulant
alexandrite when the price of a natural gem is not affordable by
most customers. We have people come in and ask for them, we tell them
they are synthetic/simulant and they say they know, they like them. A
lot of man made gems that look like alexandrite are color change
synthetic corundum or color change spinel. When you are selling lab
created, make sure you say " This is a man made gem, it is the same
exact chemical composition as the natural, just made in a lab". Works
for me.

I also have noticed, when someone comes in for an aquamarine
birthstone, many more people are happy with the price for a blue
topaz as opposed to an aqua, and they buy one. I always give the
price for the aqua, and then I tell them that blue topaz looks just
like aqua, and it can be 15-20% of the aqua.

I will bet a lot of people who are so purist about the gems they use
are not anywhere as purist about the processed “food” they consume.
GMO corn or soy, anyone? Banned in Europe, not in the U.S. Virus is
genetically altered, used to modify gene in our food, we eat it, we
get modified by the virus. Allergies increased in Europe to something
like 55% from 5-10%. Rant over.

Richard Hart
Denver, co.

The stupid and ignorant ones just think it's pretty. 

Unjustified prejudice. Nothing wrong with pretty, natural or
synthetic/simulant. Some of you could not tell the difference just by
looking at them. Would that be stupidity or ignorance? They both look
pretty until you know which is natural, then the synthetic/simulant
is not pretty? Stupid and ignorant people think Burger King, Taco
Bell, McDonald’s sell food. More people buy crap food than synthetic
gems…explain that, please.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co. 80210

Why do we associate value of our work with value of the material? 

Doctors get a premium for the value of their material. It’s the
percieved responsibility for treating the material according to it’s
value. This does not mean that all doctors treat the material
according to it’s value…there are good and bad in all ranks.

Saving the life of a king or president is sometimes shadowed by the
light of the material. Sometimes saving the life of a child brings
accolades to the saviour. All depends on the commentators and what
makes better news.

I sold creations containing huge synthetic ruby cabs. They were
presented as having all the properties of a too-perfect natural stone
at a fraction of the cost. No deceipt at all, they were presented as
synthetic and were appreciated for what they are… stunning red
light, great durability, and affordable.


Flux filled rubies ??? Makes me think of lime jello with baby
marshmallows. Where is the line between calling it jello or
marshmallows ? 

That’s a scary thought, Jeff! ;} I realized that in this day of
internet, the story I mentioned must be out there, and so it is: At the bottom is the link to the story
and video.

Richard Hart posted a very passionate essay about the realities of
selling gems - I agree with all he says. The thing is, many people
just want natural, and trying to convince them otherwise is not ever
going to happen. But many don’t care, for the cost difference…

I mentioned a large abalone fragment on another thread - It’s the
major part of the top of a shell, beach-worn so the edges are
softened and the field of it has the striations worn at different
rates, so it has a grain you can feel, like driftwood sometimes has.
Lovely. Not something man could ever duplicate, really. Nature has
it’s own ways…

Hi All, I think every POV expressed on this subject is perfectly
valid. I’m sure that those of you with stores have a wider customer
base than those of us doing “art-jewelry”. No disrespect to anyone!
That is why I was careful to state that what I expressed is personal.

There is great value in providing people with jewelry that pleases
them and that they can afford.

I also set everything from '“dino bone to diamonds”… to
meteorite. I use humble stones, glass as glass, antiques, feathers,
fossiles, and opals from 50 cents to thousands of dollars. For me
personally, using a copy of a dino bone or another material wouldn’t
be the same…I ( and my clients) love when I can say "this is from
a dinosaur x millions of years old (2000 year old roman glass, a
jewel made in 1750 etc),… really!

there is also great value in our own thrills and in sharing the
experience of a bit of history and/or knowledge as a rare experience
with our customers. We each have our drives, and our needs. For me
personally, my work is partly as a story teller and my materials are
part of those stories.

I believe that the variety and weirdness and unusal beauty of the
materials I chose to use is part of the success (or failure) of my
work. It certainly makes days in the studio even more engaging to

You newbies out there…there are no right answers to this question
YOUR CLIENTS IS IN YOUR WORK!!! Never, ever let a customer presume
what is not true, even if you could get away with it.


certainly within the customer sector and sometimes encouraged by the
industry is the definition of the various terminology ‘we’ are using;
natural… obvious… natural in nature, lab… this is the one that
is completely being used to mislead the public… lab should
mean…not crystalline…that is, … the same as ‘synthetic’, made
from plastic/polymers!!! man made… yes, grown in a lab, but not a
polymer… the exact same as nature or natural and is
crystalline in composition. Jim


Natural - Untreated stone “as found” Treated - A natural stone that
has been enhanced by heat, laser, oil, etc.
Synthetic/lab/grown/created - a chemically identical material that
has been manufactured (or should we be politically correct and say
person-ufactured?) Simulant - a material that visually mimics the
stone in question. An impostor.

It’s concerning that many emeralds that have been oiled are never
reported as such because “it’s a temporary treatment.” Likewise
bluing on a diamond. I think this verges on naughty!

I think this verges on naughty! 

You’re too gentle, Tony. It doesn’t “verge on naughty”


Pure and simple.

Peter Rowe