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"Synthetics" Denver Gem and Mineral Show Poll


#1

Dear Orchidians,

At the recent Denver Gem and Mineral Show I went around asking many
different long time Gem and Mineral industry folks the following
question:

Do “synthetic” gems need to have a natural counter-part?

In order to avoid influencing their answer I had the question typed
on a piece of paper and handed it to them. In this manner they were
all asked equally and influenced by the question and only the
question.

Below are the answers, the names and the credentials of the people
who I asked. All of the people I asked are folks that are active and
make their livings from the gem, mineral or jewelry business. Their
answers are printed and underlined (with their permission of
course). I thank them all for their participation and enthusiasm in
this survey.

Tom Cushman of Allerton Cushman & Co. Sun Valley, ID well known
gem dealer initially said NO then changed his answer to YES after
talking with Mark Kaufman who was standing near by.

Mark Kaufman - Kaufman Enterprises in San Diego, CA well known gem
cutter and dealer
YES and NO with caveat

Tim Roark of Tim Roark Imports Atlanta, GA well known gem dealer
NO

Herb Obodda Short Hills, NJ well known mineral and rare gem
dealer
NO initially then said YES and added “a blanket definition is not
possible”

Don Olson of Donald K. Olson & Associates Bonsall, CA well known
mineral and gem dealer
NO

Gloria Olson of Donald K. Olson and Associates Bonsall, CA gem
and mineral dealer
NO

Ann Frazier writes articles for gem and mineral publications
NO

Si Frazier writes articles for gem and mineral publications said
"Let me check the Oxford English Dictionary"

Merle White Editor of the Lapidary Journal
Yes “according to the GIA”

Sara Stern FGA of Saraco Company
NO

Dudley Blauwet of Mountain Minerals International Louisville, CO
mineral and gem dealer cited Zincite and said “how do you like that”
(zincite is an accidentally man-made gem)

Wayne Leicht of Kristalle Laguna Beach, CA well known mineral
dealer
NO (but added) “if word gem is not used”

John White of Kustos Stewartstown, PA past curator for the
SMITHSONIAN
NO

Charles Key well known mineral dealer and collector
NO

Bill Pinch well known mineral dealer and collector
NO

John Rhoads D&J Rare Gems Salida, CO gem cutter and dealer-
winner of numerous Cutting Edge Awards
NO

Bob Spomer Buena Vista Gem Works Buena Vista, CO gem cutter
YES

Morgan Sonsthagen of Sonthsagen Design Denver, CO jeweler YES and
added “can see both sides of the argument - could be yes and no”

Don Hoover FGA and Geophysicist
NO

Grady Harris of Creative Gems Seagoville, TX man-made rough gem
dealer
YES

Leslie Bertoldi GG & GJ Denver, CO
NO

Jay Morley jeweler Boulder, CO
NO

Warren Pressler GG, NAJA, ASA Arvada, CO
NO

Larry Dalinka of Dalinka Design jeweler
NO

Susan Dalinka of Dalinka Design jeweler
NO

Lance Kanaby Mine Design cutter and importer
NO

Jonathon Passel Natural Selection gem and mineral dealer
NO

Carlos Vasconcelos well known gem and mineral dealer Governador
Valadares, Brazil
YES

Peter Erdo owner of GRAVES Pompano Beach, FL sells synthetic &
natural rough gems
NO

The results are 19 NOs and 8 YESes . From this poll it is obvious
there is some confusion on what a “synthetic” is. The question often
lead to long deep conversations and thought. In the end most people
I polled thought it was all semantics. The more scientific oriented
folks seemed to favor that all man-made gems by definition are
"synthetic".

I uphold and stick to my original statement that: “A synthetic gem
does NOT have to have a man-made counter-part”. This leads to the
next statement I also believe is true: All man-made gems are
synthetic. It seems that many people whom are very active in this
business agree with me, but not all.

Sincerely, Steve Green - Rough and Ready Gems www.briolettes.com


#2
  Dudley Blauwet of Mountain Minerals International  Louisville,
CO mineral and gem dealer cited Zincite and said "how do you like
that" (zincite is an accidentally man-made gem) 

And quite beautiful too! But I thought zincite does occur in nature
as well. Are you sure it doesn’t?

Beth


#3

Steve, Your survey sure proves one thing anyway; that a lot of
people , even those who should be considered experts, can be
misinformed. Why not ask GIA? Jerry in Kodiak


#4

Beth, Zincite was originally found in the chimney of some Eastern
European (Polish?) smelter. Probably grown in labs now, maybe
always if the previous is just a STORY to boost sales. It has never
been found to grow in nature without man’s help to my knowledge.

The old smelter was being demolished when zincite was found. Nobody
intentionally grew it, just found in the chimney after many years of
smelter operation. I guess the chimney could be considered Mother
Nature’s.

Ahhhh but that was one of my original points… even man obeys
Mother Nature’s laws.

Zincite is an “accidental synthetic” in my view. Whatever that’s
worth.

Steve Green - Rough and Ready Gems www.briolettes.com in-house
produced briolettes and ultrasonic drilling


#5
    people , even those who should be considered experts, can be
misinformed. Why not ask GIA? Jerry in Kodiak 

The GIA is not the first organization to attempt to defraud
non-insiders (AKA customers) by bending a jargon definition to a
common word just so that the public will not understand “what the
jewelry seller ‘means’ when they say, 'no C-Z is NOT a SYNTHETIC
"gem”’." (or YAG or whatever)

I’m actually very pleased to see so many folks that DON’T KOWTOW to
the (mis)pronouncements of “EXPERTS.”

James E. White Inventor, Marketer, and Author of “Will It Sell? How to
Determine If Your Invention Is Profitably Marketable (Before Wasting
Money on a Patent)” www.willitsell.com
Also: www.booksforinventors.com and www.idearights.com


#6

An extra terrestrial would see all materials generated on our planet
as natural, some created by inorganic forces and others by organic
intervention. Materials like low-dimensional conductors and
superconductors, organic charge-transfer compounds, metal chain
compounds,conducting and semiconducting polymers, fullerenes, carbon
nanotubes and related novel carbon architectures, supramolecular
conjugated architectures, nanoscale electronic molecular and
electronic polymer materials to name a few. On the other hand (or
tentacle in this case), a fellow space traveler would argue that one
organic entity on this planet creates things that are synthetic, such
as synthetic space, synthetic music, synthetic characters, synthetic
oil, synthetic light, synthetic trees, and yes, synthetic gemstones.
After some debate, they would surf to a website such as,

http://www.databank.oxydex.com/m2.html

to find an answer. But, just at the moment of enlightenment, they
would ask, “What was the question again?” Will Estavillo


#7
Zincite was originally found in the chimney of some Eastern
European (Polish?) smelter. 

Hi Steve, Right. That’s the same story I heard. I don’t remember
the name of the dealer from whom I bought a zincite crystal but I
seem to recall him saying that it did occur in nature though in a
much less attractive form. He could have been wrong, of course, and I
could be misremembering. Wouldn’t be the first time :-).

Beth


#8

Beth, I know very little about zincite. Looks like it does occur in
nature from what I am reading. I stand corrected. That’s what great
about these discussions… it forces me to learn things.

Regards, Steve Green