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The Kashmir Blues


#1

To begin I would like to send my appreciation to all those who
contribute to this incredible forum. I love reading the heated
debates as well as the general topics. I thank you for sharing your
experiences and knowledge which I hope will help me avoid a few
pitfalls in the business.

I thought a few of our readers may be interested in Kashmir sapphire
and may be able to help me do research.

I stumbled into this business while doing social work in the
territory of Kashmir, India. Aside from our social work projects my
Kashmiri friends and I continue to gather pertaining to
blue sapphire, mining, and the other gemstone oddities coming from
the Paddar region, Kashmir. Our local and government contacts were
able to provide satellite imagery, topographical maps, photos,
gemstone samples, historical documents and more. It seems this is an
operation very few people know about and could make a good article in
a few of the major trade magazines.

Let me explain one reason it is important to have an article
published: I sent two faceted stones to a laboratory in NY with a
lengthy letter explaining my story requesting they contact me before
certifying this material anything but Kashmir. They returned one
stone certified Kashmir and the other Sri Lanka. Although Sri Lankan
stones and Kashmir stones can have some familiarities, this
particular stone has silk, color zoning, and crystal inclusions that
are not seen in Sri Lankan sapphire. At the least the laboratory
should have humbled themselves and written, “Origin: Unknown.”

In order to thoroughly cover this subject I am in need of your
advice and or guidance on a number of related topics.

1.) I have been identifying the gemstone inclusions and find all of
the textbook examples (i.e. pargasite, zircons, tourmaline, etc.) but
more. I found a spherical inclusion outside of a liquid inclusion
(no it’s not a synthetic). I am finding long monoclinic bladed
opaque brown-green inclusions, and what I believe to be long black
rutile, and other crystals that don’t seem to match allanite or
uraninite and are certainly not documented in Kashmir sapphire.
Would anybody be able to help me identify these inclusions having
access to a scanning electron microscope or other diagnostic testing
equipment?

2.) I don’t seem to be finding the right market to sell my gems.
Most consumers and jewelers are not familiar with this rare and
valuable material. What magazine do you suggest I advertise? E-bay
is not bringing home the bacon and rare stone dealers want only the
cr=E8me de la cr=E8me which are not difficult to sell.

3.) What magazines would be interested in an article about Kashmir
sapphire beside Gems & Gemology?

Once again, I appreciate your assistance and offer my advice on
anything related to sapphire or social works.

Ed Cleveland
Denver, CO
www.kashmirblue.com


#2
   1.)  I have been identifying the gemstone inclusions and find
all of the textbook examples (i.e. pargasite, zircons, tourmaline,
etc.) but more.  I found a spherical inclusion outside of a liquid
inclusion (no it's not a synthetic).  I am finding long monoclinic
bladed opaque brown-green inclusions, and what I believe to be long
black rutile, and other crystals that don't seem to match allanite
or uraninite and are certainly not documented in Kashmir sapphire.
Would anybody be able to help me identify these inclusions having
access to a scanning electron microscope or other diagnostic
testing equipment? 

I am sorry to say that I cannot physically help you with this
request, however, it may be worth approaching someone at GIA research
to ask for assistance in publishing a joint G&G article. If they
accept, they can use their laser raman equipment to analysize the
inclusions (provided the inclusions are near to the surface) and this
way you will get the answers you require. Not many places (only major
laboratories or research establishments such as universities) have
access to laser raman etc… at over 100,000 pounds a time!

Have you read the articles in Gems & Gemology on Kashmir sapphires,
as follows:?

Winter 1990, Volume 26 No. 4, pages 267 - 280
Summer 1983, Volume 19 No. 2, pages 64 -76
   2.)   I don't seem to be finding the right market to sell my
gems. Most consumers and jewelers are not familiar with this rare
and valuable material.  What magazine do you suggest I advertise?
E-bay is not bringing home the bacon and rare stone dealers want
only the crme de la crme which are not difficult to sell. 

Ebay is good for a wide-spread market, as it is easy for anyone to
access. Otherwise you have to try specific trade orientated magazines
such as The Lapidary Journal or The Colored Stone Magazine.

   3.)  What magazines would be interested in an article about
Kashmir sapphire beside Gems & Gemology? 

Possibly: The Journal of Gemmolgy (UK), The Australian Gemmologist,
The Canadian Gemmologist, Lapis (Germany), Jewellery News Asia (Hong
Kong), The Professional Jeweler. There are more and I am sure others
will mention some of them.

   Once again, I appreciate your assistance and offer my advice on
anything related to sapphire or social works. 

Thank you. I might contact you directly so as not to clogg-up
Orchid, if you don’t mind?

All the best - Nick


#3

All, This answer could fill volumes. I will not talk about the gem
labs or origin as that has been hashed over many times. Go read the
archives. Your problems with labs and gem dealers are the same
problems many of us in the gemstone cutting business run into.
Gemstone dealers want only your highest color and clarity stones.
Lower quality stones are too much of a risk. Kashmir Blue Sapphire is
the top of the sapphire family in value and rarity. You will step on
a lot of toes if you come into this market with readily available
supplies of high color and clarity Kashmir Sapphire. I would
advertise in a jewelry magazine. JCK would be a good place to start.
That will get you directly to the jewelers and away from the gem
dealers. Dealing directly with the jewelers has its own set of
problems, but you will be able to market a wider variety of material.
Why do you not just have the stones cut and set into jewelry in
India? India has one of the largest gemstone cutting and jewelry
manufacturing sectors in the world. There no longer is any import
duty into the USA from India and you could join the rest of the fray
in the import business. Then you could market to television
marketers, jewelry chains, independent jewelers, or directly to the
public. Coming into this business in the USA with the premier of
gemstones - Kashmir Sapphire - is going to run into all kinds of
hurdles from the established gemstone trade. Do not expect to have
an easy road.

Gerry Galarneau
@Gerry
www.galarneausgems.com


#4

Dear Ed, I am particularly fortunate to own two books by E. Gubelin,
the Swiss authority on gemstone inclusions. In his “Inclusions as a
means of Gemstone Identification”, GIA 1953, he devotes a long
paragraph to Kashmir Sapphires. In his

“Internal World of Gemstones” ABC Zurich, 1983 he also devotes a
paragraph to same. The most telling statement in the latter is
"Kashmir sapphires are extraordinarily deficient in characteristic
inclusions" He also stated that no single inclusion should ever be
considered to be diagnostic as to origin in corundum varieties. He
does, however, mention the fact that Kashmir sapphires are usually
quite hazy, but the suggestion is that many localities have produced
similar phenomena. He also states that the haziness may be due to
liquid inclusions wihin microscopic fissures.

Of all the books that I treasure, Gubelins’ works are the most
fascinating.The more recent work is filled with perhaps the most
spectacular micro photographs ever published. I noted that the price
tag was still on the dust cover…it is the most I ever paid for a
book…$125.00 ! In todays dollars that would make it near $300.00
! ( It must have been a good poker day ! ) Ron at Mills Gem, Los
Osos, CA.


#5

Ed,

I would be very cautious about entrusting my high value rough to an
unknown cutting entity. Furthermore, if you have individual larger
pieces of rough it would be foolhardy to leave them with a stranger
over whom you might have little or no supervision. There are so many
tricks and ruses in the cutting game that the uninitiated seeker of
those services is often considered to be fair game for exploitation.

The foregoing problems are exacerbated when one seeks services in an
unstable part of the world. The problems of supervision, control ,
secure transport and export/import regulations are daunting at best.
My best advice on cutting would be to survey a large sampling of
domestic jewelers who have had experience in using domestic cutters.
The best possible scenario would be one in which you had a person in
your own state whereby you could have access to the process and
where it would be feasible to hand carry the goods to him or her.
Furthermore, you have the additional important advantage of being
within the same legal jurisdiction so that in the event of a dispute
you would have better legal remedy… Another important element in the
equation is that one should always make a very precise and thorough
record of the weight, clarity and identifying characteristics of the
stones left in the care of the cutter. Personally, in the event of
having to profer large and/or valuable pieces with a cutter I would
be prone to preform the rough and then carefully exam and plot it
using a refractive fluid… Good luck ! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos,
CA.


#6

The Kashmir Blues <<<

Ed, those stones are gorgeous!

Here’s what I know about this topic, and I hope I’m telling you
something you don’t already know. In all my research I’ve run across
only one person who might be able to do the source ID job you want
done, Dr. Eduard J. Gubelin of Lucerne, Switzerland:
http://www.gubelinlab.com/main2.htm

Dr. Gubelin literally ‘wrote the book’ on gem inclusions and
according to my sources has probably done more research than anyone
else on sapphire origin determination. His “Photo Atlas of
Inclusions in Gemstones” is widely regarded as the ‘bible’ for
gemologists.

As a second expert resource I’d suggest you contact Richard Hughes,
corundum authority and webmaster at Pala International:
http://www.palagems.com/home.htm As a prolific and gifted writer
himself, I’m sure he will be able to assist both technically and with
suggestions for where to publish your articles.

The sapphire market yearns for a return of the fabled Kashmirs but
as you probably know better than most, Kashmir is one of the most
troubled and dangerous places on earth. Development of its gem
resources will probably not be possible until India and Pakistan
settle their territorial/religious disputes. Those problems have a
way of continuing for millenia.

Rick Martin MARTIN DESIGNS


#7

I send my deepest appreciation to all those who sent suggestions,
comments and potential contacts. I agree with everything mentioned.
I have read just about every source of published
regarding Kashmir sapphire and believe they will be insufficient in
identifying some of this newer material. Yes, Dr. Gubelin’s book,
“Photo Atlas of Inclusions” is essential in every serious
gemologist’s library along with Richard Hughes book, “Ruby &
Sapphire.” Unfortunately, I am sure both of these authors are
consumed with more important business and beside pro bona work is
becoming more and more difficult to ask for in today’s economy.

Nonetheless, I still hope to get something published in the near
future and begin to market this material. I considered using Indian
jewelry manufacturers however the quality of jewelry exported from
India still needs improvement. On the other hand, I may cautiously
use India’s cutters for the lower quality material not only because
labor is less expensive but they get plenty of practice with all
those diamonds.

Also worth mentioning is the truth about Kashmir being a dangerous
place. This may play in my favor because very few people are
willing to take this ultimate risk. I’ve already devoted my life to
helping this country and its people so I consider the gems to be
only a bonus. The least I hope for in this grand adventure is to
bring a suffering country a little relief and give glory to the One
who deserves it.

"Soli Deo Gloria"
Ed Cleveland
Denver, CO
http://www.kashmirblue.com