I just finished this 12 page article called “The Path of Stones” by
Burkhard Bilger. It is a fascinating article, following a gem dealer
from mining, selling and teaching cutting gems. That’s one level.
It’s a good read.
The writer makes a couple of observations that we either are or soon
will have to deal with short excerpts follow:
“It was a strange, contradictory sort of perfectionism…the gem
industry wanted natural stones that looked nearly synthetic,
without any cracks or inclusions that would truly reveal nature
at work. Yet the most beautiful synthetics were worth only
twenty-five dollars a carat. For a dealer.colored stones 101 was
becoming …an ever more sophisticated science for making ever
less meaningful distinction among stones. One day soon, pricing
a gem might be largely a philosophical exercise: if a synthetic
stone is identical to a natural on in every way if even the most
powerful microscope can’t show that it’s a fake how valuable is
I guess the distinctions we try to make in the gem market look more
and more like the old quandary of how many angels can dance on the
head of a pin. Does it matter?
Judy Hoch, G.G.