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Very important new JVC findings


#1

I just got a fax from the JVC that has the potential to impact
everyone working in the US who is selling treated stones. Apparently
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has a ruling that no irradiated gem
materials can be legally imported into the US without a certificate
from them. The JVC, in doing research on this issue, has found that
NO ONE has actually ever applied for the certificate. Consequently
any irradiated gems (the biggest concern is blue topaz) that were
treated in another country (which almost all are) are currently being
sold illegally in the US. As a retailer this will leave you subject
to possible lawsuit by the consumer (or by a group of consumers) with
the potential for quite damaging lawsuits. The JVC seems to be
recommending that, until the matter is resolved with the NRC, all
gemstone stock that you own that has been irradiated should not be
sold. For your the following stones may have been subject
to irradiation and should be removed from inventory: Blue (maxixe
type) beryl (always), yellow beryl (usually), chrysoberyl cats eye
(occasionally), diamonds (irradiated fancy colors–occasionally),
kunzite (commonly), pearls (occasionally), ruby (rarely), sapphire
(intense orange/yellow colors occasionally), yellow and green
spodumene (rarely), blue topaz (usually), green topaz (occasionally),
yellow/orange tourmaline (rarely), pink/red/purple tourmaline
(commonly). Ahh, just another reason for people to be up to date on
gemstone disclosure issues.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#2

That is the most unrealistic request that I have ever heard of…in
other words…empty your cases folks. How would someone even know if
their pearls or other stones were irradiated and shouldn’t the JVC
be working with the NRC to solve this problem. Asking us to remove
products is not a viable choice. Do better than that JVC.

MF


#3

This applies to neutron radiation, not linear accelerator radiation.
A pretty good summary at

http://www.palagems.com/blue_topaz.htm

If you’re suspicious of any of your stock, it might be a good idea
to find someone with a radiation counter to check. Inexpensive Geiger
counters are available. They won’t provide precise measurement, but
will tell you if levels are unusually high.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#4

Hi,

I want to assure Orchid readers that Rio Grande is aware of the
regulations about irradiated such as blue topaz, and that
all gemstones sold by Rio Grande are in compliance with the law. The
regulations regarding blue topaz standards have been in place for
more than 15 years. All the blue topaz which we offer, is processed
in US Facilities with US certification. In addition, please know that
all of our blue topaz is double checked with a Geiger counter to
ensure that there are no unacceptable radiation levels.

Thanks,

Kevin Whitmore
Gemstone Manager
Rio Grande
7500 Bluewater Road NW
Albuquerque, NM 87121


#5

Wow, Daniel

I remember in the early 1980s there was a hubbub about some
irradiated “London blue” topaz coming into the states and still being
hot (made the Geiger counter spike) so all the blue topaz got pulled.

But from the list you posted almost all the major gemstones are
suspect. Some mall retailers may just have empty their cases!

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228


#6
How would someone even know if their pearls or other stones were
irradi ated and shouldn't the JVC be working with the NRC to solve
this problem. 

Well if you dealt with AGTA members you would know how the stuff you
sell is treated because the dealers are obligated to disclose
treatment and treatment type. The JVC’s main concern at the moment
is blue topaz. The other stones that are treated they aren’t quite
sure what they are going to recommend at the moment. Yes they are in
the process of assembling a group of industry representatives to meet
with the NRC to try to resolve the issue. You should check out their
website for more Incidentally, if word of this should
reach the press and become public, you may very well have to remove
all of these items from sale. Act proactively, nor reactively.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#7
If you're suspicious of any of your stock, it might be a good idea
to find someone with a radiation counter to check. Inexpensive
Geiger counters are available. They won't provide precise
measurement, but will tell you if levels are unusually high. 

The issue isn’t radioactivity of the material. Virtually 100% of the
irradiated stones on the market are safe. The issue is that no one
has been issued a license to sell this material in the US and that
anyone selling it is breaking the law until the issue is resolved.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#8
The issue isn't radioactivity of the material. Virtually 100% of
the irradiated stones on the market are safe. 

That’s exactly the issue, and the reason that it’s regulated. How
would you know that no hot material is ever sold here? Neutron
bombardment can leave materials hot for periods which vary depending
on the chemical makeup of the stone and inclusions. Do you think Rio
goes to the trouble of checking for radiation just for the fun of
it?

The issue is that no one has been issued a license to sell this
material in the US and that anyone selling it is breaking the law
until the issue is resolved. 

Believe it or not, sometimes laws are for a reason.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#9
You should check out their website for more 
Incidentally, if word of this should reach the press and become
public, you may very well have to remove all of these items from
sale. Act proactively, nor reactively. 

Gotta agree with Mr. Spirer on this one…

Essentially all of the blue tope on the market is nuked…

Yeah, Ma Nature maybe has made some…but essentially the rest of
it…it’s all nuked and heated…

Don’t get me wrong…I have a preference for the Sky Blue Topaz…
Almost all of my blue tope is Sky…Some Swiss…No London or any of
that kinda stuff…

I don’t care what anyone says…sapphire blue it’s not gonna
be… Some folks have argued about that…

Hell…that’s how Tanzanite got started…

Does anyone know…is the darker blue more correlated with the
intensity of the irradiation…? Or is maybe that the heat treat that
determines the final blue…?

Sky, Swiss, London, Maxise(SP?)…whatever…?

My blue tope is from a while back…

So…I really have no idea…

Gary W. Bourbonais
A.J.P. (GIA)


#10
Believe it or not, sometimes laws are for a reason. 

Following that logic, the natural zircon should require NRC
licensing also, since uranium is natural inclusion for zircon.

Leonid Surpin


#11

Kevin,

If no one in the USA has been issued a certificate, NOR applied for
one, how is it Rio Grande purportedly, according to you, who works
for Rio Grande, is the only seller privy to “US processed” blue
topaz? I find that statement a bit -hard to swallow- with a straight
face.

R. E. Rourke


#12

If anyone is in the market for a radiation counter, Geiger counters
from the cold war are available on Ebay for about $40. Be sure, you
only purchase a CDV 700 to detect radiation. It is a Geiger counter
The CDV 777 an a few other models are survey meters and will only
detect very hot items. The CDV 777 is also often misrepresented on
Ebay. Also know, the CDV 700 was made about a half century ago and
though has been well preserved may not be very reliable and has
almost certainly not been calibrated. With those caveats, one can
have a relatively fun time checking out things like old watch and
clock faces.

Additional comments by the Author:

The CDV 777 is kit that includes a CDV 715 survey meter and
dosimeters and a charger for the dosimeters. It may nor may not
contain a CDV 700 which really is a Geiger counter. The CDV 700 is
available sans paperweights.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
JA Certified Master Benchjeweler


#13
Following that logic, the natural zircon should require NRC
licensing also, since uranium is natural inclusion for zircon. 

The “logic” is that some types of radiation are harmful if the
dosage is high enough. Do you disagree with that? Natural zircon
contains minute quantities of uranium and thorium, but the dosage is
so low it doesn’t matter. BTW, neutron-irradiated zircon does require
licensing.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#14

If it is illegal to sell the topaz…from what you are saying…how
can you act proactively at all? If it is illegal to sell it…How can
I make is legal to sell it? What exact actions do you recommend to
jewelers?


#15

I disagree with NRC sticking their noses into Jewellery Business.

Just a few days ago I read an article. There was a sting operation by
some congressional entity. They formed a fictitious company, on paper
only, and applied to NRC for the license which would enable them to
buy radioactive material. The license promptly arrived in the mail
without any questions asked. Can somebody explain this one to me!
After all the talk about “dirty bombs” and terrorism. I guess they
were too busy chasing after jewellers with Blue Topaz.

Here is the link to the article

http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=1084992007

Leonid Surpin


#16
If it is illegal to sell the topaz...from what you are
saying...how can you act proactively at all? If it is illegal to
sell it...How can I make is legal to sell it? What exact actions do
you recommend to jewelers? 

First of all, I’m no lawyer so I can’t truly answer the question,
nor can the JVC who also has a disclaimer on their statement that you
should consult legal advice if in doubt. If my understanding is
correct, JVC is recommending that you remove all blue topaz (that
wasn’t purchased from a source irradiating it in the states) from
your inventory and put it aside until such time as the matter is
resolved by the industry. They also are suggesting it for other
irradiated material, but not by specifically mentioning the material.
The JVC is a resource open to all in the jewelry industry. You should
be consulting their website, or them directly, about this issue.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#17

Mary, What I did to assure that the London Blue Topaz stones that I
recently purchased are not radioactive I contacted the dealer from
whom I bought them and they assured me in writing that all of their
irradiated stones, have been tested. They further stated that the
source they got them through has tested the stones, and that for
further safety, they have tested them again with their own high power
geiger counters. I would assume, correctly I hope, that it is
perfectly legal for me to incorporate these stones in jewelry and to
sell them.

Reo has already issued a statement to the effect that their stones
are safe, so there is no concern about their product.

Alma


#18

Went online to Stuller to order a marquise topaz and they have
discontinued some of the topaz because of the NRC ruling. Go on-line
and read the letter. See what you’re getting intobefore you go there


#19
I would assume, correctly I hope, that it is perfectly legal for me
to incorporate these stones in jewelry and to sell them. 

If the stones were imported from overseas it doesn’t matter how many
times they’ve been checked for radioactivity. No one currently has a
license to import irradiated gem materials from outside of this
country. Your assumption would be wrong unless you are getting them
from a source here in the states.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#20
I disagree with NRC sticking their noses into Jewellery Business 

It doesn’t matter if you disagree or not. It’s the law. Someone
might not agree with the state sticking their noses into the issue of
murder, but it’s still the law.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
www.spirerjewelers.com