Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tucson 2009 Wrap Up

















by Richard W. Wise, G.G.

©2009 (all rights reserved)


Rubies From Winza, Tanzania:


As promised, here is an image of the 4.10 carat cushion shaped ruby from the new strike at Winza, Tanzania. Ruby from this source contains iron, though not as much as gems from the now exhausted Thai deposits. Stones from this source will not fluoresce strongly in ultraviolet light and thus will not exhibit the supercharged fluorescence of the very best from Burma. Again, due to iron, the red may show a slightly orangy secondary hue.

That said, natural unenhanced rubies over three carats are almost unobtainable. These new Winza beauties will stand toe to toe with most Burmese at a much more reasonable price.

An Extraordinary Strand of Natural Pearls:

I spotted a magnificent strand of natural pearls from a dealer at AGTA. What makes this two strand exceptional is its symmetry. When considering natural pearls it is necessary to bracket all that you have come to expect from their cultured counterparts. The word round, for example, takes on a whole new meaning when applied to naturals. We have gotten used to the "perfection" of the ubiquitous Akoya pearls from Japan, perfectly round, with matching color. Few realize that all this is a result of processing; the pearls are left in the shell just long enough to deposit a thin coat of nacre, so thin that GIA had to redefine it's definition of "thick" coating from 0.50 to 0.25mm. The pearls are then bleached white to remove spots, then further bleached for uniformity of color, then dyed pink.

The World Of Fantasy:

In the world of natural pearls, perfect symmetry, combined with matching color, resides in the realm of fantasy. The strand pictured right is natural, the pearls graduate from 4.31-9.50mm, each is perfectly round and well matched in color and luster. Compare these two with the Baroda Pearls (pictured left). Readers will recall that the Baroda strand sold at a world record price. A cursory look reveals that these magnificent gems are not really round---yet they achieved a record of $7.1 million at auction.

Secrets Of The Gem Trade Goes To Third Printing:

Brunswick House Press has just announced that the paperback edition of my Secrets Of The Gem Trade, The Connoisseur's Guide To Precious Gemstones is being reprinted. Originally published in hardcover in 2003, now with 32,000 copies sold, Secrets has become a best seller. "Secrets has succeeded beyond our wildest expectations." said Dick Sage, President of Brunswick House.

We have a few copies available at R. W. Wise, but the publisher will not be able to fill wholesale orders until the new edition arrives in about 90 days.

Notable Quotes:


“Since radiation is the cause of pink color in tourmaline, the presence of these features should not be attributed to any type of intentional diffusion, but rather to the influx of radioactive fluids in their post-growth environment.”

John I. Koivula, Chief Gemologist, GIA


"THERE ARE NO PROVEN EXPERTS ON THIS SUBJECT OUTSIDE OF ROBERT (James) EXCEPT TED THEMELIS WHO HAS ALREADY CONFIRMED ROBERT’S FINDINGS. SHOW ME ONE PERSON OF ANY STANDING WHO HAS DONE THE AMOUNT OF RESEARCH THAT ROBERT HAS USING ADVANCED ANALYTIC TECHNOLOGIES AND I’LL LISTEN. GIA’S PRESS RELEASE WAS BASED ON OLD-FASHIONED INFERENTIAL METHODS DERIVED SOLELY OR MOSTLY FROM MICROSCOPE OBSERVATION OF ONE STONE. ROBERT HAS TESTED THOUSANDS OF STONES. DUH!. SO IF THE PUNCH-DRUNK FIGHTER TO WHOM YOU REFER IS ROBERT, COME TO THE ARIZONA HOTEL ON FRIDAY,"I KNOW WHERE TO PUT MY MONEY. IT IS A HORSE RACE. AND THE ODDS ARE RUNNING STRONG AGAINST YOU (Richard Wise) AND THE GEMOLOGICAL ESTABLISHMENT. THAT’S WHY I HAVE REPORTED THAT THIS IS AN EPOCHAL GEMOLOGICAL CRISIS. CROSS-SPECIES DIFFUSION WILL PROVE OUR INDUSTRY’S EQUIVALENT OF THE SUBPRIME MORTGAGE CRISIS." (emphasis Federman, parenthesis mine)

David Federman, Editor-in-Chief, Colored Stone

by email 1/30/09


Colleagues,
"I read RJ (Robert James) newsletter forwarded to me by another colleague. As for as I am concern, RJ does not deserve my reply or any respect whatsoever. He is trying to tell us about his invention of the hot water using all kinds of tactics. In conclusion, it does not serve any useful purpose to discuss any longer RJs research activities. There are more important issues to discuss in the gemological forums. Let's move forward."

parenthesis mine!
_________________
Ted Themelis
Research & Development
Gem Treatment Lab
from Gemologyonline 2/13/09




Visit Burma's Valley of the Serpents and learn how sapphire is mined and graded.
Follow me on gem buying adventures in Burma, Thailand and Sri lanka. Visit the gem fields of Australia and Brazil. 120 carefully select
ed photographs showing examples of the highest quality gems to educate the eye, including the Rockefeller Sapphire and many more of the world's most famous gems. Consider my book: Secrets Of The Gem Trade, The Connoisseur's Guide To Precious Gemstones.


“Wise is a renowned author... He’s done a marvelous job of this first book
, monumental work, a tour de force...My recommendation: Buy this book”.
Charles Lewton-Brain, Orchid


whether you like to know what the best colour is in Tanzanite, or how to grade a Diamond, you will find it in this book. No other book I read before dealt with this topic is such detail as Richard Wise's masterpiece."

A. Van Acker, FGA
Amazon June 2005

"Secrets Of The Gem Trade: The Connoisseurs Guide To Precious Gemstones by Richard W. Wise is an impressive new reference for dedicated dealers and collectors of gems, gemstones, and ... pearls. Introducing and descriptively exploring each and every gem covered in the easy-to-use reference, Secrets Of The Gem Trade contains an illustrated summary of each stone inclusive of its history and general information, hue and tone, saturation, which may be noticed as the finest, an understanding of the particular gems rarity, and the caution for synthetics and how to depict them, however depending upon the stone there may be description of clarity, color fading, multi-color effect, etc. Secrets Of The Gem Trade is very highly recommended to anyone interested in gemology as a superbly organized, authoritative, comprehensive, and easy-to-follow reference."



Midwest Book Review
April 2006

Only $39.95 in paperback. Read a couple of chapters online an order: We recently discovered about a dozen copies of the out of print hardcover: $79.95 signed by the author www.secretsofthegemtrade.com.

Buy it on Amazon: www.amazon.com




20 comments:

Alain van Acker said...

ROBERT HAS TESTED THOUSANDS OF STONES. DUH!

I know RJ a bit by now and he seems to exaggerate/lie a bit on most everything to get publicity. There is a reason why he maintains the motto "always act like you lead the parade, even when you are driven out of town".

YourProctologist said...

Interesting,

What advanced testing apparatus was that? A Dixie Cup!

Africanuck said...

Ted also posted a disavowal of Robert, his conclusions, and specifically stated that his own research contradicts RJ's.

"http://gemologyonline.com/Forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=69964&highlight=#69964"

Anonymous said...

Well lets give the man his due ,
HE learned tourmaline was dyed !!!!
Lets give him a big round of applause .
He recently complained he isnt get credit where credit is due , well the worlds most costly gemstone detection of dyed tourmaline award goes to ?

Richard W. Wise said...

Anonymous,

I think it may come to that. The definition of "diffusion" seems to change with each new revelation. First it was copper diffusion on the ionic level, similar to the Be diffusion in sapphire, then it became grain boundary diffusion, then crud in the tubes. I expect that next it will be suggested that all forms of treatment are some sort of diffusion. At that point, the term will have no meaning at all.

Sam Patania said...

Richard, thank you for your articles, interesting.
Have you seen the Guaymas pearls from Guaymas , Mexico? As far as I know these are the only salt water pearls farmed in the Americas. I have been following the Guaymas farm for many years since they are the closest pearl source to me here in Tucson. I would love to hear your opinion of these pearls.
Sam Patania

Richard W. Wise said...

Africanuck,

Link does not seem to work, here is the post:

PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:14 am Post subject: At the IGS seminar Reply with quote
Colleagues,
Just to set the record straight once and for all.
I have provided RJ some advice and couple slides to help him understand fundamental issues in treating gems. However, I have not examined any of the stones featured in his articles, neither read any of his analytical reports nor reviewed/edited his reports before they were released. That tells you that I am not a member of his research team. I am just an external source of information (for free). There are many unproven facts in RJ's reports and I am very skeptical because my own research here in Bangkok contradicted his reports. Thus, I do not fully agree or endorse RJ's writings. However, I will continue to help anyone who seeks my humble opinion.
Ted Themelis
_________________
Ted Themelis
Research & Development
Gem Treatment Lab

Richard W. Wise said...

Sam,

Thanks for your comment. I have been following the development of the Baja and/or Cortez pearls for some years.

They bear a strong resemblance to the black "Tahitian" pearls from Pinctada Margaritifera, but in fact come from two other species, namely the black lip (Pinctada Mazatlanica) and the rainbow lip (Concha Nácar).

The ones I saw in Tucson had come a long way. The earlier examples were quite brownish with no more than medium luster. These were lovely with high luster and strong overtones.

One problem, they look like the Tahitian but cost a whole lot more. I am not sure the market is willing to pay the price for "American" pearls.

Richard

Ana (Valeria102) said...

Glad to see one infuriating rant getting its due reality check. If only more were so lucky!

Africanuck said...

Thanks Richard.

You have to give the guy credit, he certainly knows how to play a crowd, especially on the internet. Interesting to see that Richard Hughes has dipped his toes into the pool on the tourmaline issue, thanks for posting that on the GO forum.

My guess is that this whole tourmaline diffusion issue is going to quietly fade away as it becomes obvious that it was nothing but smoke anyways. And then when that person needs more paying students, another smoke and mirrors controversy will be created. Maybe they'll do more bake sales for him too, so he can buy more expensive equipment for himself. Or his legal fees for the upcoming lawsuit.

Africanuck said...

Oh, and that ruby is a real beauty!

I don't know if you saw the link that I posted (in the Vintage Gems and Jewellery on GO) for an auction near London on March 11th. I specifically thought of you as they have a six strand natural pearl necklace, and an 8.68 Alexandrite (with cert)ring on the block. Thought you may have clients/collectors looking for the unusual. They have a couple of Faberge pieces too.

A Fly On The Wall said...

It was nice to meet you in Tucson - I only wish it had been after the purchase of this amazing ruby! I would love to see it in person!

I attended the Ed Boehm talk and one of the areas and stones he covered were the Winza Rubies!

Robyn Hawk
http://tucsongemshow.blogspot.com

Perfect Pearl™ said...

Nice pearls! I wonder if those natural pearls comes from the Persian Gulf or somewhere else?

It is really lustrous and round. Maybe perfectly round and looks flawless too!

Imagine how many millions of pearl oysters are harvested to have that strand!?? That treasure should make headlines as I don't think something like it will ever come again...

Tenney Naumer said...

I hope you don't mind me putting in my two bits here. I am an ex-CPA with a master's degree in accounting, and I spent some years studying finance at the doctoral level. At that level, what we did in the seminars was to try to rip all research articles to shreds (not literally, of course); so, having gone back over these blog threads and forum threads and having read most of the "research" articles, what strikes me more than anything else is...

First, can we for a moment put aside all that has gone before, just put out of our minds all the gossip and insults and this and that, and start from zero?

I know that is an imaginary world, but let us just try for a moment to imagine that none of this controversy had occurred and that no stones had been tested and that no one was even thinking about treating tourmalines.

And, I want to also go back to an old rule we learned in advanced tax classes:

"If it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, then it is a duck."

OK, bearing that simple rule in mind, what are we to think we when see the following stone being sold on ebay (go to ebay and put this item number in the search field up at the top of the page -- 120410150733)?

Richard W. Wise said...

Tenney,

Please post a link. I would very much like to see what you are referring to

RW

Tenney Naumer said...

Sure, I was afraid the entire comment would get kicked out if I put an ebay link.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120410150733

But a simple ebay search on the item number also works.

Richard W. Wise said...

Tenney,

Thanks for the link. I am not sure but it looks like iron staining inside surface breaking growth tubes, that famous "goop in the tubes" perhaps.

Read my latest post. Assuming that this "goop" is not from the native environment, and if you look at the image in my first post on this issue, it looks very much like it, The question is, why would anyone want to pack "goop" into the tubes. Look at the effect. Is this enhancement or is the staining we see a negative?

That was Dr. Piretti's question, why would anyone, in this case, want to turn a pink tourmaline brown?

I believe this to be low-end material and probably you are seeing it after heat treatment. The higher end gems have little or no goop.

RW

Tenney Naumer said...

I guess the thing is that recently a bunch of this low-end material has popped up all over ebay and is being sold as rare paraiba tourmaline. OK, the ebay sellers often exaggerate their wares, but this stuff does not look at all natural.

I'm gonna guess that the cookers are experimenting with heat, irradiation, diffusion, more heat, maybe not in that order, and they are coming out with all sorts of weird stuff. As long as buyers on ebay are willing to shell out for it, this will continue.

And just as a side note, I bought two rubilite tourmalines on ebay, about 6 to 12 months ago, because the color was probably my favorite color of peachy-cherry red. Supposedly they were from Madagascar. Yesterday, I pulled them out of the drawer, and they had lost that beautiful color and gone back to a dingy pink. This is the first time I have ever heard of that occurring with a rubilite, irradiated or not. Just wondering if this has popped up on your radar, lately.

Richard W. Wise said...

Tenney,

Nasty looking stuff! The Mozambique material is alluvial, meaning that the rough bounced along a stream until it came to rest at the point is being recovered. Lateralitic silt probably worked its way into the surface breaking growth tubes. When the material was heat treated, it baked hard.

What you are seeing is the low-end stuff that is usually discarded, but since it is "rare cuprian" material it has been cut and is being offered for sale.

Pink tourmaline is often irradiated. I had not, however, heard of the process reversing itself. My understanding is that it is permanent.

Be careful out there.

RW

Tenney Naumer said...

Dear Mr. Wise,

There is no need to post this comment, since really it is off topic, but lately I have seen that marvelous peach-cherry red color in tourmalines for sale by a reputable high-end dealer. It simply is a color one does not forget, especially after having seen the other irradiated and natural rubilite colors over the years. I don't have the wherewithal to buy such a stone and put it away in a drawer for 6-12 months, so we will just have to wait and see if more people see the same thing that I did. Perhaps there is a type of rubilite from a new source that looks so good after the irradiation that it is not subsequently reheated. Perhaps in the case of this particular rubilite, heating is needed to "fix" the color. All is pure speculation on my part. But thought I would bring it up in case you had already seen the same thing. It is a newer color. It is a soft cherry red with a hint of peach, like a mango. OK, that is all for now. Thanks for your replies.