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 Post subject: 'Lehrite'
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:46 pm 
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Hat tip Gembusters.

http://www.gemcollector.com/en-us/learning...ite%20gemstone/

With colours ranging from a shimmering ice white Diamond to a rich fire engine red glow, from a bubbling champagne yellow, to a mouthwatering tangerine orange, Lehrite is one of the most naturally beautiful gemstones to have been discovered on our planet.

Lehrite is ethically extracted from one of our own mines, which is located in breathtaking scenery in the centre of an ancient dried out lake. Some 25 miles north of the nearest town of Plush, our claim is located close to the original Sunstone Mine of Tiffany and Co. Lehrite is a natural, untreated Oregon Sunstone, which is really not a Sunstone at all but a Feldspar Labradorite. Sounds confusing? Well that’s just the beginning of a century of misnaming, but we will come back to this later.

Approximately, 15 million years ago a huge volcano in the Steens Mountain Range violently erupted and intensely hot lava flowed down the slopes. The lava carried within it, from deep within the crust of the earth, one of nature’s most stunning gemstones. Millennia later, the basalt formed from the cooling lava became covered by water as a huge lake began to form. Thousands of years later the lake dried out and this is where today, at high altitude, in the Rabbit Basin, we mine this ancient lakebed.

If you visit our mine (and all customers are welcome) you won’t see any brick buildings, telegraph poles, trees or literally anything at all other than our trailers, low lying sage bush and greasewood plants. Glenn Lehrer (after whom this gem is named) often jokes how in the modern world, the mine site is the furthest you can get away from a McDonalds or a Starbucks! In terms of animals, you might see the odd jackrabbit or cottontail rabbit or tiny short-horned lizard, and on the drive in the odd owl, rattlesnake or coyote have been spotted, but luckily we have not yet encountered them at our mine site. In addition to the stunning reds, oranges and yellow Lehrites, we have also unearthed one or two pieces of green, blue, watermelon and purple colour, but literally only one or two.

Let’s get back to the name. Why Lehrite? Well, Glenn Lehrer has been fascinated by this gemstone for several decades and was one of the first artists to make a series of wonderful small carvings from the gem. I also felt that as he has had a huge influence on the progress of our industry there should be a gemstone named after him. Glenn is also involved with our business, the Gem Mining Company Limited, and joined me on my first visit to the area.

But why not use the existing name? Well the problem is, which one? Heliolite, Plagioclase Feldspar, Red Labradorite, Andesine or Sunstone? Well, Heliolite is also the name given to a species of fossilized coral, Plagioclase Feldspar is more of mineralogical name, and Labradorite is now associated with silvery gold opaque gems which were first found

in Canada. What about Andesine? Well, today there has been so much controversy about this gemstone over its true source and treatment, that it seems better just to use that name for gems coming from Tibet or Mongolia that are treated. Finally, why not use Sunstone? Well today there are many gemstones coming from India and Africa being named as Sunstone, but these are opaque and don’t have aventurescence. So we needed a name that was new, a name that stood for both quality and rarity, a name that guaranteed the gem was unenhanced and from our own mine.

So what is Lehrite? It is a transparent to translucent aventurescent Plagioclase Feldspar. The gem naturally contains light reflecting copper platelets, which provide both the gem’s colour and its remarkable aventurescence (also known as schiller). The gem is pleochroic and, just like copper bearing Paraiba Tourmaline, the gem has a slight neon appearance. The more copper within the gemstone, the deeper the reds. Occasionally, some pieces will also show a degree of colour change as you go from candescent to incandescent light.

In many Lehrite pieces you will witness one of the most stunning optical properties ever seen in a gemstone. Over millions of years since the gem first crystalised, the copper platelets seem to get drawn towards the centre of the gem. In some pieces that are transparent, if you rotate the piece slightly and catch the light in the right direction, you will witness a pink to red schiller. Whilst at first this looks like a unique form of colour zoning, it is actually the result of all of the copper platelets suspended within Lehrite lying neatly in parallel.

How is it you on see these this effect in one direction? Imagine the copper crystal platelets as miniature dinner plates. As they are all lined up in parallel, when you look at them from their side, they are invisible to the eye. However, when you view them square on, they reflect light and their colour is seen. The effect is truly stunning.

What Glenn and I realised early on was that if we then heat treated the gem and diffused other natural elements into the lattice structure, that the infused elements interact with the copper platelets and through this very unique cocktail, some incredibly vibrant and unique colours could be created. So to keep things as simple as possible, whenever we enhance a gem from our mine, we revert back to calling it Oregon Sunstone and prefix it with the colour that we have worked in unison with nature to create. This leaves the Lehrite name exclusively for those that remain completely the work of nature and are over one carat in size.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Lehrite'
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:59 pm 
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Other concerns aside, 'Lehrite' is a really lousy trade name. This coming from someone who likes 'triphane' and 'fancy tanzanite' and doesn't mind 'red emerald' either.

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 Post subject: Re: 'Lehrite'
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:53 am 
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You know, Glen Lehrer is one of my most revered members of our industry.
What is Glen's opinion of the tradename?
I would actually prefer glenleherite......


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 Post subject: Re: 'Lehrite'
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:25 pm 
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I don't particularly like the name either.
"Sunstone" is the state gemstone of Oregon.
Sounds like someone is trying to trademark a name.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Lehrite'
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:21 pm 
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Curious as to what the Oregon Sunstone boys would have to say about Mr. Steve re-branding such a wonderful resource, as Oregon Sunstone, and calling it 'Lehrite.'


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 Post subject: Re: 'Lehrite'
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:56 pm 
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I would think that they would be more concerned with the treatment than the name.

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 Post subject: Re: 'Lehrite'
PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:32 pm 
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For all they talk about treating the stones (and implying a pollution of the oregon sunstone brand by saying they're calling their treated stones by that name) they don't have any for sale on that site.

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 Post subject: Re: 'Lehrite'
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:39 am 
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Scarodactyl wrote:
For all they talk about treating the stones (and implying a pollution of the oregon sunstone brand by saying they're calling their treated stones by that name) they don't have any for sale on that site.


"They", RTV, were selling the 'Lehrite', in jewelry pieces, on live television the other night.

JTV does a similar thing in selling heavily treated, flux healed, 'Burma Ruby' on live TV and encore presentations but does not make the heavily treated 'Burma Ruby' available on their .com website unless something has recently changed.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Lehrite'
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:15 pm 
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What I mean is they sell 'Lehrite' on their site (gorgeous pieces to be fair) but not the treated sunstones they mention in the description. I still don't know what to make of that.

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 Post subject: Re: 'Lehrite'
PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:59 pm 
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I kinda read this as: "Since the naming of this gemstone seems confusing to me, why not add further confusion!". :)


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 Post subject: Re: 'Lehrite'
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:01 am 
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Now, this same loose cannon outfit has re-branded Demantoid garnet, from Madagascar, as "Ambanja." That's nearly sacrilegious.

http://www.gemporia.com/en-gb/product/c ... ct/dfbm63/

Of course it's "ethically" mined but nothing ethical about the manner in with it is named or grifted, in my humble opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Lehrite'
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:49 am 
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Is Ambanja a locality around where the demantoids are mined?
It seems to be used as an adjective in front of demantoid.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Lehrite'
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:25 pm 
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Barbra Voltaire wrote:
Is Ambanja a locality around where the demantoids are mined?
It seems to be used as an adjective in front of demantoid.


It is Miss Barbra.


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 Post subject: Re: 'Lehrite'
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:48 pm 
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They seem to have missed a prime opportunity to brand them as "Abanjtoid." For this I willl not forgive them.

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