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 Post subject: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:04 pm 
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There was a discussion on treated/enhanced gemstones taking place in the Gem-A mailtalk forum. Eventually this debate got around to the lead-glass treated ruby topic. I decided to make a few comments, which led to a more extended description of this material. I decided to post my response in the gemologyonline forum as well, for anyone who would be interested.

Best regards to all,
Christopher P. Smith


Hello everyone,

I have been following this thread with great interest, as it touches on the heart of the disclosure issues for the industry and gemological labs alike. Since we are now more specifically talking about the lead-glass treated ruby topic, I thought I would add my 2 cents worth.

Some of you may be familiar with the policy I have set for AGL with this material in terms of disclosure and representation. I just want to share my thoughts on why I have done this and why I believe our industry needs to address issues such as this product very carefully. As others have stated at various times, it is not that this material doesn’t have a place in the jewelry market. However we must be thoughtful in how we are presenting and disclosing such stones and to try our best to insure the future growth, health and stability of the ruby trade and entire gemstone market as a whole for the generations to come.

Through our own research and that of others, it has been clearly shown that this material has several issues that are intrinsic to this treatment/product. Not going into full detail or order of importance, these can be summarized as follows:

The starting material is low-grade, generally translucent to opaque ruby/pink or purple sapphire (may also be brownish due to epigenetic staining). The first steps of this treatment are to leach out foreign mineralizations, etc. that line extensive parting and fissures, which are existent in the rough that is utilized for this treatment. This part of the process opens up the structure of the stones and leaves them very brittle and clearly not possible to fashion in this state.

These stones are then in-fused with a high lead-content glass that very effectively fills all of the voids that are open in the rough. The voids that I refer to are typically an extensive network of fissures, fractures, seams and internal cavities that traverse the entire stone, as well as cover the surface. After this step, the rough (which is treated en masse) is separated from one another and fashioned (cut and polished).

The refractive index of the high lead-content glass is so close to that of the host corundum that it is very difficult to ascertain just what is taking place internally as to where the corundum ends and the glass begins. Meaning just how much lead-glass versus how much corundum is present in any single piece. On the surface we can normally see extensive networks of fissures, fractures, seams and cavities that contain the glass and we also have the ability to observe contraction bubbles and the flash-effect to get an idea of what’s going on internally, but I will address that in a moment.

So at this point we now have an item which is, in my opinion an amalgam of corundum/ruby and a high lead-content glass. Now let’s look at the product itself for a moment. Again, the research conducted by myself and many others have clearly shown that this product has distinct special care requirements. I don’t want to go into all of the details as these are widely available, however, suffice it to say that this material is not as durable as a heated and fissure-healed ruby. Standard bench jeweler practices and even household products can severely damage these stones if they are not handled properly.

Another consideration in my view is the fact that the high lead-content glass has a golden color. I know that some researchers do not agree with me on this point, but in my opinion the extent of this glass and its golden color, leads to augmenting the color of the host corundum. The type of glass that is produced during the heating process involving fluxing agents, results in a colorless glass. So while the glass produced from fluxing agents can improve the passage of light through a ruby and facilitate healing in a ruby, it does not augment the color in and of itself because it is colorless. In contrast, the high lead-content glass not only significantly improves the passage of light through a stone. The golden color also augments the inherent color of the starting material.

Now let’s look at the extent of this treatment and the amount of lead-glass that is actually present in these stones. As I mentioned previously, due to the very close R.I. match of the lead-glass and the corundum, just how much glass is present internally in these stones can be difficult to ascertain. Once again, research from many has shown that the extent of this treatment is typically quite dramatic. In my own opinion, efforts to remove all of the glass from these stones has shown that the extent of the treatment is always more than I had originally thought through standard visual observations with a microscope and fiber-optic lighting, etc.

Just to add a couple of additional notes on this specific topic of the extent of treatment/amount of lead-glass. Dick pointed all of you to a very good study done by GIA and other members of the LMHC, where they illustrate several different degrees of this treatment. I have no issues with anything they have shown/published. My only comment is that in the images they show, there are still many areas with each stone that are translucent and whitish. This is etched glass that has not been totally removed, so I would only question whether truly all of the glass was removed in all of their samples. Let me state simply, that this is not a criticism of the work done by these researchers. They presented what they found. My comment is only an observation.

In my direct experience with trying to remove all of the glass, I found that initially it is quite easy to remove the glass, but in order to literally take all of it away, this proved to be difficult in many cases. In the process of doing so, literally all of the samples I worked with, fell apart to one degree or another. Because I am not sure it makes sense to create different categories for this material, I summarize my findings as follows: sometimes there was more ruby than glass, other times there was more glass than ruby, but in all cases the extent of treatment was extensive and more than what I had originally thought.

Another comment involves a discussion I had at a GILC meeting in Hong Kong, where it was mentioned that early on with this treatment some stones were seen that had only a couple of fissures filled with the lead-glass. To this I also had further discussions that offered to acquire 100 or 200 pieces in the open market, at that show, to determine how many in the marketplace from a random selection would fall into that category. Without having to spend the time and money to acquire those stones, it was agreed that maybe one stone, at best, may be found. So I think it is not an over statement to make saying that such lightly treated lead-glass filled stones would represent less than 1% of the material that is actually being offered for sale in the market presently.

Let me also make a further comment about the availability of this material. Based on my observations at trade shows, etc. I believe it is arguable that these stones are now perhaps the most dominant ruby product available to the marketplace. I see literally thousands to tens of thousands of stones, ranging in size from melee to over 100 cts. Offered for sale from numerous vendors at prices below 1 USD per carat, upwards to 100 or so USD per carat. This material is readily available in bulk. Unheated ruby does not remotely come close to this amount of material in the market and even the more traditionally heated ruby does not offer this variability and volume in this range of sizes and also for so little money. So this may well be the largest ruby product by volume available in the ruby marketplace today. This is no small consideration going forward. In the future, do we want consumers to think of this material when they are talking about rubies or do we want the traditional reverence and rarity for ruby to be maintained in the hearts and minds of consumers worldwide?

This leads me to the final point of how to represent and disclose these stones. As I started out mentioning, I developed a specific approach for the AGL in terms of how we as a lab were going to represent and disclose this material. Based on all of the issues I’ve outlined above, I decided to give this product a “name”. I coined the name Composite Ruby for these lead-glass treated rubies.

I felt that the specifics of this product merited it being handled in a less conventional manner. This being: 1) the stones represent an amalgam of ruby and a high lead-glass, 2) the true extent of the treatment can be difficult to ascertain, but in the vast majority of the stones available in the market, the extent of the treatment is extreme, also adding weight to the host corundum/ruby, 3) the golden color of the lead-glass is augmenting the color of the host corundum/ruby, 4) perhaps most importantly, regardless of the extent of this treatment, all of the stones carry with them “special care” requirements separate of those for untreated or the more traditionally heated rubies.

As well as not forgetting that the impetus for this approach was also influenced by the fact that this material has become perhaps the most widely available ruby product in the marketplace, eclipsing unheated ruby and passing the more traditionally heated rubies.

Just to be clear, I did not come up with the name Composite Ruby to try and present this material in the worst light possible. I chose this name because I felt it reflected and conveyed certain fundamental aspects as to the character of the material in a simple name. This being that it is different from an unheated ruby or more traditionally heated ruby, that it is an amalgam of two materials, but also that it is not an imitation or a synthetic.

So on our gemstone reports, we call the variety of the stone: Composite Ruby, with an additional description under the comments section that states: This stone is a composite of natural ruby and a high lead content glass. In addition, under the enhancements section of our report we make further disclosures. I won’t go into these details. For those interested follow this link: http://www.aglgemlab.com/news/Composite%20Ruby2.pdf

I have read and heard several people suggesting to call these stones as glass-filled ruby. To this I also have a couple of comments. The term of glass-filled ruby first came about in the mid 90’s when we started seeing a lot of heated Mong Hsu material that had been heated with the use of fluxing agents. At that time, we were seeing stones that had many more fissures and fractures partially healed and in-filled with the glassy residues of the fluxing agents and surface cavities that were filled with same material. Dick Hughes wrote an early description of this material, calling it glass-filled ruby when he worked for Tom Tashey at PGSC and others at the time also wrote about these stones calling them glass-filled ruby. Therefore a precedent has been set referring to more traditionally heated stones but with more significant amounts of flux-assisted heating residues as “glass-filled”. This current lead-glass treated ruby is a different material altogether. In addition, partly due to the controversies surrounding Composite Ruby/lead-glass treated ruby, others have started to treat some of the “better-grade” rough that was being used for the lead-glass treatment and heating them in a manner similar to the early Mong Hsu material. AGL and GIA Thailand have published reports on this material (see our respective websites) and so that type of “glass-filled” ruby is once again available in the market at present.

Clearly we as an industry have a conundrum with this lead-glass treated material. There are those that want it disclosed fully and those that don’t. Even for those who want the material disclosed properly, there are different approaches. Not even all of the major gemological labs are using the same approach. To this fact I want to make a final comment. I have personally chosen to call all of this material by the same name: Composite Ruby and address the different extents of the treatment under the enhancements section of our report, for the reasons outlined above. Others have decided to disclose the material differently based on the extent of the treatment. Each lab is open to determine their own approach obviously. However what purpose is served when all of this material sells for dramatically less than it costs to get a report to determine the extent? And all of the material carries the same special care requirements?

Add to this the fact that if some in the industry submit a couple of stones that would get the “better” of these disclosure wordings on a lab report for a lead-glass treated ruby, then they can use that report to represent the bulk of the other lead-glass treated ruby they have. This is because the wording used for the “better” of the lead-glass treated ruby material disclosure and the “worse” of the more traditionally heated ruby with heating residues is essentially the same. Therefore it can be mis-represented by some that there is no real difference between these materials and so no need to disclose differently.

During the recent GILC meeting in Hong Kong, one participant also pointed out that now they are starting to see emeralds with thick seams of polymer that are holding together pieces of emerald. I was asked if I would start calling this material Composite Emerald? My response to this was that I had not seen this material yet. So the short answer was “No”. As a follow-up though, I indicated that developing a name for the lead-glass treated ruby came up in part due to its dominance in the marketplace. Since emeralds treated to such an extent are not presently the dominant emerald product, I don’t see the need to give it its own product name. However if this were to change in the future, perhaps we would need to consider an alternate approach to separate such emerald composites from the more traditionally clarity enhanced emeralds.

Here just think of a simple gaussian curve. I develop an approach for disclosure that addresses the bulk of the material available in the marketplace. If 80-90% of the material fits a certain description then I address that description and when I find exceptions I handle those with special comments on AGL reports. This is why I call all of the lead-glass treated rubies by the name Composite Ruby. If I were to have one of those rare stones that only had 1 or 2 fissures filled with a lead-glass, then I would make a special comment to properly point out the condition of that stone. In general you want to make disclosure policies that address the norm, as opposed to the exception.

I will end with a statement I made earlier: In the future, do we want consumers to think of this material when they are talking about rubies or do we want the traditional reverence and rarity for ruby to be maintained in the hearts and minds of consumers worldwide?

I sincerely regret the length of this contribution and any perceived slight towards different views or approaches is wholly unintended. I believe that all of us in this industry, be they miners, traders, treaters, retailers, gemologists, appraisers, labs, etc are all tied together for the future and prosperity of our industry and so I whole-heartedly appreciate the continued interaction between all parties and the open discussions that we all need to continue having.

We have many great traditions in our industry that we should uphold. There will also be times that we may have to look at issues with a fresh mind and perhaps take at an out-of-the-box approach to better address our needs. We have seen the evolution of gemology and nomenclature in many instances over the years and we should remain open to such aspects moving forward.

Sincerely,
Christopher P. Smith
American Gemological Laboratories, New York


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 Post subject: Re: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:21 pm 
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Interesting, informative post. Thanks, Chris!

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 Post subject: Re: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:26 pm 
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Christopher P. Smith wrote:
We have many great traditions in our industry that we should uphold. There will also be times that we may have to look at issues with a fresh mind and perhaps take at an out-of-the-box approach to better address our needs. We have seen the evolution of gemology and nomenclature in many instances over the years and we should remain open to such aspects moving forward.

Chris,
How about moving backwards to the root of the problem and eliminating that.
The root lies in gemology's bastardizing the word "synthetic" and using it as a noun stressing composition (which has nothing to do with the matter) instead of the fact it is "man made".

Simply describe it as a man made product composed of ruby and glass.

You stated: "but also that it is not an imitation or a synthetic." That is an opinion only a gemologist wedded to his unique definition of the NOUN Synthetic would defend. The public does not accept or understand the "distinction". Your aim is to inform the public of the true nature of this material. You must use terms the public understands or it is all in vain.
Good Luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:49 pm 
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Thanks for your speech , Christopher ! Your words sound right and wise . I agree with each one .

Ruby is a priceless patrimony of our earth ; don't let the public forget it .
When I read that :
Christopher wrote:
" these stones are now perhaps the most dominant ruby product available to the marketplace."

I'm afraid that in a few time , people end to ignore the real Beauty of the prestigious corindum .

The real problem is that everybody wants to own everything .
Admiring is'nt a pleasure more delicious than owning ?

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 Post subject: Re: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:53 am 
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Thank you very much Christopher, your clarification was very useful, i have read AGL press release dated 3 May 2010 and i always wanted to ask some question for my clarification. indeed i have no problem what you whether we call glass-filled or composite rubies, (for sure "Composite" is not satisfying in industry), your reasons are clear but what is AGL policies for Silica glass fillers (older method before using high refractive filler)?
as to my understanding AGL only calls composite ruby if there is any evidence of potential elements that raises the refractive index of the filler. the classification of LMHC is more clear with Glass filled cavities/fissures (Color/Clarity Enhancement) also there is another classification for Ruby-Glass Composite Material, which is assemble and/or to bound a multitude of tiny pieces of ruby into one cutting material with glass, so actually both AGL and Members of LMHC have Composite Ruby Classification but they are different, in other word AGL will classify any Rubies with Lead and/or Bismuth as Composite Ruby but LMHC uses Composite Ruby when there is a combination of glass and ruby which in this case percentage of Glass is far more than Ruby and lead-glass is bending material.

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 Post subject: Re: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:26 am 
Bill Hanneman wrote:
How about moving backwards to the root of the problem and eliminating that.
The root lies in gemology's bastardizing the word "synthetic" and using it as a noun stressing composition (which has nothing to do with the matter) instead of the fact it is "man made".

Simply describe it as a man made product composed of ruby and glass.

You stated: "but also that it is not an imitation or a synthetic." That is an opinion only a gemologist wedded to his unique definition of the NOUN Synthetic would defend. The public does not accept or understand the "distinction". Your aim is to inform the public of the true nature of this material. You must use terms the public understands or it is all in vain.
Good Luck.


In this matter, I think your own argumentation turns around and bites you, Bill. Gemmologists did not coin the usage of 'synthetic' as a noun. This has been a widely adopted practice for a range of purposes for many decades now. Isn't your own clothes-washing machine marked up on its control panel for the the treatment of 'Synthetics'?

In short, the general public already accepts the useage of 'Synthetic' as a noun and has no problems of comprehension deriving directly from that. With all due respect to the Academie Francaise and like-minded bodies, the development of language is largely driven by popular usage and not by cloistered academic opinion (regrettable though that may be).

In the context of this thread, I think that Christopher's suggestion of 'Composite Ruby' is admirably concise and explicit. Your preferred alternative of 'a man made product composed of ruby and glass' is just plain unhandy and adds nothing (IMO) worth having - at least until such time as a composite ruby product might be commonly sold that is *not* a composite of ruby and glass.


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 Post subject: Re: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:40 am 
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Hello Rashanravan,

You bring up points that I tried to address. A first comment is that the glass which results from the fluxing agents used during heating can have a variety of compositions. They are not all silica-based.

When fluxing agents are used during the heating process, they become molten, cover the surface of the stone and enter open fissures. These molten fluxing agents then partially dissolve the host corundum, making them alumina enriched. Upon cooling, the enriched alumina-melt will partially recrystalize, reforming corundum (i.e. a synthetic) and bonding or healing the walls of open fissures. Depending on the degree of healing that takes place, there will also be remnants of melt that solidify as a glass and as the glass cools, contraction bubbles will also form.

So in effect, after the heating process which uses fluxing agents, we end up with a combination of features along the previously open fissures. These consist of regrown corundum (in the strict sense, synthetic corundum), a vitreous melt (glass) and voids (contraction bubbles). Years ago, a number of the major gemological labs got together and decided to call the combination of these features as “heating residues” and that the total combination of the three would be quantified in written or alpha-numeric terms (insignificant, faint/minor, moderate, etc., or TE1 – TE5).

This is the way most labs, including AGL and members of the LMHC are handling what you are calling the “silica glass”. In my extended first post, I also refer to the early Mong Hsu and more recent Mozambique material that not only has this combination of heating residues, but also has the issue of only in-filling fissures with the vitreous melt left over from the fluxing agents. AGL discloses this as “heating residues and in-filling” and we quantify them collectively. You can follow this link to see our policy on that material: http://www.aglgemlab.com/News/New%20Rub ... 10-AGL.pdf

GIA Thailand also did extensive research on this material and has come up with similar results, but with a slightly different policy for how they address them on their lab reports.

Therefore the AGL policy clearly differentiates between those stones that I describe above and the stones that are classified as Composite Ruby. The stones described above are an extension of heating with use of fluxing agents, whereas Composite Ruby represents a different treatment altogether as explained in my extended first post.

This is the issue that I have with how other labs are addressing these two products. Only in the worst case scenario are the other labs making a clear separation for the lead-glass treated rubies. In the other cases, there is an overlap. Meaning that a stone described in one of their reports could be a stone that was heated with fluxing agents and has what I describe “heating residues and in-filling” or it could be lead-glass treated, which I describe as “Composite Ruby”.

The stone that is lead-glass treated/a Composite Ruby has distinct special care requirements that the ruby heated with fluxing agents doesn’t have. This applies across the board, whether the stone is less heavily treated or more so. This is one of the primary reasons I label all of the lead-glass treated stones as Composite Ruby, in addition to a number of factors that I outlined in my previous post. It is not just about the R.I. of the glass, nor only the presence of lead in the glass. This was a decision made based on a collection of factors.

One of the issues or considerations that I didn’t mention in my extended post was also that the ruby trade at large was having extensive discussions with myself and members of other labs, requesting that disclosure policies be put in place that clearly distinguishes the lead-glass treated material from the more traditionally heated rubies that have been healed using fluxing agents. These members of the trade felt strongly that the policies which most labs had did not make a clear enough distinction between these two ruby products and so this would only cause confusion and allow for lead-glass treated stones to sold without specific disclosure. For case in point, please refer to the Macy’s website for its general disclosure on ruby treatment: http://www1.macys.com/r63x05_gemstone_popup.jsp
From the macy’s website on gemstone treatments and care: Ruby - Usually heated to improve appearance. Surface cavities and fractures are often filled with foreign material including glass and glass-like substances. Occasionally diffused to improve color.


I hope this helps to clarify further. Best regards to all,
Christopher P. Smith


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 Post subject: Re: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:46 pm 
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Dear Christopher, again thank you very much for your complete disclosure. and i am glad that i made your point more clear.

the percentage of filled fissures rubies (from fluxing agents) is much less than lead-glass rubies in the market, the LMHC members separate filled rubies in classified categories as you said using alpha-numeric terms.
your Separation is also right in the way you described,

AGL Lab separation may not be in favor of Industry because the meaning of "Composite" could have bad effect on customer, and it might sound like Polymer-Turquoise composites or etc... and the terms and alpha-numeric separation that other lab use is more complex for customers and might be confusing and make sale more easy, but there are also good points in AGL separation, because of bulk production of Glass-Filled Rubies with big sizes and very cheap price maybe there is no need for a complex separation and what are the borders to determine PB-Glass in cavities? as you explained in the opening post telling how much pb-glass is present in the ruby can be tricky and making it more complicated with C1,C2,C3 doesn't help industry at all.

both AGL and LMHC Comments are correct, both have positive point and effect. anyway as i said AGL Comment might not be in favor of traders but also making more complicating comments doesn't protect customers too
because Glass-Filled Rubies are so cheap (sometimes i wonder the price of cutting is more costly!), traders provide Report only for good color and bigger size rubies so comments in the reports is not a problem

Glass-Filled/Composite Rubies had a big effect on jewelry industry, i even see antique jewelries which their stones has been replaced with Glass-Filled Rubies and customer is more satisfy to buy them and they show less interest if we tell them its a synthetic ruby, some how they feel more comfortable if they hear its a treated natural ruby instead of synthetic.

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 Post subject: Re: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:15 pm 
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Quote:
In this matter, I think your own argumentation turns around and bites you, Bill. Gemmologists did not coin the usage of 'synthetic' as a noun.

As usual, you didn’t understand what I wrote, or else you just want to disagree for the sake of disagreeing. However, I do not believe for one moment your gemological experience has not taught you Gemologists did indeed coin the noun “synthetic” as a word (jargon) having a special meaning relative to composition. Check any dictionary.

Not so with the rest of the world, and they have no problems. However, having done so, gemologists like Chris are “forced” to make statements such as, "but also that it is not an imitation or a synthetic."

When your nomenclature system allows gems to be classified as only Natural, Synthetic, or Imitation, one is forced to invent new categories such as “treated” to convince yourself (and hopefully others) you are telling the truth about a material. Then, it is time to question your nomenclature system or your motives.

Every thinking individual in the world recognizes those so called “rubies” are indeed imitations and of synthetic origin. and they really don’t care too much about which euphemism is used to obscure that issue. Unfortunately, it is actions like this which will eventually undermine what trust and respect the public still has for the jewelry trade.
Quote:
In the context of this thread, I think that Christopher's suggestion of 'Composite Ruby' is admirably concise and explicit.

Equally concise and explicit is “Composite Glass”, but that won’t foster any sales of the material. But then, is that the function of an “Identification Laboratory”?

No laboratory is going to make any money certifying or not certifying this junk, so calling it what is is not really a problem. The real problem, as Chris recognizes, is the term “treated” and there we are already on the slippery slope. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:26 pm 
Bill Hanneman wrote:
Quote:
In this matter, I think your own argumentation turns around and bites you, Bill. Gemmologists did not coin the usage of 'synthetic' as a noun.

As usual, you didn’t understand what I wrote, or else you just want to disagree for the sake of disagreeing. However, I do not believe for one moment your gemological experience has not taught you Gemologists did indeed coin the noun “synthetic” as a word (jargon) having a special meaning relative to composition. Check any dictionary.


You didn't mean that Bill. Gemmologists did not (first) use 'synthetic' as a noun (a matter of fact rather than opinion). That practice was well established before gemmologists also adopted it.

Quote:
When your nomenclature system allows gems to be classified as only Natural, Synthetic, or Imitation, one is forced to invent new categories such as “treated” to convince yourself (and hopefully others) you are telling the truth about a material. Then, it is time to question your nomenclature system or your motives.


Beating up any chosen nomenclature does seem to be a displacement activity for avoiding addressal of the fundamental problem. Namely,that the jewellery industry increasingly rests on a need to maintain price differentials of even four or five orders of magnitude between the worth of 'natural, untreated' over 'synthetic'. This is becoming more like 'Emperor's New Clothes' as time goes on. We once tried to do the same with people, using nomenclature such as 'patricians'and 'plebes', implying ummutable valuation of the former way above that of the latter. Similarly, the problem was not in the nomenclature selected but in the very concept that the nomenclature was brought into being to express. :lol:

Quote:
.... Unfortunately, it is actions like this which will eventually undermine what trust and respect the public still has for the jewelry trade.


Can we agree that:

- The modification of parts of speech in itself neither adds nor detracts to public confidence in the jewellery trade? Such is a commonplace in all walks of life.

- The assignment of superior/inferior status and value according to birthing is both a little old-fashioned and hard to justify other than as necessary to protect some status quo?

- Within the currently accepted use of trade terminology, 'Composite Ruby' should be considered as a 'simulant' and not as a 'synthetic'?

Quote:
In the context of this thread, I think that Christopher's suggestion of 'Composite Ruby' is admirably concise and explicit.

Quote:
Equally concise and explicit is “Composite Glass”, but that won’t foster any sales of the material.?


You are quite right - but which option to use should surely depend whether one's primary interest is with the Ruby part or the Glass part. Given where we are (and that it is not where we might like to be in a perfect world), for jewellers and the gemmologists who service them, I still think that Christopher's suggested name for glass-filled Ruby will do just fine.

Of course glass-filled Ruby is a crippled and short-lived sickly off-spring of whole and healthy Ruby but, that said, if this stuff brings a small spot of happiness into millions of lives, perhaps there is a place for it in the grand scheme of things? After all, the invention first of Sheffield Plate and, later, of the cheaper (and nastier) electro-plating did not destroy the market for solid silverware and served to increase rather than decrease the profits of those selling both the real and the simulant wares.

Chaqu'un a son gout.


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 Post subject: Re: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:03 pm 
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Quote:
Gemologists did indeed coin the noun “synthetic” as a word (jargon) having a special meaning relative to composition. Check any dictionary.

Quote:
You didn't mean that Bill. Gemmologists did not (first) use 'synthetic' as a noun (a matter of fact rather than opinion). That practice was well established before gemmologists also adopted it.

Please knock it off. The word “synthetic” is not the issue. It is the definition of that word, and gemologists do indeed have their own restricted definition.
Quote:
... the jewellery industry increasingly rests on a need to maintain price differentials of even four or five orders of magnitude between the worth of 'natural, untreated' over 'synthetic'.

Therein lies the problem. The jewelry industry must recognize the name of a product does not have anything to do with the value, price, or worth of that product. It is the condition of that object which determines its value. However, the industry well recognizes to be profitable one sells the sizzle, not the steak.

While it is the prerogative of the supplier to assign it a name, it is the function of the APPRAISER to assign a value which is relative to the market in which it is offered. The name only serves to inform the appraiser which “price list” is relevant to the object.

Gemologists are NOT appraisers and should not try to usurp their function.
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- Within the currently accepted use of trade terminology, 'Composite Ruby' should be considered as a 'simulant' and not as a 'synthetic'?
...I still think that Christopher's suggested name for glass-filled Ruby will do just fine.

I won’t argue with that, nor will the public. Why then, is there any problem with this material?
The rubber meets the road when the customer asks, “How much is that ruby.” Does the seller say “That is not a ruby.” and explain just what it is, or does he simply say $30/carat?
Is that only a moral issue?


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 Post subject: Re: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:20 am 
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My question is: How did a artificial product like composite ruby make it nearly 7 years into production and world wide distribution of millions of carats before the industry really started to question the makers label of "ruby" for this material?


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 Post subject: Re: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:05 pm 
Craig Lynch wrote:
My question is: How did a artificial product like composite ruby make it nearly 7 years into production and world wide distribution of millions of carats before the industry really started to question the makers label of "ruby" for this material?


That, Craig, is a killer of a question. Perhaps the deathly silence with which it has been met from all here including, most interestingly, from those who were practicing gemmologists throughout this period, speaks of its lethality.


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 Post subject: Re: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:53 pm 
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Maybe I can shed some light over this. Gemmologists have identified the LGF and made no secret of this. The problem is not that gemologists has failed to "do something about it". The blame is to be put on the vendors and distributors that bought a product and "forgot to disclose" that it was clearly stated as lead glass filled by the producer. Serious gemologists and laboratories identify and states the true nature of stones when asked to but are not policing the market. 99.99% or less of the LGF composite stones produced never gets close to being checked by competent and serious labs. Gemologists are not responsible for the trades negligence in this matter. Non disclosing dealers are. The root is nothing but greed.

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 Post subject: Re: Composite Ruby - Lead glass treated Ruby
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:04 pm 
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Perhaps this question can be answered by the fellow who posted it, Craig Lynch.
Perhaps, he is waiting for us to ask him.
He has written a book on it.
http://ouellet-lynch.com/composite-ruby-id/index.htm

With any luck, his answer will not be, "Buy the book."


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