National Shutdowns have put the lid on most shows.
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 Post subject: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:18 pm 
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Since gold is going up in price, I know gold gets recycled a lot from jewellery as well as other metals.
A lot of gems I see at times get discarded or thrown away. Saddens me to see a lot of work that goes in to
cutting gems just get thrown away some don't but many do.

What's your thoughts ?


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:16 am 
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who and where are gems being discarded?

no way


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:23 am 
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Where are they being thrown away? I would like to inform them of my new service. "Steve's Gemstone Recycling Center". I won't even charge them that much.

You know, it kinda feels good protecting the environment this way.....


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:42 pm 
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Most of the time diamonds get pulled out and everything else gets put in a ziplock and forgotten, thrown in a fishtank or even tossed, yeah. Most of it is garbage, even taken out of gold jewelry, but it can be fun to sort through. I have a big bag I got shortly before lockdown that I am slowly working on.

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 Post subject: Re: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:52 pm 
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Stumble on any treasures in that zip lock, Stephen?


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:33 pm 
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So far a 17 ct black star sapphire, a 1ct round blue zircon with minor abrasions and a nice little pink topaz in the first quarter cup, plus plenty of cz, synthetic rubies, mlre synthetic white spinel than expected and some low end natural stuff. I filmed some of it and keep meaning to edit the video together.

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 Post subject: Re: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:40 pm 
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Most blue zircon aquires mysterious abrasion often on the rear facets which have never been exposed to wear.
I was told at some time in the past (can't remember by whom, or the circumstance) that is because of radioactive deterioration, brought on by trace amounts of hafnium and thorium.

Can anyone else comment on that?


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:38 pm 
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This was typical wear on the front. Still looks nice.
Radioactive decay can cause internal issues but it seems like an improbable explanation for wearing.

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 Post subject: Re: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:10 pm 
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Yes, these were referring to abrasions on back facets.


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:53 pm 
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I'd never heard of that before but I'll sure be on the lookout.
Some zircons can be partially dated by counting alpha emissions, which leave a trail of damage in the stone when they shoot out that you can see in crossed polars. So there might be something there, I just can't imagine it actually popping off bits of the stone, or them happening frequently enough to make a uniform effect on the facets. Especially since heating should likely snap those dislocations back into place. What an interesting mystery.

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 Post subject: Re: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:41 am 
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I noticed it a number of times when I worked in retail. Abraded back facets in mounted pieces. Then someone (???) explained why (???)


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:13 am 
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Total guesswork here, I’m not a gemologist:

- Could be caused by cleaning the rear of the stone with sharp tools perhaps (I clean the back of my nose pin with a toothpick, around the stones), or
- referred shock from bumping the setting
- both of these combined with the radioactive explanation.

Zircon facet boundaries are quite brittle I once heard, so the toothpick could do some damage.

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 Post subject: Re: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:57 am 
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Barbra Voltaire, FGG wrote:
I noticed it a number of times when I worked in retail. Abraded back facets in mounted pieces. Then someone (???) explained why (???)


Simple possible explanation: they were already abraded when they were set in the first place?


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 Post subject: Re: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:43 pm 
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Most likely reason for back abrasions on zircon?

Ever notice how dealers used to (and many still do) carry parcels of gems, many pieces together in a stone paper?

A bit of shaking around, opening and closing a paper and... ...ABRASIONS!!!

So, as Dioptase said - the abrasions were there before setting.

Wood toothpicks of the normal variety are not tough or hard enough to damage a zircon.

Any zircons that have had enough radioactive decay to have structural damage to any extent (metamict) is normally brownish to green, and do not heat to blue. The RI is in the lower range for zircon ("low zircon").

If you have cut a few of them you would notice that they are often a bit more brittle than other colors, occasionally having pieces "pull out" while polishing, leaving a furrow across the facet and damage to your lap.
A source: https://www.gemselect.com/english/other-info/green-zircon.php

If you have been around enough parcels of gems in papers, you would notice other brittle gems (like garnet) will also show "paper wear" after a while. Thankful for other ways to store gems!

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 Post subject: Re: Scrap gems to diamonds.
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:46 pm 
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That makes perfect sense. Maybe I dreamt it. :smt017


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