• ISG Research Reports

    by Published on 10-01-2015 01:41 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. ISG Research Reports
    My Image
    It was the first time in my 44 years in this business that I have stopped at a major show booth and interrupted the presentation of an exhibitor regarding claims they were making to the audience. The claims that the Gemlogis Taupe Diamond Segregator could positively separate natural, earth-mined diamonds from lab created diamonds and HPHT treated diamonds was and is, simply not true. The technology used by this tool is not new, utilizing ultraviolet light to separate Type I diamonds from Type II, based on the transparency of Type II Diamonds to short wave UV light. Shortly after my report on this subject, I was contacted by the folks at Gemlogis USA with very cordial communications asking if I could make suggestions as to how they could better present their product, and more accurately describe what it could do. I was more than happy to do this as the unit has potential if the test results are put into the proper perspective regarding what it can and cannot do. The company made significant changes in their handbook description and actual unit wording. You can see this below. The unit no longer claims to be able to positively identify lab created diamonds or HPHT treated diamonds, but now properly identifies that it can present evidence that diamonds getting the proper reaction "may be synthetic / CVD" or "may be HPHT treated". The question still loomed, however, regarding the other side of the test results that diamonds that react with the green side are indeed "Not synthetic" and "Not HPHT treated". This is where problems have presented themselves with the updates.
    by Published on 09-08-2015 09:16 AM  Number of Views: 7578 
    My Image
    It was a one of those moments when you find yourself just sitting and staring, somewhat in disbelief but mostly in wonder. I was in an art gallery in Miami Beach when I saw my first Old World masterpiece, painted by one of the Old World masters, and the image of the young women was so life-like that my mind said: "photograph" while the sign on the painting confirmed it was done long before cameras were invented. I do not remember the specific artist, but this was artistic perfection far beyond anything I had seen, and was something of an epiphany regarding the artistic talent that was required to capture this moment in time from so long ago, in such a true-to-life creation. The ability to perfectly duplicate by hand what was created by nature requires an artistry that few possess, and in few instances does this apply as much as in the duplication of nature's creation of gemstones in a scientific lab.
    by Published on 06-17-2015 09:20 AM  Number of Views: 33010 
    1. Categories:
    2. ISG Articles
    My Image
    It's usually the same scenario: A new ISG RGA student contacts me and says, "I don't really care about watches...do I have to take that course?" My answer is always the same: "You have to study watches if you are ever going to be worth your salt as an appraiser, so the answer is...yes, you have to take this course." Later on, of course, I hear that the student loved the study of watches and did not realize just how much the study of gemology meets the study of horology. In truth, these two "ology's" have been an integral part of each other for centuries. Watches have been an important part of the jewelry industry since watches were invented. The artistry that goes into creating a fine timepiece rivals even the finest jewelry design artistry, with intricacies that go far beyond what many students understand in the beginning.
    by Published on 07-03-2014 12:10 PM  Number of Views: 13862 
    1. Categories:
    2. ISG Research Reports
    My Image
    The issue of ruby treatments has been at the forefront of the industry for a number of years now. Given the remarkable influx of low cost rubies of fairly nice quality, it is widely assumed that a large volume of these rubies are on the market and being sold without proper disclosure by department stores and television shopping channels, among others. One of the notable exceptions is Jewelry Television who has taken significant steps to provide treatment information and disclosures for all of their gemstones.
    by Published on 05-28-2014 01:29 AM  Number of Views: 14842 
    1. Categories:
    2. ISG Research Reports
    My Image
    It was quite an amazing revelation when I first heard of Sylvia Gumpesberger's work on gemstone magnetism. Sylvia is one of those gemology pioneers who open up new horizons in gemology, and then drag the rest of the industry kicking and screaming into new concepts and new technology. The following year I was honored to have Dr. Don Hoover visit our booth at the AGTA Gemfair in Tucson (yes, we used to be members before Tibet andesine issues) where he demonstrated the separation of garnets based on magnetism. When you think about it, the iron content of many gemstones is sufficient to create a magnetic attraction, and this was the basis for the reports.
    by Published on 05-14-2014 03:38 AM  Number of Views: 12560 
    My Image
    What you see at left is the result of a lot of really ticked-off consumers and gemstone dealers who were tired of not getting any response from the industry regarding Tibet andesine. In an effort to help the ISG get answers on this fraud, these folks contributed over half of the US$20,000.00 cost of this Enwave Optronics Raman Spectrometer that was custom build on a Meiji Techno MX microscope. This was 5 years ago and much has happened in the industry regarding the use of Raman Spectroscopy in gemstone identification and testing. In 2009 there were no gemological oriented Raman units on the market, so we had to start from scratch to pioneer the concept that small, grass root level gemologists could incorporate high technology instruments into the everyday world of gemstone testing. With the help of a variety of wonderful people in the scientific and gemological community, we were able to utilize this technology to help us put the kabash on the Tibet andesine fraud.
    by Published on 04-21-2014 03:55 AM  Number of Views: 16338 
    My Image
    At the 2012 Tucson Gem Shows the ISG was requested to investigate the sudden surge of nice quality but low-priced tanzanite on the market coming from gem dealers in Thailand. Through our contacts in Pakistan, we had previously been informed that lower quality Pakistani zoisite was being shipped to Thailand, never to be seen again. This scenario was very much like the tons of Mexican yellow feldspar that was shipped to Thailand (and later China) and never seen again, only in that case it was discovered that the feldspar was being turned into what is now being sold as “Tibet andesine”. The Pakistan zoisite and Thai tanzanite connection just seemed too coincidental not to be potentially connected. As a result we accepted the request to investigate the Thai tanzanite issue, and published questions about the situation in our Tanzanite Trepidation reports over the past 2 years. We have prepared a full report on PDF available at the link at the bottom of this page. However, a condensed version is available below: