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heliodor from tajikistan

Posted by bob kerr  
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bob kerr November 04, 2011 11:45PM
i note the following on this web site:

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is now known to be a fake locality name made up by dishonest dealers. It is believed the yellow "Heliodor" crystals claimed to be from this locality are heat-treated Pakistani beryl.

and have to take serious issue with whoever posted this. heating aquamarine does not cause it to go to yellow - period. heating aqua is frequently used to remove the greenish tinge to make it bluer but it will not turn it yellow. further heating will actually even remove the blue. this need to either show the evidence for this statement or remove this post.

now - irradiation of aqua. this does indeed tend to make aqua yellowish but there's three problems with this also. 1 - take a look at the attached photo of vivid yellow beryl in direct association with white/milky quartz. if this specimen were irradiated the quartz would turn dark/smokey. 2 - however there may indeed be a gamma ray energy spectrum that if it could be properly colmnated and focused on the beryl only could account for yellowing - but is this something you would expect from this area of the world - or even the states or europe for that matter?? i think not. 3 - irradiation of aqua typically results in a brownish yellow - not the vivid yellow found in these specimens.

finally - concerning the mine name - calling a mine one name to confuse or keep intruders out is not unscrupulous at all - it's done all over the world including here in the US. this is a meaningless critique.

so - to me the jury may still out concerning these but i have no evidence to think these are anything but heliodor from some location in or around tajikistan.

can anyone else show real evidence to the contrary? i, and others would appreciate it. inuendo and hearsay need not respond.

thanks
open | download - heliodor quartz.JPG (284.7 KB)
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph November 05, 2011 12:08AM
Thank you for raising this - the statement that they are "heat treated" was certainly inaccurate.

However. They are most certainly (at least the ones I have seen) simply treated low-grade Pakistani and/or Chinese aquamarines.

Despite the suspicious nature of these no-one has been able to give one shred of evidence that these things are genuine.

Please read the article by Dmitriy Belakovsky in the English ExtraLapis Vol 7 "Beryl and its Color Varieties" (p61)

The locality "Zelatoya Vada" doesn't even exit.

Until we get some firm evidence to prove these are genuine, the statement on that page stays.

Jolyon
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Rob Woodside November 05, 2011 12:16AM
"heated" is a local word meaning 'treated'. Treated usually means irradiated. Pakistan is a nuclear power and since irradiating is quite profitable, I doubt very much that their technology is behind anywhere else in the world.. Check the base of these beryls to see if they have been added to the white quartz. If not, then gamma radiation. was not used to make the yellow. What is used to create heliodor from aqua? Since Fe is responsible for both amethyst and aqua and heating (sensu stricto) produces 'citrine' one might suppose that heating might produce heliodor. If you think these are real I can sell you one for a grand.
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bob kerr November 05, 2011 01:58AM
Jolyon - thanks for the response. are you saying that the heat treating statement is wrong but the statement will still stay????

and in your statement "simply treated low-grade aqua" - treated with what??

and i just don't think that a "fake locality name" implies anything - is "gelte krustle mine" also a fake location? (in AZ we have the pure potential mine, the barking spider mine among others - simply names given in part to conceal the locality).

and i think you can also say that; "despite the suspicious nature of these, no one has been able to give one shred of valid evidence that they are not real". (based on john white's article in R&M)

i don't have access to dimitri's article - could you please provide a brief synopsis? is john's position invalidated by dimitri?

thanks,
bob


-------------------------------------------------------
> Thank you for raising this - the statement that
> they are "heat treated" was certainly inaccurate.
>
> However. They are most certainly (at least the
> ones I have seen) simply treated low-grade
> Pakistani and/or Chinese aquamarines.
>
> Despite the suspicious nature of these no-one has
> been able to give one shred of evidence that these
> things are genuine.
>
> Please read the article by Dmitriy Belakovsky in
> the English ExtraLapis Vol 7 "Beryl and its Color
> Varieties" (p61)
>
> The locality "Zelatoya Vada" doesn't even exit.
>
> Until we get some firm evidence to prove these are
> genuine, the statement on that page stays.
>
> Jolyon
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bob kerr November 05, 2011 02:11AM
rob - i've looked VERY closely at my two heliodor/quartz specimens (as have others) and also quite a few other heliodor/quartz specimens and cannot see any "manufacturing" or glue evident at all. this evidence does not FULLY rule out some type of radiation treatment to cause the yellow but i think it does rule out gross radiation treatment. what i am saying is that it could possibly be created by some columnated, specific gamma energy source that would have to be focused only on the beryl - this is a major challenge and i think not a likely explanation - no matter what the country or origin.

to me, heating is simply out as a possible treatment - unless i can see evidence that contradicts experiments that i've seen conducted.

bob
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph November 11, 2011 04:14PM
Bob.

We believe the locality given is fake based on many discussions with experts on minerals from the former soviet union, experts on beryl etc.

The majority of specimens, including specimens on matrix, attributed to this locality are without doubt specimens of beryl from pakistan and some (unmistakably) from Ping Wu in China which have been irradiated.

This does not mean your specimen is from this source. It may well be a genuine heliodor on matrix, but perhaps from an alternative locality.

It is of course possible that your specimen is genuine and is genuinely from this locality, however because of the serious doubt about the validity of this locality we would need some fairly impressive evidence as to the provenance of the specimen before we could say with any certainty that true heliodor comes from that locality.

Dmitry Belakovsky, who wrote the article in ExtraLapis, is curator at the Fersman Mineralogical Museum in Moscow and knows more about former soviet mineral localities than most people.

Story goes something like this:

An American dealer shows yellow beryl to him from "undisclosed locality" in the eastern Pamir mountains of Tadjkistan. Asks him where they could be from.

He says he told the dealer that IF they were from the eastern Pamir then they MAY be from Rangkul as there is a well-known gemstone area near Rangkul Lake.

He took a specimen in trade for the museum, and showed it later to Anatoliy Skrigitil - who had spent many years working and collecting in the Rangkul area - discovering many gem localities in the region. Anatoliy explained that Dmitriy was wrong, heliodor had never been found in Rangkul or anywhere in the Pamir - the only possible locality was the pegmatites in Kyrgizia.

More material came onto the market, suspiciously always through western dealers, never through Russian dealers, but now the locality was adjusted to "Rangkul, Pamir Mts, Tadjikistan" - the very (and incorrect) locality that Dmitriy had guessed at.

The mine name "Zolotaya vada" or "zelotaya vada" came at around this time, oddly a Russian sounding name (in a non-russian region) - and is clearly a distortion of the Russian words for "golden water".

All attempts to track down the mine, or any trace of workings in the region have failed, both from discussing with locals and with the regional experts.

He adds

"I have visited Rangkul area and have seen first hand how difficult if not impossible it would be to hide mining activity on the barren landscape".

Jolyon



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/11/2011 05:27PM by Jolyon Ralph.
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bob kerr November 11, 2011 08:45PM
joylon - again, thanks for the response, i value your opinions.

this issue continues to confuse me. real evidence seems lacking and it wouldn't surprise me at all if many of the loose yellow beryls are indeed irradiated aquas. the matrix pieces however cannot be so easily dismissed - especially ones with quartz or clevelandite in association that are not darkened. but then again could the radiation treatment be electrons rather than gammas? (electrons can be more easily focused.) would this result in yellow beryl but not darkened quartz?

and concerning the given locality name(s) - this also seems inconclusive as there are lots of examples of a false locality given to hide the real locality from claim jumpers. so rangul appears not to be the correct locality but that locality could've been chosen as semi believable and to send someone on a wild goose chase. this to me is not sufficient evidence to declare them guilty.

i share your skepticism - but i also would like to have someone more knowledgeable than i explain to me my two heliodor specimens with white quartz in association (there are others out there also). this to me seems the strongest evidence that they are real heliodors and unless i see strong evidence otherwise (not just that the locality is fake) i'm gonna consider at least these two as real. and if these two are real then there's no doubt many others (loose xls) that are real - but no doubt mixed in with others that are irradiated.

i guess the discussion will continue.

bob
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Tim Jokela Jr November 13, 2011 06:19PM
"finally - concerning the mine name - calling a mine one name to confuse or keep intruders out is not unscrupulous at all - it's done all over the world including here in the US. this is a meaningless critique. "
-----------

Surprised nobody has jumped on the above statement. Lying about a locality IS unscrupulous. Doesn't matter if "it's done all over the world". It's fraud, and a real pain in the ass for the whole community. Let's not encourage the bullshit artists that do it.

T
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph November 13, 2011 07:58PM
Bob.

As I said before, there is a good chance your heliodor on matrix may be genuine.

However if it is, it's most likely from Brazil or another locality, not from Tadjikistan.

Jolyon
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bob kerr November 14, 2011 03:25PM
jolyon - FYI there's another "lively" thread on this subject on jordi fabre's board at:

http://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?t=366&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

thanks,
bob
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bob kerr November 14, 2011 03:35PM
tim - i agree it should be discouraged BUT let's face reality - it really exists and for reasons the originator feels necessary. for example, i worked extensively at the "Pure Potential Mine" in arizona with the new claim holder and this mine for decades had been known as the North Geronimo Mine. he, in part, renamed it to "keep the vultures out". i just don't consider this unscrupulous. similarly, when those excellent chinese mimetites first came out numerous different localities were given in order to confuse raiders. not unscrupulous.

i think the real unscrupulous occurance is when someone intentionally claims that the specimen is from tsumeb, for example, in order to demand a higher price - which is what i think you are implying also.

thanks,
bob
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Alfredo Petrov November 14, 2011 04:05PM
Bob, I think your analogies don't apply in the current discussion on "Tadzhikistan" beryls. There's quite a big difference between renaming a mine when management changes hands (completely normal in the mining business and not dishonest at all), or giving out vague locality information because you don't want hordes of competitors descending on a site, and the "Tadzhikistan" story, where specimens from probably more than one locality, perhaps even more than one country, are all being attributed to another different country where they didn't come from! I'd call that a whole order of magnitude worse deception, and indefensible in any normal frame of collector ethics.
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David Von Bargen November 14, 2011 04:37PM
It seems very strange that no one has been able to pin down the source of the material in over 20 years. I would expect greed to get the better of the miners and that they would have tried to cut out the middlemen and gotten closer to selling things on the retail market (the Pakistanis and Afghans have seen fit to try and do this).

Technically, you do need to have quartz that has a relatively high aluminum content to generate a smoky quartz on irradiation. If there is a subsequent heat treatment (to about 350C), the smoky color will be bleached out.

It's one thing to be a bit vague on the locality, or rename a mine/claim (which eventually comes out) versus an outright lie about a locality. Eventually these things will end up in a museum and be studied scientifically. The science can be severely messed up if good locality data is not available. I have gotten supposed Arkansas diamonds that were in fact probably from South Africa. If these had been used in studies, they would not only have polluted the scientific literature, they would have resulted in a complete waste of the researchers time.
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bob kerr November 14, 2011 07:39PM
david - with apologies, i responded to your post from this board on jordi fabre's board. i wrote:

"and for heating smokey to clear it up - wouldn't this also impact the heliodor? there's lots of demonstrations of treated aquas and heliodors going to goeshenite with heating. the question is one of the right temperture and duration to clear the quartz and not clear the heliodor.

a friend of mine is gonna try an experiment with this - heat both smokey and heliodor and attempt to see what happens. it may not be the exact case but should be instructive."

sorry,
bob
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Salvatore Natalizia December 19, 2011 01:52PM
ahi...ahi...ahi... I have heliodor from Tagikistan,cristal 3 cm
open | download - Dscn0397.jpg (46.2 KB)
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Jason Barrett (2) December 21, 2011 12:40PM
Salvatore, your specimen looks spot on to a goshenite specimen I had from pakistan..those little mica books are unmistakable
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Rock Currier December 25, 2011 06:32AM
Its a lovely little specimen. Is it natural or has it been diddled? That's the question in the minds of more than just a few people. Tajikistan is a very remote place and handy to use as a locality for strange looking stuff and no one can prove you wrong. Before I would pay a lot of money for it, I would want some substantiating data. Like some knowledgeable person to go there and document the the pegmatite.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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Craig Mercer December 31, 2011 12:58AM
To just simply right off such a stunning specimen seems to be an injustice to eveyone, both now and in the future. I have in the past seen similar prejudice shown towards specimens from the same general area, my guess is that it's simply because the localities given by the dealers are just vague, sometimes completely incorrect just so as to protect their way of life.

My suggestion would be to give outstanding specimens such as the above a seperate area (within the database) for further investigation in the future, by those who are interested of course, with the hopeful outcome of being one day able to add the specimen to the database with confidence, or alternatively boot it down the bottom to the BM's area winking smiley
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Peter Lyckberg January 05, 2012 03:07PM
One of the most interesting stands at this years Munich show was one by Tazhik and russian geologists.

They had an incredible suite of exceptional specimens from Tadzhikistan. Many of them had been part of Anatolij Skrigitils collection, who was an excellent geologist.

Wonderful topay on smoky quartz, hambergites, tourmalines, gem skapolites, jeremejevites, short prismatic morganite.... you name it............
Even ruby crystals in matrix to 10 cm from the deposits Anatolij discovered himself!

Do you think they had any elongated yellow beryls at all......???????????????????????????????????????????

Of course NOT!
They had all legitimate specimens from existing mines and small prospects !

,
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Owen Lewis (2) February 16, 2012 02:35PM
Forewarned as to the 'dubiety' of the 'Tadjikistan, Gelte Krustle' claim of origin, I bought one of these, last year, out of curiosity and in the spirit of inquiry It's not only (I think) a very pretty little thumbnail of "Heliodor on Albite" but continues to give me hours of interest.

In summary, this thumbnail specimen is of an elongated hexagonal prismatic crystal, green-ish yellow in colour and with one perfect termination (basal pinacoid). This crystal has very smooth general finish on all observable surfaces, permitting a reasonable quality of photomicrography of its interior without need to interfere with the specimen. This crystal is partially embedded in a white crystalline matrix (not Quartz, I'm pretty sure).

My continuing interest in this little specimen comes from its inclusions, of which there are four discrete types. One type of inclusion is common both to the matrix and the the 'Heliodor'. Two of the inclusion types are surface-breaking and this offers a clear possibility of detailed analysis and identification (will be done when I can find an interested and capable party). An examination of the inclusions leads me to conclude that - whatever other treatment there may (or may not) have been - this specimen has not been heated to any serious extent.

It seems to me that the combination of the four inclusion types, plus the combination of main crystal and matrix, should give a fair chance of identifying the locality of origin. So one might think... but, so far, I have failed in this search. The inclusion types seem to me as follows:
- Bi-phasic. liquid and solid. Solid has a white granular appearance at x130. There is some indication of incomplete 'negative crystal' formation to the inclusion's surface..
- Bi-phasic liquid and gas in a negative crystal.
- One small cluster of transparent crystals, likely of the orthorhombic system.
- Black, bladed and possibly with a green overtone. This type is seen both in the Heliodor and in the matrix, surface breaking in both cases. Actinolite?
- Orangeish-brown very fine needles of 'flattened' transverse cross section. Surface breaking. Rutile? Which has (AFAIK) never been reported as an inclusion in Beryl. Or Columblite, which is documented as a Beryl inclusion?

Some pics below. All suggestions as to the possible types of inclusion and localities where the combination can be found will be very welcome!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2012 05:37PM by Owen Lewis (2).
open | download - Heliodor 1-02b.JPG (72.3 KB)
open | download - Heliodor 1-06b.JPG (48 KB)
open | download - Heliodor 1-04b.JPG (69.2 KB)
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Jason Evans February 16, 2012 06:03PM
That's another one on the lists of minerals not to bother with then as it sounds impossible to tell if they are genuine or not. Tjis got my attention as I have been thinking about getting a Heliodor as I want to complete the Beryl set, I have goshenite, aquamarine, emerald and red beryl and i have a fragment of what was sold as golden beryl (i dont really distinguish golden beryl from heliodor, but i think helidor is more a greenish yellow?) but its possible my fragment is one of those treated ones. I wanted to get a complete crystal but I am discouraged now as it seems there are a lot of fakes out there, same with Citrine I have given up on getting genuine citrine as i think i can now tell what the heat treated stuff is but citrine with iron coatings i cannot tell, apparently even soaking them in muriatic acid might not remove the iron as it can be trapped inside the crystal. Thanks for raising this issue becuase if i had not seen it i was thinking of getting one or a few as there is lots on eBay (mostly saying from Vietnam) such as this
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/8-0ct-6pcs-Natural-Terminated-Clean-Heliodor-Beryl-Crystal-111737-/320796270923?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ab0f2a14b

Although they are not from Tadzhikistan I am now suspicious of all helidor.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2012 06:06PM by Jason Evans.
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Eric Greene April 17, 2012 08:52PM
There are three issues here: one, the mine locality. two, the theory that it has been irradiated. And three, the theory that it has been heat treated.

Regarding the mine locality, here's what I was told by a gem dealer who brought some of this material to Tucson in 2008: The mine is located in the Pamir Mountains (which are part of the Himalayas) at an elevation of 14,000 feet. The harsh weather conditions and extreme mountainous terrain make the site nearly inaccessible. To be precise, the location is in the south central part of Tajikistan, in the mountainous province Kuhistoni-Badakhshon, somewhere to the south of Kalaikhum. However, due to the severe terrain, the mine is not accessible from the Tajikistan side of the border at all (which is why no one in Tajikistan has heard of the mine). It can only be reached from Afghanistan, through the far-northern province of Badakhshan, and only during the summer months when the weather is (relatively) good. All mining supplies must be carried by mule to the mine, and the crystals are carried out the same way. I haven't seen any new crystals from the Zeylotoya Vada Mine since 2009, so I assume it is now closed, making pinpointing the locality even more difficult. I've also heard reports that the mine doesn't show up where its "supposed" to be on satellite photos. If it's snow free only 2 months of the year, perhaps this is just a matter of timing? This is a vast area, thousands of square miles of high mountains - if you're looking for a mine that is a small pit, it's worse than finding a needle in a haystack. Also, someone wrote that it's been 20 years since these appeared and still no one knows where they are from. Really? I didn't see any of these until Tucson 2007. That's 4+ years ago, not 20.

The second issue is irradiation. As discussed already, clearly the claims that the material has been irradiated are bogus. To my knowledge, no one has produced a sample of low grade aqua that has been irradiated in some unique, specialized way that comes close to the color of these crystals. When/if they do, I'll shut up!

As for heat treatment, here's what Barbara Voltaire wrote in the GIA gemology forum: "Aquamarine often has a residual greenish tone until it's heated. Why? Beryl is a beryllium aluminum silicate. Yet, none of those elemental constituents are able to cause color. Iron is responsible for golden yellow, golden green, green and blue beryl. In order to understand how minor amounts of iron impart various colors we need to know: 1. where within the atomic structure of the beryl the iron is located 2. the oxidization state of the iron. The blue and yellow color seen in beryl results from small amounts of iron situated in the channels formed by silicate ions, running parallel to the "c" axis of the crystal. If the iron present is in the 2+ oxidation state, the color is blue. If it is in the 3+ oxidation state the color is golden yellow. Combinations of oxidation states impart intermediate colors. When you heat greenish blue beryl to 450 degrees C, it reduces the iron from 3+ to 2+, therefore eliminating the yellowish cast." So, aquamarine that is heat treated will not turn yellow - it will lose whatever yellow color it has and turn blue. This fact rules out the hypothesis that the heliodor from Tajikistan has been heat treated to turn it yellow.

We haven't thrown all Tsumeb specimens in the trash simply because there are fakes out there. We also didn't reject the early Chinese specimens which were attributed to incorrect mines in the wrong province, which happened because the wholesale dealers guarded their secret sources jealously. And the theories about treatment (heat or irradiation or any other method known to the GIA) have failed to survive serious scrutiny, too.

I say, it's time to lift the ban on showing these crystals on mindat.

Eric Greene



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/17/2012 09:06PM by Jolyon Ralph.
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph April 17, 2012 09:05PM
Until someone can give us some good evidence that these are genuine (for example, a photo from the mythical 'Zeylotoya Mine') then it's still a myth as far as I'm concerned - there is absolutely no evidence to support their natural origin, and a LOT of suspicion from a great deal of experts. Talk to any of the experts in either Soviet Union minerals OR afghanistan/pakistan minerals - they are all pretty much in agreement that these are fake.

Do you have any evidence that can be corroborated? A tale from an unnamed gem dealer (along with the helpful comment that the mine doesn't show up on aerial photos) doesn't really inspire any confidence from me.

As for irradition, it has been clearly proven that Pakistani aquamarine can irradiate to exactly the same colour as the 'Zeylotoya' stuff. I have seen plenty that has. Talk to Rocksaholics in Texas, they accidentally discovered the technique for turning Pakistani aquamarine into Heliodor in the late 1980s - I'm sure they'll make up a bunch for you if you want it.

I purchased one of these crystals (which I still own) from ebay in around 2000-2001, so they certainly go back some way, and as Dmitry Belakofsky's article in the 'Beryl' book from Lithographie states, he saw them in the mid 1990s. It's strange that you didn't notice them before 2007, but they were certainly around.

Finally, I note from your website that you have examples of this material for sale. Maybe it would have been more honest to have disclosed this fact in your posting.

Jolyon
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph April 17, 2012 09:08PM
On a more positive note, we do not have a ban on uploading photos of these - they simply cannot be added to a gallery for 'Tadjikistan' - so you can add them to your personal gallery viewable from your home page without any issues. They just won't show in the main site pages for obvious reasons.

Jolyon
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Alfredo Petrov April 17, 2012 09:20PM
The story about reaching the mine only from the Afghani side of the border has a major flaw: Who is crossing the border there? Presumably Afghani miners? Why would an Afghani miner cross the border into Tadzhikistan, dig a hole and then give his hole a Russian name?
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Owen Lewis (2) April 19, 2012 02:13PM
Well, I'd say that the matter is 'Not Proven' - either way. That said, I don't think Alfredo's point stands in the face of a detailed sat map recce and some history. The political geography and history of the area concerned are quite unusual. There is a finger of land, some 150 miles long that runs approximately due east from Afghanistan proper to the Chinese border and with Tadjikistan forming the northern border and Pakistan the southern.. This corridor is only about 10 miles wide for a fair part of its length and consists mainly of a valley floor and mountain side. It was created not by pressures of ethnicity or trade but, in the days of imperial rivalries, to keep Russian troops from confronting British troops and vice versa. Europeans, thousands of miles away drew lines on maps to create this 'buffer zone' to obviate the escalatory risk from overly enthusiastic activities at a junior level of military command in a wild terrain to and from which communications was slow and less than certain.

This imperialist 'great game' had little to no effect on the small local population which would have continued to love, fight and trade according to their own causes, regardless of whether they were labelled Tadjik, Afghan, Indian (since there was no Pakistan at the time of which we speak) - or even Chinese. At the political level, there are still hundreds of miles of other ‘border' in the general area that are still disputed between the neighbouring countries.

Entry to this 'Afghan' corridor from the Tadjik side is, at the Eastern end, easy and the notional border entirely permeable other than at the main crossing point for goods into China. *If* there was any mining on much of the southern faces of the Pamirs, an approach from the Afghan corridor would seem the obvious one and also (on into Pakistan) the most likely route out for the (illicit?) produce.

As for the use of the Russian language, Tadikistan was in the Russian sphere of influence for a couple of hundred hears and was an integral part of the USSR for over 60 years. Afghanistan was also in the Soviet sphere of influence in the decades leading up to the ‘discovery’ of this Heliodor. The use of ‘ethnic minority’ languages was discouraged in the USSR with most of its ethnic groups being bi-lingual; schooling was in Russian as was universal military service and the local language was commonly restricted to hearth and bed.

I have the following queries still unresolved in this matter and as they bear particularly on my own little Heliodor on Albite sample:

1. Whilst I think it's a pretty little thumbnail, its value as a well-included Heliodor crystal would not seem sufficiently enhanced to make, compellingly, it worth the trouble and expense of irradiation.

2. Though much is known, these days, about the minerals at most areas of gem mining in Afghanistan and Pakistan, I have yet to learn of a source where a comparable combination of protogenetic and syngenetic inclusions are to be found in any Beryl host crystal. I'm still reading..

3. The exposed faces on my elongated, hexagonal prismatic crystal with a pinacoid basal termination have a general planar smoothness I have not yet seen in any Aquamarine natural crystal. This is no proof of anything but it's surely not a commonplace and should further help narrow the options for any recorded source of origin.

4. So I have read, the irradiation of Aquamarine to produce Heliodor is an unstable change, being reversed by prolonged exposure to sunlight. My crystal came to me through a dealer from a substantial US collection last year. Since I have owned it, it has been exposed to sunlight every day and I have detected no colour change so far.

5. If there has been irradiation and the change proves permanent then what I have is a synthetic Heliodor which cannot be identified as such?

There is probably still as much or even more that we don't know than we do know about sources of gem minerals in terms of their number and location. I had a great-uncle by marriage who discovered what was claimed to be the largest site of placer gold on the world (in Bolivia!). The difficulty was in the capital and operating cost to exploit the site securely, it needing a very large dredge to be broken down, carried into the high Andes on mule-back, assembled and operated in a fairly lawless area. Through endless revolutions, local 'deals' and failed sets of financing and re-financing, he kept his claim alive over some 30 years before, finally, his claim was expropriated by a Bolivian govt of the day. Enormous compendium of knowledge and resource that Mindat is, I don't think that it records this site either.

But to return to 'Tadjik Heliodor'. This stuff is not appearing newly on the market any more, with only a small quantity of 25 year old stuff remaining in circulation. Either we have a scam which proved unprofitable and was folded - or else there was a small pocket discovery that was quite quickly (and illicitly?) worked out. People may believe as they will but, with respect to my little specimen, I'll be convinced when its quite particular combination of characteristics can be tied to some known Beryl source: until then, for me, it remains an open question.

Here are a couple more pics of my specimen. It is *not* for sale but for any interested to take a personal look over a glass of wine, I'll bring it with me to SMM winking smiley
open | download - IMG_1269A.jpg (608.6 KB)
open | download - IMG_1272A.jpg (450.6 KB)
open | download - IMG_1273A.jpg (555.9 KB)
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Tomasz Praszkier April 19, 2012 02:54PM
Owen,
your photos is a good example... Classic specimen from Pakistan - typical for aquas from there inclusions and association with albite.
As I told before people from our team visited Tajikistan and verified in person that this locality do not exist. Also local people from university confirmed that.
BTW see me aqua smiling smiley
Tomek

-------------------------------------
"Spirifer" Geological Society
open | download - aqua.jpg (272.2 KB)
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph April 19, 2012 05:45PM
Does anyone who does NOT have one of these specimens or is NOT trying to sell them actually believe them to be genuine?

Just curious...

Jolyon
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Owen Lewis (2) April 19, 2012 10:17PM
Tomasz Praszkier Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Owen,
> your photos is a good example... Classic specimen
> from Pakistan - typical for aquas from there
> inclusions and association with albite.
> As I told before people from our team visited
> Tajikistan and verified in person that this
> locality do not exist. Also local people from
> university confirmed that.
> BTW see me aqua smiling smiley
> Tomek


Tomek,

Thanks for that. It triggered a trawl through some couple of thousand images of Beryl - including yours winking smiley There are (at least) 13 countries from which are produced aqua specimens with smooth planes. Of those 13, there are 3 immediately adjacent to each other (Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Xianjiang province of China). The relevant parts of these and also of Tadjikistan all fall in side a circle of about 100 miles radius.

As you suggested, the closest published match of matrix and inclusions in the Beryl to my specimen come from the Skardu district of Pakistan. Of six mineral associations noted in my specimen, there are three of these to be seen instanced in Aquamarine specimens from Skardu, though with not more than 2/6 shown as occurring in any one single crystal. A loose fit then but not a tight one. But nothing else comes anywhere near as close.

If one looks at the pretty crystals of Aquamarine on Albite from Skardu, selling now for around USD 1,000 a time, one wonders again why anyone should wish to irradiate them and sell them as Heliodor specimens with a very 'iffy' provenance? Where's the extra margin for the trouble and expense?

Rod Lavinsky has an archived photo of a mainly Heliodor crystal with and Aqua tip. This too makes me want to know more about the trigger for a blue/yellow a colour change.
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John Sobolewski April 20, 2012 12:29AM
Jolyon is right that these specimens have been around for quite some time. I bought a couple of these "Tadjik Heliodor" specimens (single crystals with no matrix) at the Tucson show in the mid 1990's. To me, they look identical to the single Aquamarine crystals from the Skardu-Gilgit area except for the color. The vendor was selling Heliodor jewellery, loose cut stones, and had some loose crystals all claimed to be from Tadjikistan. John S.
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Tim Jokela Jr May 25, 2012 10:13PM
The GIA keeps on top of gem enhancements and does a hell of a lot of good research. Anybody here with connections to a beryl expert at the GIA? I could research this, I'm VERY sure the industry would be aware of this, but meh.

Personally, that weird over-strong yellow color, and the fact that habit, matrix, associations, and inclusions are IDENTICAL to Pakistani aquas... and the ubiquity and ease of gem treatment, even at the source... I sure wouldn't pay more than ten bucks for one.
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Joseph Polityka May 26, 2012 01:31AM
Hi,

I have a miniature of one of these on matrix and I find it captivating, real or fake. I already bought and paid for it years ago so there is nothing I can do about it except change the label to state: "Beryl, possibly treated to change color, locality undetermined, possibly an enhanced and treated beryl from Pakistan". Or how about this which is just as plausable: found in a construction dumpster which was adjacent to a construction site at the corner of 47th Street and Broadway in New York City very near the site at which the famous "Subway Garnet" was found.

Just kidding; have a nice weekend.

Best,

Joe
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Owen Lewis (2) May 26, 2012 04:24PM
Tim Jokela Jr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Personally, that weird over-strong yellow color,
> and the fact that habit, matrix, associations, and
> inclusions are IDENTICAL to Pakistani aquas... and
> the ubiquity and ease of gem treatment, even at
> the source... I sure wouldn't pay more than ten
> bucks for one.

smiling smiley

Have you ever handled one?

The colour is not 'over-strong' Indeed from photos pubished there is a range of color saturation and at least two crystal habits that are 'attributed' to Tadjikistan.

No two crystals are ever 'IDENTICAL'. That *my* specimen has fair similarities in form, matrix and 2/6 inclusion types to some Aquamarine Beryl from Pakistan is true. Have you looked at satellite imagery and the political geography? In a single geological region, and within tens of miles of each other (and sometimes without certain political borders) you have China, Afghanistan, Tadjikistan and Pakistan). That crystals formed in this geological and political cauldron have similarities speaks more to probability of an origin within that general area that it does their formation under any particular political jurisdiction.

The possiblity (probability?) that these crystals are Aquamarines irradiation treated in Pakistan can't be ruled out but neither has it been shown to be so. One has only 'proof by repetitious allegation'. There is, AFAIK, not one shred of evidence.

I confess to finding the argument 'Big Endian/Little Endian' There are some very handsome Beryl specimens. That they attained their colouration through the intervention of Man remains - after more than 20 years! - only allegation. That their actual source point(s) in the ground has never been established is also true.

If it is so, that they are irradiated high quality Pakistani stones, I do ask myself why. Would they be worth less had the origin been claimed as Pakistan or any of the other of the four adjacent countries? Given the good prices fetched by high quality Aquamarine specimens from Pakistan, where's the evidence that the 'Tadjik Heliodor' is sold for a premium over it? Treatments are normally applied to make the unsaleably bad 'commercial. Or to to improve the value of a poor stone by at least several multiples or perhaps even more.

I'm happy enough to enjoy mine for what it is and for the pleasue it gives me. Still not fading BTW winking smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/27/2012 02:04AM by Owen Lewis (2).
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Jason Barrett (2) May 27, 2012 04:59PM
Tomasz makes a good example of having boots on the ground(ever seen his sweet fieldtrip reports) and talking to locals and still nothing materializes. There is no Tajikistan heliodor mine. It's all irradiated stuff from other locations.

One of the most common stones to be irradiated is beryl. Morganite and yellow(heliodor) being the main ones. At the Embrarad in Brazil they do it every day with material all over the world. Mauricio Favacho, who was the chief officer at Embrarad's Gamma ray(cobalt-60) gems lab, even states they got much of their beryl from the pakistan/afghanistan area to irradiate.(he was speaking in regards to morganite but heliodor would apply as well)
.

There lab quotes..."Is the CBE-Embrarad gamma(60Co) facilities processing tourmalines, kunzites, and beryls colors?

"The gamma process have been succesfully applied in morganites, Heliodors, and green beryls,and a special kind of topaz from pegmatitic origin, for decades."


Vietnamese aquamarines and heliodor....same crystals just one has been irradiated!
http://img842.imageshack.us/img842/87/37944166025739219446302.jpg

Here is a picture of some irradiated heliodor from Embrarad
http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/7287/023xxd.jpg

Each one of their gamma ray facilities can process 200 million carats a year of irradiated material. They have 4 of them(800 millioncts.) They have been doing it for decades. They can do crystals!


Goshenite, when irradiated to yellow or gold, is color stable!
If I am not mistaken, natural yellow bery/heliodor WILL fade when exposed to long periods of sunlight.
So by your crystal not fading that would be more indicitive of a irradiated heliodor!
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Rob Woodside May 27, 2012 08:31PM
Finally!!!! Thank you Jason. Gamma radiation is the "heating".
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Owen Lewis (2) May 28, 2012 12:28AM
Yes, thanks Jason. That was an informative and useful post. But we still deal only with proof by assertion. Please bear with me a little longer over the following :

1. A small team of knowledgeable minerologists visits a huge, wild, remote and substantially unpopulated area and talks to a number of persons well established in the gem trade, none of whom indicate to them knowledge of a mine in Tadikstan where Heliodor exists or existed. This is way short of proof that no such mine ever existed. Proving a negative is notoriously difficult and very often impossible. It is equally clear that in over 25 years, no trail to the perpetrators of a fraud exists. The reasons why are quite likely to be the same in either case:
- That persons with knowledge of the one situation or the other have either not been interviewed
or
- That persons interviewed found it not in their interest to provide truthful answers. It is not an uncommon situation that truth (or the whole truth) frequently not to be told and most frequently not to interlopers from an alien culture.

The only certainties seem to be that:
- There is no proof of any source of Heliodor having existed within the generally accepted borders of Tadjikstan.
and
- There is no proof that a fraud has been perpetrated despite some 25 years of enquiry into the possibility.

2. As you show in you post, Jason, and in the writings of others too, here and elsewhere. There is clear evidence that Aquamarine can be altered into Heliodor by irradiation. The science behind this is easy to accept since all that is required, AFAIK, is a change in the ionic charge of the same chromophore atom (Fe) present in both varieties of Beryl. However, I have not learned of an explanation of how Beryl, var Goshenite (colourless) can be coloured yellow by irradiation. What is the explanation for this? If any gathering here have such knowledge and would care to put it here, that could only be helpful and I, for one, would be better informed and obliged for it. Besides, others have argued here that the source material must be Aquamarine from Pakistan. So which is it?

3. In either option outlined at 2. above, there is no evidence that any such thing has been done in the case of those specimens originally claimed to have originated in Tadjikistan. That something *can* be done, may be beyond doubt. That it *has* been done in the case of the 'Tadjik' Heliodor is a separate issue and, as yet, there is (AFAIK) no evidence that it has been so.

There's no 'axe to grind' here, Only curiosity and a search for sure knowledge in the pursuit of truth.

As matters presently are, they have something of the feel of the Ametrine history. Because the locality of any mine producing Ametrine was unproven and with the knowledge that it could be artificially produced by differentially heat-treatng Amethyst (which itself may be synthetic), some pronounced that all Ametrine must be treated Amethyst. We now know that this is not the case. Given that 'Tadjik' Heliodor ihas not been, for a long while, brought freshly to market, it seems unlikely now that there can ever an absolute resolution of this new but similar controversy . Proof by assertion will not do it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2012 12:46AM by Owen Lewis (2).
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Rob Woodside May 28, 2012 12:36AM
Owen, It sure sounds like you have an "axe to grind".

Some aquas are so pale they could be called Goshenite and they might have enough Fe for the colour change.
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Alfredo Petrov May 28, 2012 12:44AM
But. Owen, the burden of proof is on those who believe, not those who disbelieve. The suspicions about ametrine were resolved when detailed studies were published on the locality. There have been no such studies about the alleged "Zelatoya Vada" locality, nor any possible reason given about why Afghani or Pakistani miners sneaking across the border into Tadzhikistan would baptise their mine with a Russian name. The relative probabilities of truth or fakery in this case should be fairly obvious.
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Owen Lewis (2) May 28, 2012 02:23AM
Rob Woodside Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Owen, It sure sounds like you have an "axe to
> grind".
>
> Some aquas are so pale they could be called
> Goshenite and they might have enough Fe for the
> colour change.

Rob,

I'm as content whether this matter is decided one way or the other or left unresolved. I merely point out that those who would claim categorically (from either of the opposite views) that the matter has been properly proved must be mistaken in that certainty. However, proof and belief are two different things. All are free to believe as they choose but we should not confuse our belief with a proven case. In so far as there is value in this discussion it is because of this broad point, much broader in its import and application than this little issue.

Pale Aquas...... This is another way of saying that there is only a change Aquamarine to Heliodor by varying the ionic charge in whatever little Fe is present? And nothing to say on the claim that permanency is only attained by the near or complete absence Fe?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2012 04:34AM by Owen Lewis (2).
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Joseph Polityka May 28, 2012 02:35AM
Hi,

Very interesting discussion. Here are two views of the specimen in my collection which I purchase about 10 years ago. Prior to that time, I saw a single crystal without matrix at the April 1994 Rochester Symposium which was attributed to Pakistan, not Tajikistan.

This specimen is 5cm by 5cm.

Beryl, Possibly Treated


Beryl, Possibly Treated


Best wishes,

Joe
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Owen Lewis (2) May 28, 2012 04:26AM
Alfredo Petrov Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But. Owen, the burden of proof is on those who
> believe, not those who disbelieve.

Alfredo, are you sure? Proof and belief are two different things. All are free, in common courtesy, to believe as they wish - but not to claim belief as some sort of proof. Where this happens (as it quite frequently does in all sorts of matters), truth is too often mislaid.

>The suspicions
> about ametrine were resolved when detailed studies
> were published on the locality.

Exactly so. And there is no reason to think any longer (IMHO) that proof of the existence/non-existence of a source of Heliodor in Tadjikistan is likely to be forthcoming any time real soon. There is no proof of such a mine. And there is no proof of a fraud.

History provides examples of mines discovered and then lost again, some permanently, so their existence is may become a matter of fable. Somethimes they are lost for a few hundred years and sometimes just a decade or so.

> There have been no
> such studies about the alleged "Zelatoya Vada"
> locality, nor any possible reason given about why
> Afghani or Pakistani miners sneaking across the
> border into Tadzhikistan would baptise their mine
> with a Russian name.

The use of Russian has been covered in an earlier post in this thread, In all the Soviet Socialist Republics, cultural and ethnic differences were supressed. Difference in language is a prime expression of a separate culture. For schooling and universal military service Russian was the required language throughout. I had a personal liaison for some fair while with a most delightful Kazakh lady who, in her youth, had risen to Sergeant in the Soviet rocket artillery during her compulsory military service and who informed me of the ins and outs of such matters (on top of my own NATO indoctrination of a couple of decades). She was tri-lingual in Russian, Kazakh and (latterly) in English. By direct observation of her with her ex-Sov emigre friends, their Lingua Franca was Russian, even in England and in a social setting, as it was the one language that they were all most at ease in.

Also as explained earlier, *IF* the supposed mine were to have been on the southernmost exposures of the Pamir mountains in Tadjikistan, the logical approach would be from the Pamir valley, in a Afghan corridor separating Tadjikistan from Pakistan and terminating in the east at the border with China. This valley contains one of the few roads in the area, Not only was Tadjikistan a part of the USSR in the timeframe of the supply of this Heliodor to the Western markets but Afganistan (in particular the Pamir river corridor) was occupied by the Soviet Army. Whether miners were Tadjik, Afghan, Russian or even Chinese (by the papers they carried) or any mix of the same - scarcely seems material. Though the borders north and south of the corridor are (nominally) fixed, at the eastern end of the corridor the border northwards between China and Tadjikistan and southwards between China and Pakistan have never been formalised and remain in dispute. Accordingly it seems best not to too emphatic about the political boundaries. One thing is a safe bet and that is the local people will regard the borders to be as porous as ever they have been since the days of the Great Khan.

> The relative probabilities of
> truth or fakery in this case should be fairly
> obvious.

I think only two things are clear:

1. That the location of the supposed mine has never been properly fixed outside of the few who must have been directly concerned with it at the relevant time - if it existed at all.

2.Equally, no fraudulent activity has been proved; only that such a fraud would have been practical.

A couple of facts that give pause for thought and room for some doubt. Despite the routine use of slavery and cruelest tortures to extract information, the local Indians in the Muzo area kept the location of their Emerald mines secret from the Spanish for 20 years or so. After the Spanish had taken control over the Emerald mines in the area and worked then for a while, in the 1550's they managed to 'lose' the location of one mine which, to this day, has never been re-discovered. That one does not know the location of a mine is simply no proof that it never existed. Mine locations are still being lost.

In the case of the Tadjik Heliodor mine, I neither believe nor disbelieve. I merely observe that the matter is without proper proof, either way. Others, no doubt, choose to believe as they may care to.

Best,
Owen



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2012 04:49AM by Owen Lewis (2).
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph May 28, 2012 08:43AM
we can't stop people wanting to believe in Tadjik beryls, but the only evidence that we have so far that they do exist is stories.

Owen, I admire your "what if" stories that could explain the legitimacy of these beryls, but sadly these are nothing but theoretical constructs - the clear evidence so far points to an artificial origin of these beryls.

The danger of posting "what if" stories however is that down the line, people (especially unscrupulous dealers) may start to quote your suggestions as fact, to justify their sale of these specimens. This has already happened with comments made innocently about these beryls, see the Belakovsky article in Lithographie Beryl book.

As has been shown, the production of these fakes is easy and done in bulk.

It is not up to us to prove these are not genuine. Science is based on providing evidence to prove your theories are correct. If you just have stories to back up your theories - you have religion, not science.

Jolyon



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2012 07:58PM by Jolyon Ralph.
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Don Saathoff May 28, 2012 08:22PM
"Give us each day our daily faith....but deliver us from belief".....R.A. Heinlein
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Dr. Paul Bordovsky May 28, 2012 10:09PM
So what kind of proof would be adequate to convince you and the rest of us of fraudulent activity? Some test to distinguish between natural and artificial radiation? Unless you tested every existing specimen, you could still make the argument that there must or might have been some natural specimens from a small pocket, and a scammer just exploited this exciting find.

How about if the perpetrator of the fraud publicly admitted his caper? Would that prove anything? If the perp was a liar in promoting these specimens, why would you believe his story now?

Based on your well written and cogent arguments, I think you could dance around almost any kind of "proof".

I think Owen is a very good writer, and likes generating all these counter posts. Hey, he got me to post.....and I have to admit that I have
enjoyed reading all this discussion.

And if one does passionately believe in Tadjiki beryls.......well,nothing one says can change the mind of a true believer.
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James McGuire May 28, 2012 10:13PM
I visited the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois today. In the Grainger Hall of Gems, the Field has one of these "Tajik" heliodors on display next to a Russian heliodor. The "Tajik" heliodor is on matrix and appears similar to the specimen posted by Joe above (see attached pic - my apologies for the quality, it was from my iphone).
open | download - heliodor.jpg (148.7 KB)
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph May 28, 2012 10:15PM
Perhaps someone should contact the Field Museum and point them towards this thread.
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Owen Lewis (2) May 29, 2012 12:15AM
Dr. Paul Bordovsky Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So what kind of proof would be adequate to
> convince you and the rest of us of fraudulent
> activity?

Or the lack of it?

On the one hand, that there was proof of the existence of a mine. On the other hand, that there was proof that a fraud - or a series of frauds - have been committed.

> Some test to distinguish between
> natural and artificial radiation?

Yes please. That could make a good start. However, such does not seem to have been forthcoming in this and some other matters. We have no 'hot rocks' here. There is a concern in this that is larger for the gem trade than the piddling little specific around which we presently rehearse our arguments. I think the broader issue has some importance.

> Unless you
> tested every existing specimen, you could still
> make the argument that there must or might have
> been some natural specimens from a small pocket,
> and a scammer just exploited this exciting find.

You make a fair point and it is one that has nagged at me for a while. I have a nasty feeling in my water that something like this might be close to the truth.

Proof positive of one fraud quite possibly cannot prove all - but the case, that there may ever have been a mine at all, would become somewhat less credible and the burden of proof of any such existence would become somewhat more imperative. Few issues turn out to be a matter of absolute black or white but, rather, the majority turn out to be one of a near-infinite series of shades of grey.

> How about if the perpetrator of the fraud publicly
> admitted his caper? Would that prove anything?

No. Not without incontrovertible evidence supporting the confession. This is why no one should ever be found builty and sentenced on the basis of a confession alone.

> Based on your well written and cogent arguments, I
> think you could dance around almost any kind of
> "proof".

You play a strong backhand return of service, Paul winking smiley

Logic is the sole certain basis upon WHICH truth can be determined (IMHO). Popes, Grand Muftis and quite a few others may believe differently.... well, let them hold to their beliefs. And argue their cases accordingly.

>? .... I have to admit that I have
> enjoyed reading all this discussion.

I'm warmed to hear this. Taking shared pleasure from such a discussion seems to me to be some very small good just in itself. Should such discussion stimulate critical thought and produce sparks of illumination, then one or more signposts on the very long and winding road to some realisation of truth might be discernible.

> And if one does passionately believe in Tadjiki
> beryls.......well,nothing one says can change the
> mind of a true believer.

Popes.... Grand Muftis.... smileys with beer



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2012 03:29AM by Owen Lewis (2).
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Duncan Miller May 29, 2012 08:33AM
What would the financial motivation be to turn what may have been quite elegant aquamarine specimens into heliodor? Although heliodor is less common than aquamarine, in the gem trade it generally commands a lower price. Is this not also true in the mineral trade? Or is the supposition that the original crystals may have been more cloudy, or not intensely coloured? I am displaying my ignorance here, in the hopes of some enlightenment.

My interest is that I have three intensely coloured, loose heliodor crystals, bought in the mid-1990s in Tucson as faceting rough, purportedly from Pakistan (with no further detail), and it would be nice to know if they are suspect.
open | download - Heliodor.jpg (382.4 KB)
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Owen Lewis (2) May 29, 2012 06:21PM
Duncan Miller Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What would the financial motivation be to turn
> what may have been quite elegant aquamarine
> specimens into heliodor? Although heliodor is
> less common than aquamarine, in the gem trade it
> generally commands a lower price. Is this not
> also true in the mineral trade? Or is the
> supposition that the original crystals may have
> been more cloudy, or not intensely coloured? I am
> displaying my ignorance here, in the hopes of some
> enlightenment.

I think this is a legitimate question which has been asked before and, AFAIK, it remains unanswered. Prima facie, there is no satisfactory economic rationale to perpetrate such a fraud. However (pace Jolyon) let me hypothesise just this once.

Party X comes into possession by illegitimate means of a substantial quantity of good quality Heliodor crystals. Whether treated or untreated is unimportant for the moment. What matters for this scenario is that the supply is illicit. Party X needs to convert the stones into cash. When he takes them to market, his quantity and quality are sufficient to ensure he is asked, probably repeatedly, 'Where are these from?' X cannot say because to do so would likely reveal that his supply was illicit. X may not even know the source locality but is under pressure to say something. So, X offers silence or obfuscation. To give vague and perhaps self-contradictory references to a source locality in one of the most inaccessible and least thoroughly explored parts of the world would be quite unsurprising. In this scenario, some element of deception might be present but there need be no fraud. And 'economy with the realité' is no crime and even still a sought after skill in some professions smiling smiley

This general scenario is not one of my invention. Rather it is one familiar and commonplace throughout history, in the gem trade and other trades too. The trading is often essentially honest, in that the buyer receives in full measure what he is paying for. That something along these lines is at the bottom of the 'Tadjik Heliodor' controversy must be, on balance or probabilities, more likely than a fraud for which, even after 25 years of head-scratching, there is no shred of evidence. At the least, it gives an alternative explanation that fits the facts such as I have come to know.

> My interest is that I have three intensely
> coloured, loose heliodor crystals, bought in the
> mid-1990s in Tucson as faceting rough, purportedly
> from Pakistan (with no further detail), and it
> would be nice to know if they are suspect.

There are a number of finished gemstones, Jade, Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby among them, where some enhancing treatment is so commonplace and sometimes so ancient a practice that it should be anticipated as the normal condition, unless and until skilled and sometimes complex and expensive examination has indicated otherwise. Heliodor seems to have joined this ever-growing group of stones.

Others may be able to inform you more closely on the effect in the collector's trade in mineral specimens. However, with prized specimens fetching into four or even five figures, how can it be entirely unaffected?
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph May 29, 2012 06:54PM
Duncan


> What would the financial motivation be to turn what may have been quite elegant aquamarine specimens into heliodor?

Because heliodor specimens are MUCH less common than aquamarine. And tied with an "exotic" locality, far more valuable than the original aquamarine crystal. A dealer could sell the same crystal for 5-10 times more money as a Tadjik heliodor than a Pakistani Aquamarine.


> Although heliodor is less common than aquamarine, in the gem trade it generally commands a lower price

Well, first you're ignoring the clear evidence you've seen in the messages above of bulk treatment of aquamarine into heliodor for the gem market. If it wasn't cost effective - they wouldn't do it!

Secondly, they'd never treat top grade colour aquamarine - it's the paler, less valuable stuff that's converted into our heliodor crystals.

Check with experts in Pakistani minerals, but I'm pretty sure most if not all pakistani heliodor is artificially treated aquamarine.


Owen

>I think this is a legitimate question which has been asked before and, AFAIK, it remains unanswered

The financial question is so obvious it hurts me having to say it yet again, but the Tadjik crystals sold for FAR more than the equivalent pale aquamarines from pakistan do. As I said before, check the replies above, see the traders irraditing stuff today. If there wasn't a profit in it, they wouldn't do it.

And I totally disagree, regardless of motive, to say that a crystal is from country X when it is from country Y in order to sell it (even disregarding that the colour has been artificially changed) is absolutely 100% within the definition of fraud.

There are people who defraud a little by saying something is from mine X when it's from a nearby mine instead - that's still fraud. The only honest way to sell it is to say "It's from area X but I can't say exactly where".

The gem industry is far more forgiving of treatment in general (although again it is clearly fraud when it is not disclosed) - because once it's cut and in a piece of jewellery, it doesn't matter hugely.

But for collectors of minerals, having something claiming to be a yellow beryl from Tadjikistan when in reality it was artificially coloured from a specimen mined in pakistan cannot in any way be seen as anything except a huge fraud.

Jolyon

Jolyon
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Ken Ceglady May 29, 2012 08:14PM
Given that it is easy and potentially profitable to turn pale aqua into heliodor, should we be suspicious of all heliodor? Does it matter where it is (supposed to be) from? Does the shade of color matter? Price? Association?

I'm not trying to be provocative; I'm just curious. I have two heliodors that I purchased quite cheaply from a dealer that are not as intense orangey-yellow as some shown in the thread above. One has plane faces and has a little muscovite associated, the other is a little etched with no mica. They were both supposed to be from Brazil. I have pale aquas from Pakistan (also purchased cheaply from a different vendor) that are identical except for the color.

I think that beryl and muscovite commonly occur together in many countries (correct me please if I'm wrong), and that plane and etched faces are also widespread (again, correct me). I agree that really dark colors are especially suspect. But from posts above, it seems that paler colors of yellow can also be artifically produced.

Based on this, without digging them from the mine myself, I can't say that my or any other heliodor from (supposedly) any location is natural. Forgetting for the moment the sketchy locality, is this the lesson I should be taking away from this thread?
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Ken Ceglady May 29, 2012 08:36PM
To go along with my post above, here is a photo that shows the larger one (with frosted faces), 54x7x7mm. At $20 or so, about the same price as I would pay for the pale Paki aqua that may have spawned it. What do you think - enhanced?
open | download - Brazil beryls.JPG (514.8 KB)
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph May 29, 2012 09:05PM
> Given that it is easy and potentially profitable to turn pale aqua into heliodor, should we be suspicious of all heliodor?

Yes. We should be suspicious. It's too easy to fake, so you really need to know your stuff to be able to see a heliodor specimen and know that it's natural. There are natural heliodors - for example the Ukranian stuff, but unless you know your stuff you can't be certain.

Unfortunately collectors of gem minerals tend to have the worst time when it comes to trying to avoid fakes.

Tanzanite crystals are frequently treated (general rule of thumb, but even this is not 100% proof - if it's trichroic it's PROBABLY natural, if it's bichroic then on balance of probabilities it's PROBABLY heat-treated)

Blue Topaz - probably irradiated

Many Kunzites - irradiated

and many more...

The Tadjik heliodor is a particular bugbear of mine because not only is it treated without being disclosed, the locality was faked as well.
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Ibrahim Jameel May 29, 2012 09:12PM
Owen,

I am not about to get into a logical argument with you, because after reading your posts, I'm pretty sure I'd lose. smiling smiley

The bottom line is, as Tomasz said, people have gone looking for the supposed source and even asked locals, and it does not seem to exist. I have been to the Peshawar market a number of times, and the only Tajik specimens I have seen have been rubies. I have also seen numerous irradiated specimens of pretty much every enhanceable gem species available for sale in that market.

Given that there are "Tajik" beryls that are identical in appearance (color excepted) to Pakistani pieces from multiple Pakistani locations separated by large distances (e.g, the muscovite combinations from Nagar, the albite combos from Shigar), it would seem highly unlikely that a single Tajik location is producing such a wide variety of specimens. I mean, it's possible to narrow down the exact village that many Pakistani specimens (including aquamarines) came from. These places are often very far apart... how is it that one single locality could have produced such a wide variety over such a short interval?

Is there a chance they are real? Sure. Is it a very realistic chance? Not at all. Circumstantial evidence does not prove anything, but it can point heavily to a certain conclusion....



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/29/2012 09:12PM by Ibrahim Jameel.
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Ken Ceglady May 29, 2012 09:19PM
I'm a pretty knowledgeable collector of gem minerals, and what I'm taking from this is that no one can tell for certain. Short of a test or mining them yourself.

Slightly different subject, and I know it has been asked before - what is the difference between faking and enhancement/treating? If a zoisite from Merelani isn't blue/purple before treatment, but is afterwards, does that make it a fake tanzanite? Or is it "treated"?
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph May 29, 2012 09:26PM
> what is the difference between faking and enhancement/treating?

Disclosure by the dealer. And not just "if asked".

Sadly, with some gem minerals, some dealers assume that their customers know that they are treated "because they all are" (as I heard from one). With tanzanite, if it's untreated the dealer will usually proudly exclaim it (and charge a lot more).

So, I can't tell you what you should or should not buy, but I wouldn't buy a tanzanite unless it was trichroic (so you can see a prominent red colour when looking down teh axis of the crystal.

Jolyon
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Owen Lewis (2) May 29, 2012 11:17PM
Jolyon Ralph Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Owen
>
> >I think this is a legitimate question which has
> been asked before and, AFAIK, it remains
> unanswered
>
> The financial question is so obvious it hurts me
> having to say it yet again, but the Tadjik
> crystals sold for FAR more than the equivalent
> pale aquamarines from pakistan do. As I said
> before, check the replies above, see the traders
> irraditing stuff today. If there wasn't a profit
> in it, they wouldn't do it.

It's not straightforward, Jolyon, in my view.

If Aqua is irradiated into Heliodor and is then, without disclosure, sold at a premium above the price for the same xtls sold as Aqua, then that imay be fraudulent. Prove that has happened and show who committed the fraud and a prosecution case might be 'open and shut'. But we don't begin to have this; only a general certainty that Aqua can be irradiated into Heliodor.

There is an economic motive possible for such a conversion even without a price premium. That would be where there is more Aqua available to the market that it can absorb without dropping the floor price and the market is under-supplied with Heliodor at a price floor approximating to that of Aqua or even a little below. As I understand it, such a change, even undisclosed, is not presently unlawful although I would say that it is unethical and a preach of international and some national gem trade rules.

However, in the specific case of 'Tadjik Heliodor' no case for either has been clearly established. There is a suspicion and no more.

It might help throw more light if you or some other would publish here, chapter and verse for the price premium which might have been fraudulently attained in the 'Tadjik Heliodor' case if conversion from Aqua was proved. My last information (some while ago now) was that an allegation of fraud in excess of USD 1M is sufficient to trigger an FBI investigation.

FWIW, my own little specimen of 'Tadjik Heliodor' on Albite, bought in early 2011, was bought (at auction in the US) at a substantial percentage discount to the price I would have had to pay for a similar specimen of Aqua from the Skardu District of Pakistan.

> And I totally disagree, regardless of motive, to
> say that a crystal is from country X when it is
> from country Y in order to sell it (even
> disregarding that the colour has been artificially
> changed) is absolutely 100% within the definition
> of fraud.

I suggest that you may confuse a matter of ethics with one of law. Neither lying or incomplete disclosure in themselves constitute a fraud. If they did, over one thing or another, most of us would be looking down straight down the barrel of a jail sentence.

> There are people who defraud a little by saying
> something is from mine X when it's from a nearby
> mine instead - that's still fraud.

As a matter of the strict definition of fraud, I disagree.

' Fraud must be proved by showing that the defendant's actions involved five separate elements: (1) a false statement of a material fact,(2) knowledge on the part of the defendant that the statement is untrue, (3) intent on the part of the defendant to deceive the alleged victim, (4) justifiable reliance by the alleged victim on the statement, and (5) injury to the alleged victim as a result.'

You think you 'have the horses' for that? Bet or fold....

> The only
> honest way to sell it is to say "It's from area X
> but I can't say exactly where".

And, I agree, that states a sound ethical position.

> The gem industry is far more forgiving of
> treatment in general (although again it is clearly
> fraud when it is not disclosed) - because once
> it's cut and in a piece of jewellery, it doesn't
> matter hugely.

I hold my peace. Others might well disagree with that.

Best,
Owen
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Owen Lewis (2) May 30, 2012 12:29AM
Ibrahim Jameel Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Owen,
>
> I am not about to get into a logical argument with
> you, because after reading your posts, I'm pretty
> sure I'd lose. smiling smiley

That does not necessarily follow, Ibrahim. In a logical discussion there is never a winner or loser. Neither should be pre-committed to any fixed position or outcome. Both should seek a better understanding of the truth. Where proponents of differing beliefs debate, then one belief system may be felt to have triumphed over the other (and not always because it better represents the truth). A little sad, isn't it?

> The bottom line is, as Tomasz said, people have
> gone looking for the supposed source and even
> asked locals, and it does not seem to exist. I
> have been to the Peshawar market a number of
> times, and the only Tajik specimens I have seen
> have been rubies. I have also seen numerous
> irradiated specimens of pretty much every
> enhanceable gem species available for sale in that
> market.

smiling smiley True I have no doubt. Nor have I anything to add from my time in Islamabad other than that earthquakes in the general area can remove sides from mountains and fill small valleys in a matter of minutes. I was in Islamabad during the quake of 9 Oct 2006. The death toll (in tens of thousands?) has never been known because so many in the Northern fastnesses simply disappeared..

> Given that there are "Tajik" beryls that are
> identical in appearance (color excepted) to
> Pakistani pieces from multiple Pakistani locations
> separated by large distances (e.g, the muscovite
> combinations from Nagar, the albite combos from
> Shigar), it would seem highly unlikely that a
> single Tajik location is producing such a wide
> variety of specimens.

That is very fair comment. The 'Tadjik' items appear in varying colour saturation and are on Albite. Muscovite, Quartz and (ISTR) Calcite and with various inclusions. That raises a concern in me and others may wish to give expert opinion. Then again, no Tadjik mine at all has ever been proved to exist. Nor is it necessary that samples coming different mines did not, some or all, come from north of the Pamir river. I think that no one - least of all me - claims that much truth has been told in respect of 'Tadjik' Heliodor. However, it is also true to say that, whatever suspicions some may have, no evidence of fraud has yet been shown.


> I mean, it's possible to
> narrow down the exact village that many Pakistani
> specimens (including aquamarines) came from.
> These places are often very far apart... how is it
> that one single locality could have produced such
> a wide variety over such a short interval?

Perhaps it did not? But it does not follow then that either some or all of the source locations cannot have been in Tadjikstan.
>
> Is there a chance they are real? Sure. Is it a
> very realistic chance? Not at all.
> Circumstantial evidence does not prove anything,
> but it can point heavily to a certain
> conclusion....

Fair enough. For me there is not (on what I have learned) a large balance of probabilities either way. You may well decide differently. But both of us should have share a certainly that there is no certain evidence (yet) either way and even after 25 years of earnest discussion.

Remember the similar 'expert' pronouncements that Ametrine *must* all result from a heat treatment of Amethyst, all because a proven source of origin had not, at the time, been forthcoming. Well, eventually, the actuality of the Anahi mine eventually became known, Can't remember much humble pie being eaten for those earlier erroneous and over-proud pronouncements though. In the 'Tadjik' matter I say no more than that, on present evidence, we can't be sure.

Who knows, someday the Earth may shake in the Pamirs and other treasures be discovered - or left still unseen by man for a centuries yet to come.

Owen
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D Mike Reinke May 30, 2012 12:32AM
Interesting thread.
Owen enjoy your peace, and your piece!
If you ever sell it, say 'It comes w/ a label that says it is from Tajikistan" Then there will be no fraud, or suspicions.
Peace!
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Dmitriy Belakovskiy May 30, 2012 12:35AM
Somehow I missed that thread before.
Since my article was mentioned I'll make just a few notes.

1. At the same Beryl issue (Lithographie 2005) there is an article by Michael Wise (Smithsonian Institution)
At the page 60 you will find 3 photo of heliodore crystals. The color produced by Bob Whitmore (by irradiation) from
COLORLESS beryls and light aqua. The sources of beryl and irradiation expositions are given.
Thus the possibility of treating colorless beryls (not only aqua) to heliodor is the fact undepend on it's explanation (there are explanations in a special literature)

2. I totaly agree with Ibrahim Jameel who wrote:

> Is there a chance they are real? Sure. Is it a very realistic chance? Not at all. Circumstantial evidence does not prove
> anything, but it can point heavily to a certain conclusion....

I would say the same about locality but still can't leave without a comment on the geography story in Eric Greene's post :

--------------
>Regarding the mine locality, here's what I was told by a gem dealer who brought some of this material to Tucson in 2008: >The mine is located in the Pamir Mountains (which are part of the Himalayas) at an elevation of 14,000 feet. The harsh >weather conditions and extreme mountainous terrain make the site nearly inaccessible. To be precise, the location is in >the south central part of Tajikistan, in the mountainous province Kuhistoni-Badakhshon, somewhere to the south of >Kalaikhum. However, due to the severe terrain, the mine is not accessible from the Tajikistan side of the border at all >(which is why no one in Tajikistan has heard of the mine). It can only be reached from Afghanistan, through the far-northern >province of Badakhshan, and only during the summer months when the weather is (relatively) good. All mining supplies >must be carried by mule to the mine, and the crystals are carried out the same way. ....
-------------------

Note that this version moves the mine from Eastern Pamir to the Western Pamir.

Obviously that gem dealer was not familiar with Tajikistan geography at all. If we take a map of Tajikistan we canl see that
all the way south of Kalaikhum (Kalaikhoum, Kalaikhumb) up to Ithe most south point near Ishkashim and then well to the East the border between Tajikistan and Afganistan goes exactly along Pyandzh River. That is not a small River. In that area there is NO place accessible only from Afganian side (unless the mine is on Afganian side). In that area to get any place on Tajikian side from Afganistan you have to go down and cross the River. Also note on the map that a PAVED ROAD goes all that way along the River between Kalaikhum and Ishkashim and then continues east of Ishkashim (and west of Kalaikhum). Whoever traveled in Western Pamir would know that.

Would that dealer (or who told him that story) give himself a labor simply to look at the map we could here a well better creation.
I will try to help a bit. Why don't we suggest that it is an underground mine with a tunnel under the border. Would that better explain why it is so hidden? Possible? Why not ?
Let's announce a competition how to hide the mine. We might investigate it and finaly find the location that way.

The only concern I have is: If those guys are so greate in conspirancy why they are mineral dealers not a drug dealers there?
Well they most just love minerals a lot.




-------
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Jim Robison May 30, 2012 12:38AM
Owen

I don't know you from Adam. Those who know me know that I am usually quite mild spoken.

You speak convincingly, and logically, but AFAIK (and I strongly dislike the use of such initials instead of putting in real words) "thou dost protest too much."

I've read your various posts, and learned much from them, and also from a number of people who seem to have gotten into a one-up logic match with you, but in the present instance the horse is not already dead and beat, it is battered. I'd like to continue hearing what you have to say on other subjects, but on this one I have had enough. I think people have been remarkably restrained in their responses. IMHO that glow is beginning to fade!!!
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Duncan Miller May 30, 2012 06:57AM
"Thank you " to all who responded to my questions about my loose 'Pakistani' heliodor crystals. I take it that they probably are irradiated, and if I ever cut and sell the stones, will tell the customer(s). It is more likely that I will keep them in my collection of gem crystals.

I have just see Jason Barrett (2)'s post on page 2 with a photograph of untreated and treated beryl and the statement that goshenite can be treated to stable yellow. This is pretty convincing. I should have read through the whole thread before posting my query.
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph May 30, 2012 08:53AM
Owen....

> > There are people who defraud a little by saying
> > something is from mine X when it's from a nearby
> > mine instead - that's still fraud.

> As a matter of the strict definition of fraud, I disagree.

> ' Fraud must be proved by showing that the defendant's actions involved five separate elements:
> (1) a false statement of a material fact

Yes. Specimen is claiming to be from Tadjikistan when it's in fact from afghanistan. Also, it's claiming to be natural when it is not.

> (2) knowledge on the part of the defendant that the statement is untrue

Whoever made up the story, irradiated the crystals and sold them on clearly qualifies for this.

> (3) intent on the part of the defendant to deceive the alleged victim

Clearly true, you wouldn't make up a story such as this and hide the treatment of the stones without intending to deceive.

> (4) justifiable reliance by the alleged victim on the statement

again, clearly, if a buyer is purchasing a crystal because it is labelled as natural heliodor from tadjikistan,

> (5) injury to the alleged victim as a result.

As you yourself saw, these "heliodors" are not selling for much any more, because the fraud is widepsread knowledge, so specimens have lost value. Those who bought them at the original high prices can never sell them for what they paid for them.

Fraud, absolute. Innocent dealers were caught up in this because they believed them to be natural, but the original sellers were committing fraud.

Jolyon
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Owen Lewis (2) May 30, 2012 01:07PM
Jolyon,

Jolyon Ralph Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > ' Fraud must be proved by showing that the
> defendant's actions involved five separate
> elements:
> > (1) a false statement of a material fact
>
> Yes. Specimen is claiming to be from Tadjikistan
> when it's in fact from afghanistan

There is no certainty. Possibility? For sure.

> Also, it's
> claiming to be natural when it is not.

By what test has this been established and on what pieces? This is a key concern.

> > (2) knowledge on the part of the defendant that
> the statement is untrue
>
> Whoever made up the story, irradiated the crystals
> and sold them on clearly qualifies for this.

Dependent on (1) standing, this might have legs. But (1) requires proof and not simple allegation. It is a given that the thing *could* have been done. It is not (yet?) shown, that the thing was done in this case. If (1) fails, so must (2).

> > (3) intent on the part of the defendant to
> deceive the alleged victim
>
> Clearly true, you wouldn't make up a story such as
> this and hide the treatment of the stones without
> intending to deceive.

Does (1) yet stand? Also, (3) is a complex point that would require full detailing to decide. Fraud can be notoriously hard to prove - as the mediocre record of the UK Serious Fraud Office shows.

> > (4) justifiable reliance by the alleged victim
> on the statement
>
> again, clearly, if a buyer is purchasing a crystal
> because it is labelled as natural heliodor from
> tadjikistan,

If someone offers me something as being from Source X and what I am willing to pay for this exact item will vary sharply depending only on whether it is from source X or any other source, then I need to make my own enquiries as to source before purchase - or else just sheer away from purchasing. Some do not do this and in such cases they have decided to play a form of the 'liar dice' game. Of course, to many (most?), it is the desirability of the object itself, it's inate qualities, on which a decision to purchase is based and with the actual source being of little or no significance.

Various national Trade Description Acts have been put into law and there may, possibly, have been lesser offences under one or more of these. Yet in all these years, has any charge of such a lesser offence been laid, let alone proved? If not, there must surely be some reason for that? A lack of evidence perhaps? There is suspicion that the source never existed but that is not conclusively proved. As a separate issue, there is suspicion that the items are not genuine but have been covertly changed from one thing into another. That such manipulation would be practical is not questioned. That such manipulation has occurred, to produce material sold as 'Tadjik Heliodor' is widely suspected - but with no evidence being shown that it has.

> > (5) injury to the alleged victim as a result.
>
> As you yourself saw, these "heliodors" are not
> selling for much any more, because the fraud is
> widepsread knowledge, so specimens have lost
> value. Those who bought them at the original high
> prices can never sell them for what they paid for
> them.

Fair comment. Markets rise and fall. But no fraud in the first instance is shown.

> Fraud, absolute.

Well, we have arrived a clear and fairly concise statement of positions. We may agree that these are unlikely to change without the adduction of new key facts. I take these missing key facts to be:
1. That it can be shown absolutely that no stones offered for sale as Tadjik Heliodor were ever sourced within the borders of Tadjikistan.
2. That reliance, unchecked and uncorroborated, on any claim of a sorce location in Tadjikistan as the basis for paying a substantial price premium is other than foolish or that 'due diligence' checking was indeed carried out thwarted fraudulently.
3. That some material known to have been sold as 'Heliodor from Tadjikistan' has been shown in validated testing with a published method to result from the deliberate alteration of some other variety of Beryl.

I very much hope that such may yet be forthcoming but I have no expectation that, after so long, any more will now be so.

Best,
Owen
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph May 30, 2012 04:08PM
Owen,

You cannot prove a negative.

It is not up to us to prove that these stones could NOT have come from tadjikistan, it is up to whoever supplied these specimens to back up their claims that they came from this country with evidence.

Can you find anyone willing to back up their belief of the natural origin of these stones with ANY evidence at all?

Jolyon
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Johan Kjellman May 30, 2012 04:42PM
I agree with the latest input from Jolyon.
I have been following this thread with interest and agree that there seems to be no hard evidence neither for nor against, but the only circumstantial evidence around are against tadjik heliodore. The "proofs" for are just claims with no substance behind.

This arguing is similar to the one some people apply to obviously mislabelled specimens.
"I know it is cryolite and it looks like it comes from Ivigtut, but the label said Tsumeb, so there is a possibility that it actually is from Tsumeb..."

In lack of real proof, circumstantial evidence tops simple claims.

cheers
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Tim Jokela Jr May 30, 2012 04:49PM
OMG, in the name of all that is holy, would somebody please bust an Afghan aqua in half, chuck one half in a cyclotron, then post a photo? This debate has gone from amusing to pathetic... nobody wants to admit they got burned for kilobucks of fakes, they'll defend the bad rocks to the death!
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Owen Lewis (2) May 30, 2012 11:50PM
Jolyon Ralph Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Owen,
>
> You cannot prove a negative.

Not so. A negative is quite frequently proved. If one can prove that the sum of the angles of any straight sided triangle must always be 180 degrees (in that system of measurment) one simultaneously proves that the sum of the angles is *not* ever 179 or any other number of degrees that might otherwise be claimed as the sum of the angles. But this is another topic.

> It is not up to us to prove that these stones
> could NOT have come from tadjikistan, it is up to
> whoever supplied these specimens to back up their
> claims that they came from this country with
> evidence.
>
> Can you find anyone willing to back up their
> belief of the natural origin of these stones with
> ANY evidence at all?
>
> Jolyon

Forgive me, but you do have it back to front. There are repeated allegations of fraud as though some 'proof by acclamation' can make it so, It is for those who choose to make such allegation to show a solid prima facie case. On what has been put in this thread (and other places too), there is no indication that this essential step can ever be taken. The evidence of fraud is just not there and suspicion and allegation are not evidence in the place of evidence (Danke Sei Gott!). Accordingly, there is simply no case to answer on what we know. No one is required to prove contrary to allegation until required to do so by law.

There are two standards of legal proof, of which we have only touched on one so far. The first is that required (under UK/US codes) to prove a criminal offence - e.g. fraud. However often the contrary is said, it remains that the evidence for this does not exist in this matter from what is put here. The words lie here in blach and white. Any who feel that this is not so is free to place their evidence before the authorities so that action may be taken on the matter, should the authority find the evidence given in support of the allegation of fraud to be sufficient to support a formal investigation.

Alternatively, if the evidence is not sufficient to support an allegation of fraud, but there is one or more parties who can show loss resulting to them from this chain of events and that deceit and the improper actions or words of some other have caused them such loss, they may bring a civil suit for damages in restitution of their loss. Some jurisdictions allow for punitive damages to be awarded. In UK law - their case should be brought against the dealer who sold them the items and gave them the explanations upon which they chose to rely. In turn, where that dealer acted in good faith and with due care after himself having been deceived by his supplier, that dealer may bring a suit for all his compounded losses against his supplier - and thus those who do know 'who did what and to to whom' can begin to disperse the fog of uncertainty. In a civil suit (UK), the standard of proof required is considerably relaxed, to one of a 'balance of probabilities'. If a loss is real but relatively trivial (say under GBP1,000), a judge will still hear such a case and make a finding award in the Small Claims Court. With this last option, the cost is under GBP 100 to get a case to a hearing and the hiring of lawyers is entirely optional. The judge may require both sides to pay their own costs or can require the losing party to pay all costs (likely to happen if a vexatious case is brought on no more than unsupported allegation).

In short, there is no bar to justice before the law for anyone who has been wronged under the law. So.... who has the horses to take a case into court and be heard? When someone steps forward, well, it would be clear at last there is someone willing to make a serious claim that they have suffered loss through deception or other wrongful practice and who is willing to have their suit heard and properly judged.

Until someone feels they have the horses for more than bar-room mutterings of "It's all a fraud!", no one is required to answer such allegations, flaky or well-founded. Let any who feel aggrieved in this matter, put up or shut up. No one else can do it for them nor, other than on the clear evidence in their specific cases, can it be found whether their sense of grievance is justified. Were such a case to be won by the Plaintiff, no doubt that should encourage others similarly to come forward.

Evidence of fraud is not to be found in this thread, to my simple mind. Let any who think they have that evidence put it before those who can act upon it. Unless and until that happens, no allegation, however often recited, is likely to be answered. As much as any interested in gem and mineral matters, I would very much like to see this matter properly scrutinised and decided - or simply now dropped as another of life's strange and unsatisfactory happenings. That said, the principle of 'innocence until proven guilty' is one for which all of us who benefit from that wise, general protection should be thankful and be whole-hearted in our support of it, even when doing so is personally uncomfortable.
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Jim Robison May 31, 2012 01:23AM
Owen

You stated: "There's no 'axe to grind' here, Only curiosity and a search for sure knowledge in the pursuit of truth. " and later

"In a logical discussion there is never a winner or loser. Neither should be pre-committed to any fixed position or outcome."

That you are a skilled debater seems clear. Whether or not you recognize truth is far from clear. In the pure theoretical world of "logic" one may make all sorts of statements, and postulate variations upon them ad infinitum.

Unfortunately, most of us do not live in a clearly logical world, and what is pronounced as truth may be based on "facts" when such are far from clear, logical, or even correct. Truth turns out, in the messy world in which most of us reside, to very often be relative. Moreover, in my opinion, it is not logical to state that "in a logical discussion there is never a winner or loser". On every occasion that someone has proposed a real world messy statement, you have always responded with yet another somewhat tedious debating point. In my book that comes precious close to seeking the winning position. You may see it differently, but in the chaos of ordinary life, logic is often illogical, and it is human nature to want to be right.

Thus, when the preponderance of information, as presented by people who are far more schooled in the actual situation of the specimens in question than you, says they are probably fake, then a real world inhabitant says yes, they probably are. And leaves it at that. Judgements are made about the motives of the perpetrators, and most people are content to let the preponderance of the information available guide their decisions whether those decisions are theoretically logical or not.

People who have been to Tucson (or any other international venue) and encountered fraudulent activity, are inlikely to file a lawsuit because the perpetrators have in many cases already fled the scene and there is nobody against whom an action can be brought. Moreover, given the time factor involved in prosecuting a legal case, the financial losses incurred are generally written off as "that's life" because the continued 'prosecution' of the issue is almost certainly going to be unproductive. I speak from some experience in this arena.

Bottom line, let the issue lie in peace, for there certainly isn't any right now.

Finis!!!!
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph May 31, 2012 08:01AM
Owen,

How would you prove that a secret mine hidden away in the mountains of Tadjikistan does NOT exist?

The answer is, you cannot.

However it's easy to prove that it does exist, yet no such proof exists.

In the absence of hard proof on this subject, we have to rely on expert opinions, and the experts in the area and on Beryl in general are unanimous in their opinion that these are not genuine, and not from Tadjikistan.

If you have one of these, and this upsets you, then I'm sorry. But clinging on to vague hopes that they may be genuine isn't really healthy.

Let me be clear.

These so-called Tadjikistan heliodors are fake.

They were created and sold as part of a major fraud of the mineral community from the 1990s onwards.

Although the original creators of these were acting fraudulently (and possibly illegally depending on their home country), innocent dealers were caught up in this web of deceit, so not all dealers who handled this material should be regarded as complicit in this.

If I'm wrong, the original "miners" can sue me.

We cannot allow databases such as mindat to be polluted by the sort of hypothetical nonsense that you've been proposing. We need facts, we need evidence, and we need to be very clearly dealing with fraud in our hobby.

Jolyon
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