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heliodor from tajikistan

Posted by bob kerr  
Re: heliodor from tajikistan
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.




-------
Re: heliodor from tajikistan
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!!!
Duncan Miller
Re: heliodor from tajikistan
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.
avatar Re: heliodor from tajikistan
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
avatar Re: heliodor from tajikistan
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
avatar Re: heliodor from tajikistan
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
avatar Re: heliodor from tajikistan
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
Re: heliodor from tajikistan
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!
avatar Re: heliodor from tajikistan
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.
Re: heliodor from tajikistan
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!!!!
avatar Re: heliodor from tajikistan
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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