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high price false emeralds

Posted by Yan Beaudet  
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Yan Beaudet July 29, 2012 08:39AM
hi . i was looking for emeralds in ebay when i see a offer with pictures of crystal too much darker to be a columbian emerald like labeled in this auction.i take a look at all the emeralds listed by this seller . i found a well terminated crystal and i realize at this moment than this emerald was in fact a treated hiddenite with a really dark green colour probably from usa and i also recognize a dark green vivianite in the others specimens offered by the same seller and labeled emerald.I check the average price of this mislabeled specimens and all of them was listing between 300$ and 750$.i think for myself than no one will be enough idiot to buy that and i continue my search for real emeralds specimens. one week later, i return to take a look at this false emeralds and realized than they had all disappears. i look for closed auctions and found than they was all been bougth by customers and now this sellers shop was closed.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/06/2012 09:40PM by Yanick Beaudet.
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Yan Beaudet July 29, 2012 08:56AM
. i dont know who are this customers but i think they will cry when will they receive there order , especially with the high prices listed. Probably than this sellers will do it again with an other name and shop.I hope than at least one this customers will realize than he been scam and do something against this person before he trap someone else . he sold 7 specimen for a total of more than 3500$. if you are interested in buying a large emerald crystal i hope you know how rough emeralds look to avoid this scam. bye



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/06/2012 09:41PM by Yanick Beaudet.
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Owen Lewis (2) July 29, 2012 11:42AM
'Fools and their money are soon parted'....

Anyone spending $xxxx on one crystal when they can't tell as much as one crystal form from another needs psychiatric help, a more knowledgeable friend - or both.

P.S. Not sure why anyone would treat a Hiddenite crystal when any old piece of Spodumene would do...
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Tim Jokela Jr August 08, 2012 07:49PM
Here's your first mistake:

"i was looking for emeralds in ebay"

... just sayin'...
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Yan Beaudet August 08, 2012 10:24PM
hi, Tim it's probably rigth but a chance i known what im looking for and i found faster the scam.bye
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Rock Currier August 09, 2012 12:05PM
Yanick,
There is really not short cut to finding a bargain emerald specimens. I used to go to Colombia and hang out on the street corner where the emerald dealers hung out and try and buy emerald crystals and specimens at a price where I could bring them back to the United States and make some money on them. There were tons of fakes offered me and some of the ones I thought were real and bought turned out later to be fakes or enhanced or diddled in one way or another. I used to think that I could tell the fake ones from the real ones, but unless you have at your disposal a good binocular microscope and some other equipment and examine each specimen with the presumption that it is a fake you can be fooled. They finally got so they were using sophisticated dental adhesive and baked on coloring agents or would bore holes into the bottom of the crystals that they would fill with green epoxy? that you could not spot without very careful inspection with a microscope. I finally had to admit that the guys who made the fakes were smarter than I and that I could more profitably spend my time other places in the world chasing other kinds of specimens. So I quit going to Colombia for emeralds. You may eventually decide that trying to find bargain emeralds on Ebay or anywhere else will most likely be a waste of time. But there is always a story going around about a guy walking into a yard sale or a swap meet that finds a million dollar rock for ten dollars. Its the same allure as buying a lottery ticket or hitting it big in Vegas and hoping for the big score. Better to spend your time chasing minerals in other more productive ways.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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Yan Beaudet August 10, 2012 04:07AM
a chance im already own a couple good specimen of emerald . small and just a little bit gemmy. probably enough for now. i will wait for gem show to buy a biggest and very clear one than i can see with my own eyes and not just in pictures .bye
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Owen Lewis (2) August 10, 2012 10:05AM
Rock, Amen to that.

Yanick, Your eyes - or mine - aren't good enough to trust alone with a big buy made off a street corner or a stall. You *might* get lucky but the odds are heavily stacked that (1) your purchase will not be worth more than you paid for it (do you imagine that dealers are either fools or some sort of charity?) or (2) you have spent 10 - 100 times what the stone is truly worth.

There are only two routes to buy xxxx (+) stones without throwing money away. Appraisal by a qualified person or to have, yourself, a lot of personal knowledge + experience + instruments and the skill to use those instruments effectively. Large green Beryl can be bought at prices that seem a fantastic bargain when compared worth the $5000+ per gram commanded by the best gem quality. But they are not even worth considering if you know how to tell the difference and why one is worth more so much more than the other - and how much more it is worth. Small but interesting pieces of Emerald, i,e 'partly gemmy' - and small flawed cut stones too - can be bought for $xx and a great deal learned from them in addition to the pleasure of looking at them. More is to be learned from examining flawed stones that can be learned from examining the near-perfect.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/10/2012 04:39PM by Owen Lewis (2).
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Yan Beaudet August 10, 2012 12:00PM
lm only want a good looking crystal on matrix and i dont really car if it's oiled. the only thing i dont want if paid 300$ for big green spod place in picture to look like a emerald.i can recognize a hiddenite or green tourmaline polish to look like emerald from real one.and i can probably recognized the typical columbian matrix. i dont think i need an appraisal for that.i bought minerals since 30 years now and seen a lot scam .if i dont cared about treatment i think i can found a good looking specimens .bye
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Dermot Walsh August 15, 2012 12:16AM
this specimen was given too me and is believed from Columbia..s/a.. i seek only possible localities.291 grams
41/2 in X 2in
tu in advance..any and all help appeciated
best wishes
dermot



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/15/2012 12:22AM by Dermot Walsh.
open | download - possible locality3.jpg (210.5 KB)
open | download - mindathelp1.jpg (95.3 KB)
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Stephanie Martin August 17, 2012 03:32AM
Hi Dermot.

Do you have or do you know someone that might have a chelsea filter? This can be used to check for the presence of chromium. Under the filter the chromium bearing emeralds will show red. Emeralds coloured with vanadium (Brazil) or iron (Zambia) will not be red. This is useful in determining location as Columbian emeralds are coloured mostly by chromium. You can also buy chelsea filters for about $30 on ebay but if you won't be using it more than once you might try to borrow one if possible. I'm not sure where you are located but you could also try to take it to a gem clinic at a local gem show if there are ever any in your area, they might have one, or the ROM if you are close, otherwise maybe a local university. Pyrite with emerald is not common, it is likely from Columbia. I suggest you check the gallery here for possible Columbian locations, there won't be that many.

regards,
stephanie smiling smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/17/2012 04:04AM by Stephanie Martin.
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Rock Currier August 17, 2012 10:49AM
The specimen appears to be out of focus so it is hard to see details. I think the odds are good that it is a real emerald specimen, if not a particularly valuable one.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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Tim Jokela Jr August 17, 2012 04:38PM
Pyrite associated is a pretty good indicator for Colombia, no?
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Owen Lewis (2) August 17, 2012 06:27PM
Might we settle for green Beryl rather than Emerald?

Chelsea filter. This was invented in London in those dear dead days, not yet quite passed beyond recall, where it was a gem trade maxim that 'no Chromium==no Emerald'. What a nice simple world that was..... Now that one may (indeed, one should) describe any cuttable and gemmy green Beryl crystal as 'Emerald', relying on the Chelsea filter test is about as safe (less safe actually) as relying on a cheap UV torch to detect a Ruby. Yes. it works (some of the time, under modern trade rules) but one may pass over a whole lot of high value stones if one trusts to it. Many, gemologists, me included, never bother to spend the 30 bucks needed to get one. It's not the money; it's that the test is now as much of a liability as it is a help.

Pyrite + Emerald == Columbia? I don'rt think so for two reasons:
1. Most Emeralds from Colombia are not Pyrite included.
2. Emeralds that are Pyrite included may come also from Kafubu, Zambia (a major source of good Emerald). One needs to examine for as many of the inclusions as one can positively identify before declaring a source.

The Colombian Emerald mine most associated with Pyrite inclusion is Chivor. FWIW, looking at the (bad) photo of the chunk in question I'd hazard a guess of Santa Terezinha as the source locality - but it's no more than a punt.
in
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Dermot Walsh August 17, 2012 09:36PM
thank you all ..i`m rather sure it is from Columbia.. this is the second time, told Chivor as a possible location...thank you for the Santa Terezinha clue..this does seem most likely
regards
dermot
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Dermot Walsh August 18, 2012 12:00AM
might either of these pics help at all with locality.?..thanks in advance
dermot
open | download - betterphoto.JPG (912.3 KB)
open | download - DSC04833.JPG (934.3 KB)
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Owen Lewis (2) August 18, 2012 01:22AM
Here's a pic of of a Pyrite-included Emerald and also a couple more snaps culled from its large garden of inclusions. I think this one (1.46ct) is from Chivor.

Though by no means a fine specimen, this stone has that 'pizzazz' that warrants the name Emerald (IMHO).





open | download - Emerald (L) 2-15a.JPG (865 KB)
open | download - Emerald (L) 2-01a.JPG (219.5 KB)
open | download - Emerald (L) 2-02a.JPG (199.3 KB)
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Rock Currier August 18, 2012 09:10AM
I would rather see pictures of the specimen when it is dry and not wet.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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Owen Lewis (2) August 18, 2012 02:31PM
Drizabone Rocksmiling smiley

No immersion nor even painting with Monobromoethane. This untreated stone was loaned to me for the privilege of examining and photoing it. Consequently it was touched with no more than a microfibre cloth and the proverbial 'camel's hair brush'. Magnification is x10 in the first shot and about x60 in the second two (which are also well cropped).
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Don Saathoff August 18, 2012 06:39PM
Owen, Rock was referring to Dermot's pics, not yours.....

Don
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Stephanie Martin August 18, 2012 08:28PM
Santa Terezinha that Owen suggested as a possible location is listed as being in Brazil. A chelsea filter may not be accurate all the time, and may not work on less gemmy material, but it is still an option to try and if it does light up red, then you know it is Columbian.

regards,
stephanie :))



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2012 08:51PM by Stephanie Martin.
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Owen Lewis (2) August 18, 2012 09:54PM
Don, Rock,

Oops. Yes.
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Owen Lewis (2) August 19, 2012 12:43AM
Stephanie,

Spot on with country for Santa Terezinha. But:

1. There is a pic of rough from there in Vol 1 of the 'Photoatlas of Gemstones' that shows a similar 'banded' formation to Dermot's Beryl specimen.
2. Pyrite is a known occasional inclusion in ST emeralds also. I did not mean to infer that Kafubu, Zambia, was the only alternative for Pyrite inclusion in Emerald to Chivor, Colombia.

Chelsea filter. If you adhere to what (I believe) is still Gem-A teaching and is vehemently stated by Mike'O'Donoghue in 'Gems' and elsewhere then, never mind how the rest of the world has voted with it's feet in following the GIA lead, you will think that a green Beryl that does not display Chromium absorption/emission lines in its spectrum is not an Emerald. Fair enough - for those who choose to adhere to that line (and BTW my personal sympathies are with them). But, commercially, it is now prerequisite to identify and admit as Emerald, green Beryl that is of gem quality and in which Chromium is either not the primary chromophore or in which Chromium may be entirely absent. If the Chromium is either well masked or absent, then the Chelsea filter becomes simply a liability - and hence the fact that many of us prefer not to use it at all in Emerald identification.

Yes, AFAIK, there is no Colombian Emerald that does not have a Chromium chromophore. I'm less certain that this can never be masked by the additional presence of Iron.

Best,
Owen smiling smiley)
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Alfredo Petrov August 19, 2012 01:57AM
The chromium issue should probably be a whole separate topic, but I'm one of those who support using the name "emerald" for any green gemmy beryl, regardless of the chromophore. Gem names were originally given just on the basis of colour, and were in use long before the causes of colour were understood; in the case of emerald, centuries before the element chromium had even been discovered. It makes no sense at all to retroactively make the definition of emerald narrower than it was before. This was just a commercial ploy to protect the market share of Colombian producers - Luckily the plot didn't work. I'm sure Owen will disagree smileys with beer
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Stephanie Martin August 19, 2012 02:53AM
I also agree with all gemmy green beryls being called emeralds, I was merely suggesting to use the Chelsea filter as a way to help determine the location of origin based on the chromophore, not to imply that only the chromium chromophore is worthy of it being called emerald.

Owen, thanks for the info bites regarding the S.T. emeralds.

regards,
stephanie smiling smiley
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Dermot Walsh August 19, 2012 11:56AM
hello...i had thought Rock was commenting on my last set of photos..it was just a test on my part..as i`d never tried before with wet specimens...even though i quite like them..i`ll refrain in the future...thank you all
dermot
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Owen Lewis (2) August 19, 2012 03:00PM
Alfredo,

Oh my.... where to begin smileys with beer

Emerald has a very wide distribution being found in all six continents, Norway to South Africa and the USA to China. It has been sought and exploited as a gemstone from antiquity. From the 1500's the Emerald market was dominated by stones of Colombian origin on grounds both of quantity of production and, more importantly, by desirability when compared with most Emeralds obtained from elsewhere. In the second half of the 20th century, very large new sources of Emerald were discovered in Africa and Brazil. In the 21st century, the extent of Emerald fields in China is still being discovered.

There have been many scientific studies made of Emerald but one that is both recent and significant to this discussion is the doctoral thesis of Le Huong at the University of Mainz (2008) - 'Microscopic, chemical and spectroscopic investigations on emeralds of various origins'.

Her work included the rigourous investigation of the composition of 260 Emeralds sourced from 15 mines in nine countries spread over 4 continents. Of the findings reported by Huong, the following are of particular significance to this discussion.
- Cr3++ was present in all the Emeralds examined, in a varying proportion.
- Fe was present in all Emeralds examined, in a varying proportion.
- Colombian Emeralds are amongst those with the highest proportion of Chromium present and also had the lowest recorded proportion of Iron present.

This painstaking study is significant in that it substantially redefines the nature of the 'No Chromium==No Emerald' argument. The universal presence of Chromium is now not in doubt. The proper considerations are of only limited abilities to detect simply its presence when Iron is also present, using the traditional instrument of hand-held spectroscope and (maybe) Chelsea filter - and also with the unaided human eye?

We appreciate gemstones not through the use of instrumentation, either simple or complex, but in the way we react to the material as humans through our visual sensitivities. At least some of us, myself included, find a subliminal excitement in viewing gems with high Cr and low Fe. That this mental stimulation might brought about through a conciousness of simple monetary worth can be safely excluded, as the stimulation occurs when viewing a well-made Verneuil process Ruby as readily as it does when viewing a fine Mogok stone. I only feel this particular stimulation when viewing high Cr/low Fe gem material e.g. some Emeralds, Rubies, Spinel and even some Chrome Diopside. Some other claim also to sense it when viewing high quality (blue) Sapphires (in which Cr is not likely to be significantly present) but Sapphire doesn't work for me.

This observation at least opens the door to a different approach to why, in these days of 'all green Beryl shall be Emerald', good Colombian stones maintain premium pricing in the market and those that approach them most nearly also show high Cr/low Fe. All may indeed be Emeralds but some stones only 'reach parts of the mind that others just don't reach'. I think it can only be a matter of years now before this phenomenon is properly investigated and quantified. The relationship of colour to e-m radiation and ligand field has been pretty well mapped. The effect on the brain of the detection in the eye of certain optical wavelengths/energy levels is still largely 'terra incognita' as far as I know.

With that hinterland, its hard to accept that, initially, the setting up and, latterly, the tearing down of the 'No Chromium==No Emerald' rule had base commercial motives. Rather, the setting up of the rule was an rationalisation of what people *felt*, as rationalised through the use of simple scientific instruments to make some basic observations and making a correlation of what was detectable with what was found desirable. Similarly, tearing down the rule was necessitated by a better understanding of material composition and the effect of variance in compositional combination. There is no reason to think that either approach has been less than honest and, in their turns, both have probably been unavoidable. And likely so, too, is the maintenance of a price premium for high Cr/low Fe stones, for which Colombia continues to have the largest production slice.

As a separate consideration, l also think that the 'names existed before the science' approach cannot stand. Some green stones that were not green Beryl were probably once accepted as Emeralds. Certainly, red Spinels have been historically misdescribed as Rubies and Taaffeites probably still continue occasionally to be misdescribed as Spinel. As material science has enabled us to differentiate with assurance one species/variety from another, so our use of the nomenclature - and even the nomenclature itself - becomes more refined.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/19/2012 05:31PM by Owen Lewis (2).
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Dermot Walsh August 19, 2012 09:07PM
Hi again..i will pose a question about how best to clean this specimen up...in the mineral cleaning forum..

thank you

dermot
at the moment the photos are no better
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Jason Barrett (2) August 27, 2012 07:38PM
Stephanie zambian emeralds(Kagem) are primarily colored by a chromium/iron mix. Chromium being the dominate chromophore in most cases but some show a very strong blue as a result of lots of iron in the crystal lattice. I spoke with Anna Haber of Gemfields back in July to follow up on some research into the iron/chromium chomophore of Zambian and Kagem mine emeralds. This was in response to a collegue in the UK that attended a lecture given by Ian Harebottle(former CEO of tanzanite One and now Gemfields) that discussed the role of Iron in their emeralds.(zambian stones tend to be very clean for emeralds).
I have no idea where the rumor that Vanadium colors zambian emeralds came from. I know of some others who thought this was the case as well. Nigeria has emeralds colored by vanadium I do know.
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Stephanie Martin August 27, 2012 07:52PM
Hi Jason,

Thanks for the update on the Zambian emeralds. If you read my previous posts I did indicate that they were coloured by iron, rather than vanadium like the Brazilian emeralds. But it is interesting that they have a strong chromium component. Perhaps the iron component quenches the response under the chelsea filter?

regards,
stephanie smiling smiley
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Owen Lewis (2) August 27, 2012 09:33PM
Kafubu is another locality in which Pyrite inclusion is quite likely. As said, from precise quantitative testing, it is now known that some Iron and some Chromium can be expected as present in all Emeralds. The relative levels not only vary widely between localities but also within a single site within a single locality. That said, the Colombian mines as a generality show the highest Chromium and the lowest Iron. Kafubu generally shows more Chromium than other localities - but also usually has more Iron. In the research referred to previously, stones from Malipo (China) tested higher for Vanadium than from any of the other sites researched.
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Jason Barrett (2) August 28, 2012 05:47AM
Oh stephanie I am sorry I missed it and I realize I missed quite a few on the second page.
I had always thought Iron was as well but after speaking with Anna who in turn double checked with 2 of Gemfields gemologist they said that chromium was the dominate chromophore with iron not far behind. The thing is can you trust a company such as one with a large stake in emeralds to be truthful on the .."it has chromium"..."no chromium" thing, ya know. I would like to think so, so for the time being I will take them at their word. Many around the world still consider anything without chromium to not be an emerald so saying so would be in their favor. I had some mediocre zambian stones a couple years back...couple thousand carats of gemmy crystals but no cutters and they showed a Cr absorption line. The thing is I didn't buy them in Zambia or from a trusted source so I don't know if they truly are from Zambia. If it was today I would just have a friend scope the inclusions to determine origin.

Iron quenches lots of things including fluorescence in rubies which are also colored by chromium so maybe it does but I am not sure.
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Yan Beaudet August 28, 2012 06:19PM
hi Owen . i know than many ruby from past was indentified as taaffeite . but now the price of taaffeite is so high than it's the spinel , zircon and cheap ruby than we can see offer as taaffeite .im unable to find a taaffeite specimens for my collection under 600$ not even a not really gemmy one. when a minerals is cut you can only identified them with equipement and many asian dealers play on that to sell their stuff. i think than what you said will continue as long than customers will not educate themselves about what they buy.i think than many newcomers have in this moment mislabeled specimen in their collection especially like you said for minnerals named since antique world .it's the first minerals names than newcomers known and they search for them on ebay trusting the first sellers offering some at low price. i seen an asian sellers offering rough uncut slab of gemmy minerals but he use same pictures for more than 10 different minerals of the same colour. bye
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Stephanie Martin August 29, 2012 04:07AM
Jason, no worries. I think you are right about the misconception about Zambian emeralds and vanadium. Have you seen many of the Chinese emeralds as faceted stones? I have enjoyed them more as matrix pieces.

Yanick, be patient and you might score a taaffeite if you are willing to settle for a less than ideal stone. I obtained several faceted as well as rough pieces for a very reasonable price and will have them tested by those knowledgeable. If they don't turn out to be taaffeite I will request a refund. If they are good, I'll let you know the seller so you can try to get some from there too.

regards,
stephanie smiling smiley
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