Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Are the mani and pukhraj natural and untreated?

QUESTION:

Hi Surbhi,
Greetings!
I came across your e-mail ID, while surfing the net and exploring some details on the two stones " yellow sapphire" and "Ruby".
I am attaching you the lab certificate and the pictures of the two stones, I have checked them under a 10X magnifier and to me as a layman, it looks clear, without any feathers etc, the lab report has the details.
Now the doubt I have is that, the yellow color is looking too good, but I read it could be because of treatment, could it be artificial?.
Do you think I have made a wise decision. I bought it after reading a lot on this stone, and after checking at a few reputed shops only.
I have paid already Rs 26,000/- for the two stones(20 & 6K).
Please advise me and provide me your inputs, will it have positive effects on me.
DOB is **-**-****
Awaiting your valuable advise urgently.
Thanks,
Attached are two pictures and the lab certificate.

Warm Regards,
A*** G****

ANSWER:

Hi A***,

Thank you for reading the blog. The certificate that you carry does not any indication of affiliation to any autonomous gem grading/ identification body as such. This simply means that you would have to take the word of the jeweler for this report. It is definitely b
etter than not getting any report at all but not essentially very useful. It is almost like getting his word on paper (but please read the reverse for the terms and conditions)


The reports clearly state that the stones are natural which implies that they are also untreated in unconventional ways. The Refractive Index coinciding with the color is such that it falls in the ruby and yellow sapphire category (both from the corundum family) and both stones being doubly refractive, indicates that they are ruby and sapphire but whether or not natural untreated is a good question.


The report indicates that there are liquid feather inclusion in the Yellow Sapphire and needle like inclusions in the ruby. Please try to look carefully in plain white tube light or day light for these inclusions. I cannot unfortunately make out too much from the images that have been sent in.


In case of the ruby, please keep it on a clean white colored paper upside down and look with minimum 10X loupe (magnification).
  • If you see any curved bands, then the ruby is definitely synthetic but if you see straight lines it may still be natural. You may not see any lines at all that is possible.
  • If you can manage to get the red stone in some UV light (like in some discotheques) and the ruby 'glows' a lot then it is most likely synthetic.
  • Also from the pictures the only thing that I can make out is that the ruby looks dense which means it has a LOT of inclusions which will justify the price (or actually may even be overpriced). The report states that these are rutile (very fine needle like) inclusions... if so then this is most likely a natural not-heat-treated ruby.
  • The report also identifies the color of this stone as dark pink, which should considerably reduce the cost of the stone since it would fall under the classification of pink sapphire in that case.
  • Please let me know if you can see 'through' the stone and if you can see these fine needles.



As for the yellow stone:
  • the color looks good, but the size and cut do not seem to be too great so even though I think you got it at a very good price, you should not be too worried about the authenticity of this stone.
  • Unfortunately there is no easy way to see if the pukhraj is actually natural or not.
  • Again, for the color, there is only one way to figure out if it has been dyed or not and that is to look into the stone for 'dye' marks ie concentration of color in certain places especially towards the edges and around inclusions near the surface. But that is tough to make out without practice.
  • Usually, heat treatment in these stones is considered normal (natural) but dying is not. If you do see the liquid inclusion in the yellow sapphire, then it is most likely not treated with heat. This simply means that if you if you wash it in warm water and soap a few times it should probably start losing color if it has been dyed. Please be careful not to injure the stone while cleaning it.

At this point, looking at just the report and your observation, I would say that the purchase seems authentic though you must try to get your ruby in UV light if you can to make sure of the 'natural' status.

I would also like to clarify for your benefit, that a synthetic stone has the same astrological benefits as a natural one due to same chemical and physical properties. You definitely need to know the natural or otherwise status of your stone to get a fair bargain on it (and to make sure the treatment or inclusions will not interfere with the stability of the stone in future), but besides that you can enjoy wearing your stone just as much as you would a natural untreated one.

I personally am an advocate of natural (preferably untreated) stones but then, not many can cross the path of limitations and challenge them so we do what we can and should enjoy what do get.

India is unfortunately one of the easiest targets for fraudulent people to sell treated or synthetic colored stones under the name of natural. A simple trick that I usually tell my clients to apply when in doubt about a jeweler is to go to the competition. Take your stones to another jeweler and ask him for just the same kind of stone for a pair of earrings etc... he will show you similar kinds and you can ask him as much as you want about your own and compare the price as well.

I hope I have been able to answer your question. Please feel free to ask any further questions that you may have. I would love to hear your comments, suggestions and any other information that you would like to share at surbhi.s.gupta@gmail.com

-Surbhi S Gupta
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