Thursday, November 20, 2008

Andesine: the Cliff Notes

(This is our one andesine, it's 1.2 ct, 8 x 6 mm, in case anyone hasn't seen one)

Pala International has published a good article that summarizes the whole andesine issue.

Since there was never really any rough available to the rough dealers, Dev and I have not been personally involved in this issue. I think we bought one cut stone a year or two ago, just to see what all the hoopla was about. Since at the moment, we are a rock shop and not a lab, nor an investor in andesine, we promptly stuck it in a box marked "To be identified later" and forgot about it.

It has been very educational to see how this story has unfolded, how the different gem labs and researchers have evaluated the gems and come to conclusions (or not), and all the actions and reactions of the different sides involved. It has been a very emotional issue for some, and source of investigative detective work for others. We can only hope for those who have collected many stones, that either it turns out that there is real andesine, or that the companies they did business with will do the right thing and offer a refund.

I do think the andesine issue brought to the forefront just how influential the internet has become in gemology. On the positive side, scientists and gemologists are able to share their findings quickly, and information gets to the public more quickly. On the down side, we expect answers and we expect them now. It's hard to remember that good science takes time.

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