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What about heliodor from Tajikistan?
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Jolyon Ralph




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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2011 11:38    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

It's confidential because I simply don't go about publishing things like this online unless I'm sure it's OK with the people who told me.

I am not saying this lab was responsible for irradiating the many crystals sold as heliodor - it's possible, but it's also possible they were done elsewhere and this lab simply irradiated gem rough.

But of course, one person's gem rough is another person's crystal without matrix. Perhaps someone else saw them, bought them, and somehow this little story was invented

Jolyon

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Jim




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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2011 13:41    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

John White wrote: "So why after about 25 years is the name of the person who commissioned the lab and/or the name of the lab still confidential?"

This information would be good to know, but again, I find this question reversed... The question might be better worded as, "Why after 25 years is the mineral community still waiting to be shown the exact location of the mine and the crystals in situ so that the claims about these beryls can be verified once and for all?"

Cheers,

Jim

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lluis




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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2011 13:58    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

Good evening.

Near where I live in Spain, there is an enterprise that has a source of gamma rays (Co60).
They rent for use it, and is not expensive at all.

Then, anyone could do so in another of such facilities...

With best wishes

Lluís
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John S. White
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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2011 14:29    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

Okay, I think we have beaten this subject to death. I would like to make it clear that I am quite prepared to believe that these crystals have been treated in some fashion, and I am quite prepared to believe that they probably do not originate in Tajikistan. Sadly, we may never know who treated them or where they were actually found.
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lluis




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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2011 16:01    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

Dear Mr. Sampson White, forum

Well, for what I have heard, if you assist to Tucson show, then you could very probably know the identity of the one who charged for treatement. Maybe some walk, but you will find him easierly.

Just to be added that many material, as have been said, is treated routinely as rough for jewellery. But that is another league and is accepted, if disclosed.

With best wishes

Lluís
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Mike Wood




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PostPosted: Nov 16, 2011 13:11    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

Having read this post with increasing fascination over the past few days, a suggestion popped into my head that I cannot ignore any longer...(Hope Jordi doesn't mind me using the 'M' word !).
How about the 3rd Mindat conference to be held in Dushanbe, Tadjikistan ? Field trips to the Pamirs etc. The great heliodor mystery could be wrapped up once and for all !

Mike
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Jim




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PostPosted: Nov 16, 2011 13:45    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

Mike Wood wrote:
Having read this post with increasing fascination over the past few days, a suggestion popped into my head that I cannot ignore any longer...(Hope Jordi doesn't mind me using the 'M' word !).
How about the 3rd Mindat conference to be held in Dushanbe, Tadjikistan ? Field trips to the Pamirs etc. The great heliodor mystery could be wrapped up once and for all !

Mike

Mike, now that is a hilarious and fabulous suggestion! Kudos for your wit :)

Cheers,

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bob kerr




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PostPosted: Dec 01, 2011 13:15    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

ok - here is difinitive proof of authenticity. how can the smithsonian be wrong!!??

bob

http://mineralsciences.si.edu/collections/newacquisitions/2007/beryl07.htm
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to get to this link you need to replace the two "DOT"s with "."s
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lluis




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PostPosted: Dec 01, 2011 13:34    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

Hi, Bob

Well, for one side, it is a gift from 2007.

Some rain has fall from then.

And from the other side, a museum could fooled as the rest of mortals.

Some examples, not in minerals, but in coins

British Museum accepted as legit the Utmanzai forgeries (tha, with this name, you could imagine that are forgeries...)

British Museum was fooled by the Geneva forgeries (again, forgeries).
This time they were only convinced because a gentleman gofted them some more forgeries (if legit, that would cost some Mio Dollars...), and gave them details of forger.
That, by the way, is still not named due to, seems, legal reason...

If you google Geneva forgeries you could find the book.
An interesting reading...

With best wishes

Lluís
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John S. White
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PostPosted: Dec 01, 2011 21:35    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

The Smithsonian is often wrong. It mistakenly has the image of being infallible, but sadly this is inaccurate.
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bob kerr




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PostPosted: Dec 01, 2011 22:03    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

yah, i agree john. you can't possibly expect 100% accuracy. i still like these specimens though!!

also - does anyone know if the yellow in "natural" heliodor is caused by radiation similar to how "natural" smokey quartz is colored?

thanks,
bob
John S. White wrote:

The Smithsonian is often wrong. It mistakenly has the image of being infallible, but sadly this is inaccurate.

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lluis




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PostPosted: Dec 02, 2011 01:33    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

As far as I have read, at least some of the natural heliodors have color produced/enhanced by natural radiation.
Traces of Iron 3+ are also requiered

Also read that some natural heliodors are slightly radioactive due to traces of uranium.

Rio Tinto Mine in Rössing was a source for such.

With best wishes

Lluís
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lluis




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PostPosted: Dec 11, 2011 15:22    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

Good evening, List

Well, not exactly the heliodors, but I found this article on red andesines that is very interesting.
And yes, this one gives names, treatement, localities and so.

I find it extremely interesting

http://www.jewelcutter.com/articles/andesine_scam.htm
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Please, not also that the autor makes very clear that to treat a specimen is not a fault, that what is a fault is not to diclose it to customer.

With best wishes

Lluís
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John S. White
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PostPosted: Sep 21, 2012 05:17    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

I realize that the doubters have concluded that the story is over. In their minds the heliodor “from Tajikistan” is not from Tajikistan and the color of the heliodor has been artificially created. In 15 or so years I have not been able to discover exactly where these crystals are from nor who treated them, if they indeed have been treated, but I was willing to concede that these crystals probably have been misrepresented in some way. However, at this past Denver show I had an opportunity to speak with Andrew Akers of Gem World of California, Inc. He had with him perhaps as many as 50 heliodors “from Tajikistan,” and he swore that the locality is correct, they come from pegmatites some 17,000 to 19,000 feet high in the Tajikistan mountains, pegmatites that are virtually inaccessible to all but the people who mine them. He stated that his inventory had been mined about three years ago and while the heliodors did resemble those I had seen long ago, virtually all of Akers’ pieces were in matrix. This is very different from what I saw when “Tajikistan” heliodors first appeared. At that time nearly all of them were just crystals with no matrix. Matrix pieces were quite rare.

In this material the matrix consists of feldspar, muscovite and quartz. One piece, in particular, caught my eye (see attached photos). On one side was a typical yellow heliodor, but when you turned it over there was a blue aqua embedded in the matrix. This is very significant. It means that the sample was not treated to create the heliodor using gamma radiation. If it had been, the blue aqua would have turned yellow as well. Not only that, the quartz would have turned black and the feldspar, no doubt, would have lost its luster. None of this had occurred. Akers also had a specimen of heliodor with quartz that he had irradiated at the University of Missouri (see attached photo). With this treatment the quartz crystals became black. All of this suggests quite powerfully that the heliodor color is natural. Akers’ strong assertions also make one suspect that the source of this material is actually Tajikistan. After all, Tajikistan is a rugged country with mountains that rise to 24,000 feet. Ninety-three percent of the country is mountainous, so it is easy to believe that somewhere in those mountains exists a string of pegmatites that have produced these remarkable heliodors.

So in my mind the mystery remains unresolved, but I am very much open to the possibility that these crystals are indeed from Tajikistan and the color is completely natural.



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Front side showing typical yellow heliodor, whole piece about 8 cm across.
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P1010322.JPG
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Back side of same piece showing blue beryl embedded in matrix.
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P1010324.JPG
 Description:
Helioidor with quartz crystal matrix. The specimen has been irradiated which turned the quartz black.
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P1010324.JPG



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Jolyon Ralph




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PostPosted: Sep 21, 2012 06:15    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

Are you sure that beryl requires the same level of irradiation as quartz to change color?

Are you sure that the beam cannot be targetted in some way, or quartz etc shielded to prevent irradiation?

How do we know this isn't a natural heliodor from, for example, Brazil, thrown in to confuse us?

You can't draw any scientific conclusions from this without a LOT more research. Currently the regional experts all tell me it's fake. Certainly I'd take their opinions over a dealer who aims to profit from selling the stuff.

As Carl Sagan said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence - and there isn't any here.

Jolyon

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bob kerr




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PostPosted: Sep 21, 2012 06:37    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

john - very interesting input. it seems to me that gem world has been the main source for much of these specimens - and possibly much of the confusion and suspicion also.

this past tucson show, i also had a lengthily discussion with the gem world people who have a large tent near the days inn and boatner's. mr ed link also swore up and down that the heliodors were authentic BUT he also readilly admitted that they radioactively treat natural heliodor (which is too light yellow for the jewlery market) to make it a deeper yellow. he said this is only done for the cutting rough.

he showed me a plastic bag of "natural" cut heliodor and also the irradiated stuff - i took a photo which is attached - "natural" is on the right, irradiated on the left.

he also said that the cost of the irradiation services are quite high (many dollars per gram) and if they were to be irradiating matrix pieces the cost would simply be prohibitive.

so, although none of this is conclusive (one still has to wonder if the Tajik's or someone else irradiated the stuff before they were sold to gem world - and then gem world irradiated them more), your new "aqua in association with heliodor" as well as the "heliodor in association with white quartz" pieces that both you and i have posted are very difficult to explain.

bob



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PostPosted: Sep 21, 2012 07:09    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

jolyon - some of my thoughts are embedded in your post.

bob

Jolyon Ralph wrote:
Are you sure that beryl requires the same level of irradiation as quartz to change color?
rak - possibly, but what is most likely is that some "bulk irradiation" was done and you get what you get. perhaps some quartz was very low in Al and didn't change. finding a specimen with both heliodor and aqua in association makes for a very difficult explanation.

Are you sure that the beam cannot be targeted in some way, or quartz etc shielded to prevent irradiation?
rak - this is highly unlikely. collimating gammas accurately - especially "hard" (high energy) gammas from a Co60 source for example is near impossible. i think what more likely is that the bulk irradiation was performed then possibly heat treated afterwards to reverse the smoking of the quartz but not the yellowing of the beryl.

How do we know this isn't a natural heliodor from, for example, Brazil, thrown in to confuse us?
rak - looking at my brazil heliodors compared to these, seem to me that the xl forms have very little in common.

You can't draw any scientific conclusions from this without a LOT more research. Currently the regional experts all tell me it's fake. Certainly I'd take their opinions over a dealer who aims to profit from selling the stuff.
rak - the "regional experts" also do not have conclusive evidence that these are either natural or from what source. i agree with your previous posts that these should be "guilty until proven innocent" but right now they are neither.

As Carl Sagan said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence - and there isn't any here.
rak -not sure i understand what the extraordinary part is? i personally am not convinced either way.


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John S. White
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PostPosted: Sep 21, 2012 08:25    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

Bob:

I welcome your very appropriate responses to Jolyon Ralph. I find his reluctance to entertain the possibility that these heliodors are as the sellers claim troubling. I am not sure who his "regional experts" are, I want to examine their credentials.

And, as you say, the habit of these crystals is not only unlike beryls from Brazil, which have never been found in such abundance in my experience, the habit is also quite distinctive and markedly different from the habit of most Pakistan beryl.

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PostPosted: Sep 21, 2012 08:52    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

There are two different claims being made about these crystals that need examining.

1. They are from Tadjikistan.

2. They are natural heliodor

The 1st part has been discussed many times, with various stories being told about their so-called origin and even a mythical russian-sounding name being assigned to the locality. None of this has held up to scrutiny, and as I said before, talk to ANY mineralogist from the former Soviet Union and they'll tell you the same they've told me. Dmitriy Belakovsky documented this very well, see his article in the Lapis English Beryl monograph. These were born in fraud in the mid 1990s. It would be possible, but stretching credulity, that a GENUINE heliodor source has now been found in the area.

The second part is more interesting, because clearly many of the crystals sold from original finds were either Pakistani or Ping Wu chinese beryls that had been crudely treated to turn yellow. Some crystals were different, and that raised the possibility that a small number of genuine crystals was being diluted by a larger number of fakes. Is the specimen you included genuine? Maybe. I don't know much about natural heliodor sources, it certainly looks different to the stuff previously being sold from Tadjikistan.

All I am saying is that if statement A "Specimen is not treated" is true, it does not automatically mean statement B "Specimen is from Tadjikistan" is also true.

Also, you can't guarantee that the specimen is NOT treated just because another specimen shows darker quartz after treatment. A lot of research would be needed to prove either way.

Look forward to chatting to you about this and more at Tucson!

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PostPosted: Sep 21, 2012 09:03    Post subject: Re: What about heliodor from Tajikistan?  

I think the biggest smoking gun regarding these heliodors is that the partner in the firm selling them in is a Pakistani and one of the largest exporters of aquamarine from Pakistan.
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