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Fake Colombian Emeralds
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: May 26, 2017 20:23    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

A clumsier fake.
The calcite matrix and the beryl crystal are both from Chivor.



IMG_3073nb.JPG
 Mineral: Beryl (variety emerald), Calcite
 Dimensions: 15cm across.
 Description:
 Viewed:  16341 Time(s)

IMG_3073nb.JPG


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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: May 26, 2017 20:54    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

This one is not bad either.
Unlike the beryls, the large quartz crystal does not seem to be glued.
All ingredients from Chivor.



IMG_3061nb.JPG
 Mineral: Beryl (variety emerald), Calcite, Quartz, Pyrite
 Dimensions: 15cm across.
 Description:
 Viewed:  16301 Time(s)

IMG_3061nb.JPG



IMG_3065nb.JPG
 Mineral: Beryl (variety emerald), Calcite, Quartz, Pyrite
 Dimensions: 15cm across.
 Description:
 Viewed:  16346 Time(s)

IMG_3065nb.JPG


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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: May 27, 2017 00:03    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

Last but not least.
A pretty good forgery job.



IMG_3016nb.JPG
 Mineral: Beryl (variety emerald), Calcite, Pyrite
 Dimensions: 15cm across.
 Description:
 Viewed:  16283 Time(s)

IMG_3016nb.JPG



IMG_3018nb.JPG
 Mineral: Beryl (variety emerald), Calcite, Pyrite
 Dimensions: 15cm across.
 Description:
 Viewed:  16335 Time(s)

IMG_3018nb.JPG


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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: May 27, 2017 04:20    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

Fiebre Verde wrote:
Last but not least.
A pretty good forgery job.


Pretty good, even though it is an unacceptable practice. As I said before that someone who knows his rocks, can produce fake specimens that is very hard to recognize; only by someone who knows the area and specimens very well. Best regards Gerard.

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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: May 27, 2017 08:33    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

Pierre Joubert wrote:
Fiebre Verde wrote:
Last but not least.
A pretty good forgery job.


Pretty good, even though it is an unacceptable practice. As I said before that someone who knows his rocks, can produce fake specimens that is very hard to recognize; only by someone who knows the area and specimens very well. Best regards Gerard.


Hi PIerre!
Unfortunately nothing seems to stop this practice as prices for fine emerald specimens are skyrocketing.
On the contrary, increasingly sophisticated methods are used to manufacture these mineral art objects which are sometimes sold as handcrafted specimens ('gangas artesanales') by some honest dealers.
Believe it or not, there is a significant market for these specimens - not everybody can afford to spend a quarter of a million on a tourmaline art work :-)

As per your second comment, you hit the nail on the head.
The last specimen I posted is a good example of the sophistication of the artwork performed by skilled craftsmen these days.
For this one, I bet they have used some kind of cement to consolidate the beryl crystal instead of glue, which is easily detectable.
These pale green, heavily included bulky crystals are typical from Muzo and are never associated with aggregates of black calcite.
So yes, a pair of very well trained eyes is what is needed here.
Gérard
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: May 31, 2017 13:47    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

Another spectacular one - seems like they are inexhaustible.
Note the perfect contact of the beryl crystal with the calcite matrix.



IMG_3181nb.JPG
 Mineral: Beryl (variety emerald), Calcite, Pyrite
 Dimensions: 15cm across
 Description:
 Viewed:  16093 Time(s)

IMG_3181nb.JPG



IMG_3171nb.JPG
 Mineral: Beryl (variety emerald), Calcite, Pyrite
 Dimensions: 15cm across
 Description:
 Viewed:  16125 Time(s)

IMG_3171nb.JPG



IMG_3177nb.JPG
 Mineral: Beryl (variety emerald), Calcite, Pyrite
 Dimensions: 15cm across
 Description:
 Viewed:  16140 Time(s)

IMG_3177nb.JPG


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Don Lum




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PostPosted: May 31, 2017 14:33    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

Fiebre Verde wrote:
Another spectacular one - seems like they are inexhaustible.
Note the perfect contact of the beryl crystal with the calcite matrix.


Gerard,

Thank you for bringing these fakes to light.

Regards,

Don

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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: May 31, 2017 17:17    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

Don Lum wrote:
Fiebre Verde wrote:
Another spectacular one - seems like they are inexhaustible.
Note the perfect contact of the beryl crystal with the calcite matrix.


Gerard,

Thank you for bringing these fakes to light.

Regards,

Don

Don,

It's my pleasure!
With or without the intent to defraud or mislead, forgery is a fascinating world.
Colombian emeralds are probably the most commonly faked of all mineral specimens and it's interesting to see how the skills of the local 'craftsmen' have improved over time.
I am yet to visit a lab - not sure if this will ever happen though :-)

Best regards

Gérard
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Oct 30, 2017 21:43    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

Elegant fake. Crystal and matrix from Chivor.


IMG_5052.JPG
 Dimensions: 10cm across
 Description:
 Viewed:  14764 Time(s)

IMG_5052.JPG



IMG_5055.JPG
 Description:
 Viewed:  14808 Time(s)

IMG_5055.JPG


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Matt_Zukowski
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PostPosted: Oct 31, 2017 04:43    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

Can you please describe how you came to know that the specimen is fake? Thanks.
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Oct 31, 2017 07:47    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

Matt_Zukowski wrote:
Can you please describe how you came to know that the specimen is fake? Thanks.

Because I was told so by the dealer who also sells fakes for clients interested in spectacular but affordable specimens.

I had never seen this type of brecciated matrix associated with emeralds which is strange enough to raise suspicion on the specimen.
The craftsman has done a good job here i.e. the contact area is dusted by the same material as the matrix, which covers entirely the glue work (Could be actually a cement which does not react to acetone).

Unless you are familiar with the locality, it's hard to detect with just a visual inspection.

Gérard
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: May 13, 2018 18:31    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

More man-made specimens in downtown Bogota.
The good news is that natural specimens can still be found.



IMG_6343.JPG
 Dimensions: 5cm across, xl is about 1 cm tall
 Description:
Stunning artwork as the matrix and the beryl crystal come from the same locality (Chivor). The large calcite crystal on the left is not glued! A very attractive specimen.
 Viewed:  12910 Time(s)

IMG_6343.JPG



IMG_6303.JPG
 Dimensions: 15cm across
 Description:
Unlike the previous specimen, this is a very clumsy piece of work. Emeralds are never found in association with these large calcite rhombs. Obviously the craftsman thought that a large emerald crystal would fit nicely with the massive calcite.
 Viewed:  12913 Time(s)

IMG_6303.JPG



IMG_6323.JPG
 Dimensions: 5cm across
 Description:
The craftsman wasn't very inspired - the contact area is not properly faked.
 Viewed:  12901 Time(s)

IMG_6323.JPG



IMG_6320.JPG
 Dimensions: 4cm across
 Description:
Same remark as for the previous specimen - very poor work on the contact area
 Viewed:  12891 Time(s)

IMG_6320.JPG



IMG_6315.JPG
 Description:
This one looks almost natural!
 Viewed:  12892 Time(s)

IMG_6315.JPG



IMG_6301.JPG
 Description:
Too good to be true.
 Viewed:  12892 Time(s)

IMG_6301.JPG



IMG_6308.JPG
 Description:
The craftsman wanted to create a large contact area with the calcite to make the specimen look more natural. Very poor result.
 Viewed:  12908 Time(s)

IMG_6308.JPG


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Pierre Joubert




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PostPosted: May 14, 2018 12:02    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

Fiebre Verde wrote:
More man-made specimens in downtown Bogota.
The good news is that natural specimens can still be found.


Hi Gerard, the fake 'industry' will become more and more refined:-( Gone are the days of buying 'on the run'. Even the old hands are getting caught with these 'works of art'. Some are obvious (how could I ever have bought that?) while others are not that easy to discern. Before I purchased the fakes that we own, I had a strong suspicion. Next time I will listen to the voice inside me. Best regards.

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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: May 14, 2018 19:33    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

Pierre Joubert wrote:
Fiebre Verde wrote:
More man-made specimens in downtown Bogota.
The good news is that natural specimens can still be found.


Hi Gerard, the fake 'industry' will become more and more refined:-( Gone are the days of buying 'on the run'. Even the old hands are getting caught with these 'works of art'. Some are obvious (how could I ever have bought that?) while others are not that easy to discern. Before I purchased the fakes that we own, I had a strong suspicion. Next time I will listen to the voice inside me. Best regards.


Hi Pierre!

The scarcity of decent specimens is driving the emerald artwork industry forward.
The manufacturing techniques are becoming more and more sophisticated and this industry is now employing highly skilled craftspeople.
This shortage is not always related to the production cycles. It's just that most of the good quality crystals found in the legal mines are sacrificed for faceting.
Despite the government's aims to formalize the artisanal mining sector, illegal mining is still active across the country.
But this is slowly changing. And since most of the specimens found in the market are extracted by the 'guaqueros' (illegal/independent miners), the ongoing formalization process has a direct impact on the production of specimens.
All this to say that the emerald artwork business has a bright future ahead.

You are right, that little voice you hear inside your head is by far your best friend but it might not be enough in the light of the rapid changes of the artwork industry.

Gérard
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Fiebre Verde




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PostPosted: Dec 12, 2019 21:57    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

More (poorly) man-made emerald specimens.
Unfortunately I didn't have my UV lamp to detect glue.



spec1_4.JPG
 Locality:
Colombia
 Description:
Texture of the material along the contact area looks suspiciously different
 Viewed:  8371 Time(s)

spec1_4.JPG



spec3_4.JPG
 Locality:
Colombia
 Description:
Too good to be true
 Viewed:  8371 Time(s)

spec3_4.JPG



Spec2_5.JPG
 Locality:
Colombia
 Description:
Too good to be true. Emerald crystal is semi-transparent.
 Viewed:  8369 Time(s)

Spec2_5.JPG



Spec2_8.JPG
 Locality:
Colombia
 Description:
Nice man-made combination of calcite, dolomite, and emerald
 Viewed:  8365 Time(s)

Spec2_8.JPG


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John Betts




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PostPosted: Dec 14, 2019 11:24    Post subject: Re: Fake Colombian Emeralds  

One word of caution about using UV illumination to test for adhesives:
The new generation of UV-cured adhesives do NOT fluoresce.

These are water-clear colorless adhesives that remain liquid until exposed to UV illumination. By definition they absorb UV.

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