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Richard Hughes visits red andesine mine in Tibet

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chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Lady D,
Thank you for the link. My respect for Richard is way up there, further enhanced by this article. He’s not afraid to seek out the truth, verify it for himself, admit he was wrong, and try to set the record straight. The next issue is how to differentiate between diffused andesine and untreated andesine.
 

Lady_Disdain

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Very true, Chrono, specially since no lab detected the treatments before or during the scandal.
 

Largosmom

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I hope you took the time to go through the slide show. It's almost as enjoyable as the article, which I found entertaining, educational, and captivating.

Well done research.

Laura
 

Lovinggems

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It says in the article Richard Hughes is/was working with GemTV. Interesting article but I am still confused. So there're treated and untreated andesines, but the labs can't successfully test for the treatment? Or all andesines that have been lab tested were untreated? I don't think I'll buy andesines just yet, but I would like to visit Tibet some day!
 

PrecisionGem

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morecarats|1288873397| said:
PrecisionGem|1288814279| said:
I suspect after this article, GEMTV will open the flood gates with red andesine in the upcoming months.
Don't suspect too hard, Gemstv shut down a while ago and the company has been liquidated. They used whatever assets they had left to take a 30% stake in their competitor, Jewelry Television.

http://www.jckonline.com/2010/10/18/gems-tv-bankruptcy-plan-confirmed
That's interesting. So who is Richard working for now? Jewelry Television?
It seemed over the past few years the only people selling these andesine stones are the TV shopping people. Other than Oregon material, I have never seen any rough for sale either. The pictures of rough stones in Richards report are not facet grade, or even close to facet grade material.
 

morecarats

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According to his website, Richard Hughes is now working for SinoRMC, a mining company based in Hong Kong.
 

Lee Little

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It is a very stirring article Dick has written and it certainly has an impact. I do believe every word he says as I spent some time face to face with him and he is obviously an intelligent and genuine person.
There is certainly question on whether or not that known deposit is of any real worth. What quantity of facet grade has come from there? Any??
On the treatment of Andesine I spoke face to face with the famous and highly regarded gem treater, Ted Themellis. Ted was concerned that no lab has been able to replicate the treatment of Andesine. There are MANY more questions about Andesine, thanks Dick for some pieces to the puzzle, keep up the good work, best regards, Lee
 

argylemarionette

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We were unable to verify whether Yu Lin Gu is a true andesine deposit because we could not find samples at depth. Our discovery of andesine within pits dug in random, previously unexplored areas near the Zha Lin mine, however, provided proof of a genuine Tibetan andesine deposit. The original source rock for the andesine was not evident in the area, and may have previously eroded away.
per the GIA.

Interesting that no one on the trip actually SAW the mine. What a coinky-dink. All I see is a bunch of ugly red rocks? Wouldn't that be a little like finding industrial diamonds in mud fields (like for instance Arkansas) and claiming that they were the source of substantial deposits of fine IF gem quality diamonds in the thousands? Just sayin'
 

iLander

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Ok, so let me get this straight: bad people in the past were claiming to have natural red andesine, but it was treated to make it red. Right?

Now this person says he found a mine with natural andesine, that is actually red, but low grade.

Is this the story, because it's hard to read between the lines . . . :read:

Maybe somebody needs to start from the beginning for newbies like me? :wavey:

BTW: why was it so bad to treat the andesine to make it red? Don't we do that to sapphires and all kinds of other stones. :confused:

I know, that last question was a doozy, don't hurt me, I just don't understand. . .
 

Largosmom

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There is a "big" scandal regarding the sale of red andesine by a jewelry TV company a few years back. If you google andesine scandal, it should pop up. I've read some articles but don't pretend to remember the details. There was a lot of pricey red feldspar material sold as "natural" that was apparently actually treated low quality stones from an origin other than claimed. I think that is correct. Anyway...proof that there is a natural source for the material goes partway to redeeming the stone itself, if not the claimed sources for what was sold over the TV channel.

Hopefully someone will chime in with better information or sources.

Laura
 

minousbijoux

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You know what I love about you iLander? You get out there and ask all the questions so that I don't have to, and you do it in such an endearing way that you make us (at least me) laugh...PLEASE, nobody hurt ILander! :lol:
 

Lee Little

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Red Andesine was sold for years with reports from big labs claiming that it was untreated. Prices were quite high and millions of dollars passed hands. It was then discovered that much, not all, was heavily treated, however it is still not known how it is done. Also the stated origins were strongly questionable. Films and pictures of a trip to a mine looked fake and showed a 'mining' operation that could not come close to producing the amount that was on the market. True red comes from the United States and their prices were hurt by the scam. A settlement for consumers was made by one major dealer but mainly it favored the dealer, many people lost money.
There are some saying that the treatment fades, if that is so then it is not acceptable except at low prices. My wife has one in a ring for several years, a brilliant red that has stayed that way so far. Best regards, Lee
 

iLander

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minousbijoux|1288915231|2755361 said:
You know what I love about you iLander? You get out there and ask all the questions so that I don't have to, and you do it in such an endearing way that you make us (at least me) laugh...PLEASE, nobody hurt ILander! :lol:

:D That's me!

I have a tendency to say what everybody in the room is thinking, and for this my kids call me "Captain Obvious".

I will you use your post to point out to them that at least ONE person on the planet finds this habit endearing . . . :lol:
 

iLander

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Okay, so from what Lee says, the big issue is that the labs claimed it was untreated and people spent big money on these stones.

So. . . they spent big money buying from a TV channel? :shock: Really? I won't even buy a blender from TV . . .

Wow. . .

Big embarrassment to the labs, I'd say. How did they finally figure out it was fake?

Okay, so Richard Hughes has found a REAL mine with this stuff and it's naturally red but not of any quality.

Well, NOW I understand!

Cool mining trip to the middle of nowhere, very interesting!

Thank you for speaking S-L-O-W-L-Y to me.

(and not hurting me . . . ) :D
 

colorluvr

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Lee Little|1288926480|2755511 said:
There are some saying that the treatment fades, if that is so then it is not acceptable except at low prices. My wife has one in a ring for several years, a brilliant red that has stayed that way so far. Best regards, Lee
I bought two of these stones a couple of years ago (when I first started buying stones and knew NOTHING except that they were pretty :errrr: :(sad ), and I didn't pay a lot, BUT, I was definitely told they were untreated and from Tibet.

Since that time I have discovered that several stones I bought from this seller were either fakes or misrepresented. He sells on overstock as gemoperator55 and ebay as "24241953". When I finally had a few of his gems checked out, I called him on the ones that I found out were fake or misrepresented, and he refunded my money on a couple of the gems, but not on the andesine because he said he was duped also (I don't believe anything he says, but this could be true) and that I had waited too long to contact him..... I suspect a few others I bought from him are fake also, but it's not worth it to me to even find out right now. Are mine treated - probably ;(

BUT, they are really pretty and a most gorgeous color of red. I was going to set at least one of them, but since finding out they were probably treated, they just sit in my box of "oops" stones. My guess is the seller bought them off of JTV and resold them on ebay.

I've also read the "naysayer" articles re: this most recent article of Richard's. I'm anxiously awaiting to see how this plays out.
 

Lovinggems

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iLander|1288963168|2755700 said:
Okay, so from what Lee says, the big issue is that the labs claimed it was untreated and people spent big money on these stones.

So. . . they spent big money buying from a TV channel? :shock: Really? I won't even buy a blender from TV . . .

Wow. . .

Big embarrassment to the labs, I'd say. How did they finally figure out it was fake?

Okay, so Richard Hughes has found a REAL mine with this stuff and it's naturally red but not of any quality.

Well, NOW I understand!

Cool mining trip to the middle of nowhere, very interesting!

Thank you for speaking S-L-O-W-L-Y to me.

(and not hurting me . . . ) :D
You're too cute iLander, your explanation sounds plausible, the underlying message of the article was too subtle for me to understand!
 

PrecisionGem

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I went back and read the article again, and I'm not seeing where any actual mine was found. Looks like all that was found were some brownish red pieces of feldspar on are near the surface. None of them looked to be anything that could be faceted into a gemstone. Feldspar is the most common mineral on earth, 60% of the crust of the earth is made up of feldspar. I really don't think this proved the existence of a mine in Tibet that produced thousands and thousands of faceted stones sold by TV gem dealers.
 

Lee Little

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Excellent point Gene. I didn't see any mine either. No holes, no dug areas but they have been mining for years??

Robert James of the ISG was the big whistle blower on the treatment of Andesine and has been in a fight about it for years now. He has just sent out an editorial review of Dick Hughes trip to Tibet and makes some strong points that throw more questions about this 'mine'.
He states that all the members of the expedition will have personal and professional gain should this report convince people that such a mine really exist.
One that made me laugh was he indicated that the same nearly new pick axe was used by all, even the local, in the photos.
Looks like it ain't over yet!! Best regards, Lee
 

Largosmom

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Wow, such drama in the gem world. Fascinating.
 

Lee Little

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iLander|1288963168|2755700 said:
Okay, so from what Lee says, the big issue is that the labs claimed it was untreated and people spent big money on these stones.

So. . . they spent big money buying from a TV channel? :shock: Really? I won't even buy a blender from TV . . .

Wow. . .

Big embarrassment to the labs, I'd say. How did they finally figure out it was fake?

Okay, so Richard Hughes has found a REAL mine with this stuff and it's naturally red but not of any quality.

Well, NOW I understand!

Cool mining trip to the middle of nowhere, very interesting!

Thank you for speaking S-L-O-W-L-Y to me.

(and not hurting me . . . ) :D
Hi iLander,
A number of people suspected it was treated for years then Robert James of the International School of Gemology did some test and concluded that it was indeed treated then loudly announced it to the gemology community. Really stirred things up.
The labs are indeed embarrassed. I understand from Robert James reviews that Richard Hughes has his signature on some of those lab reports.
Also from what I got from Robert's review is that the Japanese on the trip are big Andesine dealers in their country. Hmmmmmm.
 

iLander

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Okay, now you all are just MESSING with me :confused:

So, he HASN'T found a mine? :?:

He's found some rocks?

And back to the original scandal, did the GIA say it was untreated too? :shock:
 

Largosmom

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I think that the primary point of the article isn't that they found a mine (were unable to gain access to a/the mine), but that they found , the presence of the natural red feldspar andesine in the immediate vacinity of the claimed mine. (apparently easily found not counting the physical effort) If you look at the slide show, you will see numerous photos. It's unclear to me whether the andesine found is gem quality...I know nothing about rough stones and what is a good quality for such. However if, indeed, the villagers have been finding the stones on the surface of the ground for at least several decades, it seems to me to support at least that there *may* be a natural red andesine mine nearby. The photo slideshow shows them purchasing stones out of what seem to be fairly large bags, from more than one villager.

The published scientific papers of the geologist, if properly peer reviewed, should shed additional light on the locality and proof of the article. As many have said, this isn't proof of a mine, but if the evidence provided stands review, it at least proves that the stones exist in the area (not their quality). Perhaps another independent visit will provide additional evidence, if the locations are correct.

I am not taking sides...It seems each person will determine their belief or not. If there had been pictures of mining operations other than people picking up stones in their habitat, would that be better proof, or would there be accusations of staging or "seeding" of the stones? It seems a lot more controversy remains to be sorted out.

edited to add...I don't recall if they said that the stones had been tested by labs yet...there were some photos and a conversation with one expert. I will have to go back and read it again. Perhaps the papers that are being written will include that sort of evidence, with the amount of controversy..I would imagine that several labs will be used to examine the stones. There are certainly enough samples for them to send to several experts.
 

Lee Little

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Now I don't know what to think. Somebody is messing with a lot of us!
I just read a scientific report dated Sept 21 2010 by a laboratory in Switzerland with four authors including Adolf Peretti that strongly indicates that this whole Tibetan Andesine mine could be an elaborate hoax. Lots of scientific wording, even the conclusion is a bit hard to follow. It is at this link http://www.springerlink.com/content/...0/fulltext.pdf
In a nutshell I think it said that the Mongolian mine material was proven to be diffused and the Tibetan material appears scientifically to come from the same origin even though they are supposedly from locations 2000 miles apart. Best regards, Lee
 

Largosmom

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LeeLittle, could you repaste the link? I don't know why they are sometimes shortened in pricescope, but if you use the "URL" tag it may work better.

Under the original article and link pasted at the top of this thread, there are links to two reports from GIA and GIT on the find/trip. They go into a bit more information on the mining techniques and the geology of the area, not into the testing, though one discusses how the treatments are done on the treated "red andesine". There is a third report in Chinese if there are any here who can read it.

Again, not taking sides, just trying to read and understand what is there. Lee, I assume you are a bit closer to the problem as a trades person, so I surely understand your concerns with the validity of the information, particularly if you have been mislead in the past. I'd bring a large dose of skepticism as well if I were in those shoes.

Laura
 

Lee Little

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Hi Laura,
Here is a link that hopefully works http://www.springerlink.com/content/w776146485672070/fulltext.pdf
Fortunately I have very little invested in Andesine as I just had a funny feeling about it and ignored all the hype for years when it was selling well. I finally bought one pair and that was JUST before the big news of the treatment hit the fan. Others certainly are heavily invested in many ways so I am still not taking sides either and sure would not buy any more until this all shakes out. My biggest problem in all this is that I have friends on both sides. It should never have become personal as this is simply about science and as consumers we just want to know the truth about the stone and really do not care who is right or wrong. Best regards, Lee
 

Largosmom

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Thank you Lee, interesting paper. I work as an engineer, so am a tiny bit familiar with the process of publishing papers..and read quite a lot. of them. The addendum at the end of this paper was added after the initial version was published (note two publishing dates). It appears to note that the material used was not from the trip that Richard Hughes was on--if the "scientists" mentioned are indeed the group that Mr Hughes was part of.

The paper starts with a literature rehash of existing published research on the red andesine then goes into a technical analysis of samples of red feldspar from several known and unknown locations. If I read the conclusions correctly, the "unknown" tibetan materials compared similarly in terms of their chemical and mineralogical makeup with material from Mongolia. Additionally, it is similar to samples of feldspar known to be treated to achieve their color. The story at the end about the visit to the presumed faked mine was very interesting.

It will be interesting to see if some of the samples from the 2010 visit to Tibet are put through the same battery of tests and what the results will be.

Thanks for posting the link...they should make a movie out of this!

Laura
 

colorluvr

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colorluvr|1288975738|2755927 said:
Lee Little|1288926480|2755511 said:
There are some saying that the treatment fades, if that is so then it is not acceptable except at low prices. My wife has one in a ring for several years, a brilliant red that has stayed that way so far. Best regards, Lee
I bought two of these stones a couple of years ago (when I first started buying stones and knew NOTHING except that they were pretty :errrr: :(sad ), and I didn't pay a lot, BUT, I was definitely told they were untreated and from Tibet.

Are mine treated - probably ;(

BUT, they are really pretty and a most gorgeous color of red. I was going to set at least one of them, but since finding out they were probably treated, they just sit in my box of "oops" stones. My guess is the seller bought them off of JTV and resold them on ebay.

I've also read the "naysayer" articles re: this most recent article of Richard's. I'm anxiously awaiting to see how this plays out.
As one of the PSer's who sometimes promises photos, but doesn't come through (not because I don't want to, but because I can't seem to get many that don't look yellowish) I thought I'd share a few pictures that I took when I first bought my two stones to show some IRLs to those who haven't seen these stones.

The cushion is 11 x 9 and the pear is 11 x 8

Andesine (1).jpg

Andesine (6).jpg

Andesine (8).jpg

Andesine (17).jpg
 
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