Calling gemstone experts! re: John Hardy's new Batu Kali collection

  1. I was at Neimans today and saw the new Batu Kali bracelets from John Hardy. They come in your choice of three completely unnatural gemstones: dark blue topaz, dark green topaz and bright / dark pink topaz. :wacko:

    So....I :love: the green! It's a stunner! Really amazing. It's like the perfect emerald WOULD look...only....uh...HOW did they get that color? My gemstone guide "Colored Gemstones" by Antoinette Matlins notes that green topaz comes into this world either by nuclear irradiation (in a commerical nuclear reactor) - and is not stable over time - or is surface treated - the green sits only on the surface of the stone. But, it is stable, it's just not really a green stone. It's an optical illusion. Choices, choices...

    The blue topaz is almost certainly irradiated in a nuclear reactor while the pink is probably just heated - and is color stable.

    Whew! Does that sound right to anyone else? Of course the NM jewelry girl had no idea about any of this. I didn't even bother because when I asked if the stones were natural (which of course they COULDN'T be) she said she 'thought so'. Ugh. :hrmm:

    I emailed a question to John Hardy Customer Service thru their website and we'll see how technical they can/will get. I'll post the answer here if it's interesting.

    Despite my concerns I should add that I LOVE that green bracelet...if you had SEEN it. :love: I'm buying it as long as I can get SOME assurance that it's color stable and not radioactive.

    Sorry for the long post! Please let me know if you have any info / opinions!

  2. And sorry, there are no photos available yet on NM or It's that new. :biggrin:

    ...I've always wondered if I was the only one who ever thought about processed versus natural gemstones. Maybe I am? :shame:
  3. No, you aren't the only one! I always look for information about stones! I make jewellery, but I have always been a rock hound!

    Most stones we see now have been treated in some way--especially coloured stones. I think you are wise to find out what the origin of the stone/s you are considering purchasing is.

    I'm interested in what you find out! Try doing an online search for green topaz--I think I will too!
  4. Okay, I found a page with some interesting information:

    Gemological Properties-Topaz is a mineral species from the orthorhombic crystal system. The chemical composition is Al2(F,OH)2SiO4. Topaz occurs in the colors yellow, orange, brown, pink to red to purple-red, light to dark blue, light green, and colorless. It is a transparent gemstone which you usually see faceted. The refractive index is 1.619-1.627 and the specific gravity is 3.53. Many of the faceted gemstones you see on the market are enhanced through heat or irradiation. This improves the color and appearance of each stone, thus commanding a higher price per carat. This stone is fairly hard being a 8 on the Moe’s Scale of Hardness. Topaz is fairly abundant; the main producers are Brazil, Nigeria, and Burma.

  5. A lot of the "unnatural" looking colors of most gems are treated by heat or dye nowaways. I haven't found much on whether these treatments are stable or not... Please share what you learn! I'm very curious.
  6. I'll post when I get the answers. I'm afraid it'll be more of 'I don't knows' though. We'll see. They *should* know.

    Yeah, I've looked all over the web and basically I've found what I posted...that green topaz is extremely rare to find naturally. If it's in mass market jewelry, it was a color obtained thru treatment. I have no problem with that but it's really important to know which treatment. Some treatments don't provide long term color stability - i.e. you aren't supposed to wear your jewelry in direct sunlight over long periods of time.

    I just don't want to deal with that. So an irradiated green topaz (which will fade over time) isn't acceptable to me, but a surface diffused green topaz, complete with zoning and the idea that it's only green on top (!) - is acceptable to me since it's color is stable. I'm not picky - lol. If it LOOKS green, it IS green as far as I'm concerned. Now, I realize I'm not buying an investment grade gemstone and that the bracelet has no value as a gemstone bracelet. Got it! I want it anyway - it was that awesome.

    I'll let you know what I hear...
  7. Post a pic when you can.

    I also can't stand when I ask questions and the associates cannot answer me at all. I don't like to think I know more than they do and that is their job. I am sure they will mail you back what you need to know.

    Keep us posted.
  8. In one of my jewelry supply catalogs, they offer a variety of colored topaz.

    The rainbow, peacock and autumn topaz are coated. They say to wash w/warm, soapy water, avoid harsh detergents, never ultrasonically clean and never steam clean.

    The green topaz says it has a permanent and stable color treatment. It can be cleaned w/steam or ultrasonic cleaner.

    The anastasia and blush topaz don't say how they are colored, but say never ultrasonic or steam clean.

    The blue and london blue topaz are irradiated and heat treated, and say to wash w/warm, soapy water, avoid harsh detergents, never ultrasonically clean and never steam clean.

    Golden and white topaz are natural colors, but still say to wash w/warm, soapy water, avoid harsh detergents, never ultrasonically clean and never steam clean.

    The catalog doesn't say anything specific about the irradiation process.

    Hope this helps!:biggrin:
  9. Sorry I have absolutely nothing to contribute :biggrin: , but was summoned to this thread by the title. It's interesting to me because "Batu Kali" means River Stone in indonesian. But summertime, your description of it sounds BEAUTIFUL!
  10. hi summertime!

    what did you mean by unnatural gemstones? from what i know gemstones can be natural, lab-created or simulated.

    its true that most gemstones are treated to enhance color and/or clarity. some are not permanent and you lose color over time.

    i think kunzite is called night stone because it loses its color if put under the sun for a long period of time.

    note however that im not an expert on this matter. i just come accross these info either from reading magazines and watching too much tv.
  11. Well, I still haven't heard anything from John Hardy. Geez. It was a very polite question. Good grief.

    I'm encouraged by the poster who listed the watch-outs. Makes me think maybe green topaz isn't irradiated. Irradiated stones are vulnerable to fading and instability.

    I still can't find it online. It might be a Fall 2006 launch because it's nowhere on the John Hardy site yet. I'll keep looking and post if I ever find an answer.

    Thanks for your replies.
  12. Okay. I (finally) got a response today from Lloyd the Director of Merchandising. I was going to cut and paste it in here, but somehow that doesn't work? :hrmm:

    Anyway, he said that all the 'mystic' topaz colors (pink, blue and green) are treated by thin film deposition. (Basically they chemically deposit a layer of material that reflects whatever color of light they want.) It's permanent and light stable BUT a heavy surface scratch will remove the deposit. (In other words scratches are fatal - they can't be buffed out because the color is only deposited on the surface.)

    So, no irradiation, no heat, no unstable colors. I want one! As soon as I get myself to Neimans again.