Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Red 2008 Beijing Olympic Andesine Story

NOTE: This is a reprint of the report, without photographs, of the 2008 Beijing Red Andesine sold by DSN. The full story on the Red Andesine can be found in Colored Stone Magazine or on
One more report on this gemstone from the ISG based on many consumer's requests......

We are posting this up due to multiple consumer requests. So before anyone writes me to tell me how tired you are of reading about andesine, just know that this is due to a lot of folks asking us to specifically deal with the Direct Shopping Network's™ representations of their 2008 Beijing Olympics Andesine. At issue now is a reported episode last night where the owner of Direct Shopping Network came on camera with an unnamed PhD who declared that the DSN andesine was totally different from the Mexican yellow feldspar that has been demonstrated as the source for the bulk diffused material sold by Jewelry Television and others. And DSN is reported to continue their claim that their andesine is all natural and untreated in any way.

Well, we just happen to have four (4) of the Direct Shopping Channel’s 2008 Beijing Olympic Andesine here in the ISG office. So I thought I would post up some quick images simply to demonstrate the facts. We have obtained these stones either from buying them direct from DSN, or having our students and supporters send them in. And we have DSN 2008 Beijing Olympic Andesines with certificate numbers 1450, 1482, 2086, and 2089.

Since by now everyone who reads our newsletter has a pretty good understanding of the andesine properties, I will simply run through these four stones and demonstrate how they are, in fact, exactly as all of the other bulk diffusion treated andesines that we have inspected to date.

2008 Beijing Olympic Andesine #1450 -- This is an 8x6mm red andesine that shows the laser inscribed 2008 Beijing Olympic logo as licensed to Direct Shopping Channel by the US Olympic Committee. The weight is listed as "1.20 - 1.40 ct" which is actually a deceptive method of weighing a gemstone according to the US Federal Trade Commission. But assuming that DSN either does not own a very good carat scale, or they just don't want to take the time to really give proper carat weights, we move directly to the images of this particular gemstone.

OK, pop quiz time. What are these? Lamella ribbons that look just like every other formation of this type in every other bulk diffusion treated andesine that we have seen to date. These have been seen exactly in this form and format from bulk diffused andesine from just about every seller's andesine that we have tested. And as we move through these four we will see this again. No surprise. And I hate to be redundant, but again, we have seen this same picture on andesine after andesine as the diffused color concentrates along the boundaries of these lamella ribbons. We could line up 50 images like this from other andesine from other sellers of the bulk diffused material. And they all show this same feature time and time and time again. But these are all the official Beijing 2008 Olympic Andesine sold by Direct Shopping Channel. By now I believe you all can decide for yourself whether are not these images look like the myriad of others we have posted up on this subject.

2008 Beijing Olympic Andesine #1482

2008 Beijing Olympic Andesine #2086

2008 Beijing Olympic Andesine #2089

OK, just one comment on #2089. The color diffusion was so thin that when they lasered the Olympic logo into the stone it cut completely through the diffusion color layer. And the logo is actually clear on the top and bottom of the stone due to the very thin diffused color layer being totally penetrated by the laser.

And finally, that famous Raman scan of the Mexican yellow feldspar and the Direct Shopping Channel's Beijing 2008 Olympic Andesine. Bottom line is that the 2008 Beijing Olympic Andesines that we have from the Direct Shopping Network are exactly the same as all of the other andesine sold by the sellers of this bulk diffusion treated gemstone, and DSN is selling it without proper disclosure as required by the US Federal Trade Commission.

If Direct Shopping Network’s scientist or staff would like to submit additional stones to us for testing we welcome them to send them in. And if Direct Shopping Network’s scientist or staff would like to visit the ISG office and get a first hand look at our collection and evidence on this, we welcome that also.

But in spite of their claims otherwise, the andesine being sold by Direct Shopping Network exactly matches all of the others we have tested that were, in fact, bulk diffused to enhance the color. And if DSN wishes to continue to claim that their material is natural and untreated, we have just two questions: Where is the rough andesine that you are selling? Where is the mine?

With this we are complete with our report on andesine. However, we have found that the bulk diffusion of copper into gemstones is not limited to andesine. Next we move to an investigation of the bulk diffusion of copper into Mozambique “ Paraiba ” Tourmaline. Should be interesting.

Robert James FGA, GGPresident, International School of Gemology

©2008 International School of Gemology .

We do urge and support sharing of this information in its entirety, with copyright notices intact, to others who are interested in the study of gemology. Jeweler’s Associations are welcome to distribute to your members.