Naming of Gemstones




How Gemstones are named?

Correct names applied to stones, as well as a knowledge of the properties and characteristics that constitute the factors affecting their value is of great importance to every person who wishes to protect both himself and his customers. A clear understanding of the above mentioned table will furnish a basis for eliminating many incorrect and deceptive terms in selling in 1931, it adopted a standard mineralogical classification as the basis for determining whether or not certain names of stones were correct in selling. As a result, in many countries, it is an unfair trade practice to represent, for example, red spinel as "ruby" or topaz quartz (citrine) as "topaz".

Who name the gemstones?

Some members of the jewelry industry have gone even further and consider the use of certain other descriptive trade terms as incorrect or deceptive. These terms, which involve names of localities, are used for describing traditional grades of gems. For example, Kashmir sapphire for a certain color of sapphire that mayor may not have come from Kashmir. Wessleton diamond for a certain color grade of diamond that mayor may not have come from the Wessleton mine, and oriental ruby or emerald for a ruby or emerald that mayor may not have come from the Orient. Actually, since such terms are used to describe a grade or quality that originally predominated in these localities and it has become a common trade practice to apply them to all stones of similar quality, their use in this respect is not unethical regardless of locality.

The exact location in which a gem was found usually makes no difference to the retail buyer, and in the absence of a better color grade classification, these terms are valuable in the trade. No rulings against their use have yet been made, either by the Federal Trade Commission or by gemologists. On occasion, however, they do lead to some rather strange circumstances. For example, if a ruby actually comes from Burma but does "not have the" color considered to be included in the trade grade known as Burma ruby, the tendency for a colored stone man who authenticates the Burma source of the stone is to charge more for it than for a similar color from another locality. On the other hand, a trained buyer will recognize the true grade of the stone and will buy on the basis of color and quality. Therefore, if these locality terms are used for trade grades, they should be applied only one the basis of quality and not on the basis of origin. In general, the trade-grade terms for colored stones do not lead to the type of unfair competition and misrepresentation that is so common with the trade grades applied to diamonds. For example, the references to blue white and perfect frequently are grossly misrepresented. This does tend to deceive the public and to result in a loss of confidence.

The established firm operated by honest individuals and assumed by the community to be reliable, but that is inaccurate in its use of names and qualities, has been just as responsible for the loss of confidence by the public as the occasional unscrupulous jeweler. The public expects and deserves reliable information from such an established firm. Finding the statements of two old and reliable companies to conflict, which is often the case, one of the firms is obviously incorrect, and the public either hesitates to buy from either store or decides to accept as reliable the statements and merchandise of the merchant claiming lower prices. Under such conditions the public cannot be blamed for buying what is represented as the less expensive article. Correct names will not decrease the sale of gems. The use of such terms as "spinal ruby “ cheats both species the public gets the impression that rubies ate less valuable than they really are and is educated to undervalue and under appreciate a ruby. When a person to whom such a stone has been represented discovers that spinel is a different species, he feels that it has little merit or it would not have been disguised as a ruby. Many of these terms were passed down through the jewelry trade from biblical or pre biblical times, when knowledge of natural science was limited and almost the only classification of gems was based on color. In those days all blue stones were known as sapphire, purple stones as amethyst, and yellow stones as topaz. Today there is a definite classification of gemstones and the use of such terms is no longer excusable.