an editorial from Robert James and the International School of Gemology......3.August.2011.....
|The Andesine Poop Bucket|
ISG Rebuttal to Andesine: Timeline of a Controversy by Richard W. Hughes
In reading Andesine: Timeline of a Controversy by Richard W. Hughes I am reminded of that guy walking across that field.
What is most amazing about this reported "timeline" is that the author has specifically left out his own personal timeline in this mess. Consider these simple points:
While this time line may certainly contain mere coincidences, it is still an issue that at each important time line event that supported this Tibet andesine as authentic, Richard W. Hughes just happened to be an integral part of the effort touting Tibet andesine to be all natural.
Li Tong's Important Time Line Events Also Left Out
Perhaps the most important set of personal events left out of this time line are those of Li Tong. You will remember that Li Tong (or Tong Li depending on where you are) is the guy who claimed to own this Tibet andesine mine, or actually now it is "mines". He is the mine owner who was on the Hughes/Laurs/Abduriyim expedition. Forget that the National Gem Testing Center in China visited his mines and debunked his claims. And forget that Dr. Peretti has actual video footage of Li Tong and his crew salting their mine. (I have personally viewed this video) Let's instead just see what Li Tong has been up to in the time since the Laurs/Hughes/Abduriyim expedition....
He is selling andesine. Sort of. When the whole question of an Inner Mongolian gem quality yellow andesine mine surfaced, I joined two Chinese marketing organizations and put out a call for any gem quality yellow plagioclase feldspar crystals that anyone could supply. I got offers for plenty of kaolin used for ceramics, but not one offer....from anywhere in China....for a single piece of yellow, gem quality andesine from Inner Mongolia or anywhere else. What I did get offered is below....an offer to buy up to 8 kilograms (17.6 pounds) of (you guessed it) Tibet andesine from the online store of Li Tong. Here is a clip from my purchase page of 3 March 2011. You could actually purchase up to 8 kilos (over 17 pounds) of "rare" Tibet andesine in a variety of sizes and colors. It did not end there....
In case your eyes are getting like mine, here is a clip and blowup size of the price ranges offered along with the kilo size quantities available:
I actually did purchase Tibet andesine jewelry from Li Tong's online store in China. A couple of the page views are below. Notice that you can buy up to 100 of these items in matching designs, and at very cheap prices.
As you will hopefully note, I actually spent several hundred dollars with Li Tong buying his products. These can be seen above and in the banner of this page. I was guaranteed a 5 day processing on my order. But strangely enough....shortly after placing my order I was informed that the inventory was all dried up......just like the old poop can. Order cancelled, money returned, and store was closed. Why? If Richard W. Hughes' expedition with Li Tong did indeed visit a real Tibet andesine mine, why did Li Tong close up shop as soon as we tried to buy from him? I have yet to have an Oregon Sunstone miner close their store when I purchased Oregon Sunstone from them. What is Li Tong hiding?
The Most Important Point Omitted
There is one more critical time line point that Mr. Hughes failed to discuss, and that is how all of this will end. The window of opportunity for everyone to withdraw gracefully from this matter has long closed. Since the Chinese have now had over 6 years to work on this, and that time has been gleefully granted by the US jewelry industry under the GIA and AGTA, it will be of no surprise if some new miracle has occurred that will be reported. After all, we got a Magic Bush from the GIA, why not some new epiphany of Tibet andesine like they always seem to find in times like these in order to protect themselves? But indeed, when this bucket of andesine poop finally spills out on the floor it will most likely result with poop on everyone in some form or another. A bucket this big does not empty without hitting a lot of people.
The Infinite Damage
Regardless of who gets the last stir of this bucket, the lasting and infinite damage to all this will be in loss of consumer confidence in this industry. What an absolutely absurd fiasco this has been, for everyone! The loss of consumer confidence has been well documented in this office and the ire of consumers toward our industry will not be soon calmed.
All of us...Donna Baker, Bill Larson, Doug Hucker, Richard W. Hughes, Robert James, Dr. Lore Kiefert, and a myriad of others....all of us could have done this better. All of us should have done this better for consumers, if not for ourselves.
Its time to stop trying to see just how long we can stir stink out of this andesine poop bucket. Its time to walk on through the field and see if we can catch up with our consumers.
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