forget the day I was standing in my local bead shop buying my
favorite big nuggets of African Turquoise. They were beautiful, and
inexpensive, and I had already sold them several times in necklace
form on Ebay thinking that they were turquoise from Africa. While I
was perusing the strands I heard someone say; "&ldots;of course
African turquoise is not actually turquoise"
I said, turning towards them.
looked at me like I was an idiot. Like everyone was supposed to know this.
would they know?
If you're in
the jewelry making business - or even if you make jewelry as a hobby
- you will rapidly come to know that certain commonly known
"trade names" given to minerals are very misleading. But,
if you ask me, there is something wrong with buying African Turquoise
only to find out that it is not turquoise at all.
Why not call a spade a spade? We don't call Cubic Zirconium
"African Diamonds" for a reason!
Well, just in
case you're still in the dark, here are a few examples. (I'm sure
there are more):
Turquoise is not turquoise - it is a sort of chalcedony often dyed to
have the color of turquoise.
Jade" is not actually jade it is a type of garnet that
resembles jade in color and texture.
Jade" and "Olive jade" are actually serpentine.
turquoise is not turquoise at all but Flower Jasper.
Quartz is not quartz at all - it is glass. (In fact most
"fruit" quartzes are not quartz but colored glass.)
permeate the jewelry business so completely that we forget that
people would not know this. But, I repeat, how would they know when
no one tells them?
I did a search
on ebay for "African Turquoise Necklace". I looked at the
first 20 auctions that came up and saw wording such as "Genuine
African Turquoise", "Rare African Yellow Turquoise",
...I even saw "AAA African Turquoise" (what is that?!). And
several described the pieces as "turquoise" without using
the word "African" (I have to wonder if they know themselves&ldots;).
say none of the sellers saw fit to mention that African turquoise is
not turquoise at all.
So, here's the question:
unconscionable to simply list an item as "Cherry Quartz"
without explaining that Cherry Quartz is just glass?
Sndgems uses quotations around the word 'quartz' or 'turquoise' when
it may be misleading. Is that enough?
I know it is
hard to think of sticking one's neck out when no one else does, but,
in my opinion, if you market your goods to anyone less than a
gemologist, you should explain yourself. Even if these are common
trade names, they are misleading to the average person. After all, if
I buy a wood table and it's called "Amazon Mahogany", I
don't want to find out later that Amazon Mahogany is just a trade
name for pine.