Whirled Planet logo Wholesale Jewelry, Textiles, Lamps and More! Whirled Planet contact info

Wholesale Jewelry: Home

Wholesale Silver Jewelry:
New Wholesale Silver Jewelry
Wholesale Silver Jewelry: Necklaces
Wholesale Silver Jewelry: Bracelets
Wholesale Silver Jewelry: Earrings
Wholesale Silver Jewelry: Rings
WholesaleSilver Jewelry: Charms
Wholesale Silver Jewelry: Assortments
Wholesale Silver Jewelry: Pendants

Wholesale Accents:
Wholesale Home Decor
Wholesale Star Lamps
Wholesale Asian Lanterns

About Us

Wholesale Silver Jewelry Links
Wholesale Silver Jewelry Birthstones
Flavors of India

Wholesale Jewelry Information

The Nitty Gritty of Stone Enhancement
I sometimes have customers ask for stones that haven't been "treated." With trends like simplifying your life, feng shui, and "going organic" gaining mainstream approval, it's no wonder this concept would find a place in the jewelry world. The idea that something comes straight out of the ground and into a ring has a certain pristine appeal.

But after years of dealing with jewelry and gems from all over the world, I have discovered that there is no such thing as an unaltered gemstone. I can already hear cries of "foul" coming to me through the ether, so let me explain why I believe this and why I think this actually a good thing.

For the sake of this discussion, we are referring to what is commonly called "commercial grade" gemstones: semiprecious stones that are moderately priced and used in large quantities. Rainbow moonstone, labradorite, all the agates (like onyx, chalcedony, carnelian, etc.), jasper, jade, peridot, citrine, garnet, amethyst, iolite, lapis, quartz, some topaz and a handful of other stones that we carry are all used by the jewelry trade in vast quantities.

Unless that stone in your ring still has the dirt on it from the mine, has not been polished, tumbled or cabbed, it has been enhanced. For thousands of years, man has made gemstones more attractive by carving, drilling, cutting and setting them in jewelry. Just polishing a stone is a form of enhancement. Gemstone enhancement is in fact what we have come to expect.

Like any technology, the procurement and processing of gemstones has undergone change over time. Mining techniques have improved to increase productivity and quality. Likewise, techniques used to improve the appearance of gemstones have also become more sophisticated. Enhancing stones is nothing new, and enhancements are market driven. Most people wouldn't be happy with un-enhanced jewelry.

You may be thinking about a certain stone dealer or jewelry vendor you have bought from in the past that offers a promise or guarantee regarding his or her stones. Consider that the vast majority of the stones used in commercial jewelry making come from places like Brazil, China, India or Russia, where there is a huge economy of scale happening. There is no "provenance" as antique dealers call it. Police refer to it as a chain of custody. Whatever name you give it, there is no telling exactly what has happened to a particular piece of rock once it enters the vast confluence of the commercial gemstone system.

So there is no way to trace exactly what has happened to the stone between when it was plucked from earth to when it was set in jewelry. You can perform tests that will tell you if it is dyed or irradiated, but even then you can't be sure because many of the treatments are not 100% detectable.

Also, consider the price involved in most of these pieces: $2 to $20 for items on our wholesale site. If we dealt in diamonds and sapphires, we could possibly trace the path a particular stone took from mine to market, but not for the lesser priced stones. Tests for enhancement cost more than the stone itself!

What is the net result of enhancement? Nice looking stones that feed the demand for good quality, appealing jewelry at an affordable price. Technologies like heat treatment, irradiation, dying, etc., are not deceptions. They are not meant to trick an unsuspecting public into paying more for a lesser quality piece. Quite the opposite, treated stones are inexpensive but often look as nice as much more expensive specimens.

When asked if a stone has been treated, we say that all stones are treated in one way or another. Then we turn what is a potentially negative conversation into a positive one by giving information to the customer that reassures them, that is honest, and that ultimately makes them feel empowered because they feel more connected to the process.

Last month I talked about selling with a story, and this concept of enhanced stones is a perfect example of how you can use the power of information to make a sale. In the end, the consumer is looking for a good quality piece that is appealing to their personal taste and that fits their price range.

(This article written by Mike McGinnis and published originally on indiasilver.com. We encourage republication but stipulate the piece be copied in its entirety with links and attribution.)

Back to index

Request a CatalogAbout UsEmail

Updated 2/17/06
888/408-0072 or 808/822-2335
or 808/822-2535 fax
If something doesn't work right, please let us know.

We are a wholesale-only wholesale silver jewelry and wholesale gift site.

© 2006 Whirled Planet, Inc. All rights reserved.