Irradiated Mail

Irradiation of mail—and possibly gemstones going through the mail—is still an issue. (See “Mail Sterilization ‘Enhances’ Gems,” JCK, February 2002, p. 40.) A member of JCK‘s retail panel—a jeweler in the Washington, D.C., area—was unable to receive mail for some time, and a survey letter sent to him was returned to our office. We were taken aback at the condition of the envelope: Irradiation had dramatically changed its color, as shown in the photo at left.

For more information on irradiation of mail and how it affects gemstones, visit JCK‘s Web site at and read the article titled “GIA: U.S. Postal Service irradiation process may affect some gemstones.” (Note: Panelist’s name blacked out to preserve anonymity.)