AMETHYST TESTING TAKES STEP FORWARD The Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences in Bangkok, Thailand, says it has developed a technique to separate mass quantities of synthetic amethyst from natural counterparts. “This new service is designed specifically to ensure that parcels of amethyst being exported in volume from Thailand are what they are stated to be – either natural or synthetic,” says AIGS Director Ken Scarratt. “Parcels can be sealed for export if requested.” AIGS developed the technique after an increasing number of synthetics were found to be mixed into natural amethyst parcels, negatively affecting the market for naturals (see JCK, September 1996, p. 84). The inability to “mass-test” volume parcels at a feasible cost caused prices to fall, which in turn caused some dealers to abandon amethyst or simply go out of business. AIGS will not disclose its det

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