|Ebay Seller with FAKE gemstones--from India|
After a little internet searching, I've discovered that a number of articles have been written since 2009 regarding the use of the mineral Sillimanite in jewelry, that has been dyed and sold as emeralds, rubies and sapphires. Testing was done on these stones to reveal this fraud. Per gemologyproject.com:
It would seem now that the vast MAJORITY of so-called "emeralds", "rubies" and "sapphires" from India are in fact dyed Sillimanite. The big giveaway is that these stones are highly fibrous, and opaque, as you can see in the "ruby" above.
"Fibrous sillimanite is very often dyed to imitate various "precious" gemstones like ruby, emerald and others. This type of sillimanite has a massive fibrous like appearance under magnification and show color concentrations...Such dyed sillimanite is now very often encountered in India."
A fibrous sillimanite dyed red simulating a ruby.
|Dyed "Sapphire" Sillimanite|
Interestingly, per The Gemology Project, in Sillimanite, Chatoyancy (cat's eye effect) is common in Sri Lankan blue-green stones and can have six-pointed stars which can imitate star sapphires, as seen in the photo, below right.
|Chatoyant sillimanite cabochons|
WHAT IS SILLIMANITE?
|Blue Kyanite Crystal|
It is a mineral also known as "fibrolite" and is named after Benjamin Silliman (1779-1864). It is a member of the aluminosilicate series, which also includes Andalusite and Kyanite!
Mohs hardness of 6 to 7.5.
|60x Magnification showing Sillimanite Fibers|
If you encounter gems from India that look like the pictures here, and are described as precious emeralds, rubies or sapphires, and are very affordable, be very wary. NEVER buy any "gemstones" from ebay, particularly from seller Gems-India who fraudulently state these stones are precious gemstones AND provide phony documentation. The marketplace is FLOODED with misleading gemstones, and downright fraudulent misrepresentations, so as always, BUYER BEWARE!!
And now we all know!