A lot of customers ask how we know our beads are natural stone and the simple answer is, we test them.
Callum a partner in the business, has completed university level units in science, specifically geology, chemistry and biology. The tests are performed on all our natural beads in house, this keeps the costs associated with the testing to a minimum, guaranteeing you get the best quality natural stones without the huge price tag that's usually associated with tested stones.
Callum's process is quite simple once its explained.
Firstly the beads are examined under natural light for obvious signs of dying.
Next a few beads are removed from the batch and tested for dyes by crushing the stones and breaking them down chemically. If there has been any artificial colours added during the manufacture process, it is removed from the stone in this process and visibly forms in the beaker. The stone will also change back to its original colour.
Callum's third step is to examine the stones for cleavage and fracture patterns. These are different for different types of stones and minerals. The cleavage and fracture patterns are both examined under a microscope. It is at this step that we can tell if a bead is manufactured from a single piece of stone, or if it is formed by gluing together the stone chips and/or dust left over from the manufacturing process of other beads.
Our beads are also tested for their hardness and refractive index. Each different type of stone has its own measures for hardness on the Moh's scale of hardness, and by testing for these, we can tell if jasper is indeed jasper and sapphire is actually sapphire. We also test each batch using a refractometer, as shown below.
Once testing is complete for each batch of stone, a certificate is written up for the batch (as shown below). Copies of these certificates can be requested from us via the Contact Us page for a small administrative fee. You can also book a free appointment below if you have any questions, or would like to order Gemstone Certificates. The meetings below require Zoom.
Our range of cut gemstones, which are coming soon to our online store, are tested by a third party gemstone tester and jeweller in Wagga Wagga NSW. These stones come with a certificate of authenticity and a valuation.