If this is the promised land,
I've had all I can stand...
Hank Williams, Jr.
In a bit spit from 9 September 2012, the International School of Gemology's Robert James completed his trifecta with Microscopes, Part 3, neatly bookending the general misdirection and misinformation of Microscopes Parts 1 and 2 with... general misdirection and misinformation. Shall we have a look? Let's.
YourGemologist opens with a statement that few can argue with:
"Ninety percent of the quality of a microscope depends 100% on the quality of the gemologist using it. One can own the most expensive microscope on the market and fail to get accurate observations if the gemologist is not properly trained."
Precious, no? We couldn't make this up if we tried. Here's the Jack the Ripper of Gemmology Fraud, pausing after an epic spree of road rage, to lecture others on—get this—driving etiquette. From aquamarine to ruby, tourmaline and tsavorite, the headmaster of this "gemmology school" has conjured up one fake treatment after another, leaving in his wake a litter of smashed/trashed dreams. And this prattling pompous pinhead has the gall to lecture others from on high? Yet again, he leaves us simply gobsmacked.
But it gets better. In the most recent feast from the International School of Gemology, Robert James offers strident endorsement of the indefensible, namely that of his dixie cup immersion cell. Here is a brief quote:
"...you don’t need an expensive immersion cell to do quality gemology."
Many readers might just pass that statement by, but we believe it's worth a closer look, as it is typical of his disingenuity. Specifically, we refer to his notion that immersion cells are expensive.
A quick web search reveals that proper immersion cells with optically clear slide glass in the bottom will set gemologists back the princely sum of US$25–32 (here).
That comes to less than one piece of copper per day, amortized over a year. Yes, we are aware that many of this gemmology school's old geezers are coin-challenged, but still believe this minuscule expense is within the reach of anyone considering the purchase of a microscope that costs from many hundreds to thousands of dollars.
But let us assist with a wee little suggestion. Put a jar on the kitchen table and throw a coin in every day. Before you know it you'll be the proud owner of a genuine gemmological immersion cell and you can go back to lager in your dixie cup.
Never missing an opportunity to mislead, the International School of Gemology's Mickey Mouseketeer serves up yet another andesine deception. Witness this statement:
"The most profound point of all of this is that you can also use the Dixie cup immersion cell to do the same level of gemology that was done in the ISG office when we documented the Tibet andesine diffusion."
My, my, he still doesn't get it, does he? The level of gemmology coming out of this fraudulent "gemmology school" is nothing to brag about. Indeed, it is several notches below atrocious.
Seen here are two images that the International School of Gemology's Robert James used to illustrate the dixie cup immersion cell in Microscopes, Part 3:
At left we see the distortion from the plastic cup showing through the gem in question, making it impossible to see anything clearly. At right the International School of Gemology's headmaster claims color concentrations on facet junctions are proof of diffusion, when the effect he is seeing is due to the shape of the stone.
Here's an even better one from another International School of Gemology newsie, where the distortion from the grain pattern in the cup produces what looks like growth lines in the stone. And this coming from a gemmology school that bills itself as offerring the "world's finest distance education program"?
But the finest example of dixie cup duncery was when he started shooting tourmaline. Here one can see the embossed letters on the bottom of the cup masquerading as inclusions in the gem! We are no longer simply gobsmacked, but gobsmacked2.
What did other gemologists think of these crimes against microscopy? In response to YourGemologist's International School of Gemology April 2008 Answers on "Andesine-Labradorite" color source! newsletter, someone named "Gem Junkie" posted photos of green and red andesines purchased from JTV in 2005 on the GemologyOnline forum, along with the following comments:
"I did not see any color concentrations at all in the facet junctions. Not even a trace. Obviously the red stone has some strong zoning.
"Both gems looked like the pictures I've seen of sunstone rough: color on the INSIDE, but colorLESS on the outside.
"The black specs on the green stone [in my photos] are air bubbles.
"I don't know if these pictures will tell you guys anything...but have fun speculating.
(And for those who are interested, these stones were purchased from JTV in 2005.)"
Two other gemologists reported identical findings on their own andesine specimens on the same GemologyOnline thread. No color concentrations on facets, no smoking gun. The rest of the gemmological world was left scratching its collective head.
In the first paragraph of Microscopes, Part 3, YourGemologist makes the following statement:
"...the higher the quality of optics and available lighting the gemologist has the better the opportunity they have at getting the best observational results."
Thus we think it only fair to ask why? Why, with proper immersion cells being so inexpensive, does this dimwitted gemmology school headmaster continue to tout an inferior tool? We believe the answer is two-fold. First, he has an almost pathological aversion to admitting error.
The second is that his affected hayseed gemmology feeds into the prejudices of his followers. Lookee here, you don't need no fancy tools. You can do it with a dixie cup! You don't need field investigations and lab experimentalizin', you can just do it all with an eBay account and a little 'ol magnet. You don't need no hifalutin' GIA diploma, you just need my video lectures. Cha-ching.
Yes, you can do it with a dixie cup, but with good immersion cells costing so little, why would any decent gemmology school professor (let alone headmaster) consciously avoid a better tool? The images above show exactly why a dixie cup should be a tool of last resort, not first. If YourGemologist had reached for a proper immersion cell rather than a dixie cup with which to examine his busted-open andesine, the gem world might have been spared so much grief.
Human history is littered with examples of people who lack the ability of critical thinking, from those who refused to accept that the earth was round to the current crop of dunces who deny global warming.
Certainly many in the Catholic church knew the earth was not flat. Galileo was persecuted more for his manners than his words. Similarly, there are some in the global warming denial camp who know it is real. And yet they continue to fund studies whose only goal is obfuscation. Why? Because they think it is good for business—their business—and are not above misleading others to protect it.
We believe this is the modus operandei of the headmaster of this fraudulent "gemmology school". Like a televangelist gone bad, he is a simple manipulator, only too willing to exploit the gullible for his own ends. We saw this with his false claims on the 91.83-ct green sapphire and we continue to see it in this latest report. Sad to say, but that is the saddest type of human being we know.
I'm busted here with Dixie on my mind.
Hank Williams, Jr.
Robert James' eBay records show that this gemmology school's headmaster purchased some 150 items on eBay over the past year, including nearly 50 in May 2012 alone. However, since we went public with our information in late May of that year, the YourGemologist eBay account bought absolutely nothing for many weeks. His eBay account became active again on 21 August 2012, exactly 90 days (and the maximum length of time you can still see the original listings) after 23 May (the date of his last purchase). Like a bad penny that always rolls home, he's baaacckkk.
We are the Gobsmacked Gang, those who cannot believe the things that spring from the mouth of the International School of Gemology's Robert James, the Mr. Bean of the gemmological world. Please note that the Gobsmacked Gang has nothing to do with what appears to be yet another Robert James attack site FakeGemology.com, which is designed to hurt someone making an honest attempt at teaching gemmology. Once again, as is copiously detailed on our Files page, James reveals what an evil little spawn he is. We would pray for his soul, but there is no evidence he has one. Thus we suggest a career change. A man like this certainly belongs in the Trump administration.
"If I were to catch any of my ISG Registered Gemologists or Registered Gemologist Appraisers trying to pull the stunts that you are pulling on eBay, I would pull their diplomas, publicly expel them from the ISG, and personally make sure that they did not work again in this industry with anything but a broom in their hand."
— Robert James
"They [the insurance industry] do not take kindly to frauds being perpetrated on consumers."
— Robert James
Read about the Robert James eBay fraud in our article here.