We wish to address the criticisms of Tanner and Rudowicz regarding the feasibility of using lanthanide luminescence spectroscopy as a monitor of crystal structure, as was suggested in the recent paper by Chen <i>et al.</i> Such optical methods (including absorption and phonon Raman spectroscopy) have been and continue to be employed successfully by the present authors to investigate and characterize <i>f</i>-element solids. The ability to use such methods to recognize structures is a matter of record; to argue their nonfeasibility rejects this past evidence and success.

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