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Ebay and material designated as "Quartz"


#1

I’m getting rather “hot under the collar” about a lot of material
sold on eBay - especially the material labeled as “strawberry”,
“pineapple” and “Blue” quartz.

It is, in fact glass. The bubbles and color swirls are clearly
visible even on the photo’s posted in the auction.

The problem is that I know many people believe that they are
actually buying natural materials as they are offered under the
headings of gemstones or gemstone beads.

What do others think - or am I just being picky in a very European
way?


#2

Hi Tony , No… I feel the same frustration. One of the large Gem
and Jewelry shows that travels around the country has the same
problem. I noticed them showing up last year. I just went to a Show
in Hartford same Co. I am talking about and every booth had a lot of
the stuff. Before I saw only the “Strawberry & Blueberry”. Today I
saw it in every other color and they were also simulating rutiles.
I asked and was told at each and every booth that they were in fact
quartz!!! It is so amazing that they will out and out lie to the
consumer even we ask. I have spoken to the management and they said
it would be taken care of. Guess not .It is back this year with a
vengeance The show I am speaking about is International Gem and
Jewelry Show. Very disappointed. Helen


#3

Tony, what you are describing is fraud, nothing less. You are
absolutely justified in being vexed. But prolonged vexation is not
healthy; it is bad for the digestion, sleep, etc. So the question
is, do you let go of it and just let the scoundrels prey on the
yokels, or do you take some sort of action?

You can always cut-and-paste their auction info into an online FTC
complaint. The FTC will likely either (1) do nothing, or (2) have an
"educational contact" with the dealers in question, reminding them
that it’s not acceptable to lie about their wares.

Alternatively, you could purchase a token amount of their faux
quartz, and verify first-hand that it is glass, which would then
give you the basis for filing negative feedback on E-Bay, as well as
filing a complaint with E-Bay regarding the fraud. You could also
file with the Internet Fraud Complaint Center at

http://www1.ifccfbi.gov

If you go this route, it is virtually assured that the dealers will
post retaliatory negative feedback about you, and it is possible
that you will be contacted by a lawyer.

It’s your choice. You may also want to consider the distinct
possibility that the dealers in question are every bit as clueless
as the people they are selling to, and have no idea that they are
misrepresenting their goods.

Lee Einer
http://www.dosmanosjewelry.com


#4
  What do others think - or am I just being picky in a very
European  way? 

Not at all. In fact, when I see what are clearly naive buyers at a
show contemplating an expensive purchase of these materials, I feel
quite justified in telling them that the “quartz” is in fact manmade
glass. Since the potential buyers of $200 “crystal” shapes are
often looking for the mystical properties of crystalline quartz,
they are frequently appalled, and leave without buying. The vendors
may be annoyed, but if they’re brazenly lying, too bad, I say.

Tas
www.earthlywealth.com


#5

Not being picky at all. I feel the same way you do. Have you seen
the product labeled “Tanzanite Blue Quartz?”


#6

No, you’re not being overly picky, IMHO. Unfortunately, e-bay doesn’t
’police’ this stuff, and, in our current climate of deregulation,
there are no agencies which will enforce accurate description. For
example: even though there are FEDERAL laws in the U.S. about gold
quality stamping, it’s only once in a very rare while that someone
gets ‘busted’ for mis-marking karat, and even rarer for someone to
get (even) slapped on the wrist for lying about the grading of a
diamond. It is left up to the end consumer to file a civil lawsuit.
Just TRY to get a District Attorney or City Attorney interested.

David Barzilay
Lord of the Rings
607 S Hill St Ste 850
Los Angeles, CA 90014-1718
213-488-9157


#7

At the last GL&W show I was at, several vendors had the blue
version, under several different names. I later found out that it was
glass on someone’s website. I think that it’s becoming more commonly
known that the stuff is man-made. In all the catalogs I’ve received
recently it’s been labeled as ‘glass’ in the description text, but
it’s called (fill in the fruit of choice) quartz by name. My
husband’s theory is that because both quartz and glass are
silica-based, someone probably decided that they must be the same
thing…

–Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Pet Motif Jewelry
http://www.featheredgems.com


#8

Ebay is supposed to regulate all of this and having seen it for the
past 5 years, there is little of it. The best one is CZ diamond.
There definitely needs regulation here.

E


#9

This bothers me as well, and it’s not just eBay. There are many
online stores selling Cherry, Watermelon, Strawberry quartz. If
they don’t explain that it is actually glass, I won’t purchase from
them. We had a Gem Fair here, the majority of people made jewelry
as a hobby. I couldn’t believe how many people thought they got
such a great deal on Cherry Quartz. I deal with both contemporary
jewelry, and antique. I’ve been horrified in both areas, seeing
fakes, forgeries, and misabout caring for items. I am
not sure what can be done. I was pleased to see an article in a
magazine this week that addressed the grading of pearls as AAA, AA,
A on eBay. There is no such grading system. It’s really confusing
when people grade Tahitian Pearls that way, and there ARE
established standards that must be followed, and they have nothing
to do with this AAA rating system. I’ll get off my soap box now,
Misty


#10

It’s not just quartz that is mis-described, but to be fair, some
sellers are up-front about what the material is even if you find the
buried at the bottom of the item description. I never
cease to be amazed at the names some sellers come up with to describe
their stones and beads in order to make them appear interesting or
rare. The terms that irritate me the most, and which for all I know
may be acceptable ones in the jewellery trade, are 'Mountain Jade’
and ‘New Jade’ (dolomite and serpentine respectively), and it also
saddens me that many people think the term ‘jadeite’ refers to
imitation jade.

Pat


#11
Have you seen the product labeled "Tanzanite Blue Quartz?" 

No, but a generation or so back, someone tried to sell me “genuine
simulated pearls”. The more things change, the more they remain the
same.

Dee


#12

That’s very charitable of you, Lee. In a very few cases, you might be
correct. You wrote: “You may also want to consider the distinct
possibility that the dealers in question are every bit as clueless as
the people they are selling to, and have no idea that they are
misrepresenting their goods.”

I have been a gemologist since 1972. I have encountered much
dis-over the years. I also have found that the
"dis-informers," (read liars, cheats and thieves) mostly do not want
to HEAR the truth, ‘cause then they’d have to confront their own
true identity. An ‘antique’ dealer tried to sell me an item of
’Jade.’ I tried to explain that it was aventurine. She CERTAINLY knew
better, she said. …and MANY more like that. Now I save my breath.

David Barzilay
Lord of the Rings
607 S Hill St Ste 850
Los Angeles, CA 90014-1718
213-488-9157


#13

All,

Please take a look at the USA Federal Trade Commision (FTC)
Guidelines for jewelry… Then take a look at the ORCHID Archives
about “Value” and “Gemstones”. Are the stones being sold at the bead
booths Do they have any value that is increased by the
non-disclosure of thier true identity? If you looked at the archives
you will find that no one can describe value or gemstones in such a
manner that results in agreement about the definition of either. The
Law works on consensus. Without consensus of definition there is no
fraud.

Almost every dealer you see at a gemshow is a seller and not the
person that manufactures the goods offerred for sale. These dealers
hire a person or group to manufacture goods to thier specifications,
buy goods from a manufacturer, or get goods on consignment from a
manufacturer. These dealers are gemstone, beads, and jewelry
traders. They are not personally the one who made the object for
sale. They are the merchandisers. Traders stay awake at night, day
dream, and actively invent ways to strectch the truth about thier
goods. They do not care about the quality or value of thier
merchandise. Traders care about selling thier goods as quickly as
possible, with as little strings attached as possible, for the most
profit. Whenever you enter a group of traders beware. Traders have
hired lawyers to make sure that everything they do is on the legal
edge of the ethical line without crossing it far enough to get into
trouble. They have studied the laws, lobbied the legislature, and
elevated thier status to experts in the field by thier own self
endornment. They are organized and are experts at selling thier
goods.

I would never walk into a wholesale show unless I had taken the time
to train myself about the market, the manufacturing process, and how
to identify the quality and value of the product I was seeking to
purchase. If you do not do this you may as well go to a casino your
odds of sucess are better in the casino. A wholesale show is meant
to be attended by experts in thier field, not amatuers. I have told
quite a few perspective customers at wholesale shows to put thier
hands on thier wallets and walk as fast as they could to the exit.
Thier knowledge was so low they had no business being in a wholesale
show. You walk into a wholesale show you had better be
knowledgeable. It does not matter which show you go into. Without
knowledge you will be making bad deals.

Gerry Galarneau, in hot Phoenix, Arizona USA. Where I am still
cutting away at agates, jaspers, tourmalines, sapphires, etc. New
website update coming soon. www.galarneausgems.com


#14

Tony, I actually bought some cherry quartz beads on Ebay when this
whole thing came to light after Tucson 2002, I think it was, so I
could have a first hand look. Sure enough it was glass and I
confronted the vendor. He explained that “Cherry Quartz” was in
effect a “trade name” for pink colored glass (his glass apparently
had a quartz component in the sand mixture to make the glass??) and
that he was not misrepresenting his beads as quartz. And now I see
mainstream high end stores selling cherry quartz jewelry - at their
selling prices it probably can’t be the real stuff - they just
haven’t been confronted yet or they don’t care. I’d be interested
to hear from others too. JoAnn


#15

You are certainly not in the wrong to be upset by the
misrepresentation of the “quartz” gemstone. As a bead vendor, I am
presented with the “terminology” of beads issue on a constant basis.
Without a gemologist on staff, I really have to work at keeping my
descriptions of the beads I sell on course. It’s a
never-ending-battle.

I think the only way that this will change is to demand a scientific
representation of the mineral one wants to purchase. Unfortunately,
most purchasers don’t want to do the work involved in that kind of
scrutiny, and most vendors are as unable to truly identify their
product as the purchaser. This problem only diminishes when
purchasing calibrated (It does not go away, just becomes
part of the deal.)

So, don’t blame yourself, just get educated as much as possible, or
pay a gemologist to do the work. Simple as that. . . So, all you
gemologists, go for it! You’ve got something to sell.

Susan
Sun Country Gems
www.suncountrygems.com


#16

I noticed a vendor at a show at the exposition center in Indianapolis
was in blatant violation of multiple laws in regards to
misrepresentation of jewelry items, so I went to the office of the
facility to register a complaint, and they had me and my family
immediately escorted from the building by 2 policemen! Took care of
that problem in a hurry huh?

Ed in Kokomo, Indiana


#17
I was pleased to see an article in a magazine  this week that
addressed the grading of pearls as AAA, AA, A on eBay. There is  no
such grading system. It's really confusing when people grade
Tahitian  Pearls that way, and there ARE established standards that
must be followed,  and they have nothing to do with this AAA rating
system. 

Misty, I hate to bite the hand that feeds me, but have you looked at
a Rio Grande Gems and findings catalogue, Pearls are graded in there
by this A-AA-AAA System as are a lot of other I have enough
trouble with it in regards to the more common gemstone materials,
especially Opal, Lapis and Malachite, which I used to cut in large
quantities. They also use this Bogus system for grading their
precious gemstones as well.

While I would like to give them the benefit of doubt, I think there
should be the GIA criteria as well, although to a vast majority of
their customers this would mean nothing other than an assimilation of
words that mean very little.

This all leads back to the problem of Educating customers, if not as
far as the actual grading criteria, at least to the proper
terminology. I think that less precious materials should be graded in
standards similar to those the GIA has adopted for colored stones.
Not that there are that many cutters making a living cutting these
materials in the U.S. now any way, but it might help the artist that
does cut on an occasional basis it when buying rough material.

By the way if any one finds a blue white Diamond that only has a few
carbon spots, Or a CZ Diamond that has the same chemical make up as
a “real Diamond” Please loose my email address Thanks

Kenneth Ferrell
www.shadras.com


#18
    No, you're not being overly picky, IMHO. Unfortunately, e-bay
doesn't 'police' this stuff, and, in our current climate of
deregulation, there are no agencies which will enforce accurate
description. 

I’ve been pleasantly surprised, though, by eBay’s willingness to
police items that are described misleadingly or inaccurately, when
the items are reported to them. With 25,000+ auctions starting
daily, there is no way that they can review each one to make sure
it’s accurate – and they don’t have a staff of gemologists on hand
to detect things that are “fishy.” But when someone calls it to
their attention, they do act quickly and responsibly to shut down the
offending auctions.

When enough of those items are reported to raise their “radar,” they
put things in place to find “trigger phrases” and handle it. That
was how we got many of those fraudulent Indonesian “art” auctions
detected/removed, and safeguards put in place to minimize them.

If we each found auctions that we knew contained fraudulent
representation and reported those auctions to eBay, they would start
"getting the picture" on the quartz issue. In my mind, it’s a
responsibility we have to police ourselves; if a merchant in our area
were selling the stuff and advertising it in the local paper as
something it isn’t, would we raise the red flag and report them?
It’s the same thing in our online world.

Karen Goeller
@Karen_Goeller
Hand-crafted artisan jewelry


#19
    I never cease to be amazed at the names some sellers come up
with to describe their stones and beads in order to make them
appear interesting or rare. 

Hi Pat and all;

Yesterday, a woman came to my shop to have me appraise a collection
of gemstones she had bought on QVC network. All were decidedly
inferior materials. She was told that they were all untreated, which
I informed her was more or less true on principal, but if one were to
be accurate, the blue topaz is irradiated, the rubies and sapphires
undoubtedly heated, etc. I also told her that she pretty much got
what she paid for, but that if she wanted me to do a formal appraisal
for the stuff, it would cost her roughly twice what she paid for all
of it. But the real kicker was the stone she was sold for $65 as a
genuine Russian Alexandrite. It even said so on the box. Now, a
stone of that quality and size, if it were genuine, I told her, would
wholesale for at least $10,000. It was obviously doped corundum.
Nice to look at, well cut, but in my opinion, not worth anything
close to what she paid for it. Doesn’t this sound like out-and-out
fraud? I could believe that she didn’t hear through some of the
"weasel words" that were used to describe this bargain, but when I
saw the printing on the box, I wasn’t so sure she heard wrong, just
got snookered because she was mostly ignorant of

David L. Huffman


#20

I made some phone calls about a year ago (I’m a qualified gemologist

  • FGA) about their use of “solid opal” for thin triplets. They
    amended their description immediately. I think it was the initials
    after my name that did the trick!

Tony Konrath FGA (put in especially for this post!)
@Tony1
908 Fleming Street
Key West Florida 33040
tel: 305 295 7334
fax: 305 294 4433