I was looking for a supplier that provided different cut and colors
for spinel and someone told me about jtv (jewelry television) and I
wanted to know has anyone bought gems from them before.
One of my customers brought me some faceted stones she had gotten
from JTV, which she wanted me to set. They were awful, She had gotten
a mixed parcel, some had cracks, some had chips. andthey were very
The only good thing is that you have 30 days to return them. When I
had her examine them with my loupe, she agreed that they were not
worthkeeping and sent them back. Alma
yes, my wife got me started in gemology by buying a parcel, then
asking me what they are. generally, middle to lower end stones, not
mostly forms of quartz, meets and angles not perfect. sometimes a
little jewel will pop up. but generally expect small stones.
of course you could buy from their "vault." then you will pay
premium retail price.
for practice, and general look at, a parcel, stone are not bad. they
do sell some individual stones that do well, but the mass sales are
I have bought from them regularly. They have some really good deals,
and good quality stones. They do disclose treatments and dying,
etc., but you have to be attentive and read the Their
website is pretty thorough and you can probably find what you want
Karen- Most of what you see on TV is what I call "Decorative
If you are planning on making a career out of making jewelry I'd
suggest that you hook up with and develop a good professional
relationship with reputable and responsible stone dealers.
I like Columbia Gem House in Vancouver Washington. Their prices are
very fair, the array of stones amazing and they are very very fussy
about buying and selling responsibly sourced stones. They source only
fair trade stones.
Stuller also has a very nice selection of both colored goods and
diamonds. They are the kings of customer service and speed of
We use several sources for stones depending on what we need. Some
dealers specialize in corundum, some in opals, pearls, etc. We even
have a relationship with a local pawn shop for "Estate" stones.
Just be sure to pay your dealers in a timely manner and always
respect their Memo Rules. I always pay my trade bills first. If I
screw over a dealer, my name is "Mud" and I won't be able to get the
goods I need. I've seen several careers ruined by folks who had a bad
reputation for not paying their trade bills in a reasonable amount of
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
try optima gems. very good roy
Karen the only experience I have had with them has been repair work
Seeing the gemstones that were set in their pieces, I have not found
any need to purchase anything from them. I would encourage you to
find the different gem dealers here in this forum and consider doing
business with them. Btw, I will not do any repair on any of their
jewelry any more. I get angry looking at their "quality merchandise"
every single time the consumer got exactly what they were paying for,
thinking they were getting the better end ofthe deal. They were not.
Hello John... I buy from gem shopping network on occasion. The
faceted stones are rarely heat treated, have good girdles for
setting and are fairly priced. Have bought some decent rough also
from this group. They sell estate and antique jewelry. On Friday,
Saturday,and Sunday mornings they sell mineral specimens that are
collector and museum quality. Some are bumble bee jasper, large nice
star ruby crystals, sugalite,etc. The sales people are sometimes a
real hoot.....I leave it on most of the day when I am in the studio
and have learned a lot about gemstones from this program.
back in the day I asked a gemologist (class mate at School for
Silversmiths) how do I know what I buy from the gem dealers is what
it is supposed to be. He told me just "believe what is on the
packet" and that was 25 years ago.
He went to Thailand to buy some gems, ready to spend some serious
money, all was good till he took out his testing equipment then he
was shown the door.
Yep in Thailand all rubbish sapphires are from Australia LOL, the
good ones are Thai. The opposite is true.
Not to say that there are many "tourist" quality stones for sale in
Also an opal dealer I know had trouble selling to Japanese tourists,
price was too cheap, retail in Australia.
Found out the tourists were told, by their tour guide, Australians
were thieves and you can only trust Japanese run tourist shops.
They bought at 200% on retail.
At my gem dealer O'Neils Affiliated, all stones come with a
description of the treatment.
Because of all I have read about glass filled rubies etc. I now use
a lot of synthetics. Tell the customers that the stone was grown in a
lab and is flawless. Also I say to be fair to jewellers if the piece
needs to be repaired the stone will not explode when heated.
I have been shown many stones by by people trying to sell me stones,
unlucky/greedy/foolish tourists. Many are CZ's the rest are badly cut
and low grade. They get up set when I tell them what they have
bought. Such is life.
Best advice is to keep all invoices and if the stone turns out not
to be what it is described as, then you can send the authorities to
your supplier. Had a customer try and return a ring "Not sterling and
the stone was not black onyx." I said OK lets get the police and go
to the bullion dealer and then the gem dealer. When they give the
bona fides on the goods we can have your friend the jewellery
arrested. They went away.
I love the stories customers tell me when a piece comes back. I
dropped it on the carpet and the stone fell out.
AKA I dropped it in the driveway and backed the car over it. In over
30 years I have never had a piece come back that did not show serious
trauma. Wow do they get upset when I show them the piece under a
loupe and explain what has happened.
Good for them drop a Ming vase and try and take it back to the
What I do depends on the attitude of the customer, if they are
sorry, I fix it for free, good customer relations.
If they have an attitude well. they can play in the traffic.
These gems are perfect to learn on. I learned to size, to identify,
and most of all to set. I now let my students pour through the 8
trays of treasure, and my first youth sale was Emily age 6. Fell for
an amethyst at a bszasr, spent $10. Came to the shop, sized,
selected a necklace setting. She learned as lot that day. When her
setting arrived, that stone was worth much more than $10. She is 10
years old, a pro at buying stones she likes, and looking forward to
the day that she can reset her amethyst in a ring setting.
I have only bought 3 packages through the years, but the learning
curve was well worth the investment, and then i advanced to Rio and
Tripps on my stones, as my expertice grow, i will be able to do
justice to the cobalt spinel that i have my eye on.
We are not all "jewelers" to your definition. But the passion is
there, the will is there and thank you God for as forum thst has the
teachers and mentors thst Orchid has, i have learned so much here.
It has been cold at -30, then rains the next day. Alaska where it
can't decide what to do. Happy New Years, blessings pat
I have not bought from gem tv but I did buy a garbage bad full of
stones from them.
I have a friend the is an appraiser that was brought a bag of stone
found ina dumbest. The person that found the bag said they called
the person on therecite and try to return it and they just said keep
them and hung up, then they tried to contact the sellers and they
said "the stone are your we don't want them back". Once told the
story and checking it out she bought the stoneand they sat in a draw
of her file cabinet. till I was talking to her and said I need
emeralds for a repair I was doing. she pulled out this bag and told
me the story. I bought it from her for what she paid I have been
selling them for begging stone setting classes, for half the price
mark on the bags. Most of the stones are low quality and worth the
price that was on them, there are one or two stone in the bag that
where worth more. They are manly treated stone with flaws and not
well cut. They are good for some repair and great for beginners to
set and not worry about breaking.
Have fun making jewelry set everything and anything.
We like to watch JTV occasionally for a good laugh, usually end up
screaming "RIPOFF!" at the TV a lot. The stones they sell are mostly
low grade commercial quality at high prices. Fire mountain sells a
lot of very low end, dyed stones, and simulants. Rio Grande is great
for tools and metals but their stones are very high priced for what
you get. If you are notvery experienced in buying stones I would say
to buy them from a dealer like Columbia Gem House that Jo
I've never bought stones from them but their prices do seem
reasonable for a US based dealer. They arearound double the Bangkok
price and around triple the Jaipur price, but itsaves you the hassle
of going to Asia and haggling really hard to get the good deals. One
thing I did notice about them is that they use trade names for some
stones, like "grape garnet" instead of rhodolite, etc. I wouldn't go
so far as to call it deceptive, but it is confusing. I do find it
hard to believe that all of their stones are "fair trade", what does
that mean for gemstones anyway? I'm sure the cutters in Jaipur would
all tell you that their stones are "fair trade" if asked. There are
sometimes good dealsto be had on Ebay, but there are a LOT of
synthetics, bluff stones, and photoshop enhancements to wade through
to find the real gems. Another site that most folks don't associate
with stones is Etsy.com. There are a fewJaipur dealers selling
stones there for reasonable prices. We have built good relationships
with a couple of them and they are very courteous and professional.
The first time we sent several thousand $ to some guy in India we'd
never met we were a bit nervous but we have since done lots of
businesswith them and never once had a problem. The old saying that
you get what you pay for is only partly true when it comes to
colored They're only worth whatever someone will pay for
them. That depends as muchon how and where the stone is sold as it
depends on carat, color, cutting and clarity. Good luck, I hope this
info helps you.
I like Richard. I think he has the perfect outlook on life and
business. Love the way you handle people.
If you think buying gems from JTV is bad, you should experience
selling to JTV...
Orchid's own Ahmed Shareek sells fabulous stones at great
JTV is very creative in naming some of the things they sell. For
example they were extolling the beauty of a ring with a watermellon
quartz stone- using such words as "fabulous, astounding, finest on
the planet, etc. etc. They stated that it was extremely rare, having
been created by a "proprietory process," which consisted, of a
quartz doublet joined by a secret formula of epoxy.
Today's remarkable stones were Passionista, and volcanic quartz.
Huh???? Never heard of them.
I don't usually waste time watching JTV, buy had a slight cold, and
decided to rest up and not try to get any work done in the studio
whichtends to be chilly.
I must admit, it was fascinating listening to them selling inferior
merchandise and making them sound as if they were something special.
Unfortunately many buyers believe them, and buy the stuff--much of
which qualifies as culls.
At least they do disclose (in fine print at the bottom of the
screen), thatthe stone has been treated. They refer you to their
website to learn aboutthe treatment. I wonder how many purchasers
bother to look up the Alma
Beth is so right. Ahmed is a reliable source. I bought a wonderful
color-change sapphire from him some years ago. Haven't set it yet -
it's mine, my precioussss.
Judy in Kansas, where temps are hovering at freezing and rain
(honest-to-goodness RAIN) is falling. That will melt the snow!
my original post was never posted but I want to reiterate what some
people have already said on here. Columbia Gem House has wonderful
stones! Earl is the bees knees! Yes some of their stones are named
differently but then I would like to say that a lot of my grape
garnet is a bit pinker than the standard rhodolite I have. so I don't
mind the name changing. The three parcels of gems that were given to
me from JTV were all crap. As a beginner setting stones that had
thicker than normal girdles and irregular sizes was really
frustrating. Not worth the money. And I don't want to even get into
how many had chipped girdles and just needed to be thrown away.
Nothing I would want to pass of to any customer even with full
Thank you all for the advice, I'm going to check out all of your
Here's one I forgot to mention before,
It's run by the good folks at my alma mater, AIGS in Bangkok. They
have a lot of rare and unusual stones especially corundum and spinel
from different sellers, and the pricesare negotiable. I highly
recommend it. Best wishes, DD