Experience buying gems from JTV

JTV’s "gems’ can be very amusing, particularly their “diamonds”.
Technically their composition may be that of a diamond, but even the
samples they show are so cloudy I’d expect to see them ground for
drill tips. 1 carat diamond cocktail rings in sterling for $99.99 are
like that. In the past when I first started working with gems, I did
buy their faceted parcels when the price hit certain markers such as
$1/carat. They guaranteed in writing that there were no synthetics,
and enticed you with scoops full of glistening assorted color faceted
stones poured out onto a turntable. I’d buy the 100-250ct “Spice
Mix"or"Mega Mix” which was guaranteed to contain more large stones,
and have received many nice citrine, amethyst, diopside, peridot,
quartz, etc. I’ve even gotten a few small (4mm) sapphires and
emeralds. Most stones were odd sizes they couldn’t pop into a semi
mount to sell, I’m guessing, but these stones are fun to play with &
train on. Also it’s fun to pour your newly received order into a big
pile for sorting while pretending you are a pirate, examining the
booty in your recently discovered treasure chest, eye patch optional.

While JTV represents the low end of the jewelry world, I now watch
Gem Shopping Network all the time, mainly for inspiration. They don’t
do much sterling, mainly 14kt YG & up; they feature a lot of fine
looking estate pieces for auction, some Cartier & Tiffany signed, as
well as new pieces & loose stones (recently dark neon AAA tanzanite 5
ct & up for $400/ct). Many of the more costly items come with GIA
reports. My Mother has purchased a few things from them that have
appraised at 4x5 times purchase price. They have been very nice about
returns if you’re not 100% satisfied, and great about answering any &
all questions. And they have some interesting hosts, such as Shawn,
who is generally on from 3am to 9am, that are extremely knowledgeable
& educational. Shawn often features really cool antiquities, and
always gives a wealth of about the items origins,
chemical composition, method of formation, etc. 300 million y/o
agatized bamboo, anyone? He’s got it, & explained in detail how it
came to be here today. BC Jade toilet paper holder or walking stick?
He had those once. He cuts/polishes many mineral specimens himself,
and sometimes gets so excited telling his audience about the item
that he seems to forget he’s supposed to be a salesman, and not a
really great teacher. Then there’s the guy with the cowboy shirts,
he’s got the really high end jewelry items, such as the 26ct pink
diamond bracelet with the opening bid of $75k; he’s a hard sell that
lacks the charisma of the teacher. I generally mute him & just enjoy
the stones. I don’t sleep well and spinning turntables covered in
hundreds of carats of sparkling colored gems & diamonds seems to

Best Wishes & Pleasant Dreams To All,
Sharon in Sanford, Florida

Dear Sharon, i agree with the first part of your post, the pirate
feel of handling

I am on the fringe, i am learning to be a better jeweler. I love my
creations, and they are just that, even as a beginner.

My first introduction to gemstones was while i was working repairs
and making jewelry for tourists. A woman came into the shop and had
this large emerald cut tsnzanite stone set in a simple sterling
setting. She had paid $8,000 for it in Ketchican Alaska. The stone
was cracked and cloudy, mottled and a mess. I had just been given my
first facetted topaz, and i was off and running. The only good thing
i could tell the woman was that the stone was real tanzanite, no one
would create such a crummy lab speciman.

a few years later i found a similar shaped stone for a few dollars
on ebay. With the help of a simple $8 setting from Tripp, i created
the Ketchican ring for under $10.

What is wrong with the tv programs? They mass produce things with
third world labor. They undercut the jeweler in your community where
it is impossible to support yourself.

My suggestion is next time you are tempted to buy something for
yourself or your mom, pick up the phonebook, find a silversmith, and
have him make something specially for you in the price range you
were going to spend. It may just be a simple set stone pendant, but
you will have done something marvelous, you would have helped him
pay the electricity.

There is bling and there is quality and the two will never be on the
same comparison table.

Blessings from the far north were it is raining snd about 40 above,
Happy New year mentors of mine.

The question asked, my answer is no. The answers I see are based on
the level of skill. For quality, Ahmed Shareek of Crescent Jewelers.
Ahmed is in Sri Lanka, has access to higher grade stones, and knows
value. He has been to the USA several times and attended Orchid
Dinners in Tucson during the Gem Shows where he marketed his
Ahmed has a solid reputation here on Orchid and it is
well deserved.

For those newer into jewelry and wanting stones for practice or
moderate priced pieces, look to see if there is a Rock and Mineral
Club where you live. They may have faceters as members, and you may
be able to buy directly from them. In that way, you will not be
paying for TV expenses added onto stones of questionable value.

Teresa Masters

My first introduction to gemstones was while i was working repairs
and making jewelry for tourists. A woman came into the shop and
had this large emerald cut tsnzanite stone set in a simple sterling
She had paid $8,000 for it in Ketchican Alaska. 

$8000 for .925… ???

Chris- Good quality large Tanzanite can go for over $1000.00 per
carat retail. If this was an 8 ct stone that price wouldn’t be

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer

I do not know what possesses tourists to spend money, it was a
rotten stone, in a simple setting and she paid $8,000. I believe her
because of her husbands angry glances.