Most of the time, I just lurk here, but there's finally something
that I= can contribute my $.02.
I've bought stones from 3 companies: Rio Grande, Creativegem.com,
and most recently Stuller. All 3 have delivered what I've expected:
good, quality stones (I haven't bought any "expensive" stones just
yet, like emeralds, rubies or diamonds). I typically try to
comparison shop between these 3, but usually start with Creativegem
(I like that I'm picking the actual parcel that I see on the site).
I had some of the same reservations that you had, so I figure if I'm
paying just a little bit more for the piece of mind (good, natural
stones), it's worth it. I've tried to keep to the larger companies,
thinking that word would quickly get out if they're ripping anyone
I'm sure that others on the site will contribute as to their
favorite vendors... I am especially curious if anyone has had recent
experiences with Thaigem.com, as a search of these archives on them,
yielded less than flattering comments.