QVC stones

Several customers have recently ask me what I think about the stones
shown on QVC–good deal, good stones, etc. I tell them I have no idea
and that I’ve never known anyone who’s ordered them. I tell them
that the lighting probably helps them to appear so brilliant, but
beyond that, I’m clueless. Any knowledge out there about this?

I’ve had some experience with QVC-my mom used to buy their real stone
jewelry and it was as good as advertised–fine if you like mass
produced, all-alike jewelry, but not to my taste. But yes, the stones
are good as well as looking good. They do sell quality. Sharon Holt
aka @bootsie

I have done a little business with QVC and HSN - just a little
because they are too hard to deal with. Their standards are pretty
high, i.e. they want perfectly matching stones in terms of color, cut
and brightness. For an order of 4000 stones, for instance, mm size
had to be within .10mm + - . Carat weight within .02 cts + -.

The metal work is another story. I have seen prongs that look like
little daggers, paper thin shanks, etc. Things that would never leave
my shop. When all is said and done, I would think that you can turn
out a similar product for the same price and make a profit.
Unfortunately, QVC has millions $$ to hype its products, your budget
is probably somewhat smaller !

Good luck,

Rob Ringold
Ringold’s Jewelers Since 1908


Lets just say that you are correct about the lighting (good
photography is a boon to home shopping networks…and they have some
fine photographers on their staffs.) The stones which are shown on TV
are sometimes quite nice. Were your customer to receive those very
stones I have no doubt that she would be pleased indeed with the price
she had paid.

The stones which are shipped to customers are generally of the same
weight and species as the display stones. Beyond that, any similarity
becomes hard to detect.

Does this sound harsh? Perhaps…but that harshness is, in the end,
a great kindness to your customer.

Tell her to steer clear of any stone she cannot examine, in person,
under a loupe, before purchase. That is the only way I have ever
found to get a good price on retail gemstone jewelry…and so far
as I know no other way exists.

Simply and honestly,

Hi Jessica,

I know of 4 main shopping channels out there. QVC, Home
Shopping/Americas Store, ValuVison, and Shop at Home. On all of them
the CZ’s used are high quality. ValuVison I know uses Swarovski.
They generally use quality Lab Created stones also. HSN is the
largest buyer of colored gemstones in the world, or at least that is
what they claim, and QVC can’t be too far behind. They generally
have pretty good stones when it comes to garnets, the topazes,
citrines etc. but they are the ones that coined the phrase “Midnight
Blue” for sapphires that are almost black. Once when I was watching
they were selling a sterling and garnet bracelet for about $39. This
also included a pair of garnet stud earrings free. There were 11
garnets each 8x6mm, in each bracelet/earring combo. They sold 22,000
combos. I bought one to see it. The metal work was made in Thailand
and was pretty nice. The stones were, at best, OK. Several had
nicks in the facets, one had a scratch on the face, and 2 had rather
large bubble inclusions. I sent it back and they exchanged it for
another with no questions asked. The stones were a little better.
The color was slightly brownish on both bracelets. Hsn also had 4
other items using these 8x6mm garnets and the show host mentioned
that they had bought 2 1/2 million carats of garnet for these items.
I wonder what they paid per carat? Tanzanites, most sapphires,
rubies, emeralds are little better than commercial quality. Tanz are
light and the others are generally opaque. They have some nice
Chinese peridot and aqua.

ValuVision is on the other hand the premier station, and they haves
pretty nice merchandize especially their stones. They also have
loose gemstones for sale. I have seen gold/platinum rings with 80%
color change natural alexandrite of 1 carat with 1.25 carat of
diamonds sell for $18,000+ on this channel. I have seen 9+ carat
Tanzanites which are custom cut and of dazzling brilliance and super
color sell for $9 -13,000. They encourage you to take their
merchandize to a gemologist and/or an appraiser. You have a 30 day
no questions asked return policy. John and Laura Ramsey out of
Seattle sell the loose gemstones and also jewelry of Lauras design.
Chuck Clemency of Jam Creations of New York City sells quite a bit of
up-scale jewelry there also. This company also include a 1 year
period, on up-scale jewelry, where they will fix it or replace any
stones that you loose break or just plain don’t like. They also
resize during that period as many times as you need it. Shipping is
even included. They have a Canadian company and an Indian company
that also sell on the channel. Additionally they have individual
artists/designers who sell on this station. They have merchandize in
all price points.

I did buy an aquamarine from the Ramseys. I paid a good dollar for
it and I got what I paid for. It was an ‘extra color’ stone and was
a sky blue topaz color with a very nice cut and clarity. Small
specks were visible under 10x and then only a very few.

Shop-at-Home is the last station and I only had it for a short time
and that only late at night. It is based in either Nashville or
Chattanooga Tennessee. I think that only a Jeff Foxworthy "bit’
could do it justice.

Well that is what I know. I hope it helps.



Skip Meister
Orchid Jewelry Listserve Member
N.R.A. Endowment
"No man’s life, liberty or fortune is safe…while our legislature is in session."
Benjamin Franklin

My Mother worked as a TV chef for years on the Discovery channel…as
The Low Cholesterol Gourmet…She was then hired by QVC to sell
cookware on air. She couldn’t stand the pressure to come up with
something interesting to say about pots and pans, so it didn’t last
long. During her time there, she often bought me loose stones and
jewelry as gifts…in fact, she still does, as she still has the
connections there. The stones, though not of the very highest
quality, are always of above commercial quality, even color and
precise cut. The “jewelry”, is paper thin, stamped out dreck, that in
some cases ought to be reclassified as weapons due to the sharpness of
some of the bits. The chains are fascinating, in that their
astounding thinness ought to preclude any flexibility without
immediate snappage. Breathing on them might cause damage. Mom told me
that because of the volume of sales at QVC…they apparently buy more
stones than anyone else in the US, the stone prices are some of the
lowest in the US. She recently sent me two. One is this very clear,
pale looking pinkish/purple thing that I assumed was a bad amethyst,
until I read the card accompanying it…“Rose de France”??..Says that
it is a type of quartz. The card also assures me that “It is one of
the hottest fashion colors in vogue today”. Anyone out there have a
clue as to what it actually is? The other stone came in a protective
plastic case housed in a fairly nice faux wood and ersatz leather
box. It contained a 9-10 carat, elaborately faceted, (German cut?),
yellow stone of a god color, with a card reading Heliodor, a type of
yellow beryl from Brazil. Never seen this one either, but at least
I’ve heard of the stone… Good luck, Lisa,(saw my dog Peter, happily
trotting the hills with two large young female coyotes this
morning…this can’t be good.) Topanga, CA USA

One is this very clear, pale looking pinkish/purple thing that I
assumed was a bad amethyst, until I read the card accompanying
it…“Rose de France”??..Says that it is a type of quartz. The card
also assures me that “It is one of the hottest fashion colors in
vogue today”. Anyone out there have a clue as to what it actually

“Rose de France” would be a really pale Amethyst. Nice marketing ploy
to sell inexpensive material.

Michael Howe
Trigon Holding Co.

Hi to all. I won’t be the only one to recognise …"Rose de France"
as glass or imitation stone.


Rose de France is amethyst – which, of course, is quartz.

Heliodor is beryl (emerald, aquamarine, are also beryl)

Hi Michael I have been seeing “Rose de France” for the last couple of
years at the shows, also in the catalogs of finished jewelry. So I
think it is some sort of marketing thing, after all they always used
to crush pearls that were imperfect but now they are sold as exotic.
Maybe this is the same sort of thing?

I have a shop where I sell vintage fine jewelry. I am occasionally
offered large groups of QVC rings at prices I can’t pass up. I’ve
found that, if I price them attractively, these sell well in the shop,
which is located in a shopping mall and gets a lot of foot traffic.
I’ve had a number of these pieces appraised by the gemological lab
that does all my appraisals. I’ve been surprised to find that the
colored stones have appraised fairly high (at least as high as the
price originally paid, including tax and shipping). My appraiser’s
valuations are fairly conservative, so this surprised me. Virtually
all the diamonds are I1 or worse but have good color (G usually).
I’ve concluded that if mass production appeals to a customer, QVC
offers reasonable value. My quarrel with the TV shopping programs is
that they appeal so strongly to people who are compulsive shoppers,
which is why I am offered large groups of these pieces. I’ve bought
two different groups that consisted of 100 or more rings, including
several duplicates. Some people seem to be unable to resist buying
until their either die or are unable to pay for further purchases.

Carol Hearn, Bellevue WA

Rose de France is a very pale amethyst. In larger stones of around
20x30mm, they can make really lovely pieces if they are clear with a
nice cut and “lively”. I can get them for about $1 to $3 per caret.

Heliodor is golden beryl. Really nice, large pieces can get
"expensive." A couple of years ago I paid $300 for an 80ct piece,
extremely nice cut. It is a marquis cut–looks like a 3rd eye. You
can do the math.

Virginia Lyons

Merci beaucoup for all of the ID updates on my recently aquired
fashion gems. Loooove the marketing strategy on the “Rose de
France”/a.k.a. pale amethyst/a.k.a. quartz, don’t you? I actually do
buy up a lot of very pale stones that are considered low quality by
the mainstream. I like the way they look in my work. Gives just a
touch of color to an otherwise complex surface. Too much color
wouldn’t suit many of my recent pieces. I’m lucky that these stones
are so inexpensive. Who knows, maybe I’ll start a trend…not too
likely…sigh. I’ve also set diamonds and rubies, in concrete slate and
steel. Do any of you others out there use materials that are not
regularly considered “precious”? Just curious.

Lisa,(My other idiot dog Icy went off today on a wild trek miles away
in the state park, and had to be recovered by Mr-Ranger-Sir …rotten
hound) Topanga, CA USA

Hi to all. I won't be the only one to recognise ..."Rose de
France" as glass or imitation stone.  

Not from any references I’ve used! Glass could be this color, but
Rose de France is an old term (still in use) for extremely light
amethyst, just as described by Lisa:

<snip> One is this very clear, pale looking pinkish/purple thing
that I assumed was a bad amethyst, until I read the card
accompanying it..."Rose de France"?? 

It’s not necessarily ‘bad’, if you like the color, but it’s certainly
not the preferred deep rich tone we usually think of as amethyst’s.

Two of the things that really bother me about the cable show gems are
how pale the colors are, and how this is made to be a virtue, and how
often the cut is so bad that you can see the display cloth through
the window in the bottom of the stone and the host uses this to rave
about the clarity of the stone.

I wonder if any of their customers ever look at a well cut stone and
think it’s not good because they can’t clear through the bottom?


| Carol J. Bova @Carol_J_Bova |
‘’ New American Opal Society website

The thing that bothers me about the pieces on qvc ( and I assume
other shopping networks ) is the price of the cheap findings which
averages $20.00 a gram and up this strikes me as NO deal no matter
how good the stones are Ron

Do any of you others out there use materials that are not regularly
considered "precious"? Just curious. 

I like using nickel-iron meteorites, both the slices of larger ones
with the heat grain and also the melted bits. To me there’s nothing
more romantic than a meteorite. Out the among the stars for millions
of years, then down through the fire, straight to your finger. I set
them in silver and set them off with colored stones. Lately I
particularly like them with amber; sort of an ‘earth and sky’.
Janet Kofoed

Hi, I like using fossils, trilobites and amonites, but my favorite is
the nautilus. I also use polished shell, and pearls. I set them in
little silver frames and put them on a string of pearls or hand made
chain. I like the old and the new from the waters. Susan Chastain

settin them with crystal form diamonds(uncut unfacetted) in the
darker colors works very well and makes for a real Diamond ring at a
fairly low low cost 1/4 yo 1/2 carat crysstals cost from $15-20
PER CARAT Leon Kusher St Louis Mo

Do you have a source for the diamond crystals? I would love to get my
hands on some. I’ve always claimed not to be overly fond of diamonds,
but I have seen and loved the crystal forms used in some ancient
classical jewelry.

Epaul Fischer GRYPHON SONG CREATIONS Fine Custom Jewelry