i hate to say it but thats about what you can expect from that
damn place ebay.
You can mock ebay all you like and yes there are many companies out
there who sell rubbish, fake gems and pass them off as genuine.
However, there are very many decent companies regulated by
gemological associations (Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association)
who sell genuine gemstones for decent prices and yes we are getting a
bargain from such companies. I have a long list of very good
companies I deal with and before I deal with any company I search
their feedback ratings thoroughly. If I am suspect about a company's
wares, eg. if their gems look too good to be true and I suspect they
may be glass, you can bet that there will be a fair few negative
feedback ratings with someone having had their purchase tested to see
if it's genuine and found it not to be. Also, I don't buy from anyone
whose photographs look like they've been tinkered with in any way.
And those are the companies who are not affiliated to gemological
associations. I will not touch such a company with a barge pole!!!
The companies I deal with sell genuine gemstones for a fair price.
My favourite supplier sells genuine emeralds alongside flux grown
Russian emeralds and discloses which sort they are, and you can see
the difference straight away. The genuine ones have "le jardin"
expected in such stones and the flux grown ones are a darker green
and crystal clear. Some people prefer the synthetic and some the
real. I can assure you that every ruby, sapphire, emerald, amethyst,
rose quartz, garnet, etc, etc, I've ever bought from such a company
has been very real and at a very reasonable price. I refuse to pay
the inflated prices of the gem-selling companies out there on the
internet when I can get the very same for a much better price from my
favourite sellers on Ebay. Equally, I refuse to pay peanuts for
something pretending to be the real thing when it clearly isn't. I
have reported one British company who was selling what they called
pink sapphires in weights over 2 carats for only a few pounds!!! A)
the price alone should make one suspicious and B) the colour of it
wasn't that of pink sapphire (a bluey lilac/pink), it was the colour
of pink cubic zirconia (more of a yellowy pink) and that's exactly
what it was in my opinion. Somewhere in between, there are genuine
sellers selling genuine gemstones for genuinely fair prices and I
shop there with enjoyment and trust. It is a case of knowing what
something is truly worth. If the description of a gem is worth a lot
more than what's being asked then you can bet it's not real.
I do also deliberately buy synthetic gems from a couple of suppliers,
knowing they are lab made and am happy to do so as they are very good
quality synthetic gems. The buying public are different, some prefer
their jewellery to have genuine stones with perhaps slight inclusions
and subtle colouring and others prefer the crystal clarity and deeper
colours you often get with synthetic stones.
You have to be a bit savvy to buy on ebay. Don't fall for foolish
bargains that are too good to be true. Know the value of what you
want to buy and shop around. Don't buy from sellers without at least
99.8% feedback. Don't buy from anyone without good money back
guarantee policies. Check out feedback thoroughly. Look for customer
experiences of return policies, refunds, etc. Look for feedback on
communication. I mainly buy from a number of companies in Thailand.
The ones I deal with are all brilliant when it comes to
communication. They all despatch immediately upon receipt of payment
and tell you that they've done so. They are all very friendly and
cooperative and although I've never been unhappy with anything, I've
noticed from their feedback that they've refunded with no problem if
someone else has been less than happy.
Incidentally, I was buying from only UK companies originally but
figured why pay their prices? So I went into their feedback and
looked at their suppliers (I don't believe in paying a chain of
middle men. If I did, I'd be buying jewellery and selling it rather
than learning to make it, just like the horrible chain stores on the
high street). I now buy from their suppliers in Thailand to save
money. I save up and buy large amounts from companies with free
combined shipping policies or low combined shipping prices whose
prices are lower in the first place (so it works out about the
same). Always build into the cost of gems, the import duties and
taxes due when importing gems from places like Thailand but remember
that these taxes are due whether you buy from a foreign company you
found on Ebay or any other foreign company asking inflated prices
elsewhere on the internet.
In the case of diamonds, I bought a couple of diamonds from an
English company on Ebay to test the market so to speak. The diamonds
were supposed to be VS1 clarity and G/H colour. When they arrived,
they did not match (and I'd asked for a matching pair), and they both
had inclusions visible to the naked eye! So they were more I2 than
VS1. They both had visible carbon spots and one had a visible cloudy
swirl around the pavilion. They were obviously genuine due to the
inclusions. I was not happy and sent them back. The seller apologised
and said he had had a few recent complaints and as such was sending
all his stock back to his supplier and he was getting a new batch
cut. He said he would replace them when he received the new stock. He
did exactly as promised and sent two beautiful diamonds that were VS1
clarity and I will buy from him again. His prices have gone up, more
in line with the major diamond selling companies on the net but I
don't mind that, they are worth what he's asking and he always
replaces or refunds if not happy. I'm not sure yet whether I'd buy
diamonds from the Thai companies I deal with, not because I'm dubious
of whether or not they're genuine, but because their diamonds are SO
included that I wouldn't want such poor quality diamonds.
I'd like to hear of anyone else's experiences of ebay gem buying. Am
I the only one happily buying gems from there? I wouldn't sell gems
on ebay as you're unlikely to get the prices you want, it's a