Substitute for black diamonds

to those that take in repairs and own shops i came across a ring
that was purchased on ebay it came from china, apparantly some
crafty person has figured how how to produce an exquiste substitute
for black diamond, one needs to very carefully check the giveaway is
in part the facet edges are ever so slightly not as sharp then of
course the thermal testor will prove some suspicions and last of all
the stuff is twice as heavy as diamond. also this particular ring
had about .007" inches of gold overlay on the brass core it was

good luck - goo

i hate to say it but thats about what you can expect from that damn
place ebay. but the damn customers love it they think they are
getting the best deals. so i just laugh at them and let them go on
buying the $300 2 carat black diamond with gold setting. dont have
the heart to tell them they bought a nice piece of black glass and
brass ring. a fool is born every minute they say.

ken mitchell


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
buyer’s market.


I have not bought stones on eBay, but have a friend who is
originally from South Africa who makes his living selling stones on
eBay. Sorry, I don’t know his user name there. He sells all original
stones, and is very honest about what he is selling. I have bought
from his house since it is near me, but not from eBay.

Crescent Gems also has an eBay store. Everything I have ever bought
from them has been exactly what they said it would be, no surprises,
and I have never been unhappy - and good prices, fast shipping.

There are definitely folks selling intentionally
misleading/misrepresenting, and unintentionally doing so.

I do sell on eBay other goods, and we are VERY careful about
correctly representing what we sell. I have bought a range of goods
from eBay, and I do as Helen does, I check the feedback and look at
the seller info before deciding to buy. So far I have been pleased
with everything I have gotten. I don’t think eBay itself is
inherently “bad”. I think there are scoundrels there as elsewhere,
and you have to buy intelligently. I have seen equal fraud at
wholesale only gem shows, with buyers selling things that aren’t
what they say they are. Definitely buyer beware.

Beth in SC

Dear Beth,

I concur with everything you have said and regarding ebay not being
inherently bad. There are scoundrels on the high street as well as
on ebay - jewellers who give all you seasoned professionals out there
a bad name. It’s all about being a well-informed buyer and not
falling for the obvious scams - although they are obviously not so
obvious to everyone.

Research companies’ feedback. Watch sales for a while. Get a feel
for what certain gems are truly worth (taking into account shipping
costs, import duties, etc), be well-informed and you won’t go far
wrong. If you see a 12 carat “pink sapphire” for a couple of A3’s or
$'s, you KNOW for a fact that it’s NOT genuine. Use common sense and
you’ll be happy.



I have purchased GREAT stones for use in my work on ebay. There are
really good sellers on that site buyers just have to beware
EVERYWHERE they purchase goods.


Dear Susan,

I have purchased GREAT stones for use in my work on ebay. There are
really good sellers on that site buyers just have to beware
EVERYWHERE they purchase goods. 

Precisely. Whether you shop on the high street, on ebay or at an
internet gem selling company, or for that matter a trade only show,
you still have to be a well-informed, savvy buyer to get a good deal
and not be ripped off. People are too quick to criticize places like
ebay and yes there are unscrupulous sellers but anyone with a bit of
common sense can sift out such sellers and not go near them.

Thanks for your reply - it’s nice to see others out there trust ebay
as a genuine marketplace for gems. When starting out, it has been and
still is the only place I can really afford - I’m still learning so
am not up to the point of being up to selling my wares and recouping
my costs yet.


i authored the original post and although i stated ebay as the source
of a center stone being sold as black diamond and then being
discovered to be a fake it was listed as fact not opinion. the post
was intended to alert the “repair folk of the list” to beware of the
product, not slander the source. i was hoping to get some feedback
about what could pass for a substitute that will fool a GIA trained
appraiser not become a defence of ebay. on the other hand however
everyone knows that ebay is a "pay your money and take your chance
purchase " so if you are selling and making money on ebay dont get
your briefs all wadded up over a low percentage of bad experiences
posted on the list. it is never a sure thing to commit funds to any
purchase sight unseen unless you can afford the loss.

best regards to all - goo

Hi Goo,

I have seen many fake especially Tanzanite, coming not
just from EBay, but also from people that have found that “great
deal” on their Caribbean cruise. I have had many disappointed
customers find out that their “great deal” is just glass. It is a
buyer beware world and you have to be vigilant and buy from a
reputable gemstone dealer.

Linda McMurray G,G., A.J.P. (GIA)