Gemstone Buying Online - Some Issues/Problems

Many companys are taking the publics limited knowledge of gemstones and making it work for them. Companies are using terms like Paraiba, Emerald, Alexandrite, Flawless, VVS, Certified and much more to get the attention of potential customers and offer what seem to be great prices.

Below are a few examples found on the largest auction site. The owner of All That Glitters has offered this company his services to police and find those companies that are offering items that are being misrepresented or that are using incorrect terminology or literally out to deceive the consumer. The company has declined the offer as it seems that being blind to the problem allows greater revenue from the seller and buyer, and finally, feedback from customers will finally point out that there are issues with certain sellers - IF the customers actually take the time and spend the money to find out that what they purchased was not they they thought.

For instance:

  • Tanzanite simulant is being sold as Tanzanite
  • Synthetic Sapphire is being sold as Synthetic Alexandrite
  • Simulants are being sold as Large, Clean Emeralds, Paraiba Tourmaline and Mozambique Tourmaline (Gemstones that should sell for many tens of thousands of dollars or even hundreds of thousands of dollars are selling for $50. This should make people suspect

Learn More About Simulants vs. Synthetics < Simulants vs. Synthetics >
Synthetics have value and are lab grown. Simulants can be simple glass...

Below will see some examples of what we have found online. It is important that you have some idea of a company before making a large purchase.

All That Glitters has been in business for over 30 years and offers two wonderful customer guarantees!
All That Glitters has a 10 Day Money Back Guarantee and a LIFETIME GUARANTEE.

Below - Note the very high quality, great colors, good cutting, the fact that they have Paraiba, Mozambique Purple Tourmaline and even a wonderful 5+ct, clean, well cut Zambian Emerald. An incredible inventory! Note that the photos of the Purple Tourmaline are the SAME photos. Look at the prices they are selling for. No Reserve. When one has a gemstone valued at $50,000 or more, having no reserve or even selling on this auction website, doesn't make sense. Most of our emails to this company were unanswered. They couldn't tell us anything about the material; where it came from, whether they bought the rough, the faceted gemstone, etc.

gemstones online - too good to be true

Below is feedback for a few gemstones purchased from the company above. Until recently, they were selling inexpensive jewelry and getting good feedback. Note that one customer who purchased a Fake Tananite sold as a Genuine Tanzanite, had to leave positive feedback or they were threatened with not receiving their funds back. Also note the last two entries at the bottom.

negative ebay feedback

Here is some more feedback which is finally coming in. Those who are not verifying what they purchased are happy. The material looks good, but they haven't actually purchased what they thought that had purchased and may never know unless it has been checked out by a professional.

feedback ebay fake gems
(Note that the names of the seller and buyers above have been removed)

Here is a case below where the company must think that the public doesn't understand the concept of Flawless The item is listed as being Flawless - can you see that the gemstone if full of inclusions? We feel the gemstone is natural and what they say it is, it is just not Flawless! Flawless would indicate that under 10x, there is nothing that a trained expert can find.

Not a Flawless Gem

Here is an item that we decided to purhcase because in 25+ years in the business, we had never seen a Reddish to Green Color Change Sapphire. Usuallly, they are blue to purple and we have some wonderful examples in stock. We purchased this Red to Green Color Change Sapphire after seeing the photo below. The other photo is what was received - no color change, a greyish purple stone (most likely Sapphire - we did not test it), shallow in the cut and NOTHING like what was shown. We cannot understand why companys modified photos to such an extent that they misrepresent an item. When something is this far off from reality, don't they realize that the customer is not going to be happy and will return the item? We even told them that in 30 years in the business we had never seen such a stone. One would think that our disclosure that we know what we are in the gemstone trade would indicate to them that they should tell us more about the gemstone and that it probably wasn't for us...

photo manipulation - color change sapphire

Here is the gemstone that we received:

We have to share our latest experience online. Sometimes, we see items that are just so unbelievable we have to see for ourselves. Unfortunately, we should know better as with over 26 years in this business, this was too good to be true and as usual, it wasn't! We saw a wonderful Green Sapphire - a color unlike any that we had seen in not only some gemstones, but especially in Sapphire. We purchased the gemstone and what we received was an almost black sapphire - not the beautiful green gemstone which had a very high value, but a dark worthless sapphire. See the photos below:

enhanced ebay green sapphire photo
We believe that the gemstone displayed online(left hand photo) is the same gemstone received(right hand photo). The photographer probably used very bright lights and modiified the hue, saturation, contrast, brightness, etc. Unfortunately, the final result is nothing like the original gemstone photograph which is what the person was basing their purchase on.

At All That Glitters, we rarely tweek even the color of the gemstones after taking the photograph. Our customers experience will never be similar to the issue above and we guarantee that with our Money Back Guarantee, as well as a LifeTime Guarantee. Every person's monitor is slightly different so colors and hues may be different than what one sees in person, but there should only be small discrepancies and nothing ever like this!

For other related internet stories from the All That Glitters Archives, visit any of the following topics:

Fooled Again - Story of 'another' online Gemstone Purchase...
Photo Enhancement by some companies create colors that don't exist in natural gemstones and have no resemblance to the original color.....So don't be surprised if the gemstone you purchase on many websites, is not what you expect when you open that package!... < Fooled Again >

Buyer Beware - What is not told to the customer can hurt them!