Fooled Again!....Story of 'another' online gemstone purchase

Well, the owner of All That Glitters couldn't help but wonder and hope that a Neon Orange Zircon as seen in a photo online, was indeed as neony orange as the photo showed. After all, the description by the company selling it stated "Vibrant Orangey Pink", so even if the photo was off slightly, this stone sounded like it would glow!

If the Zircon was true to the photo and description, it would be a real find, as this color would be very unique. Like all gemstones, there are sometimes those that are very rare and special in size, color and clarity - this is All That Glitters' forte. This is also why trade magazines, journals, other magazines, newspapers and even books on gemstones have sought out gemstones from All That Glitters:
< Recent or to be Published ATG Gemstones >

We were skeptical because when ones sees an overseas company (or any company for that matter), whose garnets, zircons, tourmaline, quartz and many other gemstones, have unusual colors that the owner of All That Glitters had never seen in over 30 years in the gemstone business, one has to asssume that the colors have been enhanced. The Zircon was purchased and unfortunately, as has always been the case in the past when something similar had been seen online, it was a disappointment. The color was not neon, it was not vibrant, it was not Orange really at all. It was a more saturated color and at best, could be described as a smoky peach. Under certain lights, it is quite sparkly and more of a color expected of a Zircon. We can purchase similar rough, and by the time we finish faceting it, our cost and price to the public would be less than what we paid for this piece - but still not bad for someone in the retail market who wanted a Zircon of this color. However, this is the not color described or in the photo.

Below, are photos of the Zircon discussed above:

On the left is the photo appearing online; on the right is the actually gemstone that we photographed. Described as a Vibrant Orangey Pink, we would describe it as a smoky peach. It is a difficult color to describe, but it is certainly not a Vibrant Orangy Pink as described or as photographed!

Before this page went active online, we decided to purchase a purple Tourmaline. It was guaranteed to be an accurate photo, and the color was verifed as being purple. Below, is the photo as it appears online, and on the right hand side is the gemstone that was received - a far cry from the photo or even the purple that they had said it was when an email was sent prior to purchase:

We personally realize that everyones monitor is different, and everyones color perception differs. How businesses can believe that they can modify a photo so dramatically, as to create a gemstone that doesn't exist, and expect the customer to be happy, is beyond our comprehension. On our monitor in our office, the gemstone photos that appear on our website are quiet accurate. However, everyones monitor is different and the subtleties do affect the colors that one sees. One of our West Coast collectors/investors, who purchased many of our important gemstones, actually color corrected this monitor by looking at the gemstones he purchased from us, and modified the monitor to display color that was similar to his purchases. In this way, he was insuring a closer approximation of the color on the monitor to the gemstones that he would be receiving/purchasing.

We rarely modify our photographs as we take them, but sometimes they have to be tweeked because the camera does not see the color that the eye is seeing. This is not to deceive, but to color correct and to insure that the gemstone more closely resembles what our customers will receive. Of course, if the gemstone that you receive from us is not to your liking in any away, we do have our 10 Day 80% Customer Satisfacton Guarantee, as well as a LifeTime Guarantee:
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
Lifetime Guarantee

For those wishing to modify gemstone color to their advantage but to the detriment of customers, and thus deceiving a customer, it is quite easy to do, and this is exactly what has happened with the recent purchase online as described above. We personally don't understand why any legitimate business would want to do this as the customer will see the difference between the online photo and the gemstone received!

The example below, is a photograph of a nice Yellow Beryl, from Brasil, faceted by a cutter in Los Angeles many years ago (and is currently available for purchase!). It is then followed by photo enhancement.

unenhanced photo of natural yellow beryl example of photo manipulation of yellow beryl
example of photo manipulation of yellow beryl
example of photo manipulation of yellow beryl
example of photo manipulation of yellow beryl
example of photo manipulation of yellow beryl
If only beryl truly came in these wonderful vibrant colors!!!!

The owner of All That Glitters, Mr. Brown, was contacted by an individual who has a blog related to gemstones, and asked whether he would be interested in writing an article for the blog. The topic eventually decided on: 8 Tips on Purchasing Fine Gemstones Online
This article is related to the topic of Photo Enhancement and should also be read by interested consumers.

Again, the bottom line as has been mentioned in previous Monthly News as well as on our Learn More page - Know your dealer.
Important factors include

  • Time in Business
  • Professionalism
  • Education/Experience/Background
  • Reviews/Feedback from other Customers
  • Referrals
  • Return Policy
  • Common Sense based on just some of the bullets above!

We hope that this has been an education for our customers, as it is certainly one for us. We are always learning, seeking gemstones from new finds, and willing to make a purchase to learn the truth about something - that is why we also have an article on Fading Orangy Topaz that will appear in a future edition of Gems & Gemology Magazine published by the GIA!

Update - You may find the above noted article on the following page!: G&G Fading Topaz Article