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 Post subject: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:28 pm 
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The gemstones sold on e-bay seem too good to be true. Does anyone have any advice when purchasing gemstones on e-bay?


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 Post subject: Re: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:55 pm 
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Some interesting views concerning eBay were posted here:
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=14052


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 Post subject: Re: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:00 pm 
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I tend to avoid faceted stones on eBay unless they have obvious features that make it relatively clear what they are, or if it's from a seller I buy from frequently and whose particular idiosyncrasies I have a sense of. For instance, sphene is a relatively easy choice: it has distinctive fire, color, double refraction and patterns of inclusions, as well as a certain set of cuts that are often associated with its unusual crystal shape. Welo opals are pretty trivial to distinguish from a synthetic in a photo, and are currently often available at cheap prices.
But if you're thinking of auctions like this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/HUGE-11-04-ct-Pear-16-3x12-3-MM-NATURAL-GEMS-TOP-IMPERIAL-TOPAZ-UNHEATED-NICE-/141078993239?pt=Loose_Gemstones_1&hash=item20d8f69957 then I'd say you're very right to think it's far too good to be true.


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 Post subject: Re: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:51 pm 
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I've both bought and sold cut and rough gems on ebay. Likewise, I've also gotten screwed and some good deals. The best advice I can give you is that you have to know your seller. Also remember, if it's too good to be true, it's probably a scam. The people who REALLY know stones aren't going to just give them away for virtually nothing. Good luck

Pete

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 Post subject: Re: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:13 pm 
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I've purchased quite a few stones on eBay and out of them all, only two were not what they were supposed to be.

There were an awful lot however, that weren't the carat weight they were claimed to be. Has anyone else run into this?


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 Post subject: Re: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:15 am 
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I've only bought one or two stone on ebay, but I've sold several.

I do my best to get a good picture, that represents the appearance of the stones as best as I can. Then, I price them and wait for someone who knows the value of the stones to purchase them.

When you buy on Ebay, one thing you have to do is make sure you carefully check the feedback of the seller and see kind of comments their buyers leave.

There are legitimate, honest sellers on ebay, but, as you know, there are dozens of people who exaggerate what they have, or deliberately scam people for every one that is scrupulously honest.

Buyer beware. For sure, if it's way too good to be true, it probably is.

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 Post subject: Re: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:08 am 
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the golden rule: if it is too good to be true, it is usually too good to be true.


I have tried a few times of shopping on ebay. So far I am satisfied with the stones I purchased; except that the actual color is sometimes slightly paler than the picture (I can understand that many factors can cause the differences, so it is not really cheating). As long as it is not a "actually colorless or damn pale colored" "vivid colored" stone, then, I am fine with it.

I try to stay away from those "USD 0.99, no reserve bidding...." People sell to earn isn't it? a revenue gained from selling a natural faceted gemstone should cover its mining cost, faceting cost, transportation from mining source to the seller, etc....and this is even higher for jewelry...so, I don't know how to cover these with less than USD1..unless it is not a natural gem after all.

I also find that some of the specimens I purchased have slight caratage differences....not too bad, around 0.1 to 0.2 ct differences....I can still tolerate this for online gem shopping. Other people may not happy with such difference though.. :D

Although the feedback can be crooked, it is still good to read through, especially the neutral and negative ones and have a rough idea. I tend to check the background of the feedback givers as well, to see how "experienced" they are in gem purchasing, and if possible, the type of gems that they purchased....(if that buyer frequently spent a lot on gems, he/ she should have certain level of experience in gem hunting...) It is good to be a voyeur for this case :twisted:

Don't be shy to ask the seller questions, or for more pictures from different angles or light conditions or video if you are really interested in a gem.

Always try your luck with a small purchase from a particular dealer that you have selected, wait for the package, check it, and if you are happy with the product, stick to that dealer. There are still honest and sincere gem sellers out there. You just need more effort to look for it.


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 Post subject: Re: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:02 pm 
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WClee wrote:
I try to stay away from those "USD 0.99, no reserve bidding...." People sell to earn isn't it?

Here's the cool thing about those listings. Some get bid up and the seller makes a profit, but others don't, even if they might be just as nice (or almost as nice) a stone. Bad photos, back luck, etc. So if the stone is one of those varieties which is a pretty safe bet you can sweep up what's left with low bids and make out pretty well.


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 Post subject: Re: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:29 am 
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So, here's the 6 tips for buying a semi-precious gemstones jewelry on ebay... You can actually evaluate the gemstones by:
-Cut: the cut of stones determines the value.
-Clarity: the clarity refers to the flawlessness of a gemstone.
-Color: the color is rated by vivacity, intensity and saturation. A color that is bright in the medium range, with no cloudiness is considered the best quality.
-Carat: the size is not always a determining factor in valuing a gem; a badly cut or colored large stone with numerous flaws is lower in value than a smaller but more perfect specimen.
-Treatment: a natural stone is more valuable than a stone that is treated to enhance color.
-Transparency: In gemstone, the transparency is measured by how much light is diffused throughout the stone; the more transparent a gem, the higher the value.


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 Post subject: Re: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:11 pm 
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brucedixon01 wrote:
So, here's the 6 tips for buying a semi-precious gemstones jewelry on ebay... You can actually evaluate the gemstones by:
-Cut: the cut of stones determines the value.
-Clarity: the clarity refers to the flawlessness of a gemstone.
-Color: the color is rated by vivacity, intensity and saturation. A color that is bright in the medium range, with no cloudiness is considered the best quality.
-Carat: the size is not always a determining factor in valuing a gem; a badly cut or colored large stone with numerous flaws is lower in value than a smaller but more perfect specimen.
-Treatment: a natural stone is more valuable than a stone that is treated to enhance color.
-Transparency: In gemstone, the transparency is measured by how much light is diffused throughout the stone; the more transparent a gem, the higher the value.


Here's the problem with that, though: the single most important factor in a gem's price is it's VARIETY. Cut/Clarity/Color/Carat/Transparency don't mean bupkis if it ain't even a natural sapphire. Iolite is pretty, but not when you paid tanzanite prices for it. Ditto for CZ & synthetics.

And Treatment depends entirely on the honesty of the seller. You can not evaluate it from just a picture.

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 Post subject: Re: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:46 pm 
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upcyclist wrote:
brucedixon01 wrote:
So, here's the 6 tips for buying a semi-precious gemstones jewelry on ebay... You can actually evaluate the gemstones by:
-Cut: the cut of stones determines the value.
-Clarity: the clarity refers to the flawlessness of a gemstone.
-Color: the color is rated by vivacity, intensity and saturation. A color that is bright in the medium range, with no cloudiness is considered the best quality.
-Carat: the size is not always a determining factor in valuing a gem; a badly cut or colored large stone with numerous flaws is lower in value than a smaller but more perfect specimen.
-Treatment: a natural stone is more valuable than a stone that is treated to enhance color.
-Transparency: In gemstone, the transparency is measured by how much light is diffused throughout the stone; the more transparent a gem, the higher the value.


Here's the problem with that, though: the single most important factor in a gem's price is it's VARIETY. Cut/Clarity/Color/Carat/Transparency don't mean bupkis if it ain't even a natural sapphire. Iolite is pretty, but not when you paid tanzanite prices for it. Ditto for CZ & synthetics.

And Treatment depends entirely on the honesty of the seller. You can not evaluate it from just a picture.


=D>

Well said! The recommendations read more like a primer for gemstone beginners than a navigation plan for ebay. I agree with what so many others have said:

1. To start, assume its too good to be true and walk away
2. Find sellers who have excellent feedback - read the feedback to see if buyers thought the stones were as represented (people can give positive feedback even though there are consistent comments saying stone was darker/lighter/less saturated than represented).
3. Use toolhaus.org and check the seller's feedback there as well.
4. Buy something small to start. Don't be afraid to ask the seller questions. If they don't answer, don't buy!
5. Buy your way up to more expensive stones. If after discussing it in advance, the seller won't honor a return if an expensive stone is sent to a reputable lab and comes back not as represented, walk away.
6. Get tools. Learn to check the stones yourself for telltale signs of fakes.

I'm sure there are a gazillion more helpful hints but my brain emptied at 6. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:47 am 
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I would add a rule. Don't buy from China. I know that sounds bad, but every seller I've seen from China is selling CZ and calling it natural something or other. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I don't take the chance.

It really comes to experience, set yourself a low budget, make some low end purchases, and get a feel for your sellers. Eventually you will find a few you were happy with. As someone mentioned earlier, you will start to get a feel for certain varieties from pictures (still room for error, of course, but it reduces the risk).

And do your research, seeing a good feedback score doesn't necessarily mean the feedback is from people who have a clue. Read through it extensively to try and get an idea of the buyers level of knowledge. That can be difficult since they leave you so little space for feedback comments. Sometimes you can find reviews outside ebay.

Lastly, if you're looking to spend a lot on a quality stone, don't do it on ebay :)


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 Post subject: Re: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:41 am 
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I've purchased relatively inexpensive carvings, mineral specimens and cabochons from Chinese sellers many times without incident. I found that they were honest and good to work with. It's going to vary from seller to seller like anything else.


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 Post subject: Re: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:43 am 
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Yeah, I should have specified faceted stones. There's plenty of good cab material coming out of China, like Tiger's eye.


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 Post subject: Re: gemstones on ebay?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:19 pm 
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I can't remember anything I've purchased on eBay which was misrepresented. I'm careful.
But I've purchased things at gem shows which were totally off base, too cheap to follow through on and a good lesson for the future.


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