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 Post subject: The shocking truth
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:15 am 
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Some time ago we decided not to get angry any more about how some gem traders eloquently hype up low grade stones to sparkling gems.
The fact that some unscrupulous dealers use massively enhanced photos to advertise their gems is nothing new, either.

However, sometimes the chutzpah, with which this is done, is downright shocking.

Recently a customer wanted to find out, why our Tanzanites are so much more expensive than Tanzanites sold in online auctions. So he bought a stone from a US-based gem trader through a popular internet auction platform.

Now he knows.

This "photo" was used to advertise the Tanzanite in the auction

Image

This is what he got:

Image

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(re-sellers please register to see wholesale prices)
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 Post subject: Re: The shocking truth
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:15 am 
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Maybe its my phone screen, but nothing here seems shocking. The stone was photographed under the most flattering conditions, and either the camera was being a bit creative or they bumped the saturation up a bit in photoshop. On this screen the difference is obvious but not ludicrous considering the difference in lighting conditions. With a window like that you should know what you're getting in to-great material isn't likely to end up with a cut like that. This is far from the most manipulated gem auction photo I've seen online. It's not even the most unrepresentative one I've seen today.


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 Post subject: Re: The shocking truth
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:34 am 
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Scarodactyl wrote:
being a bit creative... or they bumped the saturation up a bit in photoshop.

well, i´d call that a bit more than a bit...

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 Post subject: Re: The shocking truth
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:48 pm 
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Well, the value of a stone which appears like #1 in real life is far greater than #2.
The former, a gem, the latter low grade commercial poop.


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 Post subject: Re: The shocking truth
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:28 pm 
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Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's right, but it's far from shocking. To me it seems that the first photo is the stone in its most flattering light, plus some extra color via whichever method of photo manipulation (when I said "a bit" I meant it as ironic understatement, though it's not nearly the worst I've seen), while the second is the stone in a much less flattering light. That's not to say the listing wasn't dishonest and wrong--it was both! But the stone does bear some resemblance to the photo, and it's the variety specified, which makes it really tame for the dark side of eBay. This is the kind of listing that can yield a good deal if you wear your seller-context-appropriate eBay goggles and bid low. Remember that there aren't that many starry-eyed and totally inexperienced newbies here. We've seen the properly blatant saturation manipulations, the badly painted in star sapphire rays, the suspiciously bright opals the rare natural purple turquoises and all the other trickery, fakery and lab-certified highly-valued reputably-appraised garbage. That's why there are deals to be had there--because you need a certain amount of knowledge and skill to be able to wade through the garbage and find the them.


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