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Suggestions for an online shop selling gemstones.

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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Mystical Wonders Discussion Group Forum Index -> Crystals & Gemstones (Minerals)
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Leap



Joined: 22 Jan 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:19 pm    Post subject: Suggestions for an online shop selling gemstones. Reply with quote

Could anyone suggest a online gem shop that ships internationally?
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martouk



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:14 pm    Post subject: Online gems Reply with quote

There is a large number of decent gem dealers on ebay. I have had the best luck with the sellers from Thailand, which is the current gem cutting capital of the world. There are other sellers in the USA and the UK that I have also done business with.

Not wanting to sound like a commercial for ebay, but they have a buyer protection plan in place and if you find that the stones you order are not as advertised (fake stones instead of natural gemstones), then you have recourse through ebay buyer protection to have your funds refunded.

Always check out the dealer ratings which are posted on the pages with the gemstones, and check the seller feedback. The highest rated sellers with the best track record are your best bet to do business with - i.e. those with the most sales and the highest rating of satisfied customers.

Always read the product description carefully, especially when purchasing rubies. You will see stones where under the treatment section it is described as Chatham Diffusion. Chatham Diffusion is a syntnetic process and it not a natural ruby. Chatham Diffusion processes are now being utilized in fabricating sapphires as well (another form of corrundum, like rubies).

So long as you read the product description and watch the seller ratings, you should do okay. You can also email questions to the sellers in advance of a sale too.

Hope this helps.
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Leap



Joined: 22 Jan 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i see.thank you for the information on Chatham Diffusion,how do you know if the gems are fake?
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martouk



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject: Fake stones Reply with quote

In general, until one is is pretty familiar with stones, it can be hard to tell a genuine stone from a false stone. A topaz can be treated in many different ways to take on almost any color. Sometimes you can get a stone sold as perhaps a sapphire or ruby (or other gemstone) when it fact it is a color treated topaz or quartz.

Just about all stones in the world are color or heat treated to enhance or alter their colors. The one thing that can't be altered is what is known as their refractive index, or the manner in which they diffuse light. A diamond has the highest refractive index of the natural stones. Artificial stones and synthetics (such as cubic zirconium) have a much higher refractive index than natural stones.

If you are seriously thinking about buying any gemstones in bulk, then you should invest in a refractometer to verify your product upon purchase. Gemstones sold out of Thailand, found on ebay, should not be automatically discounted as valueless stones just because of ebay pricing. I have purchased stones online for fabulously low prices that go for hundreds retail in the USA if I bought a similar stone from a jeweler.

There is a safe machine on the market now that is a digital refractometer by a company called Gem-n-Eye (link below). It is not a cheap machine, but it is safer than the older traditional method which required the usage of poisonous chemicals to measure stones. I use one of these machines and have found it very accurate. Having a good book on gemstones with the refractive properties and hardness scales (mohs scale) on hand is also very helpful.

http://www.mineralab.com/Gem-n-Eye.htm


I would suggest you don't take stones to a jeweler to verify as they will generally tell you anything is fake in the hope that you will buy their products instead - particularly if they happen to be over 2 carats. Also, jewelers are not gemologists. They may have a diamond tester, but most can't tell a real stone from an artificial one without measuring it, and most don't keep a refractometer on hand to measure other gemstones.

You can get some large weight stones out of the Thai market (rubies and sapphires weighing over 5 carats) and these are generally not available except to the more well off customers in the US or the UK. The larger the carat weight, the greater the value on the market.

One final word of caution on buying - do not buy what is known as a doublet when purchasing sapphires, rubies or other precious gemstones. What a doublet is, is a sliver of a colored gemstone bonded, usually, to a clear quartz. They can be very pretty, but they are not the same as a genuine stone. They will not measure correctly on a refractometer.

What are known as doublets or triplets are stones usually used when purchasing ammolite or opal because these two stones are very soft. With a doublet, they place clear quartz over a thin cut of opal in order to keep it from getting broken or scratched and it increases the life of the stone (opal is very soft, only 4 on the mohs scale). With a triplet, they place a piece of black onyx (usually) as a backing to a thin sliver of the stones mentioned above to also give them longer life.

With opals you will also find what is called a 'mosiac'. A mosaic doublet is where they manufacture a stone using tiny parts of opal that are too small for any other use and make a sort of mosaic from all the pieces, then bind them in a doublet or triplet. So if you find a stone that is advertised as a mosiac piece, just know that it does not necessarily come from the same piece of opal. Mosaics can be very pretty, but it is not the same value as a single piece of opal. Doublets or triplets are less valuable than full-sized opals.

Hope this helps.
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Leap



Joined: 22 Jan 2011
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you!This information helps alot.
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peaceandkarma



Joined: 02 May 2011
Posts: 43
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most good on-line crystal retailers ship internationally now days.
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