When Fake Stones Hit The Market

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FarmMom
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When Fake Stones Hit The Market

Post by FarmMom » 11 months ago

Well, I've finally hit a milestone . . .

I've bought enough gemstones online to finally receive a fake!

The item in question was a masterfully cut, swiss blue topaz, 26 carats and IF clear. I had a winning bid of $41.

So when it arrived, the first thing I did was throw it up on my Refractometer . . . and it registered as GLASS. Whoa. I used my Dichroscope, not true to a blue topaz. Then I did a scratch test. I grabbed a faceted moonstone and sure enough, it scratched the side. Moonstone is a 6-6.5 hardness and topaz is an 8. GLASS, is a 5.5-6.5, depending on the type.

I contacted the seller and he insisted it's not glass but agreed to give me a refund. But it did get me thinking . . .

if you search on Ebay, you can find LOTS of lab-created ROUGH. BIG BLOCKS of it. Think of Moissonitte. There are various types of quality and the same is for other stones. Some Lab stones are better than others. I bought a parcel of 15, 6mm rubies on e bay for $12. STEAL of a deal. They claimed to be real but I was fairly certain they were fake. But for 412, why not?

When they arrived, I tested them. They looked nothing like the photo, all stones were identical incolor and clarity (IF). usually a red flag for rubies. I instantly figured they were glass, but I tested them with my lab equipment anyway.

And they tested as . . . .

RUBY. Everything tested correctly. Harness, refractometer and even the Dichroscope were correct for real ruby. The ONLY way I could not test was with selective gravity (this is an easy test anyone can do with only a tiny scale). They were too small to attempt this. Every stone has a different density, and weighing them in water measures the density, and you can look up the values online.

So I am LEANING toward GOOD lab rubies, although there is a small meek chance they could be real, but for less than a dollar per stone, I'm still happy. I've seen lab rubies this size sell for $100 each.

Lab stones are nearly identical to mined stones, and labs can even replicate flaws and inclusions now, so emeralds and sapphires and rubies are all at risk. And the ONLY way to know is by mineralisys in a lab.

Commenters online have said that large TV sellers tend to be at highest risk for fakes since they require large amounts on inventory of a specific quality. And as I mentioned, NORMAL certification will NOT catch this. Just because a stone is 'certified" does not mean it is what it claims to be ;)
Although I did just snatch a very nice pigeon blood 1.67ct ruby with nice clarity for $120 at auction
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Druid
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Re: When Fake Stones Hit The Market

Post by Druid » 11 months ago

Here is my experience : I bought a ruby bead necklace some years ago on Ebay. It tested as rubies but...they left a red color on my white t-shirt because they were dyed. The same thing I experienced with a sapphire necklace bought at Tgmax this time from their jewelry depart.: the beads were tested as sapphires but after rubbing some with a wet tissue, there was some bleu color left on it. The same with so called "no treated" lapis lazuli that was not mentioned as being dyed.Some ruby earrings, tested as such , were treated with oiling. Oiling is nowadays a very common treatment for rubies and sapphires coming from India. Emeralds have been commonly treated with oiling though. If the rubies are well dyed and the color is not spilling, they will test as rubies nevertheless.
Some years ago I bought an"emerald" ring that proved to be a dyed green onyx. The ebay seller ( from Canada), refunded me and then disappeared for a certain time and....reappeared with the same ring this time with a ruby stone....sure as fake as my "emerald".
There is also, as I mentioned in one of my previous and rare posts, the fact that information about the stones treatment is different from shoplc web and eBay for the same items. Some polky diamonds and champagne, are marked as "heated or irradiated' on eBay for the same seller but not on their web.
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FarmMom
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Re: When Fake Stones Hit The Market

Post by FarmMom » 11 months ago

Interesting, I never thought about poki diamonds being heated. I have noticed LOTS of sellers online stating a stone is "natural" when it no doubt was heated or irradiated (such as with aquamarine or topaz).

I have been fortunate not to have anything dyed come off on me! I did buy a rainbow jasper necklace for my son, which was stated to be real and turned out to be dyed and NOT jasper at all but glass.

It seems like there has been a massive gem boom, with new stones being discovered and more 'regular type" people buying into fine jewelry. Likely jewelry TV has played a LARGE part with their massive hunger for large supplies of gemstones. The greater demand for more inventory, the less quality control and the more stone sellers look for "alternatives".

At the moment however, it seems like demand is way down. Stones, even decent ones are selling for a few dollars. Fine quality Citrines and Amethysts are selling for $1 per carat, and stunning tanzanites and tourmalines I've had on my watch list, are still there even a year later.

I have one guy showing me some massive tourmalines right now. Not sure yet on his price. That's one thing SLC doesn't have, is fine quality tourmalines. They have a few tiny ones, and their "pariba" which I would never buy without an actual certificate, not their certificate. Pariba is not a color but a specific mineral variety of tourmaline. A pale blue tourmamline may or may not be a pariba, only mineral analysis can tell.

ShopLC has some tiny nice pink ones, but none of the large, eye-catching types
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Margui
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Re: When Fake Stones Hit The Market

Post by Margui » 10 months ago

I remember buying years ago a Lápiz Lazuli pendant from ShopLC, back then it was called aThe Liquidation Channel. It seems a good quality. One day, it rained and its blue color never stained my blouse.But I have doubts about their Jalisco Fire Opal. I don’t know, if they are dyed quartz or pure opal as they claimed.
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