Best loose gemstone sites please


i think someone recently inquired about this subject but I can't remember the topic name or any of the reponses. Can someone link it for me?



The Imperial Diamond
Thanks for the link, Kareberry.
Those are my favourite US gemcutters.

Here's a list of some of my favourite gemstone sites:

1. The Natural Sapphire Company-expensive, but you get great stones and settings-US company, native cut stones.
2. Simply Sapphires-also great quality sapphires, rubies, tanzanite, and I've even seen some good quality chrysoberyl on this site. US company, native cut stones.
3. The Gem Trader-Excellent unusual stones, US based, very good gemcutting a mix of US and native cut gems.
4. Wild Fish Gems-Excellent native cut untreated stones. Mr. Bristol has impeccable reputation in the gem industry. Thai based?
6. Palagems-Excellent reputation in gem industry. Wonderful native cut stones. Thai based? Order gems through jeweler.
7. AJS-Very good native cut stones, reputable seller.
8. Multicolour-Good native stones, large inventory, reputable seller
9. American-Thai Trading Company-This seller doesn't have a large inventory, but his gemstones are very good native cut gems. Lots of mali garnets, red flash sphene, spinel, other unusual stones

Oky dokey, that's my short list...
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Those are all good places! I bought a gorgeous sapphire from Simply Sapphires so I have to highly recommend them.
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We just got a blue sapphire called a scissor cut. Before now, I had seen a scissor cut sapphire but I'm really liking the pattern. (I'm just the webmistress and not the gemologist or gemostone picker.)

I have to say that whenever I decide I like one shape, another gemstone comes along in a completely different shape that knocks my socks off. I rather like the longitude of the rectangle. What shapes do you guys like the most?
We have some gorgeous sapphires but you have to look a little bit. It is right under our diamond search engine and it says
"Fine Gem Collection"

Really well cut stones.

This one is a favorite of mine a 3.64 ct. oval.


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i have been buying stones unofficially for about 7 yrs & almost every stone has been purchased from thailand. any issues i had with a stone have been addresssed to my satisfaction with usually the only loss was in the return shipping & even that has been corrected in my favor for the last several years. this is why i recomend going thru ebay for most of my buys-my appraisers seem to verify this by the overal values of the pendents i have built-steve...
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The Millenium Star
Be very careful when buying off Ebay. Every stone I have ever bought there has been awful!! Obviously there are many good gem dealers that sell on Ebay, but you have to be very discriminating, or at least get a recommendation.


The Centenary Diamond
sparklee said:
Be very careful when buying off Ebay. Every stone I have ever bought there has been awful!! Obviously there are many good gem dealers that sell on Ebay, but you have to be very discriminating, or at least get a recommendation.
You are sooo correct Sparklee - I have sooo many "learner" stones that were my initial ebay "finds". I now only buy from a very few sellers on ebay.

With all due respect to Steve - I totally disagree with his "comfort" with the appraisals he is getting for his stones, without having them certified by a reputable gem lab first. Appraisers make their living giving out "replacement" value for like gems/jewelry for insurance purposes and without a gem certificate, you are going to be hard pressed to get that "appraised value" for your stone. The insurance company will just go out and find a similar stone/piece of jewelry that they can buy or have made wholesale and give you that price - I know... I've been down that road and learned the hard way and was told that a tanzanite ring (that had a custom cut high end tanzanite that was purchased in the 90's) that cost a LOT of money even back then, was worth about $800 because they could "buy" one wholesale or have one made for that.... I had no recourse because my insurance appraisal did not have a cert. stating the quality of the tanzanite and I was stuck!

ALSO, and this is VERY important, MOST GIA appraisers specialize in diamonds and not colored gemstones, especially stones that are a bit less well known. If anyone does go with an appraiser, please make sure he/she specializes in colored gemstones.

I bought a star sapphire from a high end jeweler when I lived in Oregon that came with an appraisal from an independent GIA appraiser stating that it was natural/unheated/untreated - it was a gorgeous thing and I paid a pretty penny for it. This appraiser was supposed to know a lot about colored gemstones.

When I got it home, I louped it and saw darkened areas that made me suspicious so I sent it to Richard Sherwood, who at the time was one of the most respected colored stone appraisers in the US and was very knowledgeable in star sapphires - he said he suspected it was treated and sent it off to AGL for me and it came back dyed AND diffused and the GIA appraiser missed on both counts - so instead of a sapphire that was worth thousands, I ended up with a dyed rock that was worth hundreds.

Fortunately the jewelry store I bought it from stood behind their sales and refunded me, but now you know what I think of colored gemstone appraisals without a lab report. Also, most appraisers are in the business of insuring jewelry, not loose gemstones, in fact, most homeowner's policies won't even cover loose gemstones - you have to go with an insurance company that specializes in jewelry and gemstones.

Unless an appraiser has the necessary equipment to check for BE heating (and no they don't because there are only a few labs in the world that do) or have the equipment to test for some of these new treatments, they do NOT know the true value of the stone, but rather are giving "retail" values assuming the stone is what it appears to be without having a gem certificate to back it up.

PLEASE if any of you are considering getting your feet wet in the world of color gemstones, and spending more money than you would on a nice CZ, spend some time lurking in the colored stone forum of Pricescope. There are a lot of experienced collectors/cutters that spend a lot of time on there and their experience (and mistakes made) can save you time and heartache.

If you are just wanting to buy some fun natural colored stones (which is how I started) then by all means, do a little research and find out which ebay sellers have good reputations or buy a colored stone second hand on DB from someone you trust OR if you are wanting to spend a bit more money, contact one of the precision cutters that are recommended or wait until a precision cut stone comes up on DB and snag it!!! The US precision cutters that you see discussed often on PS get their stones from sources they trust (not ebay - believe me) and usually will agree to get an AGL cert for any of their stones that are valuable - they have a reputation to maintain, and word of mouth can make or break them.

Buying colored gemstones is a lot of fun, but you can also throw a lot of money down the drain if you aren't careful, but be warned - it can be addicting. BTW, I'm not advocating not buying native cut stones, most of mine are - just know that native cutters usually cut for color or to maintain ct. weight, so the stones are often unattractive (Sparklee's examples). Precision cutters, cut for light return and will often sacrifice ct. weight to get a better cut because they are getting paid as much for their cutting as for the actual gemstone.

Color vs cut is a discussion that goes on and on and there is not a right answer - if you ask me, my answer would be - it depends - lol.

Steve - you and I both know that your opinions about your stones/jewelry/appraisers is what ended your posting on Pricescope. I'm not going to rehash any of that on this board, because as you stated, you are happy with your stones/jewelry/appraisals, so I am happy for you, but there are many on this board that are new to earthmined colored gemstones and I hate to see you throwing out a blanket statement about how happy you have been with all your ebay purchases and subsequent appraisals because it is misleading and could cost "newbies" some money and heartache if they just unknowingly start buying on ebay.

I'm sorry about the long post, but as many of you know by now, earthmined colored gemstones are my "thing" and even though I am a relative newbie compared to many, I've learned a lot over the past 5 years and I would hate for anyone just starting out to get burned and loose interest (and a lot of $$$ in the meantime).
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Steve...sigh...appraisers are not labs and there are very few appraisers out there with up to date knowledge of colored stones. I don't. Mean to sound harsh but there is a reason you refuse to send your stones to a lab...they won't come back with the kind of certificate you want and won't be as valuable... It doesn't matter if you don't mind the over inflated appraisals you receive but please don't lead newbies in the same direction. Sorry.

Anyway, casey is spot on
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i think the people on this site are still better people than what i found on pricescope-some dont deserve sweat. i did send a stone to GIA for testing-it did come back with a positive report which did match one of my appraisers findings-i presented the info to the other site for viewing & that was shreaded by some-i say to myself-why bother!.i still will stand behind the ebay sites-most are excellent & good stones are there for the taking although prices have gone up as all things have recently. i will not kick dirt here, but i use as many appraisers as i can to verify material-so far im up to 6 individuals who owe me nothing but their profession. most are very impressed with what i have bought & prices paid. i think u all mean well but my responce to u is that u should learn how to shop for gems-i mean really get into looking for good stone at good prices. i know that an appraisal is an opinion based on known facts as seen by the professional based on test performed at that time. in most cases my appraisals have been very good & in some cases filler, use of heat or other chemical insertion has been found or not present. the people that do my appraisals do not rely on their own input but if a question arrises they refer to people in the business as reference to verify. on some of my alex stones an appraiser had a new york jeweler send him one of his better stones for comparison to my material, at his cost & the results were that in some cases my stones did the color change better than the standard that was sent from new york-the appraisal reflects this. we all have our way of doing things & get in a comfort zone-ive found mine & it does work for me-some people have a lot to learn. my appraisals dont just show good value but justify that what i have bought are not learner stones-trust me i dont have trumps money but i do have connections that some never will realize-SHOP & LEARN-steve...
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The Centenary Diamond
For anyone who wants to trudge through a 4 page thread in the CS section - on Pricescope - here is one where some of the most learned collectors on PS try to explain to Steve why he should get lab reports as opposed to appraisals, but after 4 pages, he feels he knows more than all of them do:

Please note that I am colorluvr on PS and I backed up Steve on the fact that Oilpearl (where he got the spinel in question) is a reputable seller in that they don't have a reputation for selling synthetic stones. I won't speak to the value of their stones because that would of course be on a stone by stone basis.

and the followup thread Steve started on same said spinel showing off the referenced GIA report.

Steve, when you first joined BTD and knocked PS and bragged about being kicked off of PS, I asked you to please keep it real.

Now here you are again... stating only part of the facts.... the GIA report only stated that you had a natural spinel.. it did, in no way shape or form support the inflated value that your appraiser gave to you.

I may only mostly lurk on BTD these days because my main interest is now earthmined colored stones, but I do still know a lot of people that frequent this board and call many of them my friends... in addition to the countless newbies that are joining every day to learn about sims/labs/diamonds AND perhaps earthmined stones. I am not going to sit back and watch you continually post information that is only your opinion as though it was fact or half facts like you are an expert - you are not - you are a collector just like I am.. the difference is that I listen and learn from the opinions of those who know more than me and you apparently don't.

There aren't that many people on this board who are extremely knowledgable about earthmined gemstones, I'm certainly not, but I do know enough to not go posting opinions as facts or try to lead people down a road that will only cause them grief and I would HATE for someone to follow your advice - get burned, and never have the enjoyment of owning a beautiful natural gemstone.

So once again Steve, I am going to ask you what I asked you back last summer on THIS thread

Keep it real!
Yikes...I couldn't even finish the first page of that thread...what is it, like 3 or 4 posts in those women already start to get catty??

I love you, BTD sparklie sisters! *hugs*


The Centenary Diamond
that1spazticchik said:
Yikes...I couldn't even finish the first page of that thread...what is it, like 3 or 4 posts in those women already start to get catty??

I love you, BTD sparklie sisters! *hugs*
I'm not quite sure where you are seeing catty women and I don't know what thread you are referring to, but I don't see anything catty in any of the links I posted... There are posts upon posts from men and women trying to explain to Steve why his appraisals are basically worthless, unless he has an accompanying lab report, all to no avail... I see a lot of frustration in these posts, but I don't see anyone being "catty" These women (and men) were truly trying to help Steve learn and explain to him that the over- inflated appraisal that he got for his stone basically meant nothing and to think that a reputable vendor would sell a stone for $900 that was worth thousands was just ridiculous.

Some of the posters on the Colored stone forum of PS are quite passionate about colored gemstones and they call a spade a spade and have been known to hurt feelings, and I don't always agree with everything that is posted, but I totally disagree that "women" in that thread were being "catty". If I missed one post that was catty, please point it out to me. I did see a lot of frustration because the OP refused to even acknowledge all the good information he was being given.... perhaps you took one of those posts of frustration out of context and took it for "cattyness".

Some of the people posting in these threads are professionals in the business and the OP still wouldn't heed their advice or acknowledge what they were trying to say... Perhaps you didn't read the entire thread from the beginning to end... if you did, and you still find the thread full of "women making catty responses" then I guess we just disagree on that point.

I know PS has a bit of a reputation on this board for some of it's "gotta have bigger and better diamond" threads, but I wouldn't know about that because I seldom read any of the forums other than the CS forum.

I do agree that if someone posts a colored stone or colored stone jewelry and asks for a opinion, they are going to get an honest opinion and they aren't always going to be complementary, so if you don't want someone's honest opinion, definitely don't ask for it on the CS forum, but I would hardly call that catty.
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I wasn't referring to anything about the "incident" at hand. THESE are the posts I was referring to:

Person number 1- Steve - You've called this stone "cobalt". If that's a cobalt spinel then I'm an astronaut. If your appraiser says it's a cobalt spinel run to the hills as fast as your legs can carry you. Use it as a test to see what the people you deal with know. Also, ask the appraiser about the cut and colour of the stone compared to value and see what he/she says.

Oh by the way, If I'm wrong, I'll blast myself into space! :bigsmile:

I don't want you to be hoodwinked by so called "experts" and really urge you to start sending your gems to a lab for proper assessment. If you believe something is of value it's worth doing so.

Person number 2-Wow it must really be nice to be able to ID the elements that give a stone its color from a picture on the net.
10 9 8 7 6...

Person number 1-And another lovely ascerbic comment from the acid tongued mouth of CMW. Must remember to hit the report post AGAIN.

Person number 2-Perhaps you should report yourself while you are at it.
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that1spazticchik said:
Person number 1-And another lovely ascerbic comment from the acid tongued mouth of CMW. Must remember to hit the report post AGAIN.

Person number 2-Perhaps you should report yourself while you are at it.
I remember when I first read that thread on PS, I literally almost spewed my coffee out all over my keyboard. The part above is so freakin' hilarious that I can barely handle it!

But yeah, I choose to stay out of their line of fire, lol.
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Hahaha! Yes!

Casey, everything else I totally agree with, from what I saw. The comments directed towards the issue all appear to mean well and are just trying to help someone not get scammed. I mean...I know nothing about colored stones. I just think they are beautiful, but I have yet to purchase one because I'm still trying to educate myself. I just thought this excerpt was funny/sad, is all.