Best loose gemstone sites please

#61
There are a lot of good places to buy loose gemstones, since the topic was about web sites, I will add that ebay does have plenty but one must be clever to find the right dealers. One thing I did not see mentioned was using toolhaus.org. It will often show a more clear picture of the feedback. Most use it to find the better dealers but as a dealer myself, I use it to find the better buyers since it also shows all feedback ever left. This info will tell me whether or not to deal with a person that is proposing a deal and sometimes tells me it is better to simply block the customer based on their 'feedback left' record.
The advise left here is basically sound, be very careful on ebay, however, it IS true that many precision cutters and high end dealers DO buy on ebay. We are all on it, whether we like to admit it or not. Since it is the largest marketplace in the world it is impossible to ignore. The deals available are often BETTER than even what I can find by being an American gemologist living in Thailand, being a strong negotiator and being able to speak Thai and understand Thai customs.
I have a lot of dealers from other countries that send me gems to set that they bought on ebay.
Labs are useful especially when it comes to higher dollar buys, even a regular gemmo cannot detect what the high tech labs can. Fortunately that is not so expensive from the ground here.
Best regards, Lee
 
#62
Lee Little
Curious

Registered: 12/21/11
Posts: 10
Loc: Thailand and Ohio There are a lot of good places to buy loose gemstones, since the topic was about web sites, I will add that ebay does have plenty but one must be clever to find the right dealers. One thing I did not see mentioned was using toolhaus.org. It will often show a more clear picture of the feedback. Most use it to find the better dealers but as a dealer myself, I use it to find the better buyers since it also shows all feedback ever left. This info will tell me whether or not to deal with a person that is proposing a deal and sometimes tells me it is better to simply block the customer based on their 'feedback left' record.
The advise left here is basically sound, be very careful on ebay, however, it IS true that many precision cutters and high end dealers DO buy on ebay. We are all on it, whether we like to admit it or not. Since it is the largest marketplace in the world it is impossible to ignore. The deals available are often BETTER than even what I can find by being an American gemologist living in Thailand, being a strong negotiator and being able to speak Thai and understand Thai customs.
I have a lot of dealers from other countries that send me gems to set that they bought on ebay.
Labs are useful especially when it comes to higher dollar buys, even a regular gemmo cannot detect what the high tech labs can. Fortunately that is not so expensive from the ground here.
Best regards, Lee
---Lee-thanks for ur post, ive been trying to expound this info for years about who buys where. These people [so called highend sellers] are in business & this dictates possibly researching as many sellers as necessary when buying gems. My responces, some years ago, were that almost all the so called better cutters & gem sellers do visit the ebay web more than one may realize, because they are in business & that calls for knowing where to get good items at reasonably good prices because they want to keep their customers happy & returning. Learn to shop but be careful!-steve,AAAAHHHHHHHHHH...
 
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#63
Has anyone purchased a lab-created aquamarine? (I'm assuming that if they can make emeralds in a lab, they can make aquamarines too.) BTD doesn't sell 'em. Who (reputable) does?

Thanks!
 

kimicarol

The Centenary Diamond
#64
SupaP said:
Has anyone purchased a lab-created aquamarine? (I'm assuming that if they can make emeralds in a lab, they can make aquamarines too.) BTD doesn't sell 'em. Who (reputable) does?

Thanks!
I have never come across a true (chemically the same) lab created Aquamarine, doesn't mean they don't exist, just that I have never seen one for sale.

When you buy a stone that is called a "lab aquamarine" you are usually getting a synthetic spinel which is the color of an aquamarine. Synthetic spinels can be purchased in almost any color (think of the stones in school rings) and are quite inexpensive.
 
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#66
SupaP said:
Has anyone purchased a lab-created aquamarine? (I'm assuming that if they can make emeralds in a lab, they can make aquamarines too.) BTD doesn't sell 'em. Who (reputable) does?

Thanks!
I also have never seen lab created Aqua that I am aware or anyway. The inspiration for a lab to make it would, of course, be money and since natural Aqua is so affordable and also of such good clarity in comparison to Emerald they likely have few reasons to cook it up. Best regards, Lee
 
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#67
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.
I was buying inexpensive stones from couple dealers and they were fine for the price i paid. And when I tried emerald, and it did not work out. If a seller post many pictures, it decreases the chances of a stone being incorrectly described. Overall, after couple of negative experiences, I am not so open to ebay stone buying.
 
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#68
Liza, I have been buying stones off ebay, or fleabay as some call it, for years, granted one must use care & a little research when buying stones from anyone, anywhere. I have several people I buy from overseas thru ebay & have done pretty well, my alex pendent is a great example of such buys & is one of the reasons Im off of PS. Most of the stones on the alex pendent were bought several years ago when prices were reasonable & more material was out for the taking, a little different today. I have had people from NY city inspect the stones, compare with material they have as primo stones, & the comparisons are very close to the ideal, with my cost well below accepted prices. My cost for the pendent, and actual appraisal for insurance is about 12x actual cost, downside is I only have the one item, no inventory, & if lost or sold, all gone, I do get offers all the time from dealers for the pendent so they can sell the stones for new jewelry at resale-no sale as yet, Im not ready to sell. I think buying on ebay is still safe but one must do exactly as the rules state for the buyer to be covered from loss-Deals are still to b had-steve...
 
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#69
Hello not sure if it was mentioned or not but John Dyer has some pretty nice stones! At least I was impressed! www.johndyergems.com. I was also wondering if any of you guys know the quality of stones coming from gemfix.com?? Anything you can tell me would be great thanks!
 
#71
Thanks Casey! I think I'll have the stone removed from the setting and then send it to AGL to see where I stand.

It was sold to me as a 2.15 ct red sapphire, 100% natural, earthmined, with not treatments or heat. I thought it was an emerald cut but when I learned more about cuts recently I realized it looks more like a scissor cut. I can't remember the exact clarity, I'll check what they out on the appraisal, but it is eye clean all even up close and when you hold it up to the light and let light shine through it. I don't have a loupe though so never seen it through a loupe. I do remember on the appraisal that it said the color/saturation was intense and vivid, I can't remember exactly. I really need to dig it up so I can give you specifics and I will do so tonight.

I bought it from a local jeweler that is popular in my area for diamonds (not a mall jeweler, and they are in Newport Beach, CA) and their gemstones specialist called in some stones for me when I was looking for an emerald cut ruby. She had a bunch of different rubies for me to look at in varying carats, quality, etc. and had a spinel and red sapphire because she thought those were comparable and pretty. The red sapphire is the one that sang to me out of them all, so I bought that one. It's a deep red, but in the sun it has red orange-ish flashes. I actually liked the flashes vs. the solid red rubies and the pink spinel, it just looked so special to me at the time. Still does.

I paid $3K for it set in a $500 platinum setting and the appraisal said its worth double, so at the time I thought that was a really good deal.

The first time it was set it was chipped AND I was not happy with the quality of the workmanship on the setting! They fixed the setting and polished out the chip and promised no weight was lost and the cut wasn't affected, but I don't know how that really affected the cut, looks right to me...but the one thing that has really nagged at me is that I can't remember if it was originally an emerald cut and then became a scissor cut after they fixed the chip or if it always was a scissor cut because I couldn't tell the difference back then! I also was such a rookie buyer that I didn't even look up comps to see if I was paying the right price. I just loved the stone and paid cash. Since I've joined jewelry boards and educated myself, I've had it in the back of my head that maybe the stone wasn't as 100% natural or that it may have been sold to me as something it's not, etc. They have a very good reputation in our area, but I just want to find out for sure since ignorance is not bliss for me!!!!
This is a little confusing to me because when corundum is red, it's a ruby. When corundum is any other color it is a sapphire. Here in Thailand when dealers say "red sapphire" they mean that it is a sapphire that was cooked at high temperatures (near corundum's melting point) in the presence of beryllium in order to enhance the color. I am interested to see what the verdict is on this stone!
 
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