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Alexandrite dealer on ebay - someone was asking about last night

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T L

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I had responded to someone''s post (I''m sorry, I forget who) about who sells alexandrites on ebay, but the whole thread was deleted by the moderators.
Gemburionline and Odesseygem are sister stores that sell alexandrite on ebay, but I can''t vouch for the quality/authenticity of their stones because I never bought them. I do know someone who got their alex''s GIA certed from them though. I personally would have sent the stones to the AGTA however.

Just an FYI for that person. Hope that helps.


If anyone has bought from them, please post your experience here. I would love to hear about it. They''re a Thai dealer, so I''m always a bit cautious, although there are some honest ones, and you can occassionally find great deals on ebay. I know I have.
 

MakingTheGrade

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Thanks!
I was the one that asked, just because I was curious more than anything else, and it''s nice info to know in the future.
And I agree, you can find some lovely things on ebay :) But Thai gem dealers do make me kind of skeptical.
 

T L

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I have bought from Thai gem dealers in the past, mainly tourmalines (they cannot by synthesized, although some dealers pass off topaz, spinel and other stones as tourmaline), but I always got a GIT memo with all my tourmalines from ebay. Now with the recent knowledge about irradiated pink tourmaline and potentially diffused cuprian "paraiba type" tourmaline, I'm even getting the willy nillies about getting tourmaline off of ebay. As far as alexandrites are concerned, they can be easily synthesized and some synthetics are extremely difficult to tell as natural. I know someone mentioned x-ray spectography (sp??) to detect synthetics in another thread, and only labs can afford that machine. I would imagine the GIA has that machine (????), but I do know the AGTA has one. I'm just really really leary of alexandrite because the synthetics are fooling even the experts, so really know and trust who you're buying one from.
 

LD

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Date: 3/21/2009 9:55:04 AM
Author: tourmaline_lover
I have bought from Thai gem dealers in the past, mainly tourmalines (they cannot by synthesized, although some dealers pass off topaz, spinel and other stones as tourmaline), but I always got a GIT memo with all my tourmalines from ebay. Now with the recent knowledge about irradiated pink tourmaline and potentially diffused cuprian 'paraiba type' tourmaline, I'm even getting the willy nillies about getting tourmaline off of ebay. As far as alexandrites are concerned, they can be easily synthesized and some synthetics are extremely difficult to tell as natural. I know someone mentioned x-ray spectography (sp??) to detect synthetics in another thread, and only labs can afford that machine. I would imagine the GIA has that machine (????), but I do know the AGTA has one. I'm just really really leary of alexandrite because the synthetics are fooling even the experts, so really know and trust who you're buying one from.
Absolutely. After seeing hundreds of Alexandrites you can still get caught out. I bought one that just looked too good to be true and after showing it to several experts (all of whom have seen a high number of Alex) we decided that only a lab could tell us. It turned out to be synthetic.

I would recommend anybody buying Alex to buy from a reputable dealer and definitely NOT Ebay. www.multicolour.com always has a good selection AND you will benefit from David Weinberg's vast knowledge. He's written many papers on Alex and I bought my phenomenal 3ct pear from him. With multicolour.com you pay for what you get. So if the price is low, it's not going to be a high end Alex - but I guess that acts as a great guide.
 

yingh

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I bought my alexandrite on eBay years ago and AGTA certified it to be authentic. Unfortunately I forgot which seller it was. I agree with TL that deals can be found on eBay with extreme caution.
 

colormyworld

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TL, Why in the world would anyone try to sell a spinel as a tourmaline? All things being equal, i'm pretty sure the spinel would sell for much more $$$$$.

Also the same source of the info about diffused cuprians is also saying there ARE synthetic tourmalines in the market. FWIW
 

T L

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Date: 3/21/2009 12:45:20 PM
Author: colormyworld
TL, Why in the world would anyone try to sell a spinel as a tourmaline? All things being equal, i'm pretty sure the spinel would sell for much more $$$$$.

Also the same source of the info about diffused cuprians is also saying there ARE synthetic tourmalines in the market. FWIW
You must be talking about my other thread about the ebay seller that originally sold a violet stone for around 2K as a rare colored tourmaline from Tanzania. The seller ended up relisting it as a spinel.

If that was a violet tourmaline, it's still a rare color, but I don't know if it would go for 2K. ????? I see a lot more spinels that color actually. I'm not a spinel expert though.
 

colormyworld

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Date: 3/21/2009 2:35:52 PM
Author: tourmaline_lover

Date: 3/21/2009 12:45:20 PM
Author: colormyworld
TL, Why in the world would anyone try to sell a spinel as a tourmaline? All things being equal, i''m pretty sure the spinel would sell for much more $$$$$.

Also the same source of the info about diffused cuprians is also saying there ARE synthetic tourmalines in the market. FWIW
You must be talking about my other thread about the ebay seller that originally sold a violet stone for around 2K as a rare colored tourmaline from Tanzania. The seller ended up relisting it as a spinel.

If that was a violet tourmaline, it''s still a rare color, but I don''t know if it would go for 2K. ????? I see a lot more spinels that color actually. I''m not a spinel expert though.
So when you speak of "SOME DEALERS" you are talking about a single incedent and using plural for effect?
 

colormyworld

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While I can not explain why a vendor would list a tourmaline as spinel and think they could get a higher selling price. Perhaps they were trying to play off the whole cuprian thing as if the stone would be worth more after heat treating to a neon green/blue. Who knows. Here is a picture of a 13.15 ct purple/red tourmaline I aquired a couple of years ago for about 42 dollars a ct. Of course it is untreated?

pictures_1.jpg
 

T L

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I know I've mentioned this before, but I have a 6 carat violet tourmaline from ebay that I bought with an accompanying GIT memo indicating it's dimensions and that it contained copper. It looked very similar to the one the ebay dealer was trying to pass off as a spinel. I should take it to a gemolotist, but I never thought that it was any other stone except for a tourmaline. Truth be told, the only other stone that has a similar color that I can think of would be a spinel, but it definitely doesn't have the fire of a spinel, or an iolite, but I don't see grey along the other axis. It also has some needles which are indicative of Mozambique tourmaline.

I won it on auction for around $300 at the time (it had about 30 bidders). Gene had told me that it looked like it would heat to a neon blue, but I kept it as is. I figured that this color would be very rare since most of them are heated. I love the color, and I consider it to be one of my best ebay finds, although, like I said before, I should probably send it to AGTA. I had figured the GIT memo would be adequate, but you have to wonder sometimes.

I'm not trying to bash ebay completely. There are some absolutely wonderful dealers on ebay, even Thai dealers. It's just a gamble since there's so much on ebay, and you will find unscrupulous sellers at every corner.

Thanks for sharing the picture of your beautiful tourmaline.

TLviolettourm.JPG
 

T L

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CMW,
You had once mentioned the subject of irradated pink tourmaline. I don't know if these stone tend to look a specific color once they have been treated, but this was represented as an irradiated color on another gemological website. It's very bubblegum pink in color. These stones are supposedly heated until they're colorless and then irradiated to pink.

irradiatedpinktourm.jpg
 

T L

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Date: 3/21/2009 11:25:48 AM
Author: LovingDiamonds

Date: 3/21/2009 9:55:04 AM
Author: tourmaline_lover
I have bought from Thai gem dealers in the past, mainly tourmalines (they cannot by synthesized, although some dealers pass off topaz, spinel and other stones as tourmaline), but I always got a GIT memo with all my tourmalines from ebay. Now with the recent knowledge about irradiated pink tourmaline and potentially diffused cuprian ''paraiba type'' tourmaline, I''m even getting the willy nillies about getting tourmaline off of ebay. As far as alexandrites are concerned, they can be easily synthesized and some synthetics are extremely difficult to tell as natural. I know someone mentioned x-ray spectography (sp??) to detect synthetics in another thread, and only labs can afford that machine. I would imagine the GIA has that machine (????), but I do know the AGTA has one. I''m just really really leary of alexandrite because the synthetics are fooling even the experts, so really know and trust who you''re buying one from.
Absolutely. After seeing hundreds of Alexandrites you can still get caught out. I bought one that just looked too good to be true and after showing it to several experts (all of whom have seen a high number of Alex) we decided that only a lab could tell us. It turned out to be synthetic.

I would recommend anybody buying Alex to buy from a reputable dealer and definitely NOT Ebay. www.multicolour.com always has a good selection AND you will benefit from David Weinberg''s vast knowledge. He''s written many papers on Alex and I bought my phenomenal 3ct pear from him. With multicolour.com you pay for what you get. So if the price is low, it''s not going to be a high end Alex - but I guess that acts as a great guide.
Thanks LD. I would hope you would chime in on this thread since you have such an amazing alexandrite collection.
 

colormyworld

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TL, I am not an expert. IMHO I don''t think there is a typical color from this treatment. I think it depends on the elements in the specific stone. I will add though, that IMHO this treatment is much more common than many would have us believe. I have no ifo to back that statement up but feel that since it is so hard to detect that many are not disclosing.
 

T L

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Date: 3/21/2009 11:59:55 AM
Author: yingh
I bought my alexandrite on eBay years ago and AGTA certified it to be authentic. Unfortunately I forgot which seller it was. I agree with TL that deals can be found on eBay with extreme caution.
As an avid ebayer, I have noticed it was much better years ago. The prevelance of suspect merchandise seems to be going up, or perhaps I''ve just learned a lot since then. ????? In any case, always know who you''re buying from, and make sure they have a good refund policy and good feedback (toolhaus.org).
 

T L

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Date: 3/21/2009 5:18:49 PM
Author: colormyworld
TL, I am not an expert. IMHO I don't think there is a typical color from this treatment. I think it depends on the elements in the specific stone. I will add though, that IMHO this treatment is much more common than many would have us believe. I have no ifo to back that statement up but feel that since it is so hard to detect that many are not disclosing.
I spoke with a very highly respected faceter on this subject in another forum. He stated that the rough is probably not treated, and only cut stones are treated. These stones pass through Brazil and Thailand for treatment. For example, if your stone came from Africa as a piece of rough, and was faceted by someone you know and trust, then it's probably okay.

As a sidenote, I will no longer buy pink/red tourmaline unless I know it came as rough to a trusted vendor that can facet it for me.
 

colormyworld

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May I ask what makes you think that the rough can not be treated. I am of the opinion that blind trust is just that, blind trust. As a former president once said, "trust but verify" Hard to go wrong living by thoise words.
 

T L

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Date: 3/21/2009 5:36:02 PM
Author: colormyworld
May I ask what makes you think that the rough can not be treated. I am of the opinion that blind trust is just that, blind trust. As a former president once said, ''trust but verify'' Hard to go wrong living by thoise words.
It probably could be. However, I was told by someone on another forum (which you probably know of) that it wasn''t. This person is a highly respected faceter, and you can find our discussion there under "irradiated pink tourmaline." I started the topic.
 

T L

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LOL! I think the whole recent TG padparadscha episode here taught us that!
 

chrono

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Date: 3/21/2009 8:06:09 PM
Author: tourmaline_lover
LOL! I think the whole recent TG padparadscha episode here taught us that!
You got that right.
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 3/21/2009 10:42:08 PM
Author: Chrono

Date: 3/21/2009 8:06:09 PM
Author: tourmaline_lover
LOL! I think the whole recent TG padparadscha episode here taught us that!
You got that right.
Ha well I am glad it serves as a good reminder. I really do think verifying is necessary to help protect ourselves.
 

soberguy

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alexandrite on ebay are simply scary. agree with agta, or gia certification, but even in that case, the stone of similar size/weight could be sold as the real thing! if you are interested in an alexandrite, I was a few on Richard Wise that were absolutely gorgeous.
 

T L

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Date: 3/26/2009 3:22:24 AM
Author: soberguy
alexandrite on ebay are simply scary. agree with agta, or gia certification, but even in that case, the stone of similar size/weight could be sold as the real thing! if you are interested in an alexandrite, I was a few on Richard Wise that were absolutely gorgeous.
I know one ebayer that got these amazing color change pieces from Gemburionline for very good prices, and then had them GIA certed as real, so certification is important, I agree. Thanks "Soberguy."
 

innerkitten

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I wouldn''t buy alexandrite on Ebay.

TL I''d love to hear the results if you get your stone tested. You might even be able to get an idea by just having it looked at with a microscope. Tiny inclusions and things can tell you a lot.
 

innerkitten

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P.S. Maybe you don't see many tourmalines in that color because they heat them all. How about another photo :)

BTW I have yet to on a single tourmaline. I'm still in my spinel/garnet phase. One of these days I'd like one of those African greens though.
 

T L

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Date: 3/26/2009 10:56:11 AM
Author: innerkitten
I wouldn''t buy alexandrite on Ebay.

TL I''d love to hear the results if you get your stone tested. You might even be able to get an idea by just having it looked at with a microscope. Tiny inclusions and things can tell you a lot.
A lot of people wouldn''t buy an alex on ebay either, but I wanted to mention the name of the seller so gemologists and consumers can see for themselves. As for the GIA certification, I know many gemologists do not think it''s satisfactory for catching a synthetic. Perhaps one can chime in on this thread if he/she believes it is adequate. If I had an alexanandrite, and I think I stated this above, I would send it to the AGTA.
 

TravelingGal

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TL, didn''t shaundrice''s alex''s come back as authentic? I believe that was the thread that disappeared and I didn''t get to read all of it, but I was very interested in the outcome of that one.
 

T L

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Date: 3/26/2009 12:44:47 PM
Author: TravelingGal
TL, didn't shaundrice's alex's come back as authentic? I believe that was the thread that disappeared and I didn't get to read all of it, but I was very interested in the outcome of that one.
Yes, his alex's came back as "natural" deemed by the GIA.
 

LD

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Date: 3/26/2009 11:15:16 AM
Author: tourmaline_lover

Date: 3/26/2009 10:56:11 AM
Author: innerkitten
I wouldn''t buy alexandrite on Ebay.

TL I''d love to hear the results if you get your stone tested. You might even be able to get an idea by just having it looked at with a microscope. Tiny inclusions and things can tell you a lot.
A lot of people wouldn''t buy an alex on ebay either, but I wanted to mention the name of the seller so gemologists and consumers can see for themselves. As for the GIA certification, I know many gemologists do not think it''s satisfactory for catching a synthetic. Perhaps one can chime in on this thread if he/she believes it is adequate. If I had an alexanandrite, and I think I stated this above, I would send it to the AGTA.
Absolutely agree 100%.

Synthetic Alex is so incredibly convincing it''s scarey!
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 3/26/2009 1:47:30 PM
Author: tourmaline_lover

Date: 3/26/2009 12:44:47 PM
Author: TravelingGal
TL, didn''t shaundrice''s alex''s come back as authentic? I believe that was the thread that disappeared and I didn''t get to read all of it, but I was very interested in the outcome of that one.
Yes, his alex''s came back as ''natural'' deemed by the GIA. This thread and another one, in which he made some inappropriate comments, were deleted by the moderators.
Thanks TL. The last I saw the thread, someone asked why one of the Alex''s GIA reports seemed covered in the comments section. He posted a closeup of the comments, but it was the other stone''s report. It did seem obviously covered to me, so I was curious if he did post what it said (if anything). I don''t doubt he got it certed and it came back natural, but wanted to know if the GIA said anything further.
 
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