Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Novice Buying CS in Person...

tammy77

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,442
So I'm meeting up with a woman today that I've been talking to about some CS. She seems genuinely honest and knowledgeable when I've asked her questions. She's been collecting for years and is trying to pare down her collection to make up some income. I found her on ebay, while doing a search for a particular stone and noticed that she was local to me so I asked if we could meet to look at some of her pieces. So that's the back story.

She's meeting me tonight and is bringing an array of stones. Her prices are very good, but her reasoning (had them for a long time, not looking to make a profit, needing to downsize, etc.) don't give me reason to worry. I should also mention that she sounds older, and is struggling to sell them on ebay because of pictures and technology.

Anyhow, my point (I do have one!) is...how can I tell if I'm truly getting what she says it is? I mean I know it's not possible to know 100%, but what are some of the glaringly obvious signs that a stone is fake, etc.? She's bringing some tourmaline, spinel, spess (I asked her about fanta, she's bringing one), amethyst, aquamarine, tsavorite (my request), london blue topaz, and maybe a few sapphires. It feels like a CS addict's dream come true, but I worry that I'm going to get pulled into making bad purchases.

If this is one of those "you're asking for too much/impossible to tell you all of the information you need" things, please feel free to tell me! I'm very excited to go meet her tonight and go on a photo shoot spree after I get a few new shiny things!
 

ruffysdad

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 23, 2010
Messages
127
That's a tough one Tammy, Is she a cutter? Cutter's buy rough and it's pretty easy for us to weed out a lot of fakes just by looking at the crystal form. Not a 100% guarantee but it at least gives an idea on some stones. Did she buy them on ebay? Or at shows? The source would be important there. Probably your best bet if you're not a gemologist, would be to have a GG look at them and see if they're what she says they are. Good luck, it sounds like you might have a great source :mrgreen:

Pete
 

tammy77

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,442
Hi,

She's definitely not a cutter. I did ask her about her sources and she said that she's collected from many sources over the years - ebay, gem shows and I suspect TV. I think I'll end up buying a few now, taking them in to be checked out and then I can meet up with her again to buy more if they're all good quality and as represented.

I wish I knew more about what types of stones would be good to pick up. She seems to have a wide variety and was willing to bring anything I asked for. I'll update more after tonight!
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,707
Ok well on the plus side, her story could be true and so you could pick up some lovely stones for a good price.

On the down side, you've got no comeback if the stones have been nuked, lead/glass filled, synthetic, etc etc.

If it's an option and you decide to buy some stones then (depending on what country you're in), you could say that the sale of X number of stones would depend on getting them tested by an independent expert. You agree a total price (or price per stone) beforehand and you could get a bank to hold money for the lady to be given to her if the stones are what she says. She could then send them to a lab of your choice and when she get the reports, you pay her the money via the bank and she gives you the reports and stones (or she meets you at the bank to finalise the transaction).

That would be the safest route. Good luck!
 

Kismet

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 6, 2005
Messages
2,991
Is it possible to meet up first to pick out a few you like and then make an appointment for you two to meet at an appraiser to make sure they are what she represents?
 

tammy77

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,442
Her prices are LOW. Like $20 per stone for the around 1 ct mark stones. These are spinel/tourms that she bought nearly 10 years ago and she's only trying to recoup her money. She said that she knows they've gone up but just wants to get her money back. She's starting to sell them on ebay and has a VERY good rating (over 2K+) there.

I oscillate between feeling badly and thinking I should do the right thing by helping her figure out what they're worth and help her with pictures, to worrying that I'm being taken for a ride. :errrr:

I think my best bet after talking with you guys is to just buy a couple, have them looked at and then come back to her with the results. I don't want to offend her by asking to do so before hand. If I spend $20 on a piece of glass, I can handle it. If they're the real deal, I want to help her out with the sale of her other gems by taking photos for her, etc. because I really have taken to her.
 

bobsiv

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Feb 8, 2011
Messages
88
Well I'd say there are a few things you can look for to indicate natural gemstones. Color zoning in quartz, dichroism in tourmaline, inclusions in spessartite, etc. Here is a cool one, a lot of gemstones are slightly magnetic. Check out this website for more info:
http://gemstonemagnetism.com/index.html
Beyond that you'd need some gemological tools and a lot of practice in using them. Sounds like you have a good plan though, good luck.
 

tammy77

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,442
Magnetic...how interesting! I looked at the chart and it seems pretty all over the place (similar colored stones having similar reactions). I think I better just go into this as "Oh how fun, that looks pretty!" for tonight..and leave my cc/check book at home! :lol:
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    5.5 Carat Diamond Upgrade
    5.5 Carat Diamond Upgrade
    Style File: Julia Roberts
    Style File: Julia Roberts
    Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations
    Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top