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This ruby I purchased may be a garnet - What would you do?

roxta

Shiny_Rock
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Oct 23, 2019
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188
Hi all, I hope you can give me some advice to deal with this pickle. My BFF had a baby in July and so I decided to get a special piece of jewellery made for her with the baby’s birthstone, ruby. I purchased a small princess-cut ruby (under $70) from a reputable and recommended vendor here on PS. When it arrived, I thought the colour was “meh”, a really dark brownish red – but I’m not a fan of any red stones anyway so it was never going to excite me. I sent the stone to be set by my jeweller in 18k gold. Yesterday, they contacted me to let me know that the lab they work with determined it to be an almandine garnet. They did quick RI and polariscope tests for my jeweller as they have a long standing business relationship. But if I wanted to get an official lab report written up, it would cost AU$70 (around US$50 – which is a lot to spend on a US$70 stone). I asked the jeweller to cancel my project while I get in touch with the vendor.

The vendor insists that the stone is a ruby which is “less expensive because it looks like a garnet but isn’t” and they have sold thousands of them. They say they will cover the cost of a lab report if comes back as “not ruby” - but not from this particular lab because they do not trust their assessment. I told the vendor that I’m happy to send the stone to any lab but all labs here will probably charge a similar fee. If it comes back as “ruby”, it means I will be out an additional $50 as the vendor will not pay me back. I reminded the vendor that there is no incentive for the lab and jeweller to say that the stone is a garnet – in doing so, my project has been scrapped, the jeweller loses the job (setting in 18k gold is not cheap in Australia) and the lab loses the valuation fee of the final piece of jewellery. One would want to be confident in making this conclusion.

I feel very stuck now. The jeweller and the lab are saying it is a garnet. The vendor will not budge and insists it is a garnet-looking ruby. If it is a garnet, it’s useless to me for this birthstone project, not to mention I would have paid 10 times too much for a cheap almandine. But there is no way I’m going to have it set based purely on the vendor’s reassurance.

  • Option 1: Return the stone at my own cost ($20) and look elsewhere for a replacement.
  • Option 2: Send the stone to one of the vendor’s “approved” labs, wait for it to come back as “not ruby” and then look elsewhere for a replacement. I shouldn’t be out of pocket this way but it will take more time.
  • Option 3: Send the stone to one of the vendor’s “approved” labs, wait for it to come back as “ruby” and resume the project. I could be out $50 extra but I will have confidence that I got an actual ruby, albeit a dark, brownish one (not my cup of tea for sure).

Before you tell me which option you would choose, here’s something else to consider. I own a refractometer. It’s not the most accurate/sensitive piece of equipment but it does give consistent results. So rather than focusing on the number, I check that it sits within the expected range. For example, I have tested many sapphires (corundum) with it and they all read between 1.755 and 1.765. I also always get a clear reading (a distinct line) regardless of the type of gem (I’ve tested tourmaline and topaz also). Before sending the stone to the jeweller, I tested it along with a sapphire I purchased at the same time. The sapphire gave the usual reading, the same as my other sapphires. With the “ruby”, I couldn’t get a distinct line to read. I kept rotating the stone and looking again and again. I could tell that the refractive index was within the corundum range but I was seeing more of a blurry outline rather than a distinct line. At the time, I put this down to how dark the stone was.

When the jeweller told me the stone is an almandine garnet, I immediately went to look up the RI. It sort of overlaps with corundum (GIA states 1.760-1.820) so that matches my reading. But might this have something to do with the weird reading I was getting? Of course my refractometer doesn’t give me any conclusive proof that the stone is an almandine, but it may not be a coincidence that I struggled to get a distinct corundum reading….if the stone isn’t corundum. I’m eager to test it again as soon as I get it back from the jeweller.

I know many of you will be thinking why so much hassle for just $70? Just send the stone back, take a $20 loss on shipping and stop delaying my BFF’s gift any longer. Well, the thing is this is my first time purchasing from this vendor and I wanted to test the waters because I’m eyeing a number of bigger stones from them, including a 4+ct tanzanite. So if this is their approach with a $70 stone, what would they be like if it was a much more expensive stone? My preference would actually be to maintain a good relationship and order more in the future, hence I keep playing the devil’s advocate and asking myself “ok, what if it really is just a garnet-looking ruby? What kind of customer service is reasonable in this situation?".

A big part of me is leaning towards getting a report from a different lab just so that I can know for sure if I should be ordering from this vendor again. If it’s a ruby, great. If it’s a garnet and they have sold thousands of them as rubies, I shall be staying far, far away.


ruby order.png
 
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nutellakitty

Shiny_Rock
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In my opinion, $70 you don’t expect to get a ruby from a dealer (untreated over 3mm) anywhere in the world.
In terms of “relationship with the vendor”, if they sell you a piece of garnet as ruby do you still feel obligated to continue to shop from them? There are hundreds of vendors out there you can shop from.

This is not an attractive stone even in the case it is a garnet. If you are gifting it to someone, I would suggest to get something pleasant to the eye. I would better return it than wasting the money to get a lab report. However if you are in the idea “I don’t care what it looks like as long as that is a ruby and my idea is to gift someone a ruby” , you may get the lab report for that.

Also setting a $70 stone on 18K gold is kind of too luxurious for that stone.
 

roxta

Shiny_Rock
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Oct 23, 2019
Messages
188
In my opinion, $70 you don’t expect to get a ruby from a dealer (untreated over 3mm) anywhere in the world.
In terms of “relationship with the vendor”, if they sell you a piece of garnet as ruby do you still feel obligated to continue to shop from them? There are hundreds of vendors out there you can shop from.

This is not an attractive stone even in the case it is a garnet. If you are gifting it to someone, I would suggest to get something pleasant to the eye. I would better return it than wasting the money to get a lab report. However if you are in the idea “I don’t care what it looks like as long as that is a ruby and my idea is to gift someone a ruby” , you may get the lab report for that.

Also setting a $70 stone on 18K gold is kind of too luxurious for that stone.

Thanks for your take on this. The stone is heated and disclosed as such, so no issues there.

If the stone is actually a garnet, no, I would absolutely not shop with this vendor again. But if it's a ruby (albeit not a super attractive one), that's a different situation. I wouldn't feel obligated to shop from them but I would know they were honest.

My BFF is.... how should I put is..... she does not have the same eye for coloured stones as us here on this forum. But she does invest in gold so she will value the gold more than the stone. The ruby is more of a sentiment to celebrate her baby's birth month. It will also be engraved with her baby's name. And I know it will be a meaningful piece to her coming from me, even though it may not be the most expensive.

Think of it more as a gold piece of jewellery with a small ruby rather than a valuable ruby set in gold. But it has to be a ruby because the baby was born in July. It can't be any other type of gemstone. I should be thankful the baby wasn't born in April (diamond)!
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
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Did the listing photo look anything like what you received, or was there only ‘representative’ photo?
If you got the vendors preferred lab report as a garnet and got all your money back - would you really want to still buy that tanzanite specifically from them? Mistakes happen on all sides - but try to think what you want for the future as well.
if you feel there’s no future with this vendor no matter what - just return the stone.

I couldn’t leave it unknown in this exact situation. Trust but verify. Mistakes can be made, but can also be overcome and moved on fruitfully.

And another thought -how will your friend feel if the beans are ever inadvertently spilled about ‘it may be a garnet’ ? How small a town are you in?
 

roxta

Shiny_Rock
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Return it. Don’t buy from the vendor again. Even if it is a ruby it’s poor quality and clear therefore the vendor pictures were misleading. What makes you think the rest of their stock is any different?

So you think I should cut my loses and run?
I know many PSers have great experiences with them and they are listed in the sticky vendor thread here - hence I ordered with confidence.....
 

pokerface

Brilliant_Rock
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A single return should not damage a relationship with a vendor. I get that a ruby would be symbolic as a birthstone, but in this case, maybe everyone would be happy enough with a garnet. That way, you could purchase a nicer stone and not worry about the lost $20.
 

roxta

Shiny_Rock
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Did the listing photo look anything like what you received, or was there only ‘representative’ photo?
If you got the vendors preferred lab report as a garnet and got all your money back - would you really want to still buy that tanzanite specifically from them? Mistakes happen on all sides - but try to think what you want for the future as well.
if you feel there’s no future with this vendor no matter what - just return the stone.

I couldn’t leave it unknown in this exact situation. Trust but verify. Mistakes can be made, but can also be overcome and moved on fruitfully.

And another thought -how will your friend feel if the beans are ever inadvertently spilled about ‘it may be a garnet’ ? How small a town are you in?

It was a representative photo only as I bought a calibrated size stone. To be clear, my main issue is not how the stone looks but that it could be a garnet and not a ruby. If I'm concerned about misrepresentation here, it's not colour, it's species. I have no issues with the photos or lack of.

Hypothetically, if the lab report came back as garnet and I got all my money back, I wouldn't shop with them again because the mistake was confirmed. But if the lab report says ruby, then no mistake as been made. Then everything is fine and I will have restored confidence in the vendor.

Don't worry, I absolutely will not set the stone unless I get a report back saying "ruby". There is no chance BFF will get a garnet-pretending-to-be-a-ruby from me.
 

nutellakitty

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For caliberated smaller sized stones, there are possibilities garnets are mixed with rubies when processing from preformed.
It is not necessary that sellers are being dishonest. (Especially when buying bulks in calibrated sizes) Some garnets are super pretty and can look really like pass or nice rubies. I had a purchased pack of spinels that came with some red zircons and pink garnet inside.
 

roxta

Shiny_Rock
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A single return should not damage a relationship with a vendor. I get that a ruby would be symbolic as a birthstone, but in this case, maybe everyone would be happy enough with a garnet. That way, you could purchase a nicer stone and not worry about the lost $20.

I totally accept that mistakes can happen. A garnet could have slipped into the parcel of rubies and I may have been the unlucky one to get it. And if this is the case, I suppose only a lab report can confirm. I don't think this would necessarily damage a relationship, but I do think it's not helpful when a vendor refutes the findings of a lab and jeweller (especially when they lose out on income by saying it's a garnet). If I were a vendor, I would ask myself if it's possible that a garnet slipped in. Did I test that actual stone before shipping it? Or did I take the stone out of a parcel that I assumed were all rubies?

The vendor offering to reimburse me if the report (from any other lab) comes back as "not ruby" tells me that they are confident that it is a ruby. That's why I'm in limbo here. There are experts on one side telling me one thing and experts on another side telling me the opposite.

Also, setting the stone without being 100% sure it's a ruby is not an option for me. I would rather lose $20 or $50 or the full $70 than tell my BFF it's a ruby when I know there's a possibility it could be a garnet. It defeats the purpose of gifting her this sentimental piece that celebrates our friendship as well as her baby's birth. I'd rather send her a hamper of cheese.
 

roxta

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For caliberated smaller sized stones, there are possibilities garnets are mixed with rubies when processing from preformed.
It is not necessary that sellers are being dishonest. (Especially when buying bulks in calibrated sizes) Some garnets are super pretty and can look really like pass or nice rubies. I had a purchased pack of spinels that came with some red zircons and pink garnet inside.
Yes, I'm aware of these possibilities. It could happen through no fault of the vendor. Hence, I would have expected the vendor's first reaction to be "oh, maybe a garnet got mixed in by accident", not "your lab and jeweller are wrong and useless". The issue isn't so much that it could be a garnet - but where do we go from here if we're at a standoff and no one will budge on their opinion? Do I spend money to get it tested? Do I send it back and take a loss because I trust my jeweller and the lab? Certainly this is an uncomfortable position for a customer to be in - even though, yes, only a first-time customer and only a small value order (if that matters).

Also, I do like garnets, spinels and zircons but not in red. I'm not a red person. I'm glad I wasn't born in July.
 

LilAlex

Brilliant_Rock
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I purchased a small princess-cut ruby (under $70)

Not to be mean (the worst opener, I know, I know), but most of us would not have spent the 30 min it took to compose that detailed and well-reasoned post for that amount.

It's a sunk cost. As far as you know, it's a ruby and you can gift it as such. If it's ugly, return it without a report and get something else -- preferably from someone else.
 

roxta

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Not to be mean (the worst opener, I know, I know), but most of us would not have spent the 30 min it took to compose that detailed and well-reasoned post for that amount.

It's a sunk cost. As far as you know, it's a ruby and you can gift it as such. If it's ugly, return it without a report and get something else -- preferably from someone else.

HAHAHAHA, believe me, I know most people don't care about that amount of money. My husband doesn't understand, even though I did explain to him that I'm gauging the vendor's customer service to decide if I should spend a few hundred or thousands more with them - because I do like many of their stones and their prices. In my defence, I'm in lockdown and can't work from home today, so I literally have nothing else to do besides compose well-reasoned posts. :bigsmile:

I don't find the stone ugly but I'm not a fan of red stones in general so it's hard to be objective. A pure red stone wouldn't appeal to me any more than a brownish red stone. But I'm aware that if I said "I like this stone but it might be a garnet, not a ruby", I would get "for $70, if you like it, that's all that matters " replies. If it's actually a ruby, I have no issue with the colour. I mean I didn't pay for a pigeon red ruby after all.... but I did pay for a ruby.
 

pokerface

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I totally accept that mistakes can happen. A garnet could have slipped into the parcel of rubies and I may have been the unlucky one to get it. And if this is the case, I suppose only a lab report can confirm. I don't think this would necessarily damage a relationship, but I do think it's not helpful when a vendor refutes the findings of a lab and jeweller (especially when they lose out on income by saying it's a garnet). If I were a vendor, I would ask myself if it's possible that a garnet slipped in. Did I test that actual stone before shipping it? Or did I take the stone out of a parcel that I assumed were all rubies?

The vendor offering to reimburse me if the report (from any other lab) comes back as "not ruby" tells me that they are confident that it is a ruby. That's why I'm in limbo here. There are experts on one side telling me one thing and experts on another side telling me the opposite.

Also, setting the stone without being 100% sure it's a ruby is not an option for me. I would rather lose $20 or $50 or the full $70 than tell my BFF it's a ruby when I know there's a possibility it could be a garnet. It defeats the purpose of gifting her this sentimental piece that celebrates our friendship as well as her baby's birth. I'd rather send her a hamper of cheese.

I don't think you should set the stone, nor do I think you should invest more time or money in this dilemma. I guess I wasn't clear - I think you should return the stone, and then purchase a <$50 garnet that you know is a garnet. You can tell your friend it is a "ruby red" garnet. It sounds like she would appreciate the gesture all the same.
 

lovedogs

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I don't think you should set the stone, nor do I think you should invest more time or money in this dilemma. I guess I wasn't clear - I think you should return the stone, and then purchase a <$50 garnet that you know is a garnet. You can tell your friend it is a "ruby red" garnet. It sounds like she would appreciate the gesture all the same.

I agree.
 

MillieLou

Brilliant_Rock
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Return it and forget the 20 dollars, take it as a lesson learned not to work with the vendor in future.

I get that you don't have an eye for red stones, but people on here who do have told you it's unattractive. The response of the vendor to you is also unappealing. Not someone I would want to work with again regardless of what the stone is.

The "get it tested by a lab and we'll pay if it's not a ruby" is bluffing, not confidence in their product. They know 99% of people would not bother for a stone of that price. Plus they will probably wriggle out of paying in the event and how are you going to force them?

Get a plain 18K ring made for your friend with her baby's name engraved inside and a little ruby melee hidden stone next to it, which any jewellery could supply and will cost hardly anything. Like this.

1631251362864.png
 

seaurchin

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I'd send it back because tbh I don't think it's very pretty, regardless of what kind of stone it really is. I know you said your friend is not that into gems but anyone would probably notice the difference between a brown stone and a red stone.

I would order a precision cut lab created ruby instead, in whatever size and shape you prefer. They have the same molecular structure as a mined ruby. A few companies that are popular on here for that are Finewater Gems, Precision Gem, Stag and Finch, and Jeff White Gems.

 
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roxta

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I don't think you should set the stone, nor do I think you should invest more time or money in this dilemma. I guess I wasn't clear - I think you should return the stone, and then purchase a <$50 garnet that you know is a garnet. You can tell your friend it is a "ruby red" garnet. It sounds like she would appreciate the gesture all the same.

I have no doubt she would love anything that I give her, but I'm quite set on the idea of a real ruby. It doesn't have to be big or the highest quality but if I'm going to spend the money on making fine jewellery for her, I'd rather get a ruby than something that looks like a ruby. Plus, knowing my luck it will be impossible to even find a ruby red garnet.... so it's moot anyway.
 

roxta

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Return it and forget the 20 dollars, take it as a lesson learned not to work with the vendor in future.

I get that you don't have an eye for red stones, but people on here who do have told you it's unattractive. The response of the vendor to you is also unappealing. Not someone I would want to work with again regardless of what the stone is.

The "get it tested by a lab and we'll pay if it's not a ruby" is bluffing, not confidence in their product. They know 99% of people would not bother for a stone of that price. Plus they will probably wriggle out of paying in the event and how are you going to force them?

Get a plain 18K ring made for your friend with her baby's name engraved inside and a little ruby melee hidden stone next to it, which any jewellery could supply and will cost hardly anything. Like this.

1631251362864.png

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm actually making a pendant because she's not a ring person, especially with the baby here. A dainty pendant that she can wear daily without getting in the way of her doing things like a ring might.

As for the bluff, the thing is if I return the stone, I'll never know if it's actually a bluff or not and I'll never have the confidence to order from them again. Do I know for sure that it's a garnet? No. And given that this vendor is well regarded here, part of me feels bad to write them off without proof of an actual mistake. Their response is unappealing, as you said, and I totally agree. But if it turns out to be a ruby, I would probably applaud their integrity for standing by their product..... it's such a pickle.

I paid by Paypal - if the result is "not ruby" and for some reason they refused to reimburse me as promised, I would dispute the amount owed thorough Paypal. At that point I would have a lab report plus the correspondence proving they agreed to cover the cost in this instance. And there would be a very detailed PSA here for all members to read....
 

roxta

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Found another picture of the stone on my phone that I forgot I took. I wanted to see what it would look like kite-set, which is how I had planned to set it in my design.

ruby 2.jpg
 

roxta

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I'd send it back because tbh I don't think it's very pretty, regardless of what kind of stone it really is. I know you said your friend is not that into gems but anyone would probably notice the difference between a brown stone and a red stone.

I would order a precision cut lab created ruby instead, in whatever size and shape you prefer. They have the same molecular structure as a mined ruby. A few companies that are popular on here for that are Finewater Gems, Precision Gem, Stag and Finch, and Jeff White Gems.


If this stone turns out to be a dud and I can't find a replacement or a good alternative in a natural ruby, yes, I might consider lab created. It would be my last resort. But I have to try before I can give up.
Also it would be hard to get a precision cut lab ruby for under $70 including shipping, even in a small size. I'd be paying so much more for the cutter's time and skills than the actual material so it may not actually be cheaper than a natural. If I was going for a big stone then yes, but I'm after a small stone for a dainty pendant.
 

Bron357

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There are three other “at home” tests you could try.
A magnet. Garnet being coloured due to Iron is quite attracted to a magnet. Ruby is non responsive.
A UV light. Most rubies will fluoresce under UV. Garnets don’t.
Specific Gravity. Bit trickier and you need an accurate scale to 0.00 grams, 0.000 is better. Garnet is considerably heavier than Corundum.
Id be inclined to believe that’s it’s more likely a garnet than a ruby. your jeweller isn’t going to say so without reason.
So it’s really up to you to decide whether or not you want to pay for a report (and get reimbursed for the report AND return it as garnet for a refund) or find out it is a ruby but have to have paid an extra $70 or whatever it is for the report cost.
Alternatively return the gem, get a refund and start again.
 

roxta

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Can we know the vendor?

I don't think it would be right to disclose this until I have more information about the stone. They are listed in the sticky vendor thread, have been around for a long time and I haven't read any negatives about them here on PS. But that doesn't mean a mistake hasn't been made in this instance. Let's wait and see. I aim to be a fair customer which is why I don't like having to pay for mistakes I didn't make.
 

roxta

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There are three other “at home” tests you could try.
A magnet. Garnet being coloured due to Iron is quite attracted to a magnet. Ruby is non responsive.
A UV light. Most rubies will fluoresce under UV. Garnets don’t.
Specific Gravity. Bit trickier and you need an accurate scale to 0.00 grams, 0.000 is better. Garnet is considerably heavier than Corundum.
Id be inclined to believe that’s it’s more likely a garnet than a ruby. your jeweller isn’t going to say so without reason.
So it’s really up to you to decide whether or not you want to pay for a report (and get reimbursed for the report AND return it as garnet for a refund) or find out it is a ruby but have to have paid an extra $70 or whatever it is for the report cost.
Alternatively return the gem, get a refund and start again.

Thank you! I'm going to try every test I can before deciding if I should take it to the lab or not. There's also one that looks for yellow and green when you shine a strong light on the stone (rubies absorb these colours but rubies don't). I will also have a good look with my refractometer. I won't send it to the lab unless I have a strong feeling it's not a ruby. And yes, I also need to get the vendor to put everything in writing - exactly what happens if the report comes back as "not ruby". Do I have to return it to get a refund and who would pay for the shipping?

I know most people here won't understand but the worst outcome for me is to lose $20 return shipping without ever knowing what the stone is and basically saying goodbye to every other stone I have my eye on from the vendor because I'll be too scared to order from them again. I'll have lost money and have no stone to show for it, now or in the future.

The other two outcomes are sort of equal. If the stone is a ruby then I would have spent $30 more than if I had shipped it back, but I would have peace of mind knowing that I got what I paid for and I can trust this vendor in the future. Also, I would let my jeweller know that the lab they work with may not be reliable. If the stone is not a ruby then I would get my costs reimbursed but have to return the stone (or not, depending on what the vendor wants) and start a ruby search from scratch. This is assuming that the vendor does not back out from the agreement. It would be pain in the a$$ but vindication for my jeweller and their lab though.
 

Ionysis

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If I was buying from an IG vendor or some random on EBAY I’d expect the response you got. And such is life.

But this is apparently supposed to be a “bona fide” PS recommended vendor, in which case the response to you should have been “I’m so dreadfully sorry to hear that! Please end it back to us right now, we will cover the cost, and will send you back another stone in its place. Better you have full confidence”.

The response you got - from that kind of vendor - would prohibit me for ever wanting to buy anything else. This just shouts “don’t give a [email protected] about our customers” to me.
 

roxta

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If I was buying from an IG vendor or some random on EBAY I’d expect the response you got. And such is life.

But this is apparently supposed to be a “bona fide” PS recommended vendor, in which case the response to you should have been “I’m so dreadfully sorry to hear that! Please end it back to us right now, we will cover the cost, and will send you back another stone in its place. Better you have full confidence”.

The response you got - from that kind of vendor - would prohibit me for ever wanting to buy anything else. This just shouts “don’t give a [email protected] about our customers” to me.

Definitely not an IG or Ebay vendor. Not sure if this is a reflex from being scammed by too many bad customers or what, but yes, I was definitely surprised by the response.

I said that my jeweller informed me the lab assessed the stone is a garnet and their literal reply was "your jeweller doesn't know anything". I asked if they are 100% certain that the stone is a ruby and there is no possibility that a garnet got mixed up in the parcel. They replied with "I am sure".

So I'm not thrilled to take a financial hit (even a $20 one) and never confirm if I was sent the wrong stone or not. Perhaps at this point it's more a matter of principle than money, for both of us, vendor and buyer. And if it turns out not to be a ruby, I'd like to let PSers know about my experience because as I said, I haven't read any negatives here. Plus the vendor said they have sold thousands of these stones...
 

qubitasaurus

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To be honest if this is a question about your friend and the jewelery project then return it; as it is not a nice colour and desertrose gems has some melee at the moment, and there is a nice one on loupetroop


If your going to set in 18k gold; then might as well make sure it turns out worthwhile.


I think this might not be a question about jewelery at all though. I think it might be a question about whether the information is worth $X to you.

In which case, there may be a 50% chance this stone is a garnet. If the lab report costs $50, then you are expecting 50% probability the lab report will be positive indicating the vendor is right, and you'll be out $50. And 50% probability the lab report will be negative and the vendor presumably will absorb all costs (including return shipping to them). So on average you expect to spend $25. You get 1 bit of information.

If you return without verifying you expect to spend $20. You get zero bits of information.

I would probably have paid $5 to satiate my curiosity.
 

Rfisher

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OP
The last time a poster came in here (with their own instruments and a local jeweler) with concerns about stones being misrepresented from a vendor on the PS ‘list for vendor reference’ thread -
They strongly hinted at who it was but never came back to update their findings.

I think I can guess who your vendor is. I really do hope you come back to finish the story, either way.
 

roxta

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
188
To be honest if this is a question about your friend and the jewelery project then return it; as it is not a nice colour and desertrose gems has some melee at the moment, and there is a nice one on loupetroop


If your going to set in 18k gold; then might as well make sure it turns out worthwhile.


I think this might not be a question about jewelery at all though. I think it might be a question about whether the information is worth $X to you.

In which case, there may be a 50% chance this stone is a garnet. If the lab report costs $50, then you are expecting 50% probability the lab report will be positive indicating the vendor is right, and you'll be out $50. And 50% probability the lab report will be negative and the vendor presumably will absorb all costs (including return shipping to them). So on average you expect to spend $25. You get 1 bit of information.

If you return without verifying you expect to spend $20. You get zero bits of information.

I would probably have paid $5 to satiate my curiosity.

You're correct. Put it this way: Had my jeweller set the stone without testing it or had the lab concluded it was a ruby, I would have been happy with the piece of jewellery I designed, as would my BFF. After all, I was fine with the colour when I shipped it off to the jeweller.

Also, when I looked at the stone, I didn't think it was awful. I acknowledged red isn't my cup of tea and I'm someone who would rather wear a champagne or cognac stone than a red stone, regardless of whether it is pure red, brownish, pinkish or purplish. Since BFF's baby is a boy, I actually thought the brownish tone was maybe more fitting than a pinkish or purplish ruby. I personally feel the colour is fine for the price I paid (if it's actually a ruby). Though I admit I did think it looked darker and more brownish than the rubies I'm used to seeing. But corundum does come in a wide range of shades.

In saying that, I appreciate people's comments that they would return the stone because the colour is unattractive to them, regardless of whether it's a ruby or not. That's understandable. I've returned many stones that weren't the colour I was after, no dilemma.

To me, the question here is was I sent a ruby or a much cheaper almandine garnet? How do I find out and is it worth finding out? And from your math, maybe it is worth it.
 
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