The Buggrit Online Jewelry and Gemstone SHITLIST
I've bought literally hundreds of loose gemstones, jewelry settings and findings, and finished pieces of jewelry off eBay. There are some truly teriffic sellers out there, and one in particular that licks read end: Marsh-net. They're not just eBay sellers; they have a website, too, and an astronomical feedback rating (including several hundred negatives). They seem to offer really good deals, but don't. By and large, what-you-see is NOT what you get. Before I gave up on them, I won at least eight auctions from them, and got screwed four times. Too, they don't seem to care, and will lie with great abandon while pretending to be really nice.
Scam one was when I bought a pair of 5mm trillion iolites. Iolite is a truly wonderful purplish-bluish stone, and the picture showed a stone with a deep blue color and good cutting. Mine arrived with moderately poor cutting (uneven, and very thick girdle, chips, etc) and really bad veiling haze in both stones, which made them nearly opaque.
Scam two was a quartet of, I believe, 4x6 oval tanzanites. Again, the picture looked really nice. What I recieved were three opaque and cloudy stones with poor cutting, and a broken stone. When I complained, they sent (a week later) a replacement, which was just as bad, and as a favor didn't charge me shipping for the replacement. Nice. I flushed all four stones.
Scam three was a stone I still have, because it has to be seen to be believed. A 9x7 octagon Iolite. "superb cutting" said the listing, "bright, clean stone". Sure. Stop by sometime and let me show you what I got - a translucent, almost black iolite with a heavy veil and severe inclusions on the table of the stone. I mean, hello? How could you not notice that there's a great big honking flaw on the table of the stone? They refused to accept that there was anything wrong with the stone, insisting that all their stones are inspected by hand. (Yeah, but try using your eyes, it works better.)
Scam four, and the last one, was when I purchased an opal cab from the oh-so-wonderful folks at marsh-net. Now, I'm no GIA-trained expert, but to me, "cabochon" implies a certain roundedness... Apparently not down in Alabama, or wherever these folks operate from. My 8x6 oval opal is a whopping 2mm thick all the way across - no curve, nada. By this point I'd learned that everything marsh-net sells really is "too good to be true".
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