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Category: Buying gemstones and jewelry: Common mistakes

Buying online is easy, convenient, and oftentimes cheaper, but it can also be quite a challenge. That is especially true when you are buying items as specific as gemstones or jewelry. Normally, you have only very limited information: all you have is an item’s description and a few photos. How can you know the desired item isn’t fake? Is the seller trustworthy? Is the price right? Can you get a better deal elsewhere? These are not easy questions, and experience shows that many consumers, no matter how smart and well-educated, fail to answer them correctly. For some, the outcome results in embarrassment, a loss of time and trust in the online marketplace, and a range of other negative emotions. For many, it turns out to be a very costly experience. Learn how to avoid common mistakes while buying gemstones and jewelry online!

Lead Glass-Filled Rubies at Auctionet

Lead Glass-Filled Rubies at Auctionet

Recently I came across an auction website called Auctionet (auctionet.com). The abundance of lead glass-filled rubies (composite rubies) at this auction website grabbed my attention immediately. So, I decided to dig a bit deeper. One of the first things I noticed was that all these composite rubies are heavily overvalued by the experts. As discussed in the post about lead glass-filled rubies, their actual price is around $2 per carat only. Here their estimates range from EUR 30 to EUR 134…

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Vintage Jewelry that is not Really Vintage

Vintage Jewelry that is not Really Vintage

Over the past few years, I have noticed that vintage jewelry has become extremely popular amongst buyers. It is not to say that it was not popular before, but I noticed this trend relatively recently. I was somewhat surprised to discover that vintage jewelry is so popular that the buyers are ready to pay more (sometimes even substantially more) for an article of vintage jewelry than for an alike article of contemporary jewelry on many occasions. That seemed somewhat illogical,…

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Easy Tips on How to Identify a Lead Glass-Filled Ruby

Easy Tips on How to Identify a Lead Glass-Filled Ruby

Despite the fact that lead glass-filled rubies, also known as composite rubies, are nearly worthless (as described in my previous blog post), there are plenty of people who will try to sell you a composite ruby as the real thing. Some sellers would openly lie to you, others would conceal the truth (the latter happens intentionally as well as unintentionally – due to the seller’s lack of professionalism). So, here are a few things you should always pay due attention…

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Lead Glass-Filled Rubies: A Perfect Waste of Money

Lead Glass-Filled Rubies: A Perfect Waste of Money

What is a Lead Glass-Filled Ruby? Lead glass-filled rubies first appeared on the market in 2004. According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), “the GAAJ laboratory in Japan issued a lab alert about rubies they had seen that had large numbers of fractures filled with high-lead-content glass, which made them appear very transparent. Since then, large quantities of this material have reached international markets.” The starting material is of very low quality: opaque, industrial-grade stones, rather brownish than red….

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Cadmium in Jewelry: Serious Threat to Your Health

Cadmium in Jewelry: Serious Threat to Your Health

What is Cadmium? Cadmium is bluish-white, soft metal. Although it is a natural element in the Earth’s crust, its concentration is extremely low. According to Wikipedia, “the average concentration of cadmium in Earth’s crust is between 0.1 and 0.5 parts per million (ppm)”. Usually, cadmium is not present in the environment as a pure metal. It is primarily found in zinc-containing ores, but it may also be found in lead and copper ores. According to the GreenFacts initiative, “Cadmium is…

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How much a lot should cost: Auctioneer’s price estimate

How much a lot should cost: Auctioneer’s price estimate

Auctioneer’s or expert’s price estimate in theory It really does not matter what terminology a specific auction site uses: Catwiki calls it “expert’s estimate” (previously they called it “auctioneer’s estimate), liveauctioneers and bidsquare call it “estimate” – they all imply that an expert has evaluated that particular item and determined what, according to his/her expert opinion, a fair market value of this item is. In other words, an expert signals us, potential buyers, that the final auction price (winning bid)…

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Catawiki online auction – safe haven for fake jewelry

Catawiki online auction – safe haven for fake jewelry

Experts at Catawiki online auction constantly accept jewelry with Fake Emeralds for sale. Catawiki is an expert-curated online auction house, and every lot offered for sale is reviewed by an expert, which means it should be safe to buy there. But is it? Research shows that jewelry with fake gemstones is being sold on this auction website continuously. So, a question arises – are Catawiki experts no experts at all, or do they benefit from fake items being sold? What…

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