Sunday, June 13, 2010

eBil lesson No.2

I came across this pink tourmaline while trawling the web and fell in love with it. The colour, the sparkle, the shape and so when the gem below came up on eBil, the 'must have' sign went off in my brain and I didn't look any further than the colour or the shape.
The seller, in this case, thought she had protected her buyers by selling certified gems in sealed packages direct from the GHI. That's the Gemological Hallmark International Co. Ltd. which happens to be located in Thailand. It is sealed, the information on the pack is dated April 30, 2010 with a report number. The deal is that there is a secret password underneath the flap with which you can access the full report at the website, if you have 50 years to figure out how to do that since they give no information at the site.
So here is the report on the back of the sealed packet.
Result: Natural Tourmaline
Object: One loose stone
Weight: 2.16 cts.
Colour: Pink
Measurement:8.79 x 8.43 mm x 4.69mm
Comment: None.
Additional information on eBil says the origin is Namibia, the gem has had heat treatment, it's clarity is VS1 and it is jewellery grade.
Now have a good look at both gems. See how the top one sparkles all over but the bottom one has a blank look in the middle. It's blank and it's called a window. The cutters have gone for weight instead of cutting it smaller and removing that window. If you hold the gem straight and look down over a newspaper, you can actually read the print through this window. The 'Catch 22' here is that you can't see this unless you open the sealed package and once the sealed package is open, the gem is no longer certified. I could even read the fine print on the back of that package with this window and there was a lot of fine print.
When I emailed the seller, she was genuinely upset and offered me a full refund but I've kept the gem as it wasn't her fault. She then offered me a discount on any other gems I might buy from her, sorry nice person but not a chance. Anything from Thailand is suspect even with a certificate unfortunately Thailand was not mentioned anywhere on the report shown on with the stone on the eBil site or I might have taken a bit more care.
The next lesson will be on Laboratory grown diamonds.


Jayne said...

Was just told by one of the gem club members that the red colour found in some Tiger's Eye stones is only achieved by heat treatment, I'm assuming the same is with the tourmaline?
Yes, a lot would be caught out, good lessons you're giving, Mz J.

WV -cramin
There will be exams on this?

Ann ODyne said...

the same colour as a Turkish Delight

River said...

I know nothing about gems, so I couldn't tell a good one from a bad one. I buy cheap crystals at the local crystal and charm shops, but I choose them because I like the shape or colour. Maybe they're fake. Your Tourmaline is a very nice pink....

JahTeh said...

Jayne, heat treatment for sapphires and some other stones like amethyst to citrine is accepted. To get this pink, the stone would have started out brown and the most expensive tourmalines will be a brilliant clear colour.
And yes, there will be exams. Top of the class gets another of my crappy stones.

Miss O'Dyne, I'm in a depression here, don't mention food. Too late and tomorrow will see me shopping for Turkish Delight, chocolate coated.

River, they won't be fake, it's the cut jewellery style gem you have to watch out for. I'm getting an education but an expensive education.

Kath Lockett said...

Yay for you - it's great to read about buyers fighting the good fight

Looks very pretty to my untrained eye tho'

JahTeh said...

Kath, I had a very patronising email from the seller of my next post so they're in my sights. When I said about my gemmologist having a string of letters after his name and a stack of diplomas, they offered me a full refund on all stones. I'm holding on to the evidence.

Middle Child said...

its a lovely gem...I wouldn't know a from b about buying stones like this

Gemslovers said...

Tourmaline gem is my favorite ... I had a few pieces from a reliable supplier...and they r not treated ... Not sure does that make them valuable ?