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Complete ripoff?

Posted by JJ Bergstrom  
avatar Re: Complete ripoff?
April 06, 2012 01:33PM
With just over a day left for bidding, there's presently an 11,000 ct (gasp!!) 'Emerald' for sale here in e-Bay :
[www.ebay.co.uk]

According to this Indian seller, this is also lab-certified and has an expected sale value of USD 3-6,000 (well, at least its not 2 million....). The bidding stands presently at c. 60 bucks. This stone is also 'forest green' but seems not completely opaque.

If it does nothing else, this should all support the view that harm was done in allowing any green Beryl to be described for sale as an Emerald. The only gain from this 'anything goes' policy is in the pockets of crooks.
avatar Re: Complete ripoff?
April 06, 2012 01:52PM
>If it does nothing else, this should all support the view that harm was done in allowing any green Beryl
>to be described for sale as an Emerald.

I don't see the harm in this. It's clearly a green beryl, it's clearly not gem quality, and it's entirely up to buyers what they are willing to pay for it.

Jolyon
avatar Re: Complete ripoff?
April 06, 2012 04:52PM
It's a topic that could run and run - elsewhere smiling smiley It's not really about gems but about the general advisability (or not) of regulating trade descriptions. Many (most?) Emerald buyersin the general public don't know green Beryl from a hole in the ground. They do know the name Emerald, have been encouraged to think it is a superior gem (which it is) and are prepared to pay a premium of some size to buy one.

Let me draw an analogy. If a car manufacturer whose business is producing cheap and badly made copies of 1960s-engineered Fiats is permitted to sell its products as 'Mercedes Benz', might that:
- Help them sell the otherwise almost unsaleable in an open market full of better cars?
- Increase their profitability, because buyers have heard of the reputation of Mercedes Benz - even if they have no way of understanding it - and will pay a premium to have the name sitting in their driveway?
- Defraud buyers by selling under a false description?
- Ultimately damage Mercedes Benz's business and the second-hand market in M-B cars?

But here too buyers could see what was being offered and make up their own minds as to whether to buy and what to pay smiling smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/07/2012 02:25AM by Owen Lewis (2).
Deb From Down Under
Re: Complete ripoff?
May 05, 2012 07:43AM
Hi,
I recently purchased 4 pieces of Jewelry from This Goverment auction mob, I was also supplied with GLA indentification cards, I have since had all the pieces look at here by my Jeweller who is a Trained Gemnologist. Ruby bangle , Glass filled Rubies GLA valued at 10,000 lucky to be worth $200, .31 carat diamond Pendant not even diamonds they are Moissanite, need I go on. The stuff is rubbish, this Government auction business is a complete scam, I can't believe they can continue to get away with this sort of underhanded dealings. GLA What a Joke !
-------------------------------------------------------
> Can you post a picture? Do you have the
> advertisement that said what was to be received?
> The ratio of value to price is a red flag if a
> genuine auction were involved as no businessman
> interested in gems would let such an opportunity
> pass. Note that Gemological Laboratory of America
> is not the same as Gemological Institute of
> America. The Better Business Bureau give
> Gemological Laboratory of America an "A" rating.
avatar Re: Complete ripoff?
May 05, 2012 04:07PM
Hmmmm..... The auctioneer usually bears only very limited responsibility in respect of items sold. When buying at auction there is generally a responsibility on the buyer to be satisfied pre-sale that the item is fairly described and to be assured of recourse if found after delivery to have been materially mis-described. That said, a reputable auctioneer will, if you have a fair case, assist you in in recovering your money from the seller. This is doubly the case where the auctioneer also is the seller!

You don't say what you paid the for stuff or, for your 'ruby bangle' and the 'diamond' pendant, the valuations you have received. In the case of the 'glass-filled Rubies' (worth $200), If one supposes that you paid 150-250 for them, then you would have got what you paid for if not the fantastic bargain you might have been expecting. OTOH, if you paid several thousand, then you may have been defrauded . Which scenario applies in your case?

With regard to JJ's GLA certificate, its wording is that of 'value not to exceed $******. And as Jolyon pointed out, 10 bucks does not exceed that winking smiley It's called 'weasel-wording'; realtors (estate agents) and used-car salesmen are expert at it - and so need to be buyers! What was the exact wording on the certificates for your items?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/06/2012 02:41AM by Owen Lewis (2).
Andrea's Attic
Re: Complete ripoff?
June 01, 2012 06:07AM
I recently "attended" one of the online "government" auctions and purchased a 13.53 kt faceted ruby for $120. The GLA appraisal was for $12,000.00 (give or take a few cents). I was skeptical but also intrigued. I had just settled my aunt & uncle's estate where we inherited quite a bit of costume as well as real jewelry. The gentleman that helped us liquidate the jewelry, both costume and real, took a look at the ruby, first with a skeptical eye. I was extremely surprised when he came back to tell me the stone was real and not an "american" stone that you could purchase off of EBay for $10.00. I realized the $12,000 appraisal was inflated, but he assured me the stone should easily sell for $4k and up. Imagine my surprise that within days, not weeks, but days...the stone was sold for $4250 to a middle eastern gentleman. The shape and size of the stone made it perfect to become a beautiful pendant. Considering I paid $120 I was and still am, clicking my heels! Will I try it again, not anytime soon, I think I did get lucky.

I am in the Antique/Vintage Business, I own a shop here in Tampa FL where every day I am approached by family members who are placing loved ones, parents, aunts, grandparents, into nursing homes and they have no clue or time to figure out what to do with their belongings. I specialize in Vintage Toys but will entertain most items. Honestly, most people come to me and beg me to help empty out their home/condo within a week because the place is being sold and they have no idea what to do with their items. I appraise as much as I possibly can, then we often hire an outside party to appraise the remaining items. This is where we find gems such as the ruby I found, stuck in an envelope, in a shoe, in a box, in a trunk in the bottom of their closet. At first we're not even sure if it's real or out of a gumball machine. But more and more I've found that family members just don't care about the items and want to get out of the "ordeal" and on with their own life ASAP. This is where an auction comes in handy and I find many stones like this being sold for pennies on the dollar.

If you have a few dollars lying around take the chance, but please do your homework first! There are tons of con artist out there preying on situations just like this. I really consider ourselves to be fortunate with this situation. Not only did we luck out with the Ruby but we sold it and were able to quickly reinvest it in Vintage Toys again.

Good Luck, do as much homework as possible and before you bid, set a bottom line and STICK to it! Don't go up by even $5.00!

Andrea's Attic Consignment & Resale
Lutz, FL
Re: Complete ripoff?
June 01, 2012 12:13PM
    
These stones look like very low-grade, albeit colorful, Brazilian "emerald."
avatar Re: Complete ripoff?
June 01, 2012 12:52PM
Congratulations! Yes, very occasionally, enormous bargains can be picked up at auction. But if the item is a 1,000 ct+ sized Ruby. don't walk away, run!

I've recently been chatting to someone who is enthusiastic to buy Emeralds and Rubies in the size range of 1 - 30 Kg (I can't be bothered to write all the noughts for a carat weight), being offered these by a seller close to where he lives. Well, if such things attract him, why not? Provided one knows clearly that one is buying:

-. Items made in an industrial process that can be likened to making house-bricks. The finish is equally cheap.

- Something that can be made in effectively limitless numbers and sizes.

- They can be made in almost any shape or colour you want.

- They have no intrinsic worth and you would be wise to expect never to sell them.

- They are Emeralds and Rubies only is the same sense as Ireland is the Emerald Isle and grape juice concentrate bulked out with water and laced with industrial Ethanol is Ruby Wine.

But to return to your discovery of real gems the value of which has passed unrecognised. It must also be said that even dealers of good experience make bad mistakes from time to time. One of the very few Taaffeites I have handled was discovered (not by me sad smiley )in a parcel of small rough Spinels, bought from a Sri Lankan dealer for USD 5.00! I also know of a diamond ring of several carats being valued recently for USD 4.5K when its likely auction hammer price is 30K+. In the *right* auction and properly promoted, that is!
Ariana
Re: Complete ripoff?
November 28, 2012 12:43AM
-------------------------------------------------------
> My father is a jeweler of 40 years and we've run
> into GLA gems a few times. In his experience,
> their appraisals tend to be wildly exaggerated and
> far from realistic. Recently, a faceted ruby came
> across his bench that the GLA had appraised at
> $20,000 and the person had also purchased it from
> a government auction. Despite its size (around 45
> carats), it was heavily included and far from gem
> grade. It was re-appraised by my dad and another
> jeweler at about $750. The GLA is not the GIA.
NYC Gal
Re: Complete ripoff?
December 09, 2012 02:15AM
For my birthday a recent "ex" decided he wanted to impress me, and sent me a necklace along with a certified "GLA laminated appraisal" with a complete description of the piece and photo.

Supposedly, it was a large emerald surrounded by 106 white sapphires.
In a platinum "plated over sterling silver" setting.
Value, nearly 10K.

My BFF (and big jewelry fanatic) was in town visiting, wasn't buying the hype, and insisted we take it to a reputable jeweler to confirm its value.

1. It was silver, zero platinum, even plated.
2. The "emerald" was an enhanced stone, and with a crack to boot.
and the kicker....
3. The "white sapphires, of excellent grade..?" were CZ..glass!!

Value? less than $100 USD

While I did get a brief and pathetic chuckle from it all, it made me realize how consumers are being ripped off on a regular basis if they are buying jewelry sources with this so-called appraisal "validation".

Dan R. Lynch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My father is a jeweler of 40 years and we've run
> into GLA gems a few times. In his experience,
> their appraisals tend to be wildly exaggerated and
> far from realistic. Recently, a faceted ruby came
> across his bench that the GLA had appraised at
> $20,000 and the person had also purchased it from
> a government auction. Despite its size (around 45
> carats), it was heavily included and far from gem
> grade. It was re-appraised by my dad and another
> jeweler at about $750. The GLA is not the GIA.
avatar Re: Complete ripoff?
December 09, 2012 03:09PM
NYC Gal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> Supposedly, it was a large emerald surrounded by
> 106 white sapphires.
> In a platinum "plated over sterling silver"
> setting.
> Value, nearly 10K.

Did the wording say something like 'up to 10K'? An actual value of 10 bucks quite properly fits within that description. It's a question of reading what the words say and not imagining what you would like them to mean.

Alarm bells ring already, anyway

To my knowledge silver is never platinum plated for jewellery. Silver *is* frequently Rhodium plated for tarnish resistance. Rhodium is a rare earth metal, commonly extracted from Platinum ore.

In making the ring of silver, the maker voiced his opinion of the stones being mounted. Fit for nice Christmas cracker stuffing.

> 1. It was silver, zero platinum, even plated.

But was quite probably Rhodium plated.

> 2. The "emerald" was an enhanced stone, and with a
> crack to boot.

Emeralds are routinely treated. The effect on value ranges from little/none to severe, depending on the nature and extent of the treatment. That you say the stone 'had a crack in it' is interesting. Almost all Emeralds do have cracks in them, this being the prime reason for their treatment winking smiley

Is the stone mainly transparent or is it opaque?

> and the kicker....
> 3. The "white sapphires, of excellent grade..?"
> were CZ..glass!!

A competent jeweller is not going to have had any doubt as to whether he was looking at CZ or glass. So which was it? Again it is trivial to differentiate cut CZ from White Sapphire. OTOH separating White Sapphire from cut glass in perfect condition and in 'pin-head' sized stones is not at all trivial without first dismounting at least one of the stones., Small-size White Sapphires are a cheap stone with virtually no fire or brilliance. Most used now in the jewellery trade are synthetic (but real). Only in larger sizes and cut to emphasise clarity and colourlessness do they become desirable. Frankly, mounted as you describe, one would have a better-looking piece if CZ was used instead to emulate the effect of the melee Diamonds frequently used to support a substantial Ruby, Sapphire or Emerald in relatively important pieces of jewellery.

> Value? less than $100 USD

Without having seen the piece and going just from your description, I would not imagine it could be worth more. But 100 is included in the 'up to 10K' bracket, is it not?

> While I did get a brief and pathetic chuckle from
> it all, it made me realize how consumers are being
> ripped off on a regular basis if they are buying
> jewelry sources with this so-called appraisal
> "validation".

Unfortunately. that does not follow. In buying jewellery as with anything else, one needs to apply shrewdness, common sense and a little knowledge - but these too often somehow manage to be absent. One needs some true appreciation of what one is buying - or leave the purchasing to those who do.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2012 04:11PM by Owen Lewis (2).
dcguy
Re: Complete ripoff?
April 04, 2013 05:02PM
Mr. Bergstrom, it has been a year. How did you fare on ebay? . . . I found this discussion fascinating. I know the "government" auction house well. Its home office is in the California desert. It is extremely active online. It is not in the same league as auction houses located in, say, New York City. Still, I have five bids pending with it now. I would be interested to know how it comes by the goods it auctions, but I personally trust the descriptions of the items contained in its appraisals. The appraised values themselves are wildly unreliable and are useful only "for insurance purposes," that is the maximum amount someone might pay if they could find the auctioned item in a retail shop. A true market value can easily be obtained by joining an online auction site and searching on past sales of the same item. The "government" auction house alone sells many many copies of the same artwork and near identical gems on a regular basis.
Martin Galatte
Re: Complete ripoff?
August 26, 2013 03:20PM
My 2 cents on GLA. Appraisal reads $9,833 but I had one done by a jeweler (a diamond) and he appraised it at $7,800 so I have to agree, the price on the card is not the actual value, just replacement value for insurance.
Re: Complete ripoff?
August 26, 2013 06:37PM
"...government auction." doesn't the "g"-word give the warning right there?
Re: Complete ripoff?
November 03, 2013 10:11AM
Ha Ha Alfredo good one lol
Re: Complete ripoff?
November 03, 2013 10:28AM
Hi

Yes I have to agree. If they are what I think they are I bought some of these stones out of curiosity.

I think they cost about $10.00au to $20.00 each.

They come with a certificate of authenticity and yes they are natural.

But like the other post said good for door stops and a talking piece.

I bought Sapphire Emerald and Ruby. But the dealer was honest and if your really read their description you would know exactly what you were getting.

I was very lucky with mine the Emeralds had only been oiled as Emeralds are. They weighed in at approx 900cts each

The Sapphire weighed around 5-600cts but is not a good looking stone.

The Ruby 40cts had been filled. looks more like filling than ruby

Not jewellery quality but excellent specimen. Or even for the fish tank.

I hope I am wrong about what the person has bought I really am

Georgia
Re: Complete ripoff?
November 03, 2013 10:37AM
Hi

Sorry making mistakes with my messaging.

I have these stones if they are the same Emeralds 900ct each
Ruby 40ct
Sapphire 400cts

Come with certificates of authenticity. They are real. I have tested visual and electronic.

If you read the description on the sale you will find dealer was honest and only selling for a few dollars each.

Make good talking points. Or maybe a fish tank.

My emeralds had only been oiled as emeralds are. But the sapphire was not a good looking stone.

And ruby had more filling than ruby

Although cannot remember which auction but saw one an emerald like mine set in silver pendant go for a few thousand and they have started selling at flea markets now for a good price.

Hope I am wrong about gentlemans stones.

Georgia
Les
Re: Complete ripoff?
December 01, 2013 08:35PM
I can assure you with 100% confidence that the appraisal is bogus. I am a licensed auctioneer. I purchased a few items from www.govermentauction.com ( they have nothing to do with the government / use deceptive name to fool you ). They are now selling on Auctionzip.com

A $20,000 appraisal typically means you have something worth less than $50.00

Once more Scam

If it sounds too good to be true .... Run

GLA will provide a bogus appraisal for anyone that will pay their fee. They should be shut down.
A.A.Faller
Re: Complete ripoff?
December 01, 2013 09:51PM
JJ:
How far are you from Uxbrige, Mass.?
jojo
Re: Complete ripoff?
January 19, 2014 05:45PM
i just got some items from auctionzip.com. they are diamond necklace around 7ct for $5k. now im worried.
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