I have recently become interested in loose, natural Sapphire stones and looking for information regarding grading, different labs (AGS, GIA, IGI, EGL, etc.etc.etc.), and the perils/benefits of online gem shopping.
I have not decided if I will ever buy any loose stones/jewelry online, but am interested in learning more about legitimate online sites and sites I should be wary of. (TheNaturalSapphireComany , BlueNile, WildFishGems, GemSelect, are just a few I've looked at).
I am not neccisarily looking for responses promoting or bashing certain specific sites; however, I would like to learn the general reputation and legitimacy of certain sites. More importantly: anyone's personal experience would be very helpful.
Start reading the archives, there are years of posts about sapphires and who sells them.
Tip: look for sellers who have been online for 5 yrs. or more.
U.S. gem cutters are often an excellent source. They don't have the volume of the sites you've mentioned but it's a good way to avoid the trashy stones.
Good luck! Irish
I am not a regular contributer to the Forum but I read it often and your request prompted me to offer you a very good way to learn and grow in the care and understanding of Gemology and Gems. You could visit this site IGS. just put these letters into Google search and you will be right.
this is the International Gem Society and it provides heaps of info and you can get a true unbiased opinion on any topic about the Gem industry. If you decide to join, then you get even more help
While it may work gr8 for many I cont. to be disappointed every single time.I have yet to get any free gems . I know many who have gotten literally 100s. I have tired to be honest when answering to no avail, in fact 1 of the surveys was on the WEE my kid has 1 she plays it every day almost all day, nope didn't qualifie. humm. Another was on going to the movies our son goes every weekend had has for many yrs but again did'nt qualify. I find it a bit to strange honestly. I think they have and do track your IP addy and if u have in the past bought gems the chances of getting any free just r not going to happen. They know if U have bought once U will again so why give you any for free. They R loosing money doing that.