Gems and Gemology. Gems Scams: A Little More Than a Hoax

September 25, 2015 1 Comment


This morning, on a Facebook forum called Gem Scams (about Scams, Gems and Gemology), I read something that filled me a flow of memories.

My name is Lola Sanchez, I'm a gemologist and the owner of MdMaya Gems, but before that, I was a buyer. Not a "professional" buyer or collector, that came afterwards, but just a simple buyer.

What I am about to tell you happened more than 20 years ago in Palma de Mallorca, while I was living there, I didn't understand absolutely nothing about gems and gemology. It began at a jewellery store, where there was a gorgeous ring with a big blue stone in the window. I went in to have a better look at the stone, and asked them what the stone was, to which they replied, “An aquamarine”. I never wear rings, so I asked them to make me a pendant with the stone. The rest of the story is very simple - two years later I discovered it was a synthetic spinel.

Since that day, I can assure you that I have bought just about everything. I often buy items knowing that they are not what they claim them to be, but curiosity takes over, and at other times they try to trick me. But this is not what I want to tell you about right now.

Once I knew that the pendant's stone was a synthetic spinel it was completely cast aside. Even today I still remember the unpleasant feeling I had, and not because I had financial problems, or because of the money I spent buying it, it is about disappointment.

When you are a gemologist, very often friends and people who you really love and appreciate bring you stones to look at, frequently mounted in jewellery pieces.

The relationship that we humans have with gems and jewels is very curious. For us they are treasures, treasures that we want to take with us to the beyond, just as the Pharaohs did, or they are a legacy we want to leave so our memory lives on. Often we leave these treasures to our children thinking that they will help them in times of trouble, and it is for this reason that we will even risk our life for those treasures.

But they are not only treasures, they are also feelings; we give them to each other on special occasions, for weddings, engagements, births, birthdays, etc., and sometimes these gifts, these gems and jewels, have a special meaning or they remind us of someone very special.

Many years ago a person that I really love, a great friend of mine and above all a very good person, brought me some blue stones set in silver. She said to me: "Please take a look at these aquamarines, they were my mother's and I want to do something with them for my sisters to have a nice memory of our mother". At first glance, like gemologist, they looked like they were topazes. The stones were mounted in silver and had a blue tone, but had they been aquamarines they would never have been mounted in silver. In effect, the refractive index of the gems made it very clear - Topaz. When I broke the news to her, her disappointed and grieved look made me feel really bad, I was the bearer of bad news. And I bet my life that she never did do anything with them nor gave them to her sisters, and that they were relegated to the drawer of oblivion.

Not long ago my sister told me: "Look at these earrings that belonged to our aunt". They proved to be gold earrings with some beautiful Verneuil sapphires. Some "wonderful" curved growth lines could be seen.

So the last time someone I love very much, my mother, said to me: "Look at this ring that Dad gave me", -my father had already passed away-, I kissed her and just simply did not want to look at it.

1 Response


April 14, 2017

educate people with gems knowledge so they will try to buy at least a gemstone with Lab report

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