How not to be ripped off by buying a stone?

gemstone scam

Gemstone scam

Gemstone and jewelry sellers use many technics to convince you to buy. It does not matter if you are poor or millionaire. They know how to find a way to convince you. They are watching you until they will see the stars started to shine in your eyes. They hypnotize you, to make you spend the money you have in your pocket.

Gemstone sellers are not gemologists

99.99% of stone sellers are not gemologists. They are sellers, they trained to sale stones for a few hours or a few days, at best. You have no friends there. They look at you as just a way to make money.

The best way to buy a stone or jewel is to not listen to sellers’ arguments, only to rely on what you know and what you see. Sellers will not stop touching you emotionally, to move you. So, resist, listen to your logical sense.

Scams in small shops

Let’s start with scams in small shops, mines or in a stone production area.

Here are some examples


If a seller offers you a price for a jewel or a stone, and immediately offers to reduce the price in half, you should better run away.
Ask yourself: if you go to a restaurant, buy a house, a roast chicken or a tube of toothpaste, will you be offered a 50% discount without a promotional signage? The answer is no. It does not make sense, it does not matter if the stone is true or false, you will be ripped off.

Stone testers

Stone testers, stone heat, stone rubbing against another, etc.
All that makes no sense. Namely that the chemical composition of a synthetic stone is the same as a natural stone. It will react exactly like a real stone to all the tests they will undergo.

Compare a synthetic stone to a piece of glass

To deceive you, sellers compare a synthetic stone to a piece of glass. let s talk for exemple of a Ruby. Ruby is a red stone from the corundum family. The chemical composition is mainly aluminum oxide. A synthetic ruby ​​is also made with the same chemical composition as a real one. They will react exactly the same way to all the tests that will be shown to you. Sellers will compare 2 stones: a synthetic ruby ​​and a piece of red glass. Explaining that they are two different stones, that glass is a fake stone and that synthetic ruby ​​is a real stone. But it’s a lie. Both stones are fake and have no value, neither.

Scams in beautiful stores

Now, example of a beautiful store, a luxury quarter, a shopping mall or an airport.
Sellers will not try to convince you that stones are true by stone tests or commercial discounts. The technique used in this case is much more subtle: appearances and elements of languages.


Who would suspect that a store with such a luxurious appearance, full of well-dressed and educated shopkeepers, is actually selling fake goods?

Elements of languages

Do some tests by asking questions. If you listen carefully to the answers, you will understand those sentences are well memorize. Just as the responses of flight attendants, or also call center hostesses.

Question 1: Do you sell natural stones?
Answer: Madam, This is real crystal.

The term “crystal” in gemology refers to a transparent material. This does not mean that a stone is natural or synthetic.

Question 2: Is metal a silver?
Answer: Madam, it’s a precious metal.

She said neither “yes” nor “no”. She did not answer your question.
The term “precious metal” has also no legal meaning. In fact, this store sells jewelry made from a metal alloy that contains no silver, gold, or any valuable metal.

As you can see, there is no miraculous way to avoid getting scammed. Your common sense is your best defense.

If you are interested in this topic, want to go from theory to practice, we offer gemology courses.