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Buying Gemstones Online - Safe or Unsafe?


Hi there, is it advisable to buy gemstones online from places like Etsy? i see quite a handful of sellers from Jaipur, India there. Also, on instagram, there are quite a number of Afghanistan gem sellers.

If it is fine to buy, what shall I look out for? Or questions to ask?

Thank you!


As with anything - you need to know what you’re doing.
I buy a lot of stones on ebay auctions. I prefer ebay because most of the vendors display their stones on a rotating turn table and the image can be magnified to the point of covering your whole computer screen. This works as good as a gemscope for me in most cases. The only problem I have is that sometimes the colors show more intense on the screen than in real time. Howsomever, I have not yet returned a stone because of color variance - out of several hundred I’ve bought. Just google ebay gemstone auctions or ebay loose gemstones. I’ve gotten some incredible deals this way.
I say again: You need to know what you’re doing. Good luck. TRB


If you read the description carefully, they have a return policy (not practical for an international seller), and you know how to ID and at least do some grading of a gemstone, buying online is fine. Don’t spend too much at first! Ask questions of the seller. Check their feedback. Old “true collections” of gemstones are usually great value but harder to get on eBay. They get bid up! Many sellers buy buckets of low grade gemstone rejects and resell them in lots by the carat, or put them out in trays of gem jars to make them LOOK like collections. Try to avoid those. If you just want a starter collection to give a teen for Christmas, for example, then of course that would do fine. But for yourself or for making quality jewelry you have to wade through the trash first to find the treasures. I have bought gems such as colored sapphires from Thailand, knowing they are natural but treated to give the colors, and for my purposes that was fine and I got good value. But I have also bought stones offered as one thing which were actually something else…nice red garnets offered as red spinel, synthetic sapphire offered as pink topaz, parcels of aquamarines which were 1/3 blue topaz, etc. Those went right back! Have fun…


I have bought a bunch from places like gemrock auctions. Africa gems. I think you get what you pay for. Usually the prices are attractive. But the quality isn’t that great. But they are fine for jewelry etc.


I believe there are so many traders selling fake precious and semi precious gemstones on all online platforms. It is easy to get away as long as they sell low price stones below USD 100 or Up to USD 150. Because most cases it is not worth to spend another USD 60 to get them certified unless it is a more high priced stone.
This is result in Many international sellers selling synthetic or treated stones for low price. But if you could select a reputed company I believe you can get amazing offers through ebay Gemrock or Etsy for that matter.

I currently deal with a gem mining company gem mining company for sapphires through ebay. They sell Top quality sapphires for really really competitive price.


Time has change, as per my knowledge and experience people prefer to buy online low cost value for money gems 100 USD to 7k usd online, above 7k they like to deal in person with long term trusted sellers in privately, many people visit Hong Kong they see few gems on HK shops and they immediately navigate to ebay, etsy to compare the price and they come to my shop where they have found similar gems they feel my price is good so they called me to meet in person so they can have a look gem in person. Trust me every time I visited these guest they have purchased from me High to very high cost items and they has been now part of loyal buyers.
Why do you buy online? its easy and hassle free,let me explain.
You get full security from online markets like eBay, etsy, Gemrock, IGS and most Important PayPal.
what you should look for before purchasing gems online from these website.
No1 Good feedback, No 2 Long Term sellers, which you can easily guess if you visit the seller profile and feedback on eBay, etsy also check the value of the gem people bought from them which you can see if item has not been sold privately under feedback, more the value and better feedback these are the green signal for being a very trustworthy online seller they really care about their buyers because they know if buyers open a case against them for misrepresented items then they are going to be in trouble. So I would encourage people to buy online without hesitation but make sure once you receive the gem and if its not carrying certificate such as GIA,AGL,GRS,AIGS then you must seek professional help and get it checked… also point to be noted don’t buy too beautiful Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire nice cut cheap like 100 to 200 usd for above 2 cts gems without certificate.

Visit my secure website alifgems also visit my ebay and etsy shops aligems to see great gem collections, feel free to contact ,drop message.


I have found a seller on eBay from Thailand that will certify any stone that I buy without batting an eyelash. Thaigemstore has been great. They have never misrepresented any stone that I have purchased from them every stone that I have purchased from them has been better than what has been represented on the computer screen. I lucked out by having a close friend that has her GIA certification and checked out some of the stones that I purchased from them and she said that I hit the jackpot! I am studying now to get certified but have to wait due to problems with my neck causing migraines. I can not depend on my friend to certify all of my rubies and sapphires but so far I am doing quite well with the unheated untreated stones.
All the best of luck in your endeavors.


Thanks for all your comments!

I’ve bought a few gems online.

First purchase was some blue tourmaline but they arrived very much darker than in the photographs and one was almost black! Quite disappointed in this experience.

Tried another seller and bought a pair of Peridots. They were beautiful, nice and clear lime green colour.

Haven’t got them checked yet but will probably get the peridots checked. Gave up on the blackish tourmalines.


If you need any more Peridot. I have some from Burma. Great color and cut. 4+ CT’s


I would suggest GemRockAuctions – you could get some great deals for almost anything imaginable. Have been around a long time and I’ve dealt with them for years.


I have bought tourmaline for a seller in Pakistan and he now regularly sends me the stones before posting on his page. I pay using PayPal so if it’s nit what you expected you have a guarantee of return and they want repeat business so often are very upfront and honest when you ask for videos of the stone. I’ve not had a problem. I think it’s a way now if them being able to reach the buyer direct (mine to market so to speak) rather than having to go through the middle man


Hi, just had a look at this site, very cheap …almost a little too cheap :thinking: but may be that’s just the bid price, and they sell for more? I would be a little concerned at how much some of these gems are advertised at. But glad to see you’ve had them checked so may give them a try


Look closely at what you are bidding on. I pay close attention to the description and I study the stone as close as I can. I have a few commuter screens that I can look at the on so that helps with the colors issue also. A mac, an Acer and a Dell so I have a nice range do moniters to get an idea of color of the stones. As in any auction, you can get a dud! I win more with this house than loose. They will certify ANY stone without question and if they say untreated in the description, it will be untreated, they will stand behind their stones and word. So far, for myself, I have had NO problems.
Best of luck in the jungle of colored stones.


Can I get the name of Your supplier please


I like red zircons and have stuck my toe in the water by buying some small so-called zircons from ebay sellers. I don’t have equipment to examine them myself but I can ask the local jeweler if they are cubic zirconian stones, not zircons. Does anyone have experience buying genuine zircons over the web and can comment?


Its all depends whats you need and what person you deal … you must knows what are you doing…thats all

I am gems seller from pakistan .and i deal with hundreds of people around the world



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I have some nice zircon for sale. Blue, yellow , brown and green. Contact me via


I found a lot of fraud on EBay. But you get what you pay for. Spinel and ruby from India. With some made up cards. All lab grown. And the natural stones are all darker in real life. Not a fan of sellers on EBay.


I’m not saying I have not ended up with some total crap from eBay but that was all my fault. I did not spend the time doing my reaserch on the seller. I do read EVERY feedback on the seller I have found negative eye opening feedback hidden in the positive column. Some sellers will not allow buyers to make a purchase or they have ever left negative feedback so they will do it in the positive to get around that. I have found some sellers stray new accounts to sell junk this way. I never buy from a seller that has all VVS, IF and VS stones. Something is just not right with that seller. I buy from a seller that will certify with 3 international gemalogical entities upon request GIA being one of them. The seller answering your questions is a must and be willing to send extra pictures of the stone. Some of the bigger sellers are reluctant to do this due to the volume of stones that they move but I have felt with a few in the past that have done this for me when I was bidding on a large volume of stones. I had a few that I wished a better view and they complied. Thaigemstore on eBay has some decent stones and I have had my best luck with them. You do want to look at the stone with more than one moniter due to the color difference in them. I started buying from them when they had 4K sales under their belt and will buy again in a skinny minute with no hesitation. Every stone I have purchased from them has been exactly what they said it was. Buying colored stones is a crap shoot on the internet and I have been luck most of the time and I do have my share of crap!
All the best