Many Australians have come to purchase gemstones online. It’s convenient and in some cases can even be cheap as well. However, it’s really worthwhile to stop here and ask if you really should be buying precious gems online. How to do you know whether the product you end up with is real? Is the price reasonable? And more importantly, would the stone be shipped after you confirm the order? Here are several things you should know before you decide to buy gemstones online or not:
Understand the Difference between Fine and Commercial Gemstones
Gemstones have many categorisations, but one important distinction you can make is between fine gemstones and commercial-grade gemstones. Fine gemstones are natural stones that have been cut by expert hands. These stones preserve wonderful colours and are highly valued in the long term. Commercial gemstones are cheaper versions of precious stones mostly because these are poorly cut. Commercial-grade gemstones don’t retain good colours and the material may even be heavily treated. If you want a gemstone with lasting value and beauty, you need a fine gemstone. Some online sellers only deal in commercial-grade gemstones. Therefore, when buying online, make sure you are buying fine gemstones. If you want a cheaper product that is somewhat aesthetically pleasing, you can choose commercial-grade gemstones.
Legitimacy of the Seller is Important
When purchasing gemstones online, the main challenge is to find a legitimate seller that deals in fine, natural gemstones. The true value of the stone that’s shipped to your home will depend on how good the jeweller or the gem dealer is. Unfortunately, there is no national or universal body that accredits gem sellers. However, there are several steps you can take to ensure that you are buying real gemstones from an authentic seller. For starters, check whether the seller is part of the Gemmological Association of Australia. For example, well-known gem merchants like The Australian Opal & Diamond Collection is part of numerous industry associations like Jewellers Association of Australia Ltd and the Australian Opal and Gem Industry Association. You can also check the business address of the online seller to ensure that it is real.
Buy Australian to Ensure Quality and Ethicality
Australians love to buy gemstones from online dealers based in places like Thailand. The gemstones are cheaper there because the cutting and polishing are done locally. The problem is, it’s difficult to guarantee that you are buying authentic natural stones from cheap foreign sellers. The issue is how ethical the stones are. You can end up with blood diamonds when you buy from Thai or Chinese sellers that may not present conflict-free certification. Diamonds mined in Australia are conflict-free. The same goes for other local gemstones. Buying Australian from Australian sellers is the best way to make sure you buy real high-value stones that have been ethically acquired.
A Return Policy is a Good Sign
If the online seller offers a return or refund policy, then that’s a sign of a legitimate dealer. As a buyer, you have the right to evaluate a gemstone once it arrives in the mail and return if it’s not up to standard or your satisfaction. Read the fine print of the return policy, if available. If the time period allowed for returns is very short or if the seller chargers stocking fees, then that is not a genuine return policy.
You don’t need to wholly avoid buying gemstones online. But be informed and know what you are buying. Use the recommendations given above to make the best purchases.