Thursday, November 17, 2011

Going to Cambodia? WARNING!

Beautiful right? Definitely very expensive right?

Not necessarily. 

Cubic zirconia is the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2). The synthesized material is hard, optically flawless and usually colorless, but may be made in a variety of different colors.

In other words, CZ are laboratory made stones. In the world of jewellery, they are called synthetic gems. They are not real therefore, very inexpensive.

This morning, a client came to see me and was very excited with her loot that she got from Cambodia.

I had a bad feeling right away. Cambodia-Gems-Tourist....NOT a good combination. She excitedly showed me her recent purchases are all I could do was to give her a knowing look. Sadly they were all fake.

"Oh my gosh, I am so depressed! How can they sell these and say they are real. The owner of the store even said that they own the land where these stones were mined!"

I checked out the receipt. It did say that the stones are rubies, sapphires and aquamarine.


I am posting this because this is not the first client who has bought stones from Cambodia believing that they are all real. At least 10 similar incidents have come my way in the last 5 years and I hope that whoever plans to go to Cambodia and chances upon this post, that they will avoid being cheated by this store and possibly others.

The receipt does indicate that their company name is called CITYGEM and so does their shopping bag. I tried researching them in the net but none showed up from Cambodia. In the receipt, you will not find an email address or a website. Only the address and the phone number. 

We informed the client and her friends to call their credit card company and declare the transaction as  fraud and try to make the sale void. 

Let this be a warning. If you don't know your gems, I suggest you avoid buying them from Cambodia. I am not saying that the whole country does not sell any real ones but if you are not sure of what you are buying, then don't buy it at all. Arm yourself with information. Buy a gem book.  

I don't care if they put the stones under fire (the salesperson did this in front of my client just to prove that they are real. It's not the way to test it).
Can I just say that a 36 carat flawless, pigeon's blood-color RUBY will probably cost you around $1,000,000 per carat, that's $36,000,000. My client got hers for $500. That in itself should already set off warning bells. 

Caution to those who are planning to go to Cambodia or anywhere else. 

Don't get suckered into buying gems that seem so cheap it seems too good to be true because it probably isn't, because Candy says so. 

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