Dupery at online auctions

Last Updated: 25th Jan 2019

Dupery at online auctions

As vigilant readers of this column might know, I delight in browsing the gemstone auctions of various online auction houses to cheer me up when my sprits run low. In pleasant anticipation of droll gem descriptions I recently sallied forth to visit the online shops of my favourites, only to find out, that most had ceased to exist!

Apparently many have thrown in the towel. May well be, that the negative feedback due to sugarcoated photos, false or lacking specifications regarding clarity and treatments, unrealistic value quotations and inflated shipping charges proved detrimental to sales in the long run.

Fortunately a quick online research showed that my favourite seller, when it comes to over-the-top-estimates, now runs his own online auction platform. There he really gets down to business.

Here are some examples:

A "giant lot of genuine tourmalines" with an asserted value of € 1450 turned out to consist of 13.82cts of opaque cabochons. If stones of such inferior quality are to be found in the stock of respectable gem traders at all, prices would lie in the vicinity of € 5.00 p.ct.

That an oval citrine of merely 1.98cts should have an estimated retail value of € 600, was also news to me. Darn! We sell way too cheap!

The peak of this guy´s cheekiness was a brownish, badly cut and heavily included amethyst of 7.43cts and an alleged value of € 2600.

Now of course you would never dish out 2600 euros for that kind of stone. Luckily you don´t have to because by clicking the "buy now" button you can acquire this priceless gem for merely € 39. Add 9.95 for shipping and insurance, which, by the way, you don´t need because this small amount is covered by the regular postal insurance that automatically comes along with any registered letter.

Not a bad deal at all, considering that this kind of "quality" amethyst can be bought at every street corner in India for about 20 cents per carat…

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