Gems and Jewelry Pose New Consumer Threats - Investment Fraud and Misleading Laboratory Documentation
No one in the gem and jewelry industry can deny the reality of the changing marketplace. Recent research shows that sales from online venues such as eBay and Yahoo! are increasing rapidly. It takes less time. It is very convenient. It is anonymous. Consumers enjoy what appear to be “competitive prices” touted from one site to another. And now “investment” is being recommended, providing yet another way to exploit the unsuspecting, Moms included! With worries about recession and devaluing currencies, more and more people are thinking about putting money into diamonds and gemstones (which are also portable if the need arises to sell your home or move elsewhere). I have only one word of advice: CAUTION! And if considering buying “investment gems” on the internet, DON’T!
The biggest difference between online vendors and traditional retailers is the degree to which online venues provide opportunities to deceive and misrepresent products, and the difficulties inherent in finding and dealing with vendors who disregard laws and play by a different set of rules. It is even more challenging for consumers because most of you know so little about the product and rely so heavily also on what you are learning on the internet, regardless of the fact that you have no way to judge the reliability of the information on which you are relying.
Unfortunately for everyone, unethical behavior is on the rise and the internet has been the catalyst. Worse, in today’s economy, it has prompted others in more traditional venues to compete in less-than-ethical ways, too. Especially where investment is concerned.