There is a big scam going on with our soldiers in Afghanistan. They are getting “Great Deals” on gemstones. Problem is they are FAKE! In some cases they are poor quality, some are synthetic, some are glass and some are plastic. Not only are they buying them from locals, but some are being sold through the PX. Worse yet some of the soldiers are coming back selling them here in the States unwittingly and wittingly ripping off more people.
Here are some of the posts directly from the jewelers’ group. (Heidi wants me to mention that she did not edit these, and the spelling and grammatical errors made her teeth itch.)
I have recently seen a lot of things that servicemen and women have bought in Gems from purchases while they were deployed......One I saw was a glass filled Emerald....Synthetic Gems....some irradiated Diamonds and such. I am wondering if the military does anything to protect our service personnel against scams and such. - OR
I had a high ranking serviceman that was actually buying "gems & Diamonds" "cheap" off the streets and bringing them back and selling them stateside. He told me HIS commanding officer was the one who let him in on the secret and said they are actually making enough for it to be a second job. He brought some into me to verify if they were good. I told him no they were crap and his response was "Oh well! Most people won't know" - OH
With a base up the street I've seen more than a few.The worst (for the solder) a purported ruby that was actually a piece of poorly faceted tail light lens. - MA
A guy brought in a bunch of fakes here and he said he bought them from the px there and said they were guaranteed to be real.he had 25large fake sapphires nd believed they were real regardless of what I said/he planned on selling them.-TN
This is a major problem, and it is not going away. An appraiser friend of mine from the DC area said he has brought this to the attention of the upper level brass and was told they were going to address the issue. That was several years ago, and they have done nothing. Makes you wonder who is cashing in on this trade. Some of our service persons are being scammed out of a lot of their hard earned pay, and they aren't buying this stuff in some back alley. They are buying it right on base through "authorized" vendors. Martin showed us trays of stuff that had been brought to him by a serviceman for appraisal that was all worthless. He had paid a lot for it and was told he could bring it back to the states and quadruple his investment. This is SHAMEFUL !!￼ -IL
About 3yrs ago, a Major airline pilot came in to show me the "deal" stones he bought in India. Of the 4K he spent, they were valued at approx. 1K. He told me, no worry, they will take them back because ALL the pilots buy their jewelry there". Came back with his traded batch (upgrading to 6K), and now realized he'd been taken. Said he would tell all pilots to avoid this dealer, as he now had a "reputable" dealer. You already know what happened. Same scenario!
Haven't seen him since.
Some of you are old enough to remember ---Korea, serviceman bought "REAL" Rubies through the fence from the Koreans at a GREAT deal, only to find out they were red glass--(supplied from the glass thrown into the dumpsters on our own bases). True story. -NY
Check out this article.
There are real gems mined in Afghanistan, but it is extremely easy to rip off anyone who is not an expert and the locals have no qualms about scamming the naive.
What can you say, if the deal is too good to be true, it isn’t a deal at all. Always buy from a reputable dealer like your local jeweler, because he is in your community and you will see him for years.