ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler

Don't be fooled by fake gemstones, warns leading gemologist

How sure are you that the diamond you were sold is actually a diamond?

Sentimental jewellery pieces can be some of our most treasured possessions.

Many consumers are deliberately sold fake gemstones or unwittingly sold an incorrect gem by an unqualified jeweller.

Accredited gemologist Jeremy Rothan says that about 80% of the stones which he evaluates in his lab in Cape Town are fakes, sold as genuine natural stones.

Some jewellers lack the skill and training to identify grade and value of gemstones, explains consumer journalist Wendy Knowler.

Mitchells Plain resident Shafiek Abrahams fell victim when he was sold a piece of fake tanzanite for 1 500 US dollars (about R17 000) from overseas.

An upmarket jeweller in Cape Town identified the fake stone as tanzanite and even charged him a R250 consult fee.

Shafiek Abrahams came to show me this blue stone which looked like a tanzanite, it was a loose stone. Running the test, it turned out it was actually glass.

Jeremy Rothan, leading gemologist and founder of The Gem Lab

There was a certificate supplied with it and it turned out to be a piece of glass.

Shafiek Abrahams, victim of gemstone fraud

Some people told me there were a lot scams going on and fakes going around in the market. That made me take all my items to The Gem Lab.

Shafiek Abrahams, victim of gemstone fraud

He urges consumers to insist that the gemstone is certified by a reputable laboratory.

Verify that it's natural, not synthetic or artificially treated.

Jeremy Rothan, leading gemologist and founder of The Gem Lab

More often than not, jewellery valuations aren't worth the paper they're written on.

Jeremy Rothan, leading gemologist and founder of The Gem Lab

Rothan says there are too many cases of gemstone fraud. He offered his advice and callers shared their stories of being rip-offed.

Take a listen to the insightful discussion during the Consumer Talk feature:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

The UK’s Food Standards Agency issued an advisory, claiming that Rolkem failed to confirm that their ingredients were safe to eat.

Top mistakes to avoid when insuring your phone

Top mistakes to avoid when insuring your phone

It's important to make sure that your policy covers you for the correct value of your phone and the current device you are using.

5  things corporates really must stop saying and writing to clients

5 things corporates really must stop saying and writing to clients

Here's some meaningless superfluous jargon corporates really should stop sending to clients says consumer journalist Wendy Knowler

Always ask why your credit application was rejected (and other useful tips)

Always ask why your credit application was rejected (and other useful tips)

Credit providers such as banks, cellphone companies and clothing stores must justify why a credit application has been rejected.

Consumer Talk: Who is responsible if you injure yourself while shopping?

Consumer Talk: Who is responsible if you injure yourself while shopping?

Consumer guru Wendy Knowler answers customer’s question about who is responsible if you injure yourself while shopping.

'Fake cheese' on the menu? Wendy Knowler talks dairy product dupes

'Fake cheese' on the menu? Wendy Knowler talks dairy product dupes

Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler says economic pressures on the dairy industry have driven costs up and affected production.

Popular articles
Parents no longer have to travel with children's birth certificates

Parents no longer have to travel with children's birth certificates

The new Home Affairs upgrades to the system include printing parents details at the back of the child's passport.

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

The UK’s Food Standards Agency issued an advisory, claiming that Rolkem failed to confirm that their ingredients were safe to eat.

KFC South Africa’s Neymar mocking ad… so epic, Nando’s would be proud!

KFC South Africa’s Neymar mocking ad… so epic, Nando’s would be proud!

The South African ad is still trending around the world. Bruce Whitfield interviews branding and advertising expert Andy Rice.

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Madiba’s private secretary Zelda la Grange opens up about money (hers and his)

Bruce Whitfield interviews La Grange about her and Madiba's attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.)

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

The Panorama, Welgelegen and Plattekloof Neighbourhood Watch has identified a new house break-in trend.