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 Post subject: JTV: facts, or hype?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:23 am 
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As a novice collector, what are your opinions on JTV? I have bought some jewelery there (nothing fancy, just some lemon quartz, mystic topaz, prasiolite) and imo, received excellent value for my money. The 'red andesine' problem has left a bad taste in my mouth. JTV has now made it a policy to reveal every treatment to every stone. Should I trust them? What about the rumors of cobalt treated tanzanite? It seems JTV has more tanzanite for sale than has been mined in 2o years! Where are they getting all the large top quality "AAA" stones?

I watch the channel a lot, trying to scope for close out buys, and am considering buying some of their loose stone parcels. I know they exaggerate the rareness of stones, and tend to look past the sales pitch and consider carefully before buying.

What are your opinions?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 6:02 am 
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A friend of mine bought a parcel of their loose stones. The quality of the stones were pretty dismal but they'd be great for an amateur to practice identification. In fact, he gave them to me for that very purpose!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:01 pm 
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JTV is like most large TV Jewelry vendors. They by tons of stones & jewelry at a time. They also are great spouter's of misinformation, but you can be sure that the Tanzanite they sell is the real deal. Maybe not top, top, as they'd have you believe, but I've seen some very good Tanzanite there never the less. Tanzanite is probably the single most mis-represented stone out there, as far as qauntity left in the ground, the four blocks of Tanzanite A-D. There is no shortage of Tanzanite, at least not right now. For years shopping channels spouted (still do) off in ten years Tanzanite will be gone, that was 15 years ago, lol. Yes, it is a one source stone, but there is a lot of Tanzanite in that there hill. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: JTV: facts, or hype?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:25 pm 
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mj wrote:
What about the rumors of cobalt treated tanzanite? It seems JTV has more tanzanite for sale than has been mined in 2o years! Where are they getting all the large top quality "AAA" stones?



The thing with JTV (and every other TV shopping channel), is they seem to consider every piece of Tanzanite they have as AAA grade. Ignore that if they say it. Generally you should look at the stones online, as the color is better represented in the online photos as opposed to what they show on TV, although that's not to say the piece you actually get will be exactly like that.

As to rumors of cobalt treatment (or coating or whatever else), they are just that - rumors. I've not seen any proof of any of those rumors. And there are some very bitter people out there who make a lot of statements without any facts to back them up.

Generally I would say that JTV's prices on Tanzanite are pretty average, and not really a better deal than you could get elsewhere. In fact I have seen beautiful custom cut Tanzanites on various websites with similar price per carat, so I'd go for the custom cuts every time.

I would avoid the gemstone parcels. They are mostly quartz and not great topaz, all packaged together so they get scratched and chipped.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:08 pm 
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The existence of coatings containing cobalt on Tanzanite is well documented.

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 Post subject: Re: JTV: facts, or hype?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:23 pm 
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mj wrote:
JTV has now made it a policy to reveal every treatment to every stone. Should I trust them?

Load of total doodoo to be frank! They do not even remotely disclose all and any treatments! Often times they don't even disclose the proper treatments like calling reconstituted turquoise stabilized only for example! They also downplay treatments and make it sound like the stones NEED the treatments and that the value is not affected in any way or very little, which is NOT true.

Tanzanite... I have seen many coated tanzanites come in from them sold as natural, I have seen and heard many that have had their colors fade to a much lighter color even just being stored in a gem jar in a case so it wasn't even exposed to sunlight.

The coatings ARE FACTUAL, even the GIA and AGTA both did write ups on the coated tanzanites. One can even go to wholesalers(well known ones) who advertise coated tanzanites for very cheap prices! I have also seen them first hand and have 3-4 study samples here right now of coated tanzanites.

Parcels are total junk! Fish tank gravel at best except once in a blue moon you may get lucky. We did a test a few mths back when they were advertising those parcels with all the top stones added in, ordered a few hundred carats in multiple parcels, almost all was merely quartz products and topaz with a few highly included poorly cut garnets and 2 nasty zircons and a few crappy spinels. Nothing that was even worth what was paid for the parcels! Needless to say, documented and returned, hehe.

Most of their stones are poorly cut & polished, which is where they save money. Most are seriously windowed, bad polishes, chipped and abraded facet junctions, etc. Don't get me wrong, you can get some good stones, but the good ones are on par price wise for the same type/quality elsewhere, lol.

Did I mention, if you read the fine print on their web page about treatments that a majority of their stones are clarity enhanced! But seldom disclosed on air at time of showing/selling, except with rubies and such. But the rubies are more composite then they are fracture filled, lol. Most of their goods are treated, many with more then one treatment even, in my personal experiences dealing directly with them and others who have dealt with them. I get the most complaints about them over any other vendor on GA, not surprising.

They like to prey on the unknowing and bank on that most people still think that you can't say it on TV if it isn't true! :(

Basically, you get what you pay mostly, and sometimes less then you paid for, just have to know the market, know your material, and have luck on your side as well, then you might just get an ok deal! Their parcels are great for learning though so you can test stones and ID them for practice. Also, run, don't walk, away from their gemology equipment! Total junk and you can buy better on Ebay for less money!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:23 pm 
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Luke, I am not denying the existence of coatings containing cobalt. I know they exist. I've just not seen any evidence that JTV is selling coated material in their loose gemstones without disclosing it as such.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:31 pm 
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Sorry Anita, I misunderstood your post entirely.
I too believe that if a player as big as JTV were selling coated Tanzanite without disclosure it would have come to light fairly quickly. Tanzanite is far more widespread and mainstream than Andesine so I can't imagine that they anyone with such a vast client base would be able to hide something like that for so long.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:44 pm 
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No worries :)

Yeah, that's what I thought too. Plus after the andesine thing, they'd have to be complete idiots to screw around with Tanzanites. At least the andesine was cheap. Tanzanite would crush them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:11 am 
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hi, mj, unless you are purchasing the parcels for studying or, as everyone else mentioned, need fish tank gravel, i would not bother purchasing the parcels. i think the gems in the "tradeshow treasures" and "the vault" are fairly nice stones, though. would i trust them? it would probably be in your favor to research and ask questions about a gemstone you are interested in before purchasing it and don't know much about the gemstone (treatments, etc...) and avoid swedish beer (4 lennie :lol: ) while watching the show. the forum members with formal gemmo training enjoy a challenge, so, if you have questions, i'm sure they would be more than happy to help! :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:23 am 
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I would also check EVERY single stone if you know how and have the equipment to do so, or have them checked by someone who does and can. I would NOT trust them as far as I could pick a car up and toss it, lol. FYI, right on their own website on the treatments page they list coating as one of the treatments on their tanzanite, but yet don't seem to ever mention this while showing them!? Hmmm!?

I know they did this same exact thing with their Red Beryl they were selling a while back, never mentioned anything about clarity enhancements on the TV, yet in small print on their website under the exact stones, clarity enhancement was listed as a treatment on those model number stones being sold on air. :(

I know I mentioned it once already, but just want to emphasize that while they do disclose some treatments on some stones, many times they are not even disclosing the correct enhancement!! Examples aside from the turquoise... the fissure filled rubies when the ones we checked/tested were composite being more glass then corundum and even though no synthetics in the parcels supposedly we received a syn. corundum doped to mimic alexandrite as well as what was supposedly black star sapphire parcels ended up being black star diopsides in reality, lol, needless to say the lady was not happy when I broke that news to her, but was an obvious ID as they only had a 4-ray star and that telltale diopside appearance. Funny since the host pushing them at the time was supposedly a GG, as the lady remembered the host and everything. :?

If ya can't tell, I despise JTV, they just cause soooo many headaches to my Wife and to my website that I just get so sick of their BS and hearing about it, lol!! :x :evil:


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 Post subject: JTV synthetics
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:09 am 
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If anyone's gotten synthetics from JTV (like synthetic emeralds, or YAG, or whatnot) have they generally been the stone you paid for, and were supposed to get? And I'm not expecting the best cut, but were they generally cut decently, or were they terrible, or what?

Thanks.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:47 am 
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I have bought both YAG and lab-grown rubies. Both were what they were supposed to be, and were very nice, actually.

The cuts (for the most part) aren't horrific, they're just native cuts, so they go more for carat weight than for bringing out the best brilliance in the stone and you tend to have some windowing. Even that's not true in every case though, it depends on the stone and such.

Parcel stones are a whole 'nother kettle of fish. Those are generally banged up pretty good. I would avoid them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:33 pm 
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mj, to answer your question head-on, an opinion about JTV may be based on what you are 'collecting." Are you collecting education, information, maybe some very cool science or history? Are you collecting for beauty and pleasure, re-sale, or investment? JTV may be a good place for you depending on your answers.

Approaching your collecting as a business is smart. Overall, JTV is a good place to start as you build information and shape your goals. They are generalists. Just like with stocks or other financial investments, do your homework and research the stones you want to buy beforehand. Double check the host's comments elsewhere, they are not experts and not as sharp as some folks right here. Buy small. Use your loupe. This lowers your risk and potential loss.

They have some lousy buys and low quality, and some good buys and decent quality. You may be surprised at what arrives cracked, chipped or flawed. Their job is to sell merchandise. Someone reaches into a bin and grabs the first box they touch and sends it to you. It may never be QC'd. The box next to it may have been a better stone, but them's the breaks. Product quality is not their role, they are only a pipeline for many manufacturers around the globe.

Equally, they have some great buys, which was more usual back in '04 and '05 than now. The risks for the uneducated are much higher now, so it's on you to learn and research before you buy and also after it arrives.

"Collecting" can cost you big money. Realize that every stone in your growing gemstone vault is dead money until you sell it. How do you know if your collecting is wasting your money, or sort of "investing?" Will that particular stone appreciate? The andesine fiasco and now the fissure filled stones and coated tanzanite buzz does not inspire confidence in that channel or some of the product out there.

You need an appraiser. Appraisal prices vary, so you may want to find a good GG or two in your area. Checking the quality on bigger ticket items is always a smart idea. I've often had the same stone appraised twice by two different GGs, with very different results.

An appraiser is one good way you can get a true sense of the market and also check on the integrity of the television salespeople. The information that the appraiser tells you will vary by stone but the majority of the valuation will center on the same scientific factors.

The science of stones is fascinating, as you'll discover after appraisals and also reading the forum here. Their beauty is without question. The value is always the issue. It's a business transaction.

As your interest narrows after X00 hours of watching JTV, you may find yourself tightening from 100 stones and keying in more on just several stones. When that happens you may wean away from the TV people. You may want to widen your gem hunt to include members here, as smaller shops run by knowledgeable, ethical people will focus on specific stones, specific price ranges or cuts. Their quality is as good and often better than the mass merchandisers, and you are building those special relationships with people you trust that last for years. And this is another good thing you need to have if this is really a long term focus of yours.

Gems and jewelry are fabulous sciences. Using business smarts can make the your collecting more successful than not. Hope you found this helpful.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:34 pm 
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MJ,
Very first, as soon as your budget allows to buy another stone, buy one from one of the cutters here that sell. Buy one of THEIR cut stones, I think some may carry 'native cuts' also - I want you to buy a stone with what is a TRUE good cut.

THEN...judge everything else you look at, such as the JTV stones, by the standard of that stone (or stones if you can afford them). Until you actually see a well cut stone in your hand, turn it in the light, rock it, drool on it...oh, sorry....you will be fooled by many 'wannabe's'.

If you buy JTV's products, you can return them...and if you follow this path above, you WILL be returning at least 80% of them as you will recognize them for the poor product they usually are...

Just my humble opinion learned from experience.... :roll:....of NOT doing it this way...

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