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Jewellery Scams: Why You Should Not Buy Jewellery Sold On The Street

After a recent encounter with an honest gentleman who got taken for an expensive ride, I feel it necessary to share with you ‘what not to do’ should you be approached on the street, in a shopping center or other random place to purchase jewellery or stones of any form or type. Decline the offer, walk away and consider yourself lucky.

Jewellery Scams in South Africa

The Gold Scam

Jewellery that is sold on the street (except street hawkers who trade specifically in jewellery) as genuine gold – are generally gold plated. I`m sure many of you have been caught by the guy trying to sell you a chain whilst walking to your car. He acts suspicious so as to give the impression that the goods are stolen and he is giving it away at a bargain price. Or he is trying to sell a watch or sunglasses with a well-known international brand name – just refuse and walk away. This was the first and most common jewellery scam in our country.

The Stones Scam

This is where uncut diamonds, tanzanite or other gems are sold and the fraudsters rope you in using invoices or valuations from jewellers, showing large sums of money changing hands for rough stones.

The first and foremost rule of any reputable jeweler is that business is not done on the street, or in coffee shops or any other public places. Business is done in the shop or office. The other thing that you should know is that jewelers don’t deal in rough uncut stones. All jewelers have suppliers who they trust implicitly and they will only purchase stock through these suppliers.

Jewellery Scams
Tanzanite. Image by Smallru (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Tanzanite is the latest greatest craze in the jewellery industry and as usual, those involved in the illegal side of commerce are all too willing to jump on the Tanzanite-bandwagon to make money.

Maybe you`ve read about people getting taken for a ride in Port Elizabeth buying fake tanzanite from shady dealers; don’t think that they are not going to come here and try to tap into the market here, they are here. What they are trying to sell is a roughly ball shaped object about 5cm in diameter. It has a Grey tar coloured matrix with a similar texture to tar. Embedded in this is a blue stone the colour of tanzanite. The crystal appear large and inclusion free.

The most important thing to remember is this; there is no easy way to get rich. Don’t take chances. And don’t get involved in goods that you don’t know about, no matter how easy and sure it seems or how ever great the financial gains may be.

— Zak

Goldfish Jewellery Design Studio works with all precious metals, stones and diamonds. For further information, please contact us.