Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Are JTV and GemsTV Deceiving Customers?

Robert James FGA, GG, President, International School of Gemology, thinks that both JTV and GemsTV are violating FTC guidelines against deceptive pricing.

How? You know the game ... they tell you that the gem they are practically giving away for $39.99 used to sell for $3690! Wow! What a bargain!

But does the gem really sell for $3690 anywhere? Did they ever even sell one even close to that price? Is it really worth that?

Check out these screen shots that he captured:





He is also withdrawing his support of the huge JTV class action settlement over the andesine issue. He wants a full jury trial so all the documents can be made public.

I think that the bottom-line issue is that the jewelry business is built on trust--we believe that the ring is a natural ruby set in 18k gold and is therefore worth a certain amount of money ultimately because they say it is. When this basic trust is eroded you might as well buy from any old Tom, Dick, or Harry on eBay.

His article is quite informative. Check it out here.

36 comments:

  1. Hi! Cool blog...I just started watching the shopping channels at home (since I got laid off from my last job...*great*, right?) and GemsTV is my favorite. I guess if someone just flipped by the channel they might be confused, but I feel that the channel makes it pretty clear that the "Start Price" is random (they run a little schpiel at the top of every hour saying it's a computer-generated random number) and the "Up to 80% Off" signage means the same as it does in any other store...one thing is 80% off and good luck finding it.

    Anyway, I really would love to hear from other people about GemsTV products! I like to think I'm a careful shopper but it gets tempting watching all that bling go by.
    -Lisa

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  2. I watch GemsTV on my days off. I love it. They sell natural gems. NO LAB CREATED! I have purchased a beautiful 1.28 carat hot pink sapphire and diamond white gold ring and I LOVE IT! I do not believe they deceive customers. They sell natural gemstones for the price of lab created at retail jewelery stores!

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  3. I have been buying from GemsTV for over 2 years and have taken my jewelry to a high end Jeweler here in Boston. Everytime it has been appraised much higher than what I paid for it. One case was a 14K yellow gold Smoky Quartz with diamonds. It was 2.35K in size and appraised at $595. I paid $15 (no typo). $15 dollars. The only stone I am waiting for is a Zultanite.

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  4. Darn! I wish i got Gems TV. I've never seen it or heard of it.

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  5. Hi

    WHY do you think Robert James would ever be against a class action lawsuit , yes he publically stated he was opting out , well boy o boy he did not , yup that right he did NOT , the man a lier and a fraud , he has made false claims about alot of things and his mouth is gotten him in trouble. Andesine / Labradorite was proven not to be from MEXICO !!!
    Also if you read all his reports he was wrong with it all , first it was INDIAN orthoclase , then he scammed his students and consumers to buy him a raman and then proved it was from MEXICO , the man was WRONG again !!!!!!!!
    If you would like people to read your blog , please stop reporting things Robert James of the ISG says !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. Gale you can go on their website. www.gemstv.com
    I go on there because I only get gemsTV weekdays from about 12-4. Then the channel turns into infomercials.

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  7. After watching gemstv for a year I bought a ring. AWESOME RING! Then I bought two more rings, again awesome. I would definitely recommend gemstv. You do need to know what the ct. weight means and follow the rules honestly.

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  8. I don't know guys! the "pearl" fell out my topaz & pearl pendant. then the plastic cap fell off to reveal a plastic ball.
    I bought "amber" rings but I can't figure how that glitter got in that tree sap millions of years ago. hmmmmmmm

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  9. You spelled deceiving wrong. F.Y.I. i before e except after c. It might make your question be legit in other's minds.

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  10. I personally like both networks. If you know the real values are, via gemstone books, comparison shopping, etc., you only buy what you know to be true in value/price or what you can’t get elsewhere!

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  11. Gems TV delivers what it says it will. Thse are real gemstones. Jewelers in my area unfortunately, go nuts when they see real gems for such a phenomonal price.It is etter to take all jewelery to an idependent Appraiser.

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  12. I Love both companies. All stores have problems, no one or no one is perfect except God! Agree w/ Anonymous on May 2, 2009 11:20 PM. The Garmans

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  13. I've bought lots of products from both stations. For instance, I bought a beautiful diamond bangle bracelet for $399 and the "exact" same bracelet was at my local Sears store for $1399! Yep, honest! (I wrote a review, (signed it 'blingy'). So if you know what you're buying you can get some great deals. These two programs are great for everyday jewelry. I also love Direct Shopping Network (you can watch it on the web), and they have high quality products when you want something 'really' nice.

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  14. I too love GemsTV. Everything I've bought except for 1 thing has been a hit with either myself or whoever I bought it from. The prices are more than fair and I love the fact that there are more gems to select from than blue topaz, amethyst, peridot....and NO CREATED STONES!! YEAH!

    I like to watch GemsTV better than other jewelry channels but I have bought from JTV online and have been very satisfied with the purchase too. I think it pays to do your research, set your limits on spending and keep an eye out for a bargain.

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  15. I have bought a few items from GemsTv -although the Gems are natural - a large portion of them are treated. The silverwork is exceptional on their Seni Busana line if you are into more of a Nepalese feel. I stay away from the treated stones but - I am really interested in getting some of my jewelry appraised. I remember what I paid for similar items that I had stolen and I have been able to replace several things for a little under 1/2 what I paid for them originally.

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  16. I love the channel i cjeck and recheck jewerly stores from the finest to the regualar ones and GEMSTV have the best quality and the support their products nothin gto loose and some of them comes with the complete GIA report so i think is a great channel that i trust .

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  17. The starting price does not indicate a worth or a value as they always say, its just a figure that they start from. I have bought from Gems TV and all my pieces have been valued at a much higher price than what I paid. Look in shop windows and compare prices then you will see how remarkable the prices really are.

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  18. Rebecca, and others, you don't get it.

    Your Hot Pink Sapphire, likely didn't start out that color. It was a 100% genuine Corrundum, which to begin with, was some ugly brown color or if you're uber lucky, a clear white, it's been treated in such a way that made it look that great, and expensive color. In some cases, the treatment is not temporary and might end up comming off the stone in a couple of years. Then, you'll see how ugly it was to begin with. If you went to a High-end jeweler you'd find a Hot Pink Sapphire that
    DID start out that color. The color will not fade it will not shatter in two or so years. What GemsTV offers is the "Look for Less", but it's honestly just junk for the most part. Thailand is notorious for making junky stones look beautiful.
    GemsTV does not properly disclose treatments on each gemstone they sell, sometimes they even lie on air. They expect you to read the book or see their website for treatment information.
    Coated natural pink diamonds, coated Tanzanites, diffused Sapphires, glass-filled
    Rubies, they have it all! With them, if it can be treated, it probably IS treated. I don't think those appraisals are even worth mentioning. Mostly because no one will take it off your hands for what the appraisal states, and I highly doubt that the Gemologist they
    take the items to, is sitting there dropping those rings in some liquid to see if the coating will come off. Or if the same Gemologist, is sitting there trying to scratch the stone with a knife. He just states that if you were to replace the ring, it would cost you an X ammount of dollars. Which means that a jeweler, would need to go out there and track down the stone that looks exactly like the one in your jewelry. He probably wouldn't be searching for coated stone, which means it will cost him a lot more than what you paid for the ring.
    I would never buy large Sapphires from GemsTV. They dictate a high price, unless there's something wrong with them. Check out their prices on Tanzanian Rubies. Ever wonder why they're so expensive? They are a "true red" and more importantly, NON-treated. I'm sorry but if I want a pair of nice, leather shoes, I'll buy them. I won't go looking for some PVC ones that look similar but would be killing my feet and fall apart in a month or so.
    GemsTV have some very nice jewelry, but I'd be cautious where the deal seems too good to be true. It probably is.

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  19. Gemstones can only be bought from one online website, www.gemselect.com

    I've had a few of my gems appraised by a gemologist, great results every time.

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  20. I am and have been a gemstv customer for years and have never had a problem with quality,or authenticy of the jewelry I purchased. Everytime I wear it I get jealous stares and nothing but compliments. Then I share my secret with them and the price I paid for it and of course they dont believe me until they watch the program and go to the website and see the prices for themselves.....then they become a believer and a loyal and addicted customer like me. I love beautiful and authentic jewelry and especially large stones. When I wear jewelry I like it to be seen from a distance, and not tiny dot stones or jewelry wear you pay all this money and it looks large when seen on tv and when you get it home your dissapointed. GemsTV has never disapointed me, they have always exceeded my expectations. AND THERE JEWELRY IS SIMPLY BREATH-TAKING. I feel like a queen every time I wear my jewelry, and the stares and compliments I get from others make me feel nothing less than a Queen.

    Cheryle from Maryland

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  21. I've bought a few things from GemsTV (I keep things below $100) and have NEVER been disappointed. I only returned one item - a bracelet that was too big and I didn't feel like spending the money to have it made smaller. Like buying anything that you don't see in-hand, ya pays yer money, ya takes yer chances. Like I said - never been disappointed and have had many compliments. Until now - GemsTV is being turned off and that's my disappointment. I'm going to have to buy retail from now on. Oh well - that's one way to keep the budget in line. . .

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  22. Dear Home Shopping Queen,
    Better Late Than Never... GemsTV went off the air last Thursday (3-15-10), however, what I have learned after buying their gemstones and having them sitting in my jewelry box for a couple of years is that the colors change! My AAA Tanzite, which they ALWAYS bloat the Cell Block "D", Triple A quality, has changed from a blue to a purple color. They now look like amethyst. I took them to my local gemologist and he told my it is because they were "heat treated" to get more a blue hue and a higher price. Gems TV NEVER informed buyers of this treatment. I even went to their "treatments" area on their website which will only be up until this Wednesday says that they note on the COA and "N" for natural (non-enhanced) or a "H" for heat treated, neither of these statements are true. GemsTV also brags about their Kunzite and they called it the "Gemstone of The Evening" what they never tell you is that Kunzite fades quickly in sunlight and is very absorbant and will become foggy in something as simple as a swimming pool. Another thing they would do was "Name their own gems", such as Patroke Kunzites. These were BIG about a year ago on their channel. I could not find ANY information about this gem in the American Gemological Association and they have information on EVERY know stone. Another tricky thing GemsTV would do is the trickiest thing of all (well, second), is to fuse a cracked stone together to hide the crack and impurity. The absolutely worst thing they did was they didn't follow through on their return policy (and I swear I am not being dramatic!). They always bragged about buying it, taking it in for an appraisal, (I am positive they knew most people would not take the time to do this on lower end items) and if the buyer did not like it or any other reason, they could return the piece, no questions asked. Well, I kind of went crazy two years ago and over bought for Christmas, so after Christmas I return about 20 items. They immediately suspended my account and labeled my account as a "fraud threat" and it went on my CREDIT REPORT!!!! I am so crazy weird about having a perfect credit score so I almost died! I called them and explained why I returned the items, even kidding that the on air hosts were so good at selling I 98% or their items were good or better than expected. I have had diamonds fall out of one ring and have had to have prong repairs on two rings. But after buying as much as I did, their quality was good for the price. I believe they went under because they had TERRIBLE jewelry designers. If wonderful Lynsey and Karen had a say in the designs they may still be on air. Trisha - CA

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  23. If you did some research, you would find that most stones are heat treated (heat treated stones are a way of helping mother nature) which is acceptable according to AGI. If they weren't the world would be without many colored gemstones. Kunzite is heat treated but tends to fade in sunlight. Tanzanite heat treated stones are for the most part, permanent. Tanzanite comes out of the mine a brownish color until they are heat treated, to bring out the dark blue color that is preferred. I have been happy with 95% of my purchases from Gems TV and I will certainly miss their show.

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  24. My jewelry from Gemstv has been top quality and appraised well. The GAL certificates i received with a couple of pieces were spot on with a GIA gemologist. I will miss them terribly especially with the the sterling necklaces my nieces and friends loved, $5 each and some with gemstones or diamonds.

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  25. I must say I've purchased quite a bit of jewelry from Gemstv and been pleased with a lot of it. Only returned a few pieces. A few of the more cheap and cheesy pieces I didn't even bother to return, just gave them away as gifts. I'm wondering how Michelle Lau and other hosts of Gemstv are going to transition to JTV who, in my opinion is the worst shopping channel out there. Stones are cheap, fake and even their "real" diamonds look like gravel. Michelle always boasted how "real" gemstones and diamonds with gradings are the way to go. Now she is going to be promoting CZ's and lab created stones. To make matters worse, the diamonds on JTV are not even disclosed in terms of their color and clarity. Hopefully Michelle can describe the diamonds on JTV when she gets there. I'm willing to wager the bulk of JTV diamonds are JKL in color and SI3 at best. How sad. These hosts must be really good actors!

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  26. JTV never grades their diamonds ever, and when you buy from JTV it is always hit or miss. I would also say the majority of their diamonds are JKL and more like I1/I2, even worse! Occasionally you may get something better especially in their brown or black diamonds, but not really, not anymore, even those have gone by the wayside. Their gemstones are also insane, they do that same old trick, name the gemstones,like the rubbies they are pushing now, Mahaleo fissure filled, then they stick one in a cheap silver mounting and charge you about $80-$100, come on, people wake up! I would rather take my chances with a guy from Thailand on ebay with immediate ratings then JTV again, now it will be even worse with GemsTV hands in the pot!

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  27. J T V hosts are just horrid to watch

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  28. JTV never tells you the color grade or the clarity of their gemstones, and even the diamonds in their rings! So, you can get a 3ct Morganite for $49, but what's the color saturation and what's the clarity??? Same for their diamonds the white diamonds from JTV are horrible, absolutely horrible, if you happened to get some average nice stones, consider yourself lucky!

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  29. I watch JTV all the time. Until they bought out Gems TV, I had never heard of them. I hate most all of their hosts. JTV hosts are real people, all have degrees as a JGP, or GG or DG. I have never seen those after any GEMS TV host's name. Most all of gem stones are treated. That is just the way it is and it is an accepted thing. Even Lab grown stones are real, just grown in a controled environment. Just like hot house roses are real roses. I have spend several thousand dollars a month on their gems stone and Jewel Scool items and have never been dissatisfied. The original JTV hosts are very down to earth real people. GEMS TV hosts aside from a few are very fake. Just my opinion. There is a reason why JTV has been in business for 17 years and GEMS TV went down the drain. JTV is the worlds larges retailer in loose gem stones. That is why they are still in business.

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  30. SORRY TO HEAR ANYONE WAS DIS-SATISFIED WITH GEMS TV. I HAVE BOUGHT SEVERAL ITEMS FROM THEM AND HAVE, AND CONTINUE TO LOVE THEM. I WILL MISS THIS SHOW, AND THE GREAT PRICES! I AM NOW SHOPPING WITH JTV AND THEY ARE FINE SO FAR. NOT HAPPY WITH THE OPALS I JUST BOUGHT. ONE WAS OK BUT THE OTHER 2 ARE UGLYYYYY! THEY ARE SENDING ME NEW ONES. NO PROBLEM!! JUST BOUGHT A PARAIBA AND CANT WAIT TO GET IT. ILL LET YOU KNOW IF ITS GOOD OR NOT!

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  31. Hi

    I have been shopping at GemsTV for a couple of months now - in the UK. I have ordered stacks of stuff and returned stacks too..am expecting they will blacklist me anyday!!! But it doesn't matter cos I've run out of money anyway but bought some amazing jewellery in the process!

    I have kept the most beautiful of the items I have ordered - I guess you need to be choosy when the stuff arrives - quite simply I keep what I love and what I think is good value.. either the item suits me or it doesn't... either it looks good quality or it doesn't... that way I have had no complaints to make.. cos I was the one who made the decision to keep the items.

    So far I have had no problems returning anything. One ring arrived, with the stone already fallen out.. it was replaced, no questions asked. My tanzanite rings are amazing - my morganite are stunning, I bought several diamond rings which, to be frank were a grey colour.. but just kept returning them and finally got sent one that does sparkle so I'm keeping it....

    I guess the way I succeeded was to persist and to keep returning stuff and so have endded up getting exactly what I want. If you don't like the item and it doesn't look like what you thought it would, then send it back..

    So far so good. Having said all that I am quite concerned about the story above where the tanzanite lost its colour..... I will now go off and do my own internet research on gem enhancement and colour loss.. Has anyone else had that experience to date with GemsTV??

    regards

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  32. have bought a few pieces one broke after a year was white onyx had to return mookite bracelet as it broke when taking out of box had to send several back and had several complaints which have not been answered rather rude dont you think if you take time to message them or write to them then they should reply kept best jewellery but some is of rubbish quality i know most sto nes are treated but has anyone heard of tibetan labradorite i have complained about how so me of the presenters say things then dont do what they say hope they realise that they can get into trouble for false advertising if anyone would be brave enought o to expose them they should go under cover and check ththe company out

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  33. I don't like ALL JTV hosts, many i really can't stand. I don't agree with everything they do, but i have had at least one remarkable experience with them. I bought an enhanced yellow and green diamond ring from them several yrs ago. Wore it once and put it in the jewelry cleaner, like i do all my sonic cleanable jewelry. Took it out, all the diamonds were yellow, no green! I blew on it, wiped it, shook it, they all remained yellow. I called and reported it to them, they said they would investigate, but in the mean time, if i chose, i could return the ring. A few days later i got a letter that said the same thing. I kept it. Don't remember how much time passed, i believe it was past the 30 day mark, i got a letter from them. The letter said, they sent the remaining inventory off to be tested AND contacted the vendor for a statement. What they found was, that the diamonds were all NATURAL yellow diamonds and the green ones had been dyed. They said since i decided to keep the ring, they had credited my card for the full amount and i could enjoy the ring, free of charge! Now, that was pretty good customer service!
    I have moved now and get GEM Shopping Network. Their "retail" prices are outrageous. Their selling prices are outrageous and i can't see how they sell much of anything! They just pull prices out of the air! I lived in Los Angeles and frequented the LA Jewelry District often. I AM aware of gem and jewelry values and they are GSN is outrageous! Nice stuff, but grossly overpriced!

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  34. buying diamonds from jtv is become a joke. years ago (at least 5)i would get lucky about half the time when i bought diamond jewelry from jtv. i will not buy any diamond jewelry from jtv anymore. all the diamonds are opaque white or gray. jtv has gone way downhill. i still buy loose gems but only on the auction and only when i know what these gems are selling for other places. i have been happy for the most part with jtv's loose gems and when i have not i usually get refunded in full (shipping included). however you should follow through to make sure they are crediting you back the full amount on your credit card. i've busted them on several items that were not fully refunded after they said they would be.

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  35. 2 years ago I bought a blue diamond ring from JTV that looked beautiful on the screen. When I received it however, the "blue" diamonds were almost black--even in full sunlight. I think what bothers me more, is the BS they try to feed their customers on "estimated retail prices" the rarity of the stones (if they're so rare why are they being sold for $20.00?) Now, they don't even mention the full price of the item, only the amount you can get it home on flex pay. The hosts are completely fake and obviously have no problem deceiving their customers. All of the false statements about their products, the "estimated" appraisal prices, and the inflation of what these items are actually worth can only mean one thing: They obviously think their customers/prospective customers are just plain stupid. I have no jewelry experience at all, but their lies are even plain as day to me. Do not buy from JTV. You never know what you're going to get.

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