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3 Guidelines for Finding Real Sapphires | Isa Stone

3 Guidelines for Finding Real Sapphires

3 Guidelines for Finding Real Sapphires

Etsy has become the premier online marketplace for independent jewelry vendors. Their platform offers the opportunity for artists all over the world to present their small-batch treasures to enthusiastic web surfers.

But while Etsy’s warm-and-fuzzy, “artisan-crafted” atmosphere encourages trust and transparency, it’s important to remember that not everyone is playing by the rules.

As worldwide competition increases, unscrupulous sellers have begun to look for ways to optimize their chances of being listed in popular search results.

Let me offer an example.

After listing a pair of my handmade blue sapphire earrings, I ran a test search to see how my new creation was being displayed to Etsy browsers.

I was surprised to notice that, despite my query for “blue sapphire earrings,” many of the search results hardly resembled blue sapphire.

I dug a little deeper, and found that sellers were simply using the word “sapphire” to describe the blue color of their piece. Last time I checked, sapphire was a stone, not a color.

Many of the pieces in this search result weren’t sapphires at all, but rather sea glass, blue jade, crystal, or even metal.

These sellers are piggy-backing on the high value and popularity of the term “sapphire,” and thus taking advantage of uninformed buyers.

To all sellers that fit this description: cut it out!

Build your brand by encouraging trust and being transparent about your offerings. If you’re selling sea glass, just say so—sea glass has its own set of properties that make it attractive; focus on them instead of trying to convince us that you’re selling something different.

If you operate with integrity, we’ll like you a lot more…I promise.

Who’s holding these sellers accountable?

Unfortunately, sites like Etsy really have no way of policing claims made by sellers. How could they without seeing the item in person?

It’s up to us as individuals to create accountability in the marketplace.

With a little due diligence and awareness, you can ensure that you’re purchasing a real sapphire.

The following guidelines can be applied to any pieces with semi-precious or precious stones; I’m just using sapphire as an example, since it’s a stone that’s been particularly misconstrued by scammy sellers.

Know your stones

So you’ve decided that blue sapphire is the stone for you, and you’d like to purchase a piece of jewelry that features it. Now what?

Most people are drawn to certain stones or pieces intuitively, or because of their beauty or reputation. While this kind of intuition is great, it’s also helpful to learn about stones before purchasing them.

Self-education will help you learn to separate genuine pieces from frauds.

For example, a bit of research reveals that sapphire not only comes in many shades of blue, but also in yellow, green, clear, red, purple, and pink. So if you see a listing that uses the word sapphire to describe the color of the piece rather than the gemstone itself, beware!

Read carefully

I look forward to the day when we can all just trust the descriptions that jewelry vendors provide to us. But in the meantime, make sure you read all product descriptions very carefully.

Most sellers don’t lie outright about their pieces. Even if they use the word “sapphire” to describe the product, they’ll let you know that its real material (sea glass, jade, crystal, etc.)—you just need to look closely.

“Blue Sapphire” are usually the first words you’ll see (because they want to draw you in with the allure of this valuable stone), so keep reading until you find out the whole story.

If it is genuine sapphire, the description should include characteristics like clarity, country of origin, or carat weight.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is

In the case of valuable stones, price can be the easiest way to determine whether a piece is genuine or not.

It is absurd to believe you would get genuine blue sapphire and sterling silver earrings for $1.99. Cheap internet prices are intended to generate impulse buys…don’t fall for it.

Of course, there’s also vendors that will try to sell non-sapphires for sapphire prices. But as long as you follow the other two guidelines in this article, you’ll be able to determine when the wool is being pulled over your eyes.

Putting in the time and energy to find genuine pieces of jewelry is well worth it. Once you acquire your first genuine, intentionally crafted adornment, you’ll never want to wear anything else.

Feel free to let me know if you have questions or comments. And in case you’d like to check out the genuine blue sapphire beauties that Isa Stone has available, you can do so here.


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