Sunday, September 03, 2006

Buying "Gem" Gravel in Search of a Real Gem

There are a number of places in the country where one can visit a mining locality and purchase a bag of gravel that will contain some of the minerals that are found in that particular location. Some even offer the "opportunity" to purchase this material via the mail. We recently received an email from a company who had their thoughts regarding this venture and we wanted to share it with you:

"I receive notes almost daily from people who have been to "fee-digs" that involve purchasing a bag of dirt and then washing it. The purveyors of these venues often tell the buyer they've found "rubies" and "sapphires", etc.

Those buyers wind up asking me to evaluate their stones and to cut them, as they imagine, into great treasures.

You can picture the disappointment when I have to tell people their 220-carat "ruby" is really a junk-grade specimen of slightly pinkish massive corundum.

Do a little reality check - How did the dirt get into the bag in the first place?

Does anyone really think that someone handling "gem-laced" dirt to load the bag isn't high-grading it?

And, what about all that junk Topaz with the saw marks? Were those made by the people from Atlantis?

Seriously, buy-a-bag-of-dirt isn't really a "fee-dig" - (Where's the *dig* part of that?)

I wish the FTC would take to task the idiots who keep preying on the public by selling "rubies" that aren't. According to Federal Law, it's not supposed to be called "ruby" unless it is really gem-grade. Something I have yet to see from the eastern-region rip-offs who pull
this foolishness."