The promise of riches, the allure of a great bargain, and the thrill of finding hidden treasure are common temptations faced by service men and women stationed overseas. In countries like Afghanistan, where prices are cheap by comparison to the United States, it must seem irresistible to be shown emeralds, rubies, jasper, and other precious stones that can all be bought for a few dollars. The relative poverty of the vendor calms the fears of the unsuspecting soldier. The secretiveness of the deal makes the buyer feel like he is being given special treatment. The deal is made and the soldier or the marine brings the gemstones home to make a killing…
Unfortunately, we are seeing far too many of our fine military personnel being taking in by these scams. At Sell-My-Diamonds, where we purchase antique and estate jewelry, diamonds, rings, and high quality watches from consumers, we are approached several times a week with an offer to sell us loose gemstones purchased overseas. The hope of riches quickly fades to sadness on the faces of our honorable men and women in uniform. We are writing this article in hopes of warning the members of our military to avoid this financial trap.
The most common problems we see with these loose stone purchases are two-fold. First, the quality of the stones is not good. There are flaws in the stones, many of which are of low grade, poor color, or poor quality overall. Because these stones are of low quality, there is no resale market for them. Many of the rough, uncut stones cannot be cut in such a way as to increase their value. In addition, the cut stones are not cut to the high quality proportions we expect from modern gem manufacturers.
The second problem is the actual value of the stones. While the good news is that the gemstones are indeed real gems, the price being paid, at what seems to be a discount, is actually the retail sales value in the USA. In other words, anyone could buy these loose or uncut stones in the United States for the same price paid in Afghanistan. There is no deal, no bargain, and no way to get rich quickly from these overseas purchases. Too many of our service men and women are being taken in by these overseas scams. It saddens us to realize these fine men and women are being taken while they are risking their lives to protect us all.