First of all, a big thanks to Rena and her team for this great site! I am a relatively new but passionate jewelry designer and metal-smithing student.
I was recently very excited to attend my first jeweler’s show. I saw some cool exhibits and bought a few tools. I also bought some loose stones for bezel setting from a large, busy, and apparently reputable dealer.
I was excited to take my purchases in to my metalwork class, but then dismayed when my teacher gently informed me that my $30 piece of occluded quartz was really just glass with ashes rolled in it.
In terms of life lessons, I realize that $30 is a relatively inexpensive price to pay, but I am wondering, practically speaking, how I can avoid this happening in the future.
I don’t see how I can become an expert in all kinds of stones (though that would be fun). How do you know if you can trust a vendor or dealer?