UPDATE April 2010. Numerous people have recently written me to let me know that Ross Cranswick is now operating under domain another name.
He is now running the same type business as auclandmining.com.
This article is oriented for the faceting community and relates my experience with TZ-Gems (located in Tanzania) and the owner
Mr. Ross Cranswick. As faceters and rough buyers we all have a few select dealers we buy from repeatedly. They get our repeat business because
of how we are treated and the quality of the product they provide. Most buyers don't share the select list and I am no different. The select list
takes time to develop and cultivate. Also, as buyers, we have a list of dealers that will never get our business again. Many buyers keep that
information private as well. I will share one situation with you that I thought was handled poorly. You can judge for yourself. I went through a
lot of trouble documenting this situation to get my money back so I decided to publish the information as this article. This article would not
exist if the situation would have been handled differently.
I bought a 24.23 gram golden danburite (pictures below) from TZ-Gems Auctions. I paid TZ-Gems $421.05 through PayPal for this
item. I received the stone on December 18, 2007. This stone was represented as being loupe clean. That means you cannot find any imperfections
or inclusions with a 10 power jewelers loupe. As the picture below will demonstrate the stone is not loupe clean. It would not even qualify for
being eye clean. The term eye clean means that you cannot find imperfections or inclusions just by looking with your eye without magnification.
Most uncut gemstone rough will have some imperfections or inclusions that will be removed by the cutting process. In this case it would be impossible
to cut a stone free of imperfections or inclusions that would be of any size that would justify the cost of the rough. This stone is vastly different
in quality than was represented. The stone is totally unusable and unacceptable so I insisted on returning the stone.
Mr. Ross Cranswick (the owner of TZ-Gems) now says he has a No Return Policy! I have purchased items from TZ-Gems that were as advertised
in the past. When he had a representative in the US selling his merchandise it was easy to return an item if not as advertised. When I first contacted
Ross about returning this stone I gave him the benefit of the doubt. What I expected from TZ-Gems (or any other dealer) was to correct the situation.
Unfortunately there was no compromise to be had with TZ-Gems. I even offered to let Ross keep my money and apply it to another stone. That offer was
rejected. I insisted on returning this stone. When I insisted on returning this stone Ross sent me the following email.
Mr. Ross Cranswick issued an ultimatum that I could not live with. If you can live with a No Return Policy, even if the item is not
as advertised, then buy from Ross Cranswick of TZ-Gems. If not, then look for another source. There are plenty of dealers that will allow you to return
an item if you feel that it is not as advertised. Look at the pictures below and decide for yourself. The stone was shipped back to TZ-Gems to the
address provided on December 21, 2007 by DHL. The cost to return this stone was $70.27.
The pictures of this stone that TZ-Gems used in their auction did not show any of the rutiles or cracks that I have documented. That was
the only reason I bothered to bid on this stone. The stone could be oriented differently so that the rutiles and cracks would not be visible in a photo.
Unfortunately I did not make a copy of the images that TZ-Gems was using to sell this stone. The difference in the photos by TZ-Gems in their auction
and my photos below would have been quite dramatic. The photos TZ-Gems had posted in their auction of this same stone gave the impression that you could
cut a completely clean stone from this rough. As soon as TZ-Gems knew I had a problem with this stone the auction and the images were deleted from their
auction site. Ross Cranswick has complete control as the administrator of the TZ-Gems Auction site. Lesson learned, make copies of all images that you
base your buying or bidding decisions on.
I eventually got my money back on this stone through PayPal. I lost the return shipping expense of $70.27. In the big picture I spent
very little with TZ-Gems but I've had the most aggravation with them. I spend thousands of dollars on single crystals from other dealers that are a joy
to deal with. Those dealers will get my repeat business.
In the picture below notice the rutiles (fine needle like inclusions) running from two different directions almost to the center
of the stone.
The picture below shows the rutile inclusions that run the length of the stone. This is a profile view of the stone.
In the picture below notice the multiple cracks in the stone. The light is reflecting off of the cracks.
Good luck in your quest to find quality cutting rough. I don't recommend buying from anyone with a No Return Policy.
© 2008 Gary Kratochvil - All rights reserved