Prelude: I love emeralds and opals... I saw an ad in a magazine I was reading, while sitting in my doctor's office, for a necklace this company (Stauer) was offering for an incredible story and price. They claimed they made, from the ashes of Mt. St. Helens' eruption, by the modern technology, an incredibly, perfectly pure and flawless "emerald." Normally, I don't want "lab-created" stones in my jewelry. However, I know how soft and delicate natural emeralds are. For the price, I thought, if this "pendant" is as pretty as the picture, I can live with that. These stones made from those ashes are called "Helenite." I called to order this pendant and I am assuming it comes with a chain. Wrong! For an additional fee... I get sucked into buying a membership, they send four $50.00 certificates that can be used anytime during the next year.
I am usually leery of these deals, but I see their website and start getting brochures almost daily. Each one having great savings and I can use those $50.00 things, so I fell hook, line and sinker! Upon arrival, these rings (most of them) are as pretty as they show in the pictures and online. But, buyers beware... Each one, within anywhere from 2 hours to two weeks are losing stones, chains break and so on. And, God forbid, you try to send them back without all kinds of charges, or excuses for not getting a replacement or whatever!!! If I could give them a few negative stars I would!
I ordered one of their tanzanite rings with one dozen rare stones, I read the reviews of people that supposedly loved it, raving on the quality... My ring came and all of the stones are cloudy and lacking much color. Then, they have some people that call you, trying to sell you a tanzanite ring, far better quality and a much higher price! Every time I got one of those calls I'd let them have it, telling them I realize all of these problems are not their fault, those poor guys are on straight commission! All of these things happened over a pretty short period of time. Yes, I wised up quickly. I have put reviews on their website under each item, but they have never printed any of them.
Mainly, the consequences were customer service making every excuse and apology and not really offering any satisfaction to my complaints. I have sent some things back at my expense. The rest I am going to see if a local jeweler can fix my items and if not, I'll just sell the silver and hopefully some of the stones and consider myself lucky that I didn't spend more money with these guys. Going back through my order shipping labels, I am actually horrified at how much these people got out of me before I wised up.