Scam 5: Dubai Gem Scam
Dubai Gem Scam
Dubai, as one of the most progressive and expensive countries in the Middle East is a home of billionaires who own vast amounts of jewellery. However, the past year has also traced the country to start the malicious gem activities.
As a gemstone dealer with over 15 years of experience buying gems and diamonds around the world, I am constantly amazed when when I hear stories from friends (and in some cases family), or read in the press about people being ripped off when attempting to buy gemstones or diamonds on holiday.
If you're seriously thinking about buying a ruby or sapphire of this kind on your next holiday, please read this series of guides. It is written with the holiday maker in mind and isn't full of jargon or technical information, just straight forward advice.
How the scam is done
A tourist visiting Dubai buys an engagement ring from a jewellery shop located in the Mall of Emirates. The tourist is given a close inspection of a ring, which naturally needs resizing. After leaving the shop, the tourist receives a phone call from the salesman asking him to return as he just had a delivery which included a ring that was identical to what he wanted in the correct size. The tourist goes back, pays for the ring and leaves. However, the ring bought is not what it seems, the gold is not the 18ct that was paid for but instead it is a white gold mixed with minerals which severly cuts down the quality and durability of the metal. The diamonds are also not of the quality expected, they are of a much lower grade, some might even be broken and only glued in. This scenario is a very common activity in Dubai. Jewellery makers tend to filter down the gold to keep their costs low which is causing the metal to easily break.
The best way to avoid this scam
Of course the temptation of VAT free shopping is the main reason people flock to Dubai to buy jewellery and diamonds. If you are buying jewellery in Dubai, go to a reputable shop. You will pay more, but your purchase will be guaranteed.
If you've had first hand experience of this gem scam or you know of any more gem scams you can warn people of, leave a comment below and we'll spread the word.. Thanks
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