Our Little Fireman

The confession

See these eyes so green, I can stare for a thousand years…

1 July 2012 – We knew it would happen. Eventually YourGemologist would have to address the matter of the gawdawful gaping chasm of credibility surrounding his purchase of the 91.83-ct green sapphire. We just never dreamt he would do so in such spectacular fashion. The International School of Gemology's Bully King just booted himself from his own pulpit and the Tammy Fae Bakker makeup is running all down his face.

The evidence

Let's review.

In December 2011, the International School of Gemology's Robert James purchased a 91.83-ct green sapphire on eBay from Jingjaigem, a Chanthaburi, Thailand-based dealer for $1.25. Yes, that is US$1.25, which for those skilled in math works out to a whopping 1.3 cents per carat.

Let's continue.

In January 2012, Robert James sent out an International School of Gemology/World Gem Society newsletter: "WGS: Hong Kong Sapphire Update". In the second paragraph of said newsletter, he declared that he had purchased the 91.83-ct green sapphire from "a noted sapphire dealer in Hong Kong."

With the publication of our report YourGemologist was compelled to issue not one, but two separate "clarifications". And in trying to put out this fire, it seems our little fireman confessed without even realizing it.

Problem No. 1: The dealer's location

How so? Following our Open Letter to World Gem Society Members, he apparently panicked. Looking for even the slenderest of threads with which to shroud his naked torso, he stated the following in his first "explanation":

The attack was centered around a report I issued regarding a 91.83 carat green sapphire rough that I purchased from a Thai dealer but was delivered to me from an address in Hong Kong.

Robert James/World Gem Society, Editorial: The Elephant -v- the Gorilla
20 June 2012

So now we know. He did not purchase it from a "major Hong Kong sapphire dealer" after all. That was Problem No. 1.

Just five days later, in "Clarification No. 2" he stated:

An important issue regarding Thai dealer shipping has been brought to our attention that may require a correction in the source of this specimen. It has been shown that for some reason certain Thai dealers ship envelopes to Hong Kong where they are then shipped to the United States. What is or is not in these envelopes when shipped from Thailand...we don’t know. Why they are shipping first to Hong Kong and then to the US, we do not know that either. Bulk mailing? Different selling and shipping locations? We just don’t know. The confusion is obvious with no clear answers. But the issue of where it originated, or even which dealer sold this, is not a major issue in our opinion and we never discussed the seller’s identity.

Robert James/World Gem Society, The 91.83ct Green Sapphire Revealed
25 June 2012

But what did the International School of Gemology's Robert James say in his original newsletter back in January? He's hoping you won't bother to look. Here's the opening paragraph:

Important Note: The following issues are restricted to sapphire dealers from Hong Kong, China. We have purchased on the open market sapphires from dealers in the US, Canada, Australia, India and others with few significant problems related to proper disclosure of various sapphire treatments. The update below is entirely relating to sapphire dealers in Hong Kong. We want to be sure that consumers know that while there is a serious problem, it is restricted to a specific and verified group of dealers of whom we are aware. We continue our efforts to test and report on these issues for the benefit of the industry.

Robert James/World Gem Society, WGS: Hong Kong Sapphire Update
17 January 2012

Restricted to sapphire dealers in Hong Kong. Entirely relates to sapphire dealers in Hong Kong.

While he now claims the origin of the dealer that sold this is "not a major issue", in the original newsletter he took great pains to point out that the specimen had been purchased from "a noted sapphire dealer in Hong Kong" and even put the origin in the title.

Why Hong Kong?

Can any of YourGemologist's dwindling number of supporters answer this simple question:

What "major sapphire dealer" anywhere in the world is
selling 91-carat sapphires on eBay for $1.25?

Can you name a single one? Isn't the problem obvious right there? And why Hong Kong? Again, the Mickey Mouseketeer of the International School of Gemology tips his hand:

To Richard W. Hughes and your "Group": You can continue to attack me personally until the cows come home, but it was the National Gem Testing Center of China who actually went to Tibet and proved serious problems with your expedition reports.

Robert James/World Gem Society, Editorial: The Elephant -v- the Gorilla
20 June 2012

Could Richard Hughes have been the original source of YourGemologist's ire? Hughes does indeed work for a "major sapphire dealer in Hong Kong" and has been a constant and vocal foe of the Robert James/International School of Gemology/World Gem Society brand of "science".

Did the WGS green sapphire newsletter represent a bungled attempt at silencing a critic, rather than consumer protection?

Problem No. 2: The treatment declaration

It gets better.

"It has been claimed by some “anonymous industry professionals” that the seller properly disclosed the treatment because it was in the tiny print at the bottom of the selling page. Unfortunately, according to the US Federal Trade Commission, hiding the true condition in the tiny print while calling the thing “Natural” in the large print and invoice....is a deceptive trade practice under CFR Title 16 Section 23. So the fact that this crystal was invoiced to us as natural when it is not, is a deceptive trade practice on its own merit."

Robert James/World Gem Society, The 91.83ct Green Sapphire Revealed
25 June 2012

Sorry. We didn't "claim" that. We read the treatment disclosure on the original listing on eBay and produced a screen shot to prove it. And here's a shocker: US Federal Trade Commission laws apply ONLY IN THE USA. James and his International School of Gemology might wish to apply US law across the globe, but the several billion non-US citizens would probably disagree.

In defense of the above statement, all James could muster is the screen shot below of his Paypal payment where the specimen is described as natural. eBay has a character limit in the title, which is why most sellers do not list the origin, measurements or treatment in that place. There isn't enough room.

Paypal, International School of Gemology, Robert James, YourGemologist

The International School of Gemology's Robert James is an experienced eBay buyer and has even authored a DVD on how to buy on that venue. Does anyone really believe that the eBay master didn't read the full listing, but made his purchase based soley on the title description? If so, we have a 91.83 ct green sapphire we'd like to sell you.

So did the seller hide evidence of the treatment in "tiny print at the bottom of the page" or was the treatment prominently displayed in the description?

The full original listing is below. Click on the image for a larger view and decide for yourselves who is lying. Sorry for the lack of the big red arrow. We trust our readers can make up their own minds.

91.83 ct green sapphire full listing, International School of Gemology, Robert James, YourGemologist

Digging to China

There you have it. In his attempts to defend the indefensible, the hole grows ever deeper. In his sorry attempt at dousing the flame, our little fireman has been…

...putting out the fire with gasoline!



Note to International School of Gemology apologists: The full Jingjaigem listing on eBay regarding the 91.83 carat green sapphire was independently downloaded and viewed by a number of prominent industry figures prior to its 60-day expiry on eBay. So don't even try to go there.

About us

gobsmacked gang, International School of Gemology, Robert James, World Gem Society, Schoolofgemology.com

We are the Gobsmacked Gang, those who cannot believe the things that spring from the mouth of the International School of Gemology's Robert James, the Mr. Bean of the gemmological world. Please note that the Gobsmacked Gang has nothing to do with what appears to be yet another Robert James attack site FakeGemology.com, which is designed to hurt someone making an honest attempt at teaching gemmology. Once again, as is copiously detailed on our Files page, James reveals what an evil little spawn he is. We would pray for his soul, but there is no evidence he has one. Thus we suggest a career change. A man like this certainly belongs in the Trump administration.




"If I were to catch any of my ISG Registered Gemologists or Registered Gemologist Appraisers trying to pull the stunts that you are pulling on eBay, I would pull their diplomas, publicly expel them from the ISG, and personally make sure that they did not work again in this industry with anything but a broom in their hand."

— Robert James

"They [the insurance industry] do not take kindly to frauds being perpetrated on consumers."

— Robert James

Read about the Robert James eBay fraud in our article here.