I changed cameras for shooting the videos. In the past I was using the iPhone X, now all the new videos are being shot with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III and a macro lens. This lets me have a greater working distance from the lens to gemstone, and also is a higher resolution image. The camera can focus closer in, so you see a larger image. The file sizes are bigger, so be a little patient with them opening up if you have a slower connection.
PayPal no longer returns their fees on a refund. So depending on your location, any refunds I make I will be charged 3.49 to 5.16% of the purchase price. As you know, my site doesn't automatically mark a stone sold, so often several people purchase the same stone. In the past, this didn't create much of an issue, as I'd simply refund these people. Now with this new policy I would be charged for each refund.
To avoid these refunds on non sales, I changed the shopping cart to not process the PayPal order automatically. In the shopping cart you can indicate PayPay, which will send me an email of your purchase. I'll then send you a PayPal invoice. You can also use Apple Pay Cash, which is my preferred method, or mail a check.
For stones returned, and paid for with PayPal, there will now be a restocking fee equal to the PayPal charge. (3.49% for sales in the USA, and 5.16% for sales outside the USA). Avoid this by using either Apple Pay Cash, or mailing in a check.
You can now use Apple Pay through iMessage to pay for your stones. To pay with Apple Pay, you must of course have an iPhone and be running the latest IOS 11.2 or newer. During checkout, select Apple Pay Cash as your payment method. You won't be billed anything until I receive your order email, at which time I'll text you a payment request. Make sure you include your iPhone cell number or email associated with your iMessage account.
Here's some more information on this new payment method from Apple
I have opened an account with Wise, formerly TransferWise to do bank to bank transfers. This method of payment is available for customers in the USA and also outside the USA. Click on the Wise logo here to go to the Wise website for more information or to create an account. Wise has been much less expensive than going to the bank to make transfers. Since I have an account there, you can make a payment by just using my email with Wise (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Coupon codes are back!
With the new shopping cart, I can have some more options, so there may be some new codes coming. Right now I have set up the “No return” coupon code again. The code is: NORETURN, using this code, you will get a 5% discount, but there is no return privilege on the stone then. The coupon code is entered in the shopping cart.
Note, the NORETURN coupon code is not valid for lab created stones.
A package just arrived today from FedEx with a parcle of new Lab Created gem rough. I'll start post more pictures as I work through the material. Lots of new sapphire, some new deeper tone Pad sapphire of very high quality, and a few new colors of blue spinel. A lot of people have been asking about hydrothermal emerald with inclusions, so there is a piece of that in here too.
The packaging looks a lot like a drug deal !
I am cutting new stones every week. After 3 or 4 are cut, I will post the new stones on this page, along with some comments and maybe even a video about them. When I make a new posting I will post on Instagram, and send out a notice by email to people on the email list.