I have been scammed by a major bead supplier, now what?

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Original Post

I recently placed an order with FireMountain totaling around $1200 - I ordered several strands of bead chips because they are my favorite. Recently, when working with their "light lavender amethyst" beads (MARKED AS NATURAL STONES) - I noticed my hands were turning purple. I quickly took a new strand of the same beads, and washed them off. They became clear!! Indicating to me that they are either glass/dyed quartz. I wrote them a letter explaining my concern and they basically said that the stones were natural, blah blah blah. But natural amethyst doesn't become clear.. in fact, I just tested out some of my own natural amethyst, and bleach won't even change it to clear! I've begun testing all of the strands I have and a few of them that say natural, are actually rinsing off a bit of dye when washed. I always try to get natural stones, or at least dye free. (I tend to like the heated/irradiated stones sometimes, but no dye here!)

They said they would take back any products that I wasn't happy with, (blah blah) but this doesn't change the fact that I have sold these as genuine, and they are LYING to (probably) millions of customers! And whether people would like to admit to it or not, this is a form of a scam. I had a gut feeling these stones were just too purple and too pretty.. *sigh*

There really isn't a whole lot I can do.. just warn fellow jewelry makers of this. I will mention that I have been delighted with my firemountain orders in the past and they hardly ever let me down. But this stings a little. Maybe because I love rocks.. and I love natural rocks? I don't know, but you've been warned.

Any advice is more than welcome and will be appreciated.

Posted at 4:47pm Sep 6, 2010 EDT


I would file a complaint with the FTC and the BBB

Posted at 4:49pm Sep 6, 2010 EDT

Just ordered a FMJ catalog...thanks for the heads up.

Posted at 4:50pm Sep 6, 2010 EDT

What is the FTC? (Sorry if that's a dumb question)

Posted at 4:50pm Sep 6, 2010 EDT

federal trade commission

Posted at 4:50pm Sep 6, 2010 EDT

Let them know you plan to file a complaint unless they fully replace your order with real stones. Its ridiculous they're trying to pawn it off on you basically!

Posted at 4:51pm Sep 6, 2010 EDT

federal trade commission I think

Posted at 4:52pm Sep 6, 2010 EDT

they are very strict when it comes to jewelry and issues of false claims and misrepresentation, from what ive heard

Posted at 4:53pm Sep 6, 2010 EDT

yuck! That's a pretty nasty business practice.

I don't shop with them...(and I don't use gems) but that's very disconcerting...

I wouldn't shop with them.

Posted at 4:53pm Sep 6, 2010 EDT