Enough is enough.....

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TheManWithNoName

Registered Shopper
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Feb 16, 2023
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I've just referred Gemporia to the ASA again.

I usually like Adina as a presenter, but 5 minutes before she finished, she was waffling absolute nonsense about two rings - one being a Ethiopian Paraiba Blue Opal Ring and the other being an Ethiopian Paradise Blue Opal Ring.

First of all, she described the Ethiopian Paraiba Blue Opal ring as the "Miracle of all Miracles".

Then the real shystering began with the Ethiopian Paradise Blue Opal Ring. She said, and I quote, "Paradise blue. Top grade" - followed by, around 15 seconds later, her saying ""It's extraordinary. That illumination of colour changes every time you catch it. So the backdrop is this velvet, almost Nilamani blue right, it really is a rich blue, and then that backdrop is juxtaposed against the green, the performance of light of the opal itself. You know, it's scintillating organically in the light. Again, its a mix of alchemy and extraordinary mother nature to produce something quite miraculous. And look at it glow......"

That wasn't enough though. She then went on to say "You've got these classified opals like this from Ethiopia that expose these kind of colours. Needless to say they're rare."

Treatment of both gemstones in the rings: DYED!

Artificicially coloured stones ARE NOT and NEVER will be rare. You can pump as many as you like full of dye to make them that colour.

I've had enough of these ludicrous claims now. Hype up the stone and colour by all means - but sell it for what it is and be honest about it. A bog standard Ethiopian Opal with hardly any play of colour, that has been dyed blue from its original colour of white / yellowish-white isn't rare. It isn't a miraculous work of mother nature. It isn't comparable to the expensive pieces of Harlequin Opal and Black Opal she compared it to. Its nonsense.

I doubt the ASA will do anything with my complaint on this occasion because it's too close to the last complaint that I made - so they see it as a bit of a vendetta against the channel, so if anyone else wants to do the honours too, the information above, and the date and time of Adina's ludicrous claims began at 10.53pm on 29th October 2023. Here's the ASA's complaints page:

 
The ASA have confirmed that they've investigated this - and Gemporia have been warned "to ensure that future advertising will clearly state the main characteristics of the product, and that presenters will refrain from contradicting these main characteristics via puffery which is likely to mislead a viewer and exaggerate the capability or performance of a product. We have also provided instruction on making the infographics more transparent for viewers."

I won't hold my breath, but we'll see.
 
On the other hand..."everyone wants traditional white", "understand the value"...

Screenshot_2023-12-19-07-31-34-618.jpeg


Yep. Bleached.
 
I can quite understand the presenters making verbal mistakes, they sit there for 4 hours and more or less talk to themselves and it's probably the reason why Ellis is so fond of a VT (or 6) when she's presenting. However, they don't just turn up to the studio and go on air, they have time to prepare their presentations, so to NOT tell the viewers about treatments, etc, is inexcusable.

So, how many times do the ASA have to give warnings before they refer Gemporia to Ofcom and real 'punishment' is administered.
 
On the other hand..."everyone wants traditional white", "understand the value"...

View attachment 27304

Yep. Bleached.
Unusual though it is for me to defend Gemporia. (There is so much that is wrong.) I must say that most white cultured freshwater pearls are bleached. I bought a pair of their Fireball earrings about a year or so ago and Googled then. I just re-Googled and it is still very common. https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=bleaching+white+pearls
 
I can quite understand the presenters making verbal mistakes, they sit there for 4 hours and more or less talk to themselves and it's probably the reason why Ellis is so fond of a VT (or 6) when she's presenting. However, they don't just turn up to the studio and go on air, they have time to prepare their presentations, so to NOT tell the viewers about treatments, etc, is inexcusable.

So, how many times do the ASA have to give warnings before they refer Gemporia to Ofcom and real 'punishment' is administered.
I think you can search the ASA site to see previous judgements on companies. I must have a look at some point to see how many Gems have.
 
I've noticed today that since the ASA said "We have also provided instruction on making the infographics more transparent for viewers", Gemporia have altered their graphics.

Instead of just displayed the treatment letter (D) for Dyeing, (IR) for Irradiation, etc, they've actually put the full wording. I've seen three dyed Opal rings so far today - all of which said (Dyeing) instead of (D).

It'll be interesting to see if the "Puffery" stops too - because it was only three nights ago that Adina was referencing to filled Bemainty Rubies as "the highest quality" and "years ago, traders sold them as Burmese Rubies such is the quality"...........
 
Unusual though it is for me to defend Gemporia. (There is so much that is wrong.) I must say that most white cultured freshwater pearls are bleached. I bought a pair of their Fireball earrings about a year or so ago and Googled then. I just re-Googled and it is still very common. https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=bleaching+white+pearls

There's absolutely nothing wrong that. Treatments are fine and common within the trade.

What is wrong is knowingly selling bleached pearls and describing them as "the highest quality", implying a worth, or price comparing them to untreated pearls - all of which Gemporia do routinely.

Treatments are fine if people are made aware that they're treated and they're described as such - it is then down to customer choice as to whether they want to buy them knowing that information.

Treatments are not fine if they're being used to knowingly mislead people - such as strengthening its colour by dyeing or diffusion, then price comparing against something of comparable colour, but is UNTREATED. Again, something that Gemporia routinely do (and which Adina did in this presentation that I reported, that the ASA have given a warning on).

They also have a habit of referring to 'Cultured' pearls as 'completely natural' too - which is a contradiction in itself. If a pearl is 'cultured', then it's impossible to be natural. The process of a 'cultured' pearl is adding something such as a bead or grain inside the Oyster shell to irritate it and make it form nacre around the bead or grain.

It can only be natural if the Oyster has formed without human intervention.
 
I've just had a look on the ASA webiste and I think I must be doing something wrong. I can only find 2 rulings and 6 informally resolved cases!

This is another problem with the ASA. In my opinion, EVERY bit of action they take should be listed on their website.

However, they only put cases on at their discretion. The case I reported earlier in the year WAS listed on their website. However, this latest one wasn't (even though Gemporia were given instructions to make changes to their on-air presentations).

I feel that this latest case was probably more severe and misleading than the one that I reported earlier in the year - so it's odd that this one wasn't listed on their website.

I've noticed a few things about the ASA from past experience:

1. If the same person reports the same company close together, the ASA either ignore the second complaint or don't take any action. I think the ASA see it as a bit of a vendetta / attack on the company - so they don't bother investigating multiple complaints from the same person.

2. It depends on the person dealing with the complaint. I've found some ASA members of staff to be VERY proactive and they take things very seriously - whereas other seem to be less interested, and, dare I say, probably can't be bothered

3. They RARELY give out 'punishment'. The old Price Drop / Bid TV channels were ALWAYS getting warnings - yet never ever faced any serious consequences.

I'm also not sure how much 'final' power they actually have. Are they limited in their powers? Some of the supposed regulatory bodies have limited powers.

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) is one example. They can find that a Company is guilty of breaching the Data Protection Act - but they don't have the powers to make any offending companies pay compensation to individuals affected. You have to take Court action instead - and the Courts, generally, rule in favour of the individual based on the findings of the ICO. All that does is clog up the Court system. The government could easily take out that need to go to Court by giving the ICO powers to force offending Companies to pay individuals instead.

I find it baffling that the government set up these regulatory bodies of various industries - but fall short of giving them any "final" powers that can actually make positive changes to prevent the same things from happening again and again.

These selly-telly TV channels would soon change their antics if, for example, three warnings resulted in a 24-hour ban from broadcasting - followed by having their broadcasting license revoked completely and / or an unlimited fine if they continue to break the rules after 3 strikes and a 24-hour ban.
 
I can quite understand the presenters making verbal mistakes, they sit there for 4 hours and more or less talk to themselves and it's probably the reason why Ellis is so fond of a VT (or 6) when she's presenting. However, they don't just turn up to the studio and go on air, they have time to prepare their presentations, so to NOT tell the viewers about treatments, etc, is inexcusable.

So, how many times do the ASA have to give warnings before they refer Gemporia to Ofcom and real 'punishment' is administered.
Exactly. If they can spend hours trawling through the websites of Tiffany's or Van Cleef and Arples to find ludicrous price comparisons, or plough through Wikipedia and 'research' websites to give Troth and co enough literature to stand waffling for 40 minutes per show, they they can spare 10 minutes to write reminders about not making false claims, misleading statements or over-exaggerating values.

They have notes glued to the TV cameras with important details on, such as the telephone numbers, contact details, TV channel numbers, etc - so they should also glue reminders about what not to say on them too!
 
I have also made a complaint to the ASA about misleading people. Hattie was selling a Melo Melo shell pendant and continuously compared it directly against a huge and valuable Melo Melo Pearl which isn’t the same thing at all. Just fed up with the constant slightly dodgy way they operate and the way they target their buyers by luring and cajoling them into buying with their pressure selling tactics.
 
I have also made a complaint to the ASA about misleading people. Hattie was selling a Melo Melo shell pendant and continuously compared it directly against a huge and valuable Melo Melo Pearl which isn’t the same thing at all. Just fed up with the constant slightly dodgy way they operate and the way they target their buyers by luring and cajoling them into buying with their pressure selling tactics.

Yeah, that's really annoying when they compare oranges to apples. They also like to compare their silver pieces against gold / platinum pieces when doing price comparisons.

Another thing I've noticed recently too is that they show a graphic of a small headline from a gem-related brochure or online article, but then they put in other bits of wording in quotation marks to make it look as though those words have been quoted from the article below the headline - without any proof that the wording actually is from that article.

Snippets from articles can also be used in a misleading manner too. For example, and this is just something I'm making up to prove how an article could be used in wrongly, lets suppose an article online says this:

"An independent gem trader from Farflungistan stated that he believed that Farflungi Rubies could be worth £100,000 per carat due to their rarity, colour saturation and clarity. The trader said that he'd had a lot of interest from buyers all around the world and they were queuing up to buy his Rubies. Demand far exceeded the amount he could supply"

"However, these claims were disputed by another gem expert who said that, upon closer inspection, the Farflungi Rubies were found to be not what they seemed. The clarity had been enhanced through heat treatment, and the colour had been improved by adding Chromium via further diffusion treatment - thus severely impacting on the price of the gemstones. Whilst he noted that Rubies from Farflungistan had never been seen in the industry before, and they were indeed extremely rare, the Rubies were considered nothing more than commercial grade, run-of-the-mill, inexpensive Rubies due to the artificial colouration being achieved through diffusing colour into them."


A retailer could easily just cut and paste the first paragraph to make the Rubies sound like they're top grade, £100,000 per carat Rubies - and omit the second paragraph that dismisses the first paragraph by implying that the Rubies are actually poor quality.
 
Just now Kate has stated that Quartzite ‘jade’ is highly rare and extremely valuable. She even declared that the bracelet was in fact grade A quartzite ‘jade’ which is nuts. It isn’t jade at all but that doesn’t stop them from treating and describing it as the same. Caveat Emptor indeed!
 
Hello. Just joining to post on this thread. A fortnight or so ago I complained to the ASA about Jess Foley. She was selling Bermainty Rubies which are filled. She said they were the best rubies in the industry and leading everyone to think they were incredibly special and really worth thousands. She was laying it on very thickly. It was awful to watch because I thought it was very unfair to many uninformed viewers as even the GIA says filled rubies are very far from the best. The ASA is looking into it. I will let you know what they say.
 
Hello. Just joining to post on this thread. A fortnight or so ago I complained to the ASA about Jess Foley. She was selling Bermainty Rubies which are filled. She said they were the best rubies in the industry and leading everyone to think they were incredibly special and really worth thousands. She was laying it on very thickly. It was awful to watch because I thought it was very unfair to many uninformed viewers as even the GIA says filled rubies are very far from the best. The ASA is looking into it. I will let you know what they say.
Be interesting to see what they say. Welcome to the forum Jasmine.
 
Just now Kate has stated that Quartzite ‘jade’ is highly rare and extremely valuable. She even declared that the bracelet was in fact grade A quartzite ‘jade’ which is nuts. It isn’t jade at all but that doesn’t stop them from treating and describing it as the same. Caveat Emptor indeed!
Someone pulled them up about this a few weeks ago on, if my memory serves me correctly, the Jewellery Maker Facebook page. After much challenging, I believe they had to admit that it wasn't Jadeite at all.

It's Quartzite. At best, Quartzite with some Jadeite inclusions. In which case, it should be sold as Jadeite in Quartz.

Shysters.
 

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