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Author Topic: Announcing bitgem.org, buy precious stones (Pegged to BTC!)  (Read 4830 times)
Anonymous
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August 01, 2011, 09:00:03 PM
Last edit: August 07, 2011, 05:25:37 PM by Gilgamesh
 #1

Today I would like to unveil a new project which will be online one month from today. BitGem.org has been a while in the making, between finding and working with investors, purchasing inventory, and deciding how the company was going to be run. I am unveiling it now because the product has been received, and I will post pictures in a couple of days of our initial offerings.

What is BitGem?
BitGem is a storefront for anyone wishing to purchase precious stones using nothing but bitcoins. This storefront will differentiate itself from many other bitcoin stores by pegging our products to Bitcoins. The rate of currency to bitcoin might fluctuate rapidly, but once a stone has been listed it's price will not change no matter where the exchange markets are. I am willing to take a loss on this, but I believe personally that the biggest issue with Bitcoin today is that with very little exceptions everything is pegged to the dollar. I and my investors have faith in the Bitcoin market, and we'll see where that

What kind of stock will BitGem have?
As it currently stands, we have a stock of Peridot, Garnets, and Sapphires available. There are talks right now of emeralds, but these haven't been purchased yet. Requests for future product absolutely will be taken into consideration, and we will expand as demand dictates.

What kind of prices are these going for?
Prices will be reasonable, with most semi-precious stones falling between 1-2 bitcoins. The price will obviously be effected by things like the kind of stone, the carat weight, desirability, etc. Obviously stones like the sapphires will be more.

What condition are these stones in?
All are in brand new condition and faceted. Should you choose to mount one of these stones, you would likely have no problems doing so.

What about business practices?
BitGem will work in two ways. The first is that we as a company will be completely above the table. Income will be reported to the proper authorities and taxed respectively. We will not suddenly vanish due to a failure to disclose.

Secondly, we care greatly about privacy. This includes both our own and yours. I understand there is recent mistrust recently due to some wallet stealing, and it is for this reason we will not be hosting anything more than a storefront online. Both for the sake of keeping track of an exchange, and as a precaution against having our data compromised, we have decided to take the unusual step of doing as much as possible in hardcopies.

One of the downsides to this obviously is that I will not have a real name or phone number listed for either myself or my investors. It is for this reason that we will start with the smaller inventory until trust is gained. We know you have no reason to trust us initially, so we would rather a good track record speak for itself. Considering a majority of this business would be small transactions, that should establish some level of security for buyers right there.

When will you open for business?
The site will go fully live very early in September. This allows us some time to work out any remaining logistics, secure some extra inventory, and --most importantly, hear feedback from the community.

As far as we know, this is the first time a commodity has been pegged to Bitcoins at a fixed exchange rate. We're incredibly excited to see this happening finally and as it stands there isn't much that can go wrong as long as the demand is there. I understand the only reputation I have at this point is from my posts on the forum, but I would ask that anyone interested please at least try our service when it goes online.

In the meantime, I would very much like to hear questions, comments and concerns you might have.

-Gilgamesh
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Anonymous
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August 01, 2011, 11:17:53 PM
 #2

I'll just bump this since apparently threads about Diablo III and troll threads are hogging all the posting.
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August 01, 2011, 11:37:52 PM
 #3

Today I would like to unveil a new project which will be online one month from today. BitGem.org has been a while in the making, between finding and working with investors, purchasing inventory, and deciding how the company was going to be run. I am unveiling it now because the product has been received, and I will post pictures in a couple of days of our initial offerings.

What is BitGem?
BitGem is two things. The first is a storefront for anyone wishing to purchase precious stones using nothing but bitcoins. This storefront will differentiate itself from many other bitcoin stores by pegging our products to Bitcoins. The rate of currency to bitcoin might fluctuate rapidly, but once a stone has been listed it's price will not change no matter where the exchange markets are. I am willing to take a loss on this, but I believe personally that the biggest issue with Bitcoin today is that with very little exceptions everything is pegged to the dollar. I and my investors have faith in the Bitcoin market, and we'll see where that leads us.

The second feature of BitGem is as a speculative side. When you purchase a gem, you will have two choices, either I can ship it to you immediately, or you can pay a fee to have me re-list the gem as for sale at a price you define. This will combine with the fact that I won't list similar stones within a set period means that if you purchase a stone, I sell them all, and people still want them, then you will have the option to sell at a profit. Considering the rate of bitcoin to dollars could fluctuate, as could the cost of gemstones themselves, there is some interesting potential for profit here.

When you purchase a stone you will know exactly how many are remaining in my stock. At any point you may request the stone be sent out to you, and this will be done as soon as possible.

What kind of stock will BitGem have?
As it currently stands, we have a stock of Peridot, Garnets, and Sapphires available. There are talks right now of emeralds, but these haven't been purchased yet. Requests for future product absolutely will be taken into consideration, and we will expand as demand dictates.

What kind of prices are these going for?
Prices will be reasonable, with most semi-precious stones falling between 1-2 bitcoins. The price will obviously be effected by things like the kind of stone, the carat weight, desirability, etc. Obviously stones like the sapphires will be more.

What condition are these stones in?
All are in brand new condition and faceted. Should you choose to mount one of these stones, you would likely have no problems doing so.

What about business practices?
BitGem will work in two ways. The first is that we as a company will be completely above the table. Income will be reported to the proper authorities and taxed respectively. We will not suddenly vanish due to a failure to disclose.

Secondly, we care greatly about privacy. This includes both our own and yours. I understand there is recent mistrust recently due to some wallet stealing, and it is for this reason we will not be hosting anything more than a storefront online. Both for the sake of keeping track of an exchange, and as a precaution against having our data compromised, we have decided to take the unusual step of doing as much as possible in hardcopies.

One of the downsides to this obviously is that I will not have a real name or phone number listed for either myself or my investors. It is for this reason that we will start with the smaller inventory until trust is gained. We know you have no reason to trust us initially, so we would rather a good track record speak for itself. Considering a majority of this business would be small transactions, that should establish some level of security for buyers right there.

When will you open for business?
The site will go fully live very early in September. This allows us some time to work out any remaining logistics, secure some extra inventory, and --most importantly, hear feedback from the community.

As far as we know, this is the first time a commodity has been pegged to Bitcoins at a fixed exchange rate. We're incredibly excited to see this happening finally and as it stands there isn't much that can go wrong as long as the demand is there. I understand the only reputation I have at this point is from my posts on the forum, but I would ask that anyone interested please at least try our service when it goes online.

In the meantime, I would very much like to hear questions, comments and concerns you might have.

-Gilgamesh

Hey Gilgamesh, you're welcome to test things out on my new system at BidBitcoins and maybe even gain some good reputation in the meantime.
Anonymous
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August 01, 2011, 11:43:28 PM
 #4

I have a rather large sapphire I was considering testing out for promotional purposes on your site, but I'm not willing to give up personal information so that's kind of a deal breaker for me. I was trying to find a good use for that thing in promotions though, so I'll need to come up with some new ideas.
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August 01, 2011, 11:56:03 PM
 #5

I have a rather large sapphire I was considering testing out for promotional purposes on your site, but I'm not willing to give up personal information so that's kind of a deal breaker for me. I was trying to find a good use for that thing in promotions though, so I'll need to come up with some new ideas.

Understood.

Best of luck in your venture.  Wink
Anonymous
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August 02, 2011, 12:28:33 AM
 #6

And to yourself as well.
Anonymous
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August 03, 2011, 12:38:13 AM
 #7

Final bump or feedback.
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August 03, 2011, 12:51:37 AM
 #8

This could fit really nicely with a roleplaying game in  which played characters could happen upon precious stones.

If a mechanism existed in the game whereby the character could arrange for a gem to be shipped to the "mythical" planet known as Earth htat could make the game quite interesting.

Of course it would also require that the game have some revenue with which to finance such "shipments"...

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Anonymous
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August 03, 2011, 12:56:31 AM
 #9

I'm... Not sure what youre saying...
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August 03, 2011, 01:04:59 AM
 #10

A trusted third party holding gems that can be shipped on demand could be useful, compared to some game merely claiming that they will ship actual gems to players.

-MarkM-

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August 03, 2011, 01:06:35 AM
 #11

Hey Gilgamesh, I removed the Trufina verification. You can set up shop on the site if you like.
BidBitcoins
Anonymous
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August 03, 2011, 03:13:56 AM
 #12

If anonymity is preserved, I'm willing to host that Sapphire as soon as I have a chance to both get my site up and testing the gem. For anyone interested, I can now confirm that very shortly after launch we will be adding emeralds to the list.
Anonymous
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August 03, 2011, 07:54:05 PM
 #13

Remember, our gems are pegged to BTC, not USD.
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August 04, 2011, 12:13:41 AM
 #14

Sorry but I dont think anyone wants to trust an anon with BTC anymore.  Reveal your ID and address, because "trusted" community sites are known to disappear with their BTC.  Until a company has a real world verifiable identity and address, nobody should trust it.
Anonymous
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August 04, 2011, 04:07:34 PM
 #15

That's frankly not happening. Anonymity is too great a concern for myself and many others in the Bitcoin community. As I said in my original post, a vast majority of the transactions I'm going to be making are going to be relatively small. Nobody is going to see me scheming to run away with one or two BTC, since were I to instantly convert it to cash that would even cover the web hosting. In the forseeable future nothing in my inventory is going to be worth so much that people would be playing with fire trusting me, and I plan on mainly focusing on the smaller items in my inventory.

I also plan on doing what I can to build trust within the community. One of the greatest advantages of Bitcoin is anonymity, and I truly believe in that. I would understand a negative attitude in response to that if I had set up a storefront selling gold or high-carat stones, something which would require a massive payment to be processed, but frankly I don't see the need for true transparency when only small transfers are involved.
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August 04, 2011, 10:52:39 PM
 #16

Stock Bistmuth crystals.

 
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August 05, 2011, 04:05:40 AM
 #17

Stock Bistmuth crystals.

whoa.
Anonymous
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August 05, 2011, 08:15:16 PM
 #18

Stock Bistmuth crystals.

I assume you mean the attractive lab grown ones? If so I'd be open to considering this, assuming I can find a reliable wholesaler. As it is the contacts I have are better suited to faceted stones instead of mineral samples.

Speaking of which, I thought I might show you what has just come in, as well as give you some price points.

Garnets


These are a nice size and colour, 6x4 pear cuts.

Peridot


These peridot are 5mm each, a good size for mounting or storing as an investment.

Spessartite


I only have a small number of these beauties for sale, Spessartite is a form of garnet known for it's especially attractive orange colour. It's more rare than regular garnet and usually fetches higher prices. These stones are going to be the top end of the semi-precious scale for now.

Pricing still isn't decided on 100%, but these are the initial semi-precious offerings.

Incidentally, because I understand the trust issues within the community at the given time, I will postpone the investment side of things and just act as a gem vendor for now.
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August 05, 2011, 11:16:40 PM
 #19

So you're setting the prices on gems to a specific number of bitcoins? That's pretty cool, assuming they're not overpriced. In theory, if every bitcoin merchant were to do that, it effectively keeps the value of bitcoins from going below a certain level. (Of course, if the gems and other goods are overpriced, it creates a ceiling for the price instead, devaluing bitcoins somewhat. So please don't do that.)

Anyway, I don't know a lot about gems, but this is at least interesting, if it's legitimate. I don't suppose you're planning to go into precious metals as well? Or just gems? Either way, kind of a neat service.
Anonymous
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August 05, 2011, 11:46:23 PM
 #20

No interest in metals, theyre too expensive to invest in and the market is already saturated.

I think my prices will look like this:

Garnet 1btc
Peridot 1.5btc
Spessarite 3btc

The more precious stones I'll have in stock soon will drag the scale up from where it is, the sapphires will obviously be a bit more, as will the emeralds.

I am working on finding a reasonable fixed shipping rate.
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August 06, 2011, 01:42:15 AM
 #21

yeah when you start selling pogs in your little store give me a ring.. i'll make you wealthy
Anonymous
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August 06, 2011, 09:01:58 AM
 #22

I think I'll just get the sapphires in stock instead.
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August 06, 2011, 09:22:05 AM
 #23

Why are them "precious stones" so cheap? How do we know they're real?

And in your post on the 1st you said you have faith in the market, but look at the price today. was 17 not long ago now its < 10. Can you handle that?

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Anonymous
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August 06, 2011, 02:22:35 PM
 #24

Well, if you would like to confirm their authenticity I welcome you to take them into a jewler or contact a gemologist and show them what you recieved from me. As for their price, I'm hoping not to adjust my prices no matter where bitcoins go. I don't see the level they're at now as a permanent thing, and since I've already spent the money on my stock, I can't go any lower than I already am.

The only ongoing fee I need to be able to cover is shipping, which is rolled into the cost of the gems I've listed. Unless Bitcoins drop below postage (which will never happen) then I'm okay, realistically.
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August 06, 2011, 04:32:16 PM
 #25

Well, if you would like to confirm their authenticity I welcome you to take them into a jewler or contact a gemologist and show them what you recieved from me.

This would be a really great guarantee if I had anywhere to go for complaints afterwards. But I don't. Reporting "Gilgamesh" from the "Bitcoin forum" for fraud is not going to give law enforcement much to work with, but I'm sure they would have a good laugh.

I understand wanting to keep anonymous, but I don't see that happening as long as the consumer is the one running the risk.
If you were running your business on a "delivery before payment" basis then I couldn't care less about yours or your company's identity.

That aside I think it's a great idea and I would indeed be very interested.

Just my 2 bitcents.

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Anonymous
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August 06, 2011, 04:57:40 PM
Last edit: August 06, 2011, 05:09:38 PM by Gilgamesh
 #26

For those prices and what I paid for my stock, one person calling foul would put off a lot of customers who might be interested. For now I'm getting started using these forums, so yes reporting me to the forums would do some damn good damage. I'm not willing to take all the risk, but I'm interested in working with people to find ways I could build some credibility.

Since you seem to be interested, I'd like to hear any opinions you might have.
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August 06, 2011, 05:23:12 PM
 #27

How "standardised" are such stones?

That is, do they tend to vary wildly in price from stone to stone or is one one-carat type-X stone pretty much like any other one-carat type-X stone?

I am wondering because in for example Crossfire RPG a diamond is a diamond, they are generic, as are emeralds, as are "diamonds of exceptional beauty" as are "diamonds of great value" and so on.

So I am wondering how feasible it might be to do similarly with actual stones; to be able to keep sending out for example the same three types of stone you already showed, over and over again, without much chance of anyone complaining "the one you sent me is utterly incomparable to the one you sent my sister" kind of thing...

(I guess another way of looking at it is could one say like "great, I like that third one, send me a thousand of those!")

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Anonymous
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August 06, 2011, 08:50:12 PM
 #28

Very good question! Gems have a standardized nomenclature denoting clarity, colour, size, and other common traits of gemstones. They aren't generic in that way though, individual gems can vary greatly. That said, what makes them valuable is usually the same within a specific type of gem. For the gems I sell, everything has top clarity unless otherwise stated, and the colours will be desirable as well.

For most stones I can guarantee their similarity will be so great you wouldn't be able to tell them apart without a loupe, though some (like the sapphires I'm receiving) will come in slightly different colours while still being the same kind of stone. Others, like emeralds, will have visible inclusions which are an incredibly common trait in that kind of gem.

So yes, if you bought a pile of the same gem they'd all look pretty much the exact same unless it was explicitly different, and I would be making sure that was obvious at a glance to buyers (for example, different cuts and sizes of garnets wouldn't just believed as "garnet", they'd have their own category.)
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August 06, 2011, 10:28:30 PM
 #29

That's pretty much how a bitcoin economy will look like, good attempt!

There is a problem: If there are more than 21 million garnets need to be traded, then the total amount of BTC is not enough to facilitate the trading

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August 06, 2011, 10:34:45 PM
 #30

Is there already a page with your stones or at least one which can show us which kind you are going to sell ?

How will the customer know that the stone is real, and has the value you set?

(A picture on a photo may be an indicator but for precious stones I think it might not be enough to identify the value of a stone, right? Not much experience with precious stones)

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Anonymous
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August 06, 2011, 11:27:31 PM
 #31

Frankly, there is no way to find the value of a precious stone without a lot of expertise and the stone in hand. Even then, it depends a lot on the market and the buyers.

I've said that I'd be happy to have anyone take stones I sell to a jeweler or gemologist and have their authenticity tested, and I stand by that. The value is set based on where I expect the bitcoin rates to be in a bit of time, otherwise I'd be forced to adjust my prices all the time to not be vastly overcharging for things!

Those pictures are ones I took of the stones I'm selling. I'll have a terrible small page up soon with basic information (including carat weight, dimensions, cost, etc). Pretty soon I'll have a better site up.

Also, the bitcoin cost will be including shipping worldwide. I'm pretty sure I can send all of these in a normal envelope, which should make it affordable unless the bitcoin drops to around $1.
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August 06, 2011, 11:28:20 PM
 #32

For those prices and what I paid for my stock, one person calling foul would put off a lot of customers who might be interested. For now I'm getting started using these forums, so yes reporting me to the forums would do some damn good damage. I'm not willing to take all the risk, but I'm interested in working with people to find ways I could build some credibility.

Since you seem to be interested, I'd like to hear any opinions you might have.

So, I did a little more reading on gemstones, and as far as I can tell there really isn't any established exchanges for gemstones. So a gemstone exchange based on BTC would be very nice. Even if we're talking relatively low cost stones.

To follow expand on elements inquiry; I assume the stones don't come with any certification as to their genuineness (given their value)?

To establish some credibility I think I would start selling some stones quickly. Even if I'd have to do part of the process manually.

The exchange would still need more transparency on your side. Following the debacle with MyBitcoin I think it would be extremely optimistic to expect many to entrust you holding both BTC and gemstones on their behalf without name/address/company information.

New Bitcoin directory @ http://btcdir.org/
Anonymous
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August 06, 2011, 11:34:58 PM
 #33

Like I said, I understand that the speculative side of things where I'm being trusted with both money and product isn't going to work as long as I don't reveal personal information. Until such a time as I decide to reveal that information, I am canceling that part of BitGem.

There is a small site up here just until I have some better code and the URL propagates. In the future it will just be available at BitGem.org.

http://bitgem.nfshost.com/

I'm not ruling out the speculative market (and you're right, there isn't anything like that yet), but in the time being id like to see how this goes. Besides, it doesn't seem to be the best time to be starting a truest based business since a lot of people are skitterish.
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August 06, 2011, 11:36:41 PM
 #34

Do you have any photos and approx. prices in BTC and USD or EUR (for comparison) of more "common" stones to the layman

such as:

- Diamond
- Saphire
- Emerald
- Ruby ?

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Anonymous
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August 06, 2011, 11:43:48 PM
 #35

No pictures, what kind of comparison do you want? At similar sizes and clarity all the stones are far more expensive.
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August 06, 2011, 11:48:52 PM
 #36

No pictures, what kind of comparison do you want? At similar sizes and clarity all the stones are far more expensive.

Samples of what you will offer

Something like this:


(PICTURE of Sephire) / approx. price in BTC XX.XX / current market price in USD or EUR or GBP (whatevers suits you most)

Descripton of sample

Weight:
other important characteristics (which I have no clue atm, like clairty and so on)


Something like this

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Anonymous
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August 06, 2011, 11:58:54 PM
 #37

There isn't really a "standard market price" for gems. Think of them more as art and less as oil. Both are valid investments, but the natures are different.
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August 07, 2011, 09:52:48 PM
 #38

Stock Bistmuth crystals.
I assume you mean the attractive lab grown ones?

Yes :¬)

As I understand there is an art to getting them looking really nice, also unlike many other items each individual looks significantly different.

 
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Anonymous
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August 08, 2011, 12:10:37 PM
 #39

The first BitGem sale has been made and the gems sent. I look forward to feedback from the purchaser and further sales.

I have some more stock coming in soon, is there any kind of gem people would like to see? And I'll look into the bismuth, though that tends to be pricy and with limited appeal.
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August 10, 2011, 08:25:09 PM
 #40

The first BitGem sale has been made and the gems sent. I look forward to feedback from the purchaser and further sales.

and I was the first buyer. Ordered Sunday, received the stone today, Wednesday.
Seller kept me informed through-out the process, and the stone was exactly as expected.

Bonus info: ran the stone through http://gemval.com where it valus in the $40-50 range (paid 3BTC incl shipping).

I am a very satisfied buyer

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Anonymous
Guest

August 10, 2011, 08:33:26 PM
 #41

Final update in this thread; I have one happy customer so far, and I've opened a new thread in https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=36264.0

Thank you!
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