All that glisters is not gold – and "precious" stones, including diamonds, rubies and sapphires, bought at overseas stalls and on the Internet may be anything but.
New Zealand Jewellery Appraisers Society president Dennis Blacklaws says he has seen "well in excess of two to three dozen" fakes at his Lower Hutt diamond and gem laboratory in the past year and the problem appeared to be increasing.
The warning follows the case of a Wellington man overcharged for a fake diamond.
The man paid $3000 for an engagement ring, advertised as 18-carat white gold with a one-carat diamond, from an Internet auction site.
The Australian seller provided a valuation certificate "which looked pretty correct", stating the ring was worth A$7500 (NZ$8090).
But the ring turned out to be worth $2000.
Though it was genuine white gold, the stone was synthetic moissanite.