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BE CAREFUL WITH THE STORE CITY GEMS IN SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

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I recently came back from a trip to Cambodia in October this year and I wanted to look at some precious stones since Cambodia is known for having sapphires, emerals and ruby mines. So the guide took us to a store called CITY GEMS, located in Siem Reap. He told us the store was guaranteed by the Cambodian Government and that we should be very careful about buying stones anywhere else. The day we went was the last day we were staying since we were taking a flight to another place that same day so I didnt even bothered checking on internet about them, however when I came back home and enter in the internet their name, horror stories of people that have been scam started surfacing, I read about people that went and had their jewelry appraised and found out it was only colored glass. I contacted my travel agency whom with their local contacts went to the store and they told me to send the stones back that they were refunding only 50%, I told them that I didnt think there was a need for me to pay a courier to send those pieces of glass back and that since they are fake they should refund me 100% my money back, we bought a set of what were suppossed to be sapphire and another emerald set. I wrote to the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I have sent already 3 emails with no response from them which to me is a lack of respect because these people are doing this to tourist and they are not putting a stop to those thieves, I am very upset and want my money back which I am still struggling to get, but definitely I wanted to get the word out so people can be aware of these scam, and not to go to this store and be careful if shopping precious stones in those countries, I asked them to give a certificate and they said they will send it with the guide but all they sent was a card saying basically nothing, but not a certificate from GIA or else, all I have is my credit card receipt and those cards they sent.

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    I don't think it is the same person, lcuy. Here is the previous thread and some good info on how to get your money back.
    www.fodors.com/community/asia/city-gems-jewellers-siem-reap-read-before-buying-anything.cfm

    Having purchased with a credit card will help you. You need to be dealing with City Gems directly, and your credit card company can help you do that. The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has nothing at all to do with gem scams. Have you had the "gems" appraised? you will need to do that to prove they are fakes.

    If you are ever in the mood to shop for gems again, do some research ahead of time. You would find, for instance, that emeralds are not mined in Cambodia.

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    I was there last week April 10-11, 2016. Dropped off by licensed tour guide engaged by a large reputable American tour company we have traveled with before and will travel with again. Unfortunately, I did not seen this post until AFTER they ran my card.

    I actually saw the post Before I left the store because I noticed some irregularities or oddities in the transaction and then I began looking online snd saw this. The paperwork has a different nsme on it not Khmer Empire so I asked for a refund Before I left the store and they refused to give it.



    They initially gave me paper work that said the gems were not natural and the gold was plated. ( after they ran my card). When I raised the question why the paperwork said the jewelry was not 18k and not natural gems as "Letha" had told me, they "Letha and her male counterpart and coconspirator, said it was so I would not have to pay the high duty in customs.



    I told them I want to follow the law and I don't want to lie to my government. Then they said ok, if I really want to pay duty and they brought out different paperwork that said the jewelry was real.

    At that point, I got really distressed after that happened and told them I wanted my money back. They refused. Once they run your card, you will never get your money back.

    These people have a response for everything. I went back to try to get my tour guide to return to the store with me and he would not respond. I then returned to the store about three hours later and tried to get a refund again. At that point is was very upset. All off the employees were standing around watching the show. Once again I told them I did not feel comfortable with the transaction , that they had lied in the paperwork, and I believed the jewelry to be fake. They said it was real and refused to provide a refund.

    I went home and had the jewelry appraised by an expert certified gemologist. He said there was not a drop of gold any where on the jewelry--it wasn't even gold plated. The so called gems were not even good synthetics. The stuff they sell in here is all fake.

    My salesperson "Letha" mentioned she has bags under her eyes because she can't sleep at night. I now know why Letha cannot sleep at night--because she is a lying thief. I have a picture of Letha and her ripoff team and the front of the store and the receipts they give unwary tourist.

    I also know my tour guide is licensed. I tried to get him to help me with this but he refused. I will do whatever I can to get his license taken away so he does not steal from his clients any more. I was there on April 10 and 11, 2016.

    I will have the appraisal back in about a week and will post that too. The receipts have a different name on them. I am working with my credit card company to dispute the payment. I will also contact the tour company.

    I have no idea why I purchased anything from them. I've only purchased one other piece of jewelry while abroad in 30 years of travel. --a black opal in Australia and it was real, I still have it, and it's been appraised. Yea, Cairns!

    Not sure why we can't post photos here.

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