Bought a red/pink vintage "natural" spinel ring for $1035....from (what I thought) was a reputable seller of vintage jewelry on eBay. [Several positives noted that items had appraised for multiples of what had been paid. Lots of repeat buyers. She sold authentic vintage Yurman. Some auction items had been appraised professionally. She sells gemstones, stays away from diamonds. She knows her stuff. Stones were classified as synthetic if they were and priced accordingly. Vast majority were natural, mined stones. Most of the time you could tell pieces were truely vintage based on the styles and look/condition. Few negs for slow shipping but over 6 years and thousands of feedbacks only a few that were somewhat concerning. But with vintage jewelry you're going to get some noise. I figured there was no real issue.] I purchased a smaller item from her a few months ago and it was fine. Probably worth about 3x what I paid - although it's not sotheby's quality - it was nice. Stones seemed authentic - gold was 14k as advertised. Nice weight and quality. But for an item listed as 'estate' it sure seemed new to me. Anyway, I kept her as a fav seller. I corresponded with her about the ring when she listed it. She had worn this ring a few times as her own. She had been told it was natural - not synthetic. She had louped it and accepted that it was natural. This wasn't her first rodeo. She had no doubt. She listed it for $700 - high end for her listings. I was so taken by her pics and description of the ring I HAD to have it. And here's where I get stupid. Very stupid. I offered $1035 and she stopped the auction. (There were no bidders.) I paid by postal money order (!!!) Stupid enough for you? She sent the ring and it was just as pictured....BUT not only did it seem very flimsy, the stone was crooked in the mounting. Oh my! I immediately took it from the post office wrapping to my local jeweler. Now understand that my local jeweler is very traditional. He would immediately dismiss an 'eBay' purchase as a fake. So....I fibbed a little. Given that the ring did at least have the look of a 1950s cocktail ring I told him it had been given to me by a friend of my mothers. (Mom does have a friend with a small collection of cocktail rings - hey, it could have been hers.) Anyway, my heart stopped as he louped it and stared at it all around for a good long minute. Then he said 'Well, it's very nice. It's very pretty - and the diamonds are probably real." The DIAMONDS? (There are about 25 points of the tiniest stones I've ever seen around the perimeter of the spinel.) He took out some sort of light meter and blinked it off and on and said 'yep, those are little diamonds'. I was stunned. I managed to sound a bit casual (I hope) and asked 'what about the stone, what do you think it is?'. He said 'It's supposed to look like a ruby. But it's not important. It's not a precious stone. Nice of her to give you this, though.' OMG. So, I went ahead and had it sized down 1/2 a size. Why not? Lets just add to the stupid. I couldn't imagine how mortified I would be if I grabbed my plastic ring right out of his gentle hands with a maniacal grimace on my face shouting "NOOOO, I bought this on eBay and it's a FAKE.' So....it comes back Monday or Tuesday. Yes, of course, I've emailed the seller very very nicely requesting a refund and assuming she never realized it's synthetic. The odds this ring is not straight out of a Russian flux furnace are practically zero. I haven't heard back. Ugh. Any advice other than to retire from Ebay?