Over the last thirty years, I have spoken with hundreds of people who have taken the leap and purchased a "Jyotish gemstone" on their own overseas. Most often they were purchased in India, Thailand or Sri Lanka, but some were from Brazil, Colombia, Tanzania, Hong Kong, Israel and other countries.
After the fact, they asked my opinion because they know I am a gemologist and gem dealer who, for 30 years, has specialized in buying gemstones at the source countries. I then wholesale throughout America, as well as provide gems for Jyotish and Ayurvedic purposes. In every case, each individual was curious as to the value and quality they had received.
They all shared some common experiences and similarities. Most were somewhat adventurous. They had traveled to exotic lands and had some exciting experiences. I'm all for that. In fact, I've been doing that myself for many decades.
But, they all shared another unfortunate experience as well. They were all, to some extent, taken advantage of by a jeweler or gem merchant. Some had been totally swindled, or had bought a fake, fraudulent gemstone which was nearly worthless. Others had purchased a gemstone for a hugely inflated price and paid 10 to 100 times more than the true value of the gemstone or jewelry. And in nearly every case, the quality of the gemstone or jewelry was not suitable for Jyotish purposes.
They all assumed that the gems would be less expensive and money could be saved. The first assumption was true. The gems seemed to be less expensive. They had purchased a gem or gem in jewelry that appeared to be bargain. However, money was not saved; in virtually every case, just the opposite happened. Every mine produces tons of very low quality rough that is cut. It's easy to see lots of low quality gems; these are the ones that are not rare and not expensive. They are also of a quality that is not good for Jyotish purposes and should be avoided.
Of the hundreds of people who have come to me over the years with such gems, a few actually did okay. They bought a gemstone of near to moderate Jyotish quality and paid what a similar gem would cost in the USA market from a good, honest supplier with very good overseas experience. But remarkably, I would estimate that less than 1% succeeded! Out of the hundreds who approached me for advice, to evaluate their purchase, I only remember perhaps two or three that "did OK". Even these few did not find the bargain they hoped for; rather they made a fair purchase for a medium quality Jyotish gemstone. The odds of succeeding and getting what you want are extremely slim.
Sounds scary? You should be very scared of buying Jyotish Gemstones in foreign lands. Go ahead and buy all the souvenirs and exotic items you want to remember your trip abroad. But when you are ready to buy a gem for Jyotish purposes, find someone you know you can trust.
Call me prejudiced, but I think I'm the best one for the job. We will provide you with honest information and access to the best Jyotish gemstones and pricing you will find anywhere. And that's a promise I can keep.