Sunspar.com, telling people a COMMON mineral is A RARE GEM!

A reader alerted me to something I had seen before in the past I thought was odd. (Thanks Tim!)

So, when I went back and checked again, I was suprised to see this still in print.

The website SunSpar.com sells faceted translucent Labradorite, otherwise known as Sunstone when it has a schiller effect to it.

The faceted Gem grade yellow Labradorite is very real, however without sparkling inclusions, it should not be called Sunstone, which it is several times on their website.

In addition, the supply of large chunks of facet grade Labradorite are not in any kind of short supply. Quite the contrary, I know one of the owners of a very large Mexican Labradorite mine and from first hand knowledge, the supply of top notch gem grade Labradorite is not running low and it has not for the last twenty years.

While the website states that the information they are giving you in their sales pitch is “In the opinon of their manager”, blatent misinformation is a lie. I contacted the company via phone call to ask them if they stood by their story after I told them the information I had, I was abruptly hung up on. Apparently they have no comment on this.

Here is a photo of their website from the WAYBACKMACHINE, circa Feb. 1998. Below that, a picture of their site from March 26th, 2008.

70% off! I guess that site didn’t do a super great job convincing that yellow Labradorite was some crazy rare gem, never before known to mankind.

SunSpar Website in 1998

SunSpar Website in 2008

3 Responses to “Sunspar.com, telling people a COMMON mineral is A RARE GEM!”

  1. Dan Z Says:


    Regarding your “Sunspar” article: I have some personal knowledge on this.

    The “Executive Gemstones” at 10 New Scotland Ave is owned by Bob ???, whose last name I can’t pull out of my memory at the moment. It will come to me, and I’ll send it on. He used to run “Fourwheeler Communications,” a radio scanner and CB radio “wholesale” business, out of the same address.

    The gemstones are the result of the decline of that business, and the simultaneous decline of a business run by Joe Lanese of Albany. Joe become interested in minerals as a means of getting rich quick. He thought that he could collect them himself, and sell them at outrageous prices. Soon learning this to be untrue, he began buying private collections and inventories at distress prices, and marking them up drastically for his “wholesale” business. At this time, my store was new and I had limited mineral inventory, so I sold many of his pieces on commission – his labels, his pricing. Everything at that time seemed correctly labeled and reasonably priced. However my one store was not making Joe rich. He decided to wholesale faceting and cabbing rough. He purchased very large quantities from overseas dealers and mines, sight unseen. Of course most of it was absolute junk. I bought none, and would not even sell it on commission for him.

    Joe began getting desperate, and started mislabeling and misrepresenting his material. At this time, his business was known as “Lanese and Reilly.” (Reilly was his wife’s maiden name. She is politically “connected” in Albany. They divorced shortly after his legal troubles began.) His reputation spread among the mineral dealer community quite rapidly, and Joe became even more desperate. He faked a “burglary” at his business, and was found out. He also was in debt to the IRS.

    Somehow Joe and Bob got together. Joe apparently convinced Bob that they could make a lot of money on gemstones. Probably with Bob’s money, they sent kilo+ lots of the junk faceting rough overseas and had it cut by the cheapest shops. Then they began advertising the “executive gemstones” as you show. There were other gem varieties, but nothing remotely of high value or quality.

    I have not seen Joe for at least five years, now, but I suspect that he is probably not doing much that is legitimate….

    -dan z-

  2. Dan Z Says:

    I just remembered Bob’s last name: Lyons

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    Sunspar.com, telling people a COMMON mineral is A RARE GEM! – FakeMinerals.com

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