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Advice needed on a few precious gemstones I'm currently considering....

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
4,831

I'm currently absolutely in love with THIS little 6×5mm oval Ceylon blue sapphire. I think it looks AMAZING from every angle, and it even comes with a "reputable" lab report. What do you guys think of it? I'd love to hear your feedback.


Theres a reason this is cheap. It is very dark and the certificate isnt very helpful here.

The certificate isn't listed here. The guy may offer to give you one for free or will ask you to pay for one. I think it's decent color but not my ideal shade of blue. I've bought from Mine Planet before (albeit I've sent some of them to be recut by Dan Stair), and the certificates I received from him before were from GIC and CGL, which I think were legitimate labs.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
14,283
The certificate isn't listed here. The guy may offer to give you one for free or will ask you to pay for one. I think it's decent color but not my ideal shade of blue. I've bought from Mine Planet before (albeit I've sent some of them to be recut by Dan Stair), and the certificates I received from him before were from GIC and CGL, which I think were legitimate labs.

That's good to know! My worry is that I think it will look almost black IRL based on the video
 

matt_k

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
356
The certificate isn't listed here. The guy may offer to give you one for free or will ask you to pay for one. I think it's decent color but not my ideal shade of blue. I've bought from Mine Planet before (albeit I've sent some of them to be recut by Dan Stair), and the certificates I received from him before were from GIC and CGL, which I think were legitimate labs.

in the listing fine print it states: "Free Lab Certificate from a reputed gem testing lab." It doesn't say which one, but I guess mebbe a free certificate comes with anything over $200? :confused::)
 

matt_k

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
356
The certificate isn't listed here. The guy may offer to give you one for free or will ask you to pay for one. I think it's decent color but not my ideal shade of blue. I've bought from Mine Planet before (albeit I've sent some of them to be recut by Dan Stair), and the certificates I received from him before were from GIC and CGL, which I think were legitimate labs.

But if we discount the fact that it is a bit darker than your ideal preference, for a genuine Ceylon sapphire with good color and VVS clarity, isn't it a significant upgrade quality-wise on most of the other $100 dollar sapphire listings?
 

JackTrick

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
453
in the listing fine print it states: "Free Lab Certificate from a reputed gem testing lab." It doesn't say which one, but I guess mebbe a free certificate comes with anything over $200? :confused::)

A gem lab report’s value depends entirely on the reputation of the lab, and just because a seller says it’s reputable does not mean it is. For lower priced stones like this, i fully expect the lab reports to me not terribly trustworthy.

OP, I love the enthusiasm you have here, but I think you need to develop just a touch to cynicism for when you’re evaluating gem listings. Lighting and photography can do a lot of fibbing, and I suspect you’re looking at some of these gems seeing all the BEST AND GREAT parts of them, but downplaying or not thinking about the not so good. These vendors are posting photos that are the gem likely at its very best (but it only looks like that 5% of the time).
 

rosethorn

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 4, 2020
Messages
89
As a fellow gem lover with a similarly small budget, I’ve got two suggestions:

1. Gene at precision gems sometimes has very good deals on natural stones that are not “ideal” color or clarity but are still beautiful. His photos are spot on, and he’s accurate and trustworthy in describing them. You have to watch his website like a hawk to get a shot at them, though.

2. If you’re open to lab gems, come over to the fabulous fashion jewelry forum. You can get a lot of bang for your buck that way.
 

matt_k

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
356
A gem lab report’s value depends entirely on the reputation of the lab, and just because a seller says it’s reputable does not mean it is. For lower priced stones like this, i fully expect the lab reports to me not terribly trustworthy.

OP, I love the enthusiasm you have here, but I think you need to develop just a touch to cynicism for when you’re evaluating gem listings. Lighting and photography can do a lot of fibbing, and I suspect you’re looking at some of these gems seeing all the BEST AND GREAT parts of them, but downplaying or not thinking about the not so good. These vendors are posting photos that are the gem likely at its very best (but it only looks like that 5% of the time).

I'm sure you're right. :P2 :razz: But I guess I'm just talking about overall value for the money based off the available data. To me it looks like the best one I've seen so far (within a narrow price point, and in the dark royal blue category).

Also: is that a black opal in your profile pic?? It looks INCREDIBLE. :appl:
 

matt_k

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
356
As a fellow gem lover with a similarly small budget, I’ve got two suggestions:

1. Gene at precision gems sometimes has very good deals on natural stones that are not “ideal” color or clarity but are still beautiful. His photos are spot on, and he’s accurate and trustworthy in describing them. You have to watch his website like a hawk to get a shot at them, though.

2. If you’re open to lab gems, come over to the fabulous fashion jewelry forum. You can get a lot of bang for your buck that way.

I really appreciate the suggestion, but there is just something about lab created stones that completely rub me the wrong way. I have zero interest in 'em. I would rather have a totally flawed natural gemstone than the very best lab created one. :)
 
W

westofhere

Guest
If you want genuine stones at a low price point, why not start with red garnets or blue topaz? The topaz will be treated, but so are most inexpensive sapphires and rubies such as the ones you’ve shared. Peridot can also be quite beautiful if well cut, as can amethysts.

If your heart is set on sapphire or ruby, it might be worth it and spare buyer’s remorse to save up for a while, buy one stone, then save up again.

Also, be sure the stone is calibrated unless you want to pay extra for a custom setting.
 
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W

westofhere

Guest
Adding: the last sapphire I purchased was for a 14k bezel pendant for my aunt—tiny but cute. It was 5mm and $600 from Cecile Raley Designs. With sapphires, rounds tend to sparkle more.

Here’s one that’s not much more than your budget:

 

LD

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
10,157

I'm currently absolutely in love with THIS little 6×5mm oval Ceylon blue sapphire. I think it looks AMAZING from every angle, and it even comes with a "reputable" lab report. What do you guys think of it? I'd love to hear your feedback.

This stone has another cutting issue which we refer to as “half half”. This means half the gem will look much darker (in this case black) and the other half a fairly good colour. This will never go away and is very very frustrating.

Please please please have a look at the suggested vendors in the pinned thread.
 

matt_k

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
356
Adding: the last sapphire I purchased was for a 14k bezel pendant for my aunt—tiny but cute. It was 5mm and $600 from Cecile Raley Designs. With sapphires, rounds tend to sparkle more.

Here’s one that’s not much more than your budget:


Beautiful!
 

matt_k

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
356

11835
Price:145.00
Origin:Sri Lanka (Formerly Ceylon)
Weight:0.61 carats.
Size:5.9 x 4 x 3 mm deep
ClarityVVS Top clean gemstone!
Cut:Oval facet
Color:Rich royal blue!
Treatment:Traditional heat only. No other treatment of any kind
Note:A clean and pretty Royal blue Ceylon Sapphire

Ok, I pulled the trigger on THIS lil' 6×4mm royal blue Ceylon sapphire from Gem Line for $156 total after shipping. I have a pretty 14k yellow gold setting for it (complete with two tiny diamond accents) that I think will highlight the rich color very nicely. this stone definitely seems to cover all the bases on what I'm looking for ( a nice pop of deep/rich royal blue color... a very reasonable price... and a Ceylon origin, and all from a respectable and vetted vendor). I'll post pics once it arrives. Can't wait to see this puppy in person!

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and input. I really appreciate it. You peeps RAWK! ❤️


50007.jpg
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
4,831
But if we discount the fact that it is a bit darker than your ideal preference, for a genuine Ceylon sapphire with good color and VVS clarity, isn't it a significant upgrade quality-wise on most of the other $100 dollar sapphire listings?

It is quite a bit darker than my preference. I actually prefer the $98 one that I posted better than the $245 blue sapphire you subsequently found. Since gems look darker after being set, I'm no longer buying vivid vivid color gems unless I know they won't look too dark. You know your sweet spot when it comes to size vs money, and lest you get too enthusiastic and buy too many you won't be wearing after you gain more experience as a collector, I encourage you to take the time to develop an eye for colored gems. Then, buy only the gems that are truly special. I'd rather have my Maharani Mahenge spinel than ten or a hundred blue sapphires like the one you now prefer, or the small rubies you're looking at. It's not an issue of price, but quality over quantity.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
14,283
It is quite a bit darker than my preference. I actually prefer the $98 one that I posted better than the $245 blue sapphire you subsequently found. Since gems look darker after being set, I'm no longer buying vivid vivid color gems unless I know they won't look too dark. You know your sweet spot when it comes to size vs money, and lest you get too enthusiastic and buy too many you won't be wearing after you gain more experience as a collector, I encourage you to take the time to develop an eye for colored gems. Then, buy only the gems that are truly special. I'd rather have my Maharani Mahenge spinel than ten or a hundred blue sapphires like the one you now prefer, or the small rubies you're looking at. It's not an issue of price, but quality over quantity.

This is a lesson I learned the hard way. I bought so many $100-300 stones that I regret, and could have bought 1-2 *perfect* (to me) stones for the prices I paid once they were all added up. This is super important advice.
 

matt_k

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
356

11835
Price:145.00
Origin:Sri Lanka (Formerly Ceylon)
Weight:0.61 carats.
Size:5.9 x 4 x 3 mm deep
ClarityVVS Top clean gemstone!
Cut:Oval facet
Color:Rich royal blue!
Treatment:Traditional heat only. No other treatment of any kind
Note:A clean and pretty Royal blue Ceylon Sapphire

Ok, I pulled the trigger on THIS lil' 6×4mm royal blue Ceylon sapphire from Gem Line for $156 total after shipping. I have a pretty 14k yellow gold setting for it (complete with two tiny diamond accents) that I think will highlight the rich color very nicely. this stone definitely seems to cover all the bases on what I'm looking for ( a nice pop of deep/rich royal blue color... a very reasonable price... and a Ceylon origin, and all from a respectable and vetted vendor). I'll post pics once it arrives. Can't wait to see this puppy in person!

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and input. I really appreciate it. You peeps RAWK! ❤️


50007.jpg



And if this stone from Gem Line ( a site highly vetted by PS folks) looks too dark in person I can return it for a full refund. So TOTES win-win in my book! ;-)

Great advice, voce and lovedogs! but there will be no danger of me buying bunches of cheap mediocre sapphires or really nice ones. Haha. All I need is one halfway decent small Ceylon Sapphire and one decent teensy ruby to add to my collection of stones to be given as gifts on future to-be-determined date(s). plus I'll put together a very nice mother's style ring using a 3 mm Colombian emerald, a 3 mm ruby, and a 3 mm blue sapphire (prolly set in 14k rose gold) and that will cover me as far as precious colored gemstones in solid gold goes. :) otherwise, it will strictly be small and inexpensive semi-precious gemstones set in silver settings moving forward.
 
W

westofhere

Guest
You’re buying jewelry for women you haven’t met yet?
 

matt_k

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
356
With all respect, doing this is essentially setting money on fire. You have no idea what your future GF/significant other might like or dislike, so all of the stuff you buy will just sit around, potentially forever.

well, when it comes to precious gemstones I figure it's hard to lose (especially for someone who really likes jewelry). I have 2 solid gold settings that literally fell into my lap a good long while ago that I bought for absolute peanuts. :) but other than those 2 settings I'll be keeping all the other stones loose until I'm ready to actually put something together. Worst case scenario, I'll just make a nice gift for my mom with any leftover gems that said hypothetical future S.O. doesn't like.
 
W

westofhere

Guest
Not all women like jewelry, and ones who do tend to have specific taste—some only like sterling, some won’t wear sterling, I for ex. don’t wear 14k because I prefer the color of 18k and at the same time find that 24k is too yellow for my skin tone while it looks amazing on others. I love looking at antique jewelry, but tend to only buy/commission contemporary styles. And for years I wore only metal (bangles, chains, rings) and didn’t own a single stone. And now among stones I don’t own any purples because it’s just not my color. Some women will only wear designer jewelry and some won’t wear branded stuff. Every woman has jewelry preferences if she likes jewelry at all.

Just as you wouldn’t pick out a clothing wardrobe for a woman you haven’t met yet, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to buy for someone you haven’t yet met. She may be a woman who loves purses but is indifferent to jewelry, or she may be a woman who wants disposable income to go to experiences rather than things.

Whatever you do, make sure you’re not showing up with jewelry on a first date and creeping women out!

Nothing wrong with collecting just because you like collecting, and nothing wrong with a man wearing any type of jewelry. It seems that *you* have a passion for jewelry, so why not build a jewelry wardrobe for yourself? :)
 

matt_k

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
356
Not all women like jewelry, and ones who do tend to have specific taste—some only like sterling, some won’t wear sterling, I for ex. don’t wear 14k because I prefer the color of 18k and at the same time find that 24k is too yellow for my skin tone while it looks amazing on others. I love looking at antique jewelry, but tend to only buy/commission contemporary styles. And for years I wore only metal (bangles, chains, rings) and didn’t own a single stone. And now among stones I don’t own any purples because it’s just not my color. Some women will only wear designer jewelry and some won’t wear branded stuff. Every woman has jewelry preferences if she likes jewelry at all.

Just as you wouldn’t pick out a clothing wardrobe for a woman you haven’t met yet, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to buy for someone you haven’t yet met. She may be a woman who loves purses but is indifferent to jewelry, or she may be a woman who wants disposable income to go to experiences rather than things.

Whatever you do, make sure you’re not showing up with jewelry on a first date and creeping women out!

Nothing wrong with collecting just because you like collecting, and nothing wrong with a man wearing any type of jewelry. It seems that *you* have a passion for jewelry, so why not build a jewelry wardrobe for yourself? :)

nope, I definitely won't show up on any dates in a creepy trenchcoat filled with my baubles, trinkets, and assorted bling. ;-) :)

Seriously, good points. And from personal experience I do know that women tend to have different tastes when it comes to all things shiny (an ex from several years ago only wore silver, for instance, and refused to wear any diamonds or gemstones as she found them to be morally/ethically compromised).

It may sound odd considering how fascinated I am by ideal cut diamonds (and colored gemstones), but I don't wear any jewelry at all. Haha. Never have.
 
W

westofhere

Guest
nope, I definitely won't show up on any dates in a creepy trenchcoat filled with my baubles, trinkets, and assorted bling. ;-) :)

Seriously, good points. And from personal experience I do know that women tend to have different tastes when it comes to all things shiny (an ex from several years ago only wore silver, for instance, and refused to wear any diamonds or gemstones as she found them to be morally/ethically compromised).

It may sound odd considering how fascinated I am by ideal cut diamonds (and colored gemstones), but I don't wear any jewelry at all. Haha. Never have.


I don’t think it’s odd! And I don’t think it’s odd to collect and make jewelry as a hobby (it’s a cool hobby), as long as you’re ok with a future partner maybe not wanting any/all of it. One possibility would be to set up an Etsy shop or a booth at a local flea market, sell what you make and turn this hobby into a side business.

It took me until I was in my late 30s to learn a hard lesson, though: better one killer 3k high-quality, last-a-lifetime piece saved up for than 10 bouts of instant satisfaction. Way less buyer’s remorse and FOMO now.
 

matt_k

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
356
I don’t think it’s odd! And I don’t think it’s odd to collect and make jewelry as a hobby (it’s a cool hobby), as long as you’re ok with a future partner maybe not wanting any/all of it. One possibility would be to set up an Etsy shop or a booth at a local flea market, sell what you make and turn this hobby into a side business.

It took me until I was in my late 30s to learn a hard lesson, though: better one killer 3k high-quality, last-a-lifetime piece saved up for than 10 bouts of instant satisfaction. Way less buyer’s remorse and FOMO now.

Re: Etsy: I've actually been thinking about giving that option a whirl in the not-too-distant-future (I've already put together a few commissioned pieces for friends at a radical discount, in fact, and it was a VERY fun process ;-) ).
 

glitterata

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
3,901
I bought an inexpensive little 4.5mm blue sapphire from this place:
I bought it to replace a badly included diamond in a lovely little art deco ring I bought on eBay.
It looked just like the photos, and I was happy with it. It wasn't the highest quality gemstone, but I didn't expect it to be. It looks very nice in the setting.
IMG_1878.jpg IMG_4216.jpg
 

matt_k

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
356
I bought an inexpensive little 4.5mm blue sapphire from this place:
I bought it to replace a badly included diamond in a lovely little art deco ring I bought on eBay.
It looked just like the photos, and I was happy with it. It wasn't the highest quality gemstone, but I didn't expect it to be. It looks very nice in the setting.
IMG_1878.jpg IMG_4216.jpg

Pretty!
 

matt_k

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
356
I bought an inexpensive little 4.5mm blue sapphire from this place:
I bought it to replace a badly included diamond in a lovely little art deco ring I bought on eBay.
It looked just like the photos, and I was happy with it. It wasn't the highest quality gemstone, but I didn't expect it to be. It looks very nice in the setting.
IMG_1878.jpg IMG_4216.jpg

Nifty little site!
 

qubitasaurus

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Messages
1,464
I am sure you kind of already know this, but it is possibly better to hold off on buying an item for a girl until you've talked to her about it/at least until after you've met her. She might end up loving it. But most of us may not react that well (from her perspective it might feel like it was bought because it made you happy. Which is great, but its not a gesture of love towards her at all. Actually its something that was done with absolutely no reference to her whatsoever, long before you even met her. If you give it to her on a special occasion like her birthday when she is hoping for a gesture of love, then this could unintentionally hurt.).

I was going to say you'll probably enjoy desertrosegems on instagram.

 

pokerface

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
545
This is one of the most disconcerting threads I've seen on PS. Let me get this straight: you

1) bought a 1.64ct K Si1 diamond in February 2020;
2) upgraded to a 1.65 carat I VS1 in March 2020 (set into an engagement ring);
3) upgraded a second time to a 2.02 carat J VS2 in April 2020 (reset into an engagement ring);
4) bought 1.29 tcw K SI1/VS2 earrings in March 2020;
5) upgraded those to 1.40 tcw K VS2 in May 2020; and now, you are onto
6) buying sapphires, rubies and emeralds

all to give to a FUTURE, HYPOTHETICAL girlfriend? Yikes, giant yikes. Look, if you like diamonds and gems and jewelry and this is all for your own enjoyment, that's fine, thought I would still be concerned about the number of upgrades in quick succession. To be under the delusion that some unknown person is going to appreciate the (expensive) items you've chosen to suit your own tastes is off-putting to the max. It's not "hard to lose" when it comes to precious gemstones. It's the opposite, and I fear the lack of understanding and comprehension here is indicative of larger problems. Please save your money unless you intend for your collection to be only for yourself.
 
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