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Advice on an untreated sapphire

slgreen67

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
5
Hi all-

I'm pretty new to this board and have spent the last few weeks reading all of the great content that has been posted. It's tremendously helpful. I'm in the process of buying an engagement ring for my girlfriend and we've decided on a center sapphire and I'm really pumped about it. I'm struggling with the lack of consistency and technicality that comes with assessing something like a diamond.

That being said, I found 2 stones I think I really like. I prefer the oval stone to the cushion cut, but price is obviously a factor. So I'm uploading the GRS certs, some crappy pics (sorry, I'll try and get better) and the prices. Can anyone help me understand if 1, these are decent deals. I get that there is always something somewhere that might be a better value, but I'd like to know I'm not being taken out to the woodshed. 2, I've been looking at almost entirely Ceylon sapphires, and the Oval one says West Africa, does anyone have any thoughts on that: good, bad, doesn't matter, etc .

Thanks so much!
Steve

Cushion cut: 2.48ct, untreated, $8,800
Oval: 3.02 ct, untreated, $12,500

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chroman

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
992
Those prices seem in line with what you might find at wildfish, so they're not *totally* outrageous :)

How do you feel about how dark the stones are? They may look even darker once set, or when not in jeweler's lighting. Fron a quick poke around, this looked somewhat interesting color wise (and.. sale!)

http://www.thenaturalsapphirecompany.com/p-63665-oval-blue-sapphire-b7545/

Are you totally set on unheated, or would heat-only be an option?
 

slgreen67

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
5
Thanks Chroman. This is helpful. So it looks like I'm overpaying here. I was ok with the color in person. What makes them appear darker once set? I'll see if I can go by NSC when I'm in town around the holidays. And yeah, I'm against heating. Just personal preference.
 
S

SparkliesLuver

Guest
Congrats on deciding to go with a sapphire! :appl:

If you're not married to the two sapphires you posted, can you explain a little more about what you're looking for, including mm size, shape, color, tone, max budget, etc? To be quite frank, with a nice budget, I'd want to see what Mayer & Watt (http://mayerandwatt.com/gemstones/stones-photo-gallery/sapphire/) has before deciding anything. Their inventory far exceeds what's on their site. Contact Elle of The Gemstone Project (https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheGemstoneProject?ref=hp_rv) and she'll find out for you since they don't deal with the public.

However, if you are married to these two ...
1. The prices seem a bit high but not completely outrageous for untreated
2. Origin doesn't really matter unless it matters to you
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,377
SparkliesLuver|1481813351|4107466 said:
However, if you are married to these two ...
1. The prices seem a bit high but not completely outrageous for untreated
2. Origin doesn't really matter unless it matters to you
+1. Settings usually block out some light, so the amount of light entering the gemstone is now mostly from the top only, hence it gets a bit darker once set. The more enclosed the setting, the more it is likely to get darker. A precision cut stone is less likely to be affected.
 

slgreen67

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
5
Thanks SL. I've been looking primarily at oval/cushion/round. I don't want any "sharp" corners. I've looked at sapphires in the 7.5-9.5mm range in terms of longest measurement. My budget for the stone itself is probably 12/13K max and that stone would have to be something special. I did like the oval I provided pics of, but at that price it gives me pause because it doesn't blow me away. I wouldn't say I have a specific tone, but I tend to lean towards the deeper/darker blue. I liked these two based on a comparison against skin of 5/6 different stones. I would also go a little lighter but have only come across a couple and those lacked the sparkle and saturation I was looking for. I really want to see the stones in person if possible and with M&W being in Kentucky that makes it tough. I really appreciate all this great feedback. I'll contact Elle today.

On a semi-related note, I've seen some of the other posts, but what are thoughts on the natural sapphire company?
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,377
IMO, NSC is overpriced but I am not their target customer. They have their good and bad points, the good being that you can visit their store and see / handle the stones in person, they have a good sized inventory, and good return policy. The bad is the pricing (but it is balanced by the good, I suppose), most stones have not so good cuts and most stones have in-house lab memos. To be fair, they will send the stone to an outside lab if you request and pay for it. For someone in a hurry, needs an all-in-one (stone and setting), and needs to see several stones at once, NSC fits the bill. Those without a time constraint will be able to find a better stone at a lower price elsewhere.
 

chroman

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
992
I forgot to add... Congratulations!! :)

Yeah, there a ton of horrible cuts out there, and it seems that much of NSC's stock falls into that category.

If you are going to be reaching out to more vendors, would it help to look at *pics* of heat-only stones, to help to build up a set of stones that represent what you are after? Not saying that you'd buy those stones, but having pics to help illustrate what you're looking for can help.

Another thought - the big north america trade event is in feb in AZ. If you have some time and are chatting with vendors, one option might be to see if seomoen would shop for you at that show. Theres a fair bit of risk that way (like possibly no returns, or nothing shows up..) but given the scaricity of nice unheated stones it might be something to explore. Reaching out to a vendor who also cuts stones be something to think about, in case there are stones at the show which would be good candidates for recuts (Maybe Roger?).

Finding a ready-cut stone through an established channel would be safer, but..

What do you think of this:
https://www.store.palagems.com/php/db_search_v4.php?action=gemdetail&inventory_number=19550
I suspect it might be over your budget, but Pala only sells to trade, so who knows..
 

slgreen67

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
5
Thanks for all the help guys! I actually looked at some heated stones today so I'm further refining what I like. The pictures attached show the 2 of the lot I liked. (Far ends on the group picture). But I felt like these stones were overpriced for being heated (even though I'm still not into heated stones), story of my life....

The palagems stone is amazing, but I think it is out of my price range unfortunately.

The proxy stone shopper is also a really interesting idea as it seems like it's possible I might not get a chance to see the stone I end up ultimately buying. So again, appreciate that feedback and any additional comments are much appreciated.

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img_14047.jpg

img_14048.jpg
 

chroman

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
992
Finding that perfect combination is tough, even for heated stones. Hang in there!

That Pala stone is probably my favorite big sapphire thats floating around now, so I had to toss it out just in case ;-)

Just to show the range in pricings in heated stones at the top end, there's this:
http://www.finewatergems.com/store/p51/3.28_ct_Blue_Sapphire.html
which looks like it blows your lineup away (though to be fair, their pics have the benefit of glamor setup :)


Was the lighter round something you liked, color and shape wise? If so, maybe this unheated round:
http://www.thenaturalsapphirecompany.com/p-60633-round-blue-sapphire-b7029/
Not quite as saturated as the oval from before, but it at least doesnt look like it was run through the garbage disposal..

Another thing to keep an eye on is color shift. If possible, check out the stones in a variety of lights (or ask vendors). What appears blue in some lights can shift to purple in other light. How dramatic the shift varies with the stone. Some shift a lot (and are often sold as color shift), some less dramatically and might not be explicitly called out, and others are fairly stable.
 
S

SparkliesLuver

Guest
Thank you for answering my questions - that was very helpful! I'll be anxious to hear what Elle finds out for you. Their inventory is crazy amazing.

Anyhow, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the sapphire below. I realize it's probably lighter in tone than you want, but man I feel like this would make a stunning ring. And they're currently running 20% off for the next two days, so it couldn't hurt to order it and check it out in-person (if you're able). ;-) I'll be curious to hear your thoughts on this one.

2.54cts
8.75 x 6.81 mm
Unheated (comes with an AGL cert, which in my opinion is wonderful)
$9,527
http://www.africagems.com/blue-sapphire-g2000-2388.html

_38704.jpg
 

slgreen67

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 14, 2016
Messages
5
Thanks SparkliesLuver! This is super helpful!. Bummed I missed the sale because I was on the road. Elle has been absolutely fantastic! Thanks so much for the intro.
 

dzop

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 11, 2007
Messages
149
Chrono|1481816164|4107478 said:
SparkliesLuver|1481813351|4107466 said:
However, if you are married to these two ...
1. The prices seem a bit high but not completely outrageous for untreated
2. Origin doesn't really matter unless it matters to you
+1. Settings usually block out some light, so the amount of light entering the gemstone is now mostly from the top only, hence it gets a bit darker once set. The more enclosed the setting, the more it is likely to get darker. A precision cut stone is less likely to be affected.
Chrono, you said this with respect to the sapphire I got recently, and as I noted in that thread, it's wrong. Did a little research after that thread, and one of the reasons you're wrong is that for a dichroic stone like sapphire, the light coming from the sides has more of the 'off-axis' (i.e. greenish) color to it, so it tends to muddy the color of the stone when viewed through the table, especially towards the sides of the stone. That's one of the two reasons why a lot of highly saturated sapphires have that odd phenomenon where the edges seem darker than the middle (see eg this pala stone https://www.store.palagems.com/php/db_search_v4.php?action=gemdetail&inventory_number=21897). That will tend to go away when the stone is bezeled, b/c you have less light rays with the undesirable color visible through the table. The stone's color will tend to be more spectral, especially away from the center of the stone, and that actually makes the stone seem more lively and saturated.

My hunch is that you're coming at this with a bias for lighter-toned stones, where the effects of dichroism are less pronounced. Or alternatively, from experience with spinels and other isometric stones (amethyst, peridot, diamond) where off-axis rays don't contribute unwanted color. A bezel will definitely darken a spinel, in my experience.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,377
Dzop,
Maybe it's just my sapphires then. All those I've set darkened a bit. One is a medium light and the other 2 are medium dark in tone. The medium light has the pavilion enclosed and it now looks almost medium dark.
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
12,339
Chrono|1482350202|4108807 said:
Dzop,
Maybe it's just my sapphires then. All those I've set darkened a bit. One is a medium light and the other 2 are medium dark in tone. The medium light has the pavilion enclosed and it now looks almost medium dark.
This is my experience as well. It also really depends on the "off-axis" color of the stone. But I agree with Chrono's experience.
 
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