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Alexandrite: Please help me source my engagement ring!

Morbus

Rough_Rock
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May 9, 2011
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Hello everybody,

I have been reading many of the posts in the colored stones section and have learned quite a lot as many of you are very knowledgable (so I hope I won't sound like a complete newbie). My hopefully future fiancee and I have talked about engagement rings and we both preferred a non-diamond engagement ring. I read up on the mohs' hardness scale and realized that I should choose a stone that is 8+, which ruled out emeralds (7.5). I saw that my options were corundum (9), chrysoberyl (8.5), topaz (8), and spinel (8). In my searchings and taking into account her 2 favorite colors, green and purple, I fell in love with alexandrite. The fact that some alexandrites can change from green to purple is an excellent characteristic as well.

Thus, I've decided upon sourcing an alexandrite stone for fashioning into an engagement ring (size 6) and am in need of your collective wisdom. So I'll start by describing in more detail what I'm looking for:

I am seeking a natural, untreated alexandrite (over 1 carat) that is eye clean and exhibits a color change from green/bluish green to purple/red/reddish purple. As for shape, I prefer something with oval or rectangular dimensions in order to accentuate the slender finger the ring will go on, but I am more flexible in this department so long as the shape is symmetrical on both x and y axes (i.e. not pear shaped).

I have been searching the web for a little while now and I do appreciate how rare high quality alexandrite is, which is why I have started my search early and with plenty of time to spare. I honestly do hope that one day this ring might become a family heirloom so I know that this won't be cheap or easy to find. My back-up plan is to go for a natural, unheated color-change sapphire if I come across a truly stunning blue to purple specimen or if the alexandrite is just near impossible to find.

Now let me show you what I've come across thus far. Please let me know what you think about the quality of the stones themselves, their suitability for placement in a ring, and any comments about the reputation of the sellers. Also, if you can find some quality alexandrites that I haven't been able to find, please please do share:

From Mutlicolour:

Alex 1: http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?/details/alexandrite/zx165ab/&930512007
My comments: I really like the length to width ratio on this stone but am concerned what effect the off-center pavilion will have and am not experienced enough to assess this aspect. The very rectangular length to width ratio of 1.48 is very appealing. Additionally, while the color-change is nice, I think that some other alexandrites have a more vibrant coloring overall. Also, the site mentions that the cutting could be improved but only by sacrificing a significant amount of weight.

Alex 2: http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?/details/alexandrite/yax630aa/&930512007
My comments: Of all of the alexandrites I am listing, this is the smallest at 1.06 carats and could use some advice on what a visually desirable size would be for an engagement ring. The length to width ratio here is a very ideal 1.50. The color-change looks great and is quite vibrant but I don't find some of the pink hues to be as desirable as a red to purple hues. The stone also looks quite scintillating, but with only pictures to go off of, this is always hard to tell for sure and could use some advice.

From R.W. Wise:

Alex 1: http://www.rwwise.com/products/id|255
My comments: I think that the comments provided on the webpage are a good description. My first concern is that the length to width ration at 1.13 is neither perfectly square nor rectangular enough and is at a weird in-between. So, I'm not sure how this would end up looking in a ring. My second concern would be to ask what effect the residual purple in the daylight green coloring should have on value. When I called Mr. Wise, he priced the stone at ~15 grand.

Alex 2: http://www.rwwise.com/products/id|1547
My comments: This is the largest and most expensive of all the alexandrites listed. The length to width ratio is a more appealing 1.33 and thus appears truly rectangular rather than an awkward in-between. Compared to the previous stone, it appears to be a little less scintillating but the colors are quite solid. When I called Mr. Wise, he priced the stone at ~34 grand if I remember correctly

CC Sapphire: http://www.rwwise.com/products/id|1040
My comments: This is one of the most scintillating colored gemstones I have ever seen. I looked up the cutter, Phil Youngman, and he seems to be the real deal having one many awards for his cutting of corundum. The stone is closer to square at a length to width ratio of 1.10 but is still visually seen as not square and could use some advice again on how this would look on a ring. The rich blue and the rich green are quite appealing. When I called Mr. Wise, he priced the stone at ~15 grand.

From Gemselect:

CC Sapphire: http://www.gemselect.com/color-change-sapphire/color-change-sapphire-207116.php
My comments: This appears to be a very nice stone with good color change from what seems to be a purplish blue to a red-purple (although the color change appears to be less drastic in the video than in the pictures). The depth of this round cut stone is a desirable 72.7% and looks very symmetrical. While a gem report can be ordered, it makes me a bit more hesitant as gem reports are provided for all of the above listed stones. Also at 4.6 carats and $1,186 per carat price-point, I wonder why it is priced so much less than the 3.84 carat and $3,906 per carat price-point of the above CC sapphire (or perhaps the above CC sapphire is priced so much higher?).

From Wild Fish:

CC Sapphire: http://www.wildfishgems.com/inc/sdetail/12743/12860
My comments: This stone does provide a gem certificate but it is from Global Gem Testing Laboratory in Bangkok, which I haven't seen as much of and could use some advice on their reputation. I see far more from the swiss GRS, AIGS, AGTA, and GIA. Also the pictures of the stone in purple-incandescent don't appear as appealing due to imperfections or dust on the stone? I can't really tell for sure. Also, in the same purple-incandescent photos, the stone appears a bit too dark with perhaps some extinction towards the center? Let me know what you think. Furthermore, The tone has a length to width ratio of 1.22 which appears to be rectangular enough. Also at 4.67 carats and $1413 per carat price-point, it is also priced quite differently than the R.W. Wise stone.



I also tried looking at Africa Gems (http://www.africagems.com) but they don't provide multiple pictures and I can't find any gem reports. Also, the verbal description of the stone color change sometimes doesn't even seem to match the little I can tell from the picture. I've also sent inquiries to Master Cut Gems (http://www.mastercutgems.com/index.php) and J. L. White (http://www.whitesgems.com/index.htm) about possibly sourcing an alexandrite and I'll let you know what they say when they respond.

So any and all help you can provide will be greatly appreciated!!! :)
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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As far as the alexandrites are concerned, that second one from Multicolour is just beautiful, if the photos are accurate. Alexandrites are one of the most difficult stones to photograph, and it's so difficult to tell which one is the best from the remaining vendor's photographs.

I would avoid any sapphires that have mention of green in them as that color tends to muddy the stone.
 

LD

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As you've obviously done your homework here are my thoughts:

1. Do NOT be swayed by a cut with an Alexandrite. 99% are poorly cut and are cut to maximise weight. I have a 2ct oval with an off-centre culet (much more off-centre than the one you're considering) but I love it and it has gorgeous colour change so I can forgive it its quirkiness. The other thing to remember is that the cut doesn't influence the colour change so really isn't as critical with this gem and with others.

2. Buy the best one within your budget that has a strong colour change - strong to one person is weak to another so make sure you ask the right questions, get a lab report and then test it out in different lights (critical). You must also ALWAYS be sure you can return it because the colour change may not appeal to you.

3. David Wein from Multicolour is an Alexandrite specialist. If you explain what you want I'm sure he'll have one at an affordable (not ridiculous) price. He will also take handshots for you without a problem (although it may take a day or two). I have a 3ct pear cut Alex that I bought from him years ago and I have to say it's sensational (my favourite gem) and the cut on that is devine - so you may like to ask if he has any that are not on his site. The two you have linked to both have cut issues but I wouldn't walk away from either and out of all you've linked to, these are my favourites.

4. The prices that Richard Wise is charging is ridiculous and I don't believe they're any better than Multicolours.

5. Colour change sapphires in a red/green are VERY difficult to find as are cc garnets in the same colour way. I own about 5 or 6 but they were all purchased over 8-10 years ago. I've not seen a really good one in a decent carat weight for a while and I think Ed from Wildfish mentioned in another thread that he had recently been looking for some without success.

6. The cc sapphire on Richard Wise's website is VERY dark. That wouldn't be my choice. It's also very expensive.

7. The cc sapphire from Gemselect - I don't know how true their photos are to real life so can't comment.

8. Ditto for the Wildfish gem.

The same applies if you find a nice cc sapphire - you must be able to evaluate and send back if you don't like it. Sometimes you'll like one colour-way but not the other so it's critical you find a gem that looks gorgeous all the time (and it is possible).
 

LD

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TL|1306089691|2927825 said:
As far as the alexandrites are concerned, that second one from Multicolour is just beautiful, if the photos are accurate. Alexandrites are one of the most difficult stones to photograph, and it's so difficult to tell which one is the best from the remaining vendor's photographs.

I would avoid any sapphires that have mention of green in them as that color tends to muddy the stone.
TL I respectfully disagree. In a true cc sapphire or a cc garnet that moves from green to red you can get them without any muddiness BUT that's if you can find one in the first place!
 

T L

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LovingDiamonds|1306090063|2927830 said:
TL|1306089691|2927825 said:
As far as the alexandrites are concerned, that second one from Multicolour is just beautiful, if the photos are accurate. Alexandrites are one of the most difficult stones to photograph, and it's so difficult to tell which one is the best from the remaining vendor's photographs.

I would avoid any sapphires that have mention of green in them as that color tends to muddy the stone.
TL I respectfully disagree. In a true cc sapphire or a cc garnet that moves from green to red you can get them without any muddiness but they are incredibly difficult to find.
Thanks LD, did not know that. :))
 

Pandora II

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The multicolour ones are pretty but I'd want to see a lot more photographs in different lighting conditions.

I love the first of Richard's stones and the shape is nice as well. It's the same kind of size as the stone in my e-ring and I have size 6 fingers as well if you want an idea of how big it would look when worn.

I have CC Garnets and CC Sapphires and find they are very dependent on the exact light and where you live. My teal green to raspberry garnet looks better the nearer one moves to the equator whereas my purple to cranberry garnet and green to red sapphire look better on an overcast day in London.

Good luck with the search!
 

Barrett

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You can't go wrong with David at Multicoulor when it comes to Alex
 

Morbus

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Thanks to everybody thus far:

@Pandora:
Could you post or link to picture of you wearing the ring you mentioned along with what the dimensions are. I'd really appreciate it in order to visualize how it would look.

@LovingDiamonds and anybody else:
1) Why do you think that Richard Wise is charging so much?

2) How often does David Wein from Multicolour have stones in inventory that aren't posted on his site? Also, do you think he'd be able to source a stone for you if he doesn't have what you want in stock? (I'm new to all of this so I'm not completely sure how this would work)

Additional questions:
1) Does anybody know of or has anybody found any other quality alexandrites for sale?

2) It seems everybody finds David Wein (Multicolour) to be quite reputable. Are there any other places you would also highly recommend to find alexandrites?

3) For those who have bought from multicolour or other international sites, have you sent stones back and if so how smoothly did that transaction occur? Were you reimbursed shipping as well?

Thanks again :)
 

LD

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Morbus|1306101604|2927934 said:
Thanks to everybody thus far:

@Pandora:
Could you post or link to picture of you wearing the ring you mentioned along with what the dimensions are. I'd really appreciate it in order to visualize how it would look.

@LovingDiamonds and anybody else:
1) Why do you think that Richard Wise is charging so much? No idea! Perhaps because he wants to and he can???!!!

2) How often does David Wein from Multicolour have stones in inventory that aren't posted on his site? Also, do you think he'd be able to source a stone for you if he doesn't have what you want in stock? (I'm new to all of this so I'm not completely sure how this would work) You really need to ask David. He often knows of stones that are going to come onto the market or he's just got in but not listed yet. As for sourcing one? That'll be difficult because I don't think there are any active Alexandrite mines so the only ones that he may be able to get are when he knows private collectors selling theirs.

Additional questions:
1) Does anybody know of or has anybody found any other quality alexandrites for sale? No. They are scarce and good ones even scarcer. I'm afraid it's just a matter of waiting and looking. You've identified the places that you may find them. One place to stay away from is, of course, Ebay, which is littered with synthetics and "Russian" (I don't think so) Alexandrites!

2) It seems everybody finds David Wein (Multicolour) to be quite reputable. Are there any other places you would also highly recommend to find alexandrites? None other than the ones you've found already

3) For those who have bought from multicolour or other international sites, have you sent stones back and if so how smoothly did that transaction occur? Were you reimbursed shipping as well? I've bought a number of gems from Multicolour and thankfully haven't had to return any. However, I believe they have a good returns policy and are happy to accept gems back. I don't think any vendors reimburse shipping. Vendors vary. Some charge a re-stocking fee, others don't allow returns because they believe you have enough information to buy in the first place.

I wish I could help and say that you'll find one easily but I don't think that will be the case. It is most definitely worth getting in touch with David.


Thanks again :)
 

Barrett

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It's actually David Weinberg not Wein. Just email him at [email protected] and ask a few questions. Can't hurt to ask...he has been very helpful to me in the past and I am sure you will recieve the same treatment
 

LD

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amethystguy|1306102752|2927942 said:
It's actually David Weinberg not Wein. Just email him at [email protected] and ask a few questions. Can't hurt to ask...he has been very helpful to me in the past and I am sure you will recieve the same treatment
Oooops that was me spelling it wrong. I went to look if the berg bit was with an "e" or a "u" and then forgot to add it on the end! Doh! :loopy: :oops:
 

LD

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VapidLapid

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Lg-AlexandriteOv1_52ct.jpg
 

colorluvr

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First off, I want to wish the OP good luck on their quest for the perfect eRing stone, (good luck! ;-) ) But OMG, I saw VL's post and I know little about alexandrites, but the color in that photo in wonderful. :love:
 

Morbus

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@VapidLapid:
I'm sorry but I couldn't find a link to the stone that you posted. Am I not seeing it? Also, to my inexperienced eye, so I could be wrong, but does that stone appear to have a small window towards the center?

@Pandora:
Thanks for the great pictures! What are the exact dimensions on your tsavorite?

@LovingDiamonds and Everybody:
I called David Weinberg and he told me that he has a 3.0 carat Indian alexandrite one that he will be posting soon. It should be priced around @24 grand. I also inquired about another alexandrite which I had saved but has since been taken down from a site due to a polish gentleman asking to buy it. I really love this stone and asked David to let me know if the polish gentleman doesn't end up buying it when he visits at the end of the month. I have attached a picture and description of it:



He said the stone he is posting is not as long of an oval, not quite as good of a color change, a better cut, but with a little bit of haziness w/o inclusions. What do you guys think?

Other information from my conversation with David: First, his daughter lives or is currently in the NYC area so a return should I not like the gem shouldn't be too difficult (i.e. not international mailing back to Bangkok). Second, on the first Alex I posted from multicolour, http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?/details/alexandrite/zx165ab/&930512007,,, David said he could recut it if I wanted a better cut but with some weight loss. Hypothetically, would this be a good option? Third, David said that it is getting increasingly difficult and frustrating to find quality alexandrites of this size and the prices are only going up. Do you guys think that this will continue to be true or do you think a new mining source may be found in the near future?

Another question I have is, once I do decide to purchase a stone and inspect it, how does one go about finding a fair independent gem inspector and appraiser? Never had to do this before so I wouldn't even know where to start. I'm located in the St. Louis area but have family in Chicago.

Thanks everybody! 8-)

Screen shot 2011-05-22 at 7.43.37 PM.png
 

minousbijoux

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For what its worth, Morbus, I have found Roger Dery of Spectral Gems to be one of the easiest vendors to deal with...he makes getting you gems as simple as possible, and if memory serves, when returning the same provides you with the Fed Ex shipping labels for easy return. If you are interested in that gem, though, I would definitely ask about the saturation of color, the degree of color change, whether he recut the stone, and whether it does have a window, because honestly, I thought it showed a window as well. He will try and answer your questions, but is a big believer in getting the gem into your hands for a first hand, no strings attached, look.

At least this is the way it has been with me with all of our transactions to date.

I also love the second Multicolour stone you posted. I also wonder if you wouldn't consider one of his premade rings, as the prices seem incredibly reasonable - I loved the eternity bands.
 

LD

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Morbus|1306112569|2928011 said:
He said the stone he is posting is not as long of an oval, not quite as good of a color change, a better cut, but with a little bit of haziness w/o inclusions. What do you guys think?

Second, on the first Alex I posted from multicolour, http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?/details/alexandrite/zx165ab/&930512007,,,,,,,,, David said he could recut it if I wanted a better cut but with some weight loss. Hypothetically, would this be a good option?

Third, David said that it is getting increasingly difficult and frustrating to find quality alexandrites of this size and the prices are only going up. Do you guys think that this will continue to be true or do you think a new mining source may be found in the near future?

Another question I have is, once I do decide to purchase a stone and inspect it, how does one go about finding a fair independent gem inspector and appraiser? Never had to do this before so I wouldn't even know where to start. I'm located in the St. Louis area but have family in Chicago.

Thanks everybody! 8-)
I've just cut your questions from your above post and hope I can answer from my own experience.

Haziness - in an Alex this CAN have a negative effective during daylight BUT it normally enhances the colour change substantially. You need to ask David just how much haziness it has. I'm attaching a photo of one of mine below (think it's 1.5ct) that has haziness so you can see what I mean. My worries with this one though are that David has said the colour change isn't as good. That would be enough for me to pass it up I'm afraid.

Recut - David recut a stone for me several years ago and I lost minimal weight. The cut that I ended up with was amazing. His lapidarist most definitely took great care so that I didn't lose much weight. From memory it's 1.7ct ish? If it went to, say, 1.5ct ish it wouldn't devalue the gem by much and if the look were improved then it may not affect the price at all. The big difference would be if it went under the 1ct mark (unlikely).

New mines - it's always possible but the same could be said for any gemstone. However, it's never been a gem that is available in great quantities. When I first started buying there were only 2 open mines, it increased and then decreased again. It remains $ per carat as one of the rarest and most expensive gemstones.

Appraising - First of all, make sure that the gem you buy comes with a Lab report - David offers this and you must do it. It's an additional cost but worth it. Then, if you decide to take it to an appraiser you MUST go to somebody who is familiar with Alex. Most have only seen one or two at best and wouldn't be able to differentiate between a good and an excellent quality one. Richard Sherwood is often mentioned on these boards and I believe his details are on a sticky at the top of this forum - if not, hopefully somebody will come along and help. If not, I'd ask David if he knows of anybody in the US. You may well have to send the stone to them rather than go and take it in person.

Over 3ct for a stone with good colour change is quite a find. I'm also attaching a picture of one (and I bought this from David) several years ago. It's 3.06ct and the colour change is phenomenal. Please though bear in mind it's the strength of colour change that makes Alex valuable or not. So ask David the questions about the 3ct one and ask for photos also.

To give you an idea of size, the bottom photo shows a 2.17ct oval Alex on my hand when my fingers were a size 7 (they've shrunk now :lol: ). This is the one that has an off-centre culet - a bad one!

Alexandrite 2.17ct oval montage.jpg

Alexandrite 3.06ct a.jpg

Alexandrite cluster montage.jpg
 

Attachments

MontageCreations

Rough_Rock
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Hi Morbus,

will try to answer some of your questions re:

Recutting - is this a viable, value increasing option? - Yes, No, Maybe, Probably, but perhaps not. Not trying to be facetious but in the colored stone business, it's all about the color. If a recut enhances the color, and benefits the stone in balance, polish, style, symmetry,etc., then it may be beneficial to it's value. THere will always be a loss in gem weight, and only an experienced cutter will be able to deduce whether or not the risk will be worth the loss.

New Mines - you need to understand a bit about the gemstone mining business. Alexandrite is the rarest of the rare, it is like the Maw-sit-sit of Jade mines. Alexandrite is actually a very rare variety of gem grade chrysoberyl, which itself is not a well known gemstone. There could be a new source for it found tomorrow, or we could go for quite a few more years before we see any new sources, if ever. And the finding is usually by coincidence, luck, whim, or determined effort. You don't just use your ground penetrating radar to find the next great chrysoberyl deposit, like you can with other economic ores. It will likely occur from some lucky prospector, accidentally finding it in their prospect for another gemstone, even then the risk of mining it may be greater than the reward.
 

Morbus

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Thanks for the dimensions Pandora and the help from everybody else too. Thanks for the info on recutting and new mines.

David has posted the new stone I'm referring to and I hope you can all let me know what you think:

http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?/details/alexandrite/yax637aa/&930512007

It does not have a gem report posted yet as he just got it in and he needs to send it to the AIGS lab. Also, @LovingDiamonds, from the picture, the stones don't look hazy at all like I thought they might from David's verbal description, but I could be missing something and would love your input (also do I need to ask David for more than the AIGS certificate he already gets?). Overall, I think this alexandrite looks stunning and would be a great stone to design an engagement ring around (I think it is even more visually appealing than the one the polish gentleman is purchasing as I mentioned and posted earlier). So, let me know what everyone's overall opinion is, and if you guys all think it's a great stone and a good price, then I think I'm gonna go for it :D . [Thanks to LovingDiamonds for the advice to straight-away call David about any stones he hadn't posted yet].


One more question I have is about getting an appraisal:

I have never done this before either and could use some advice, such as what kind of appraisal to ask for (like insurance, market value, etc.) I wanted to see if I could find a qualified appraiser nearby so that I wouldn't have to ship the stone across the country so I went around and looked at what appeared to be the various US based gem appraiser organizations and searched for appraisers in the St. Louis and Chicago areas. I found 2 in STL on the American Gem Society website (http://www.americangemsociety.org/) and I called the first one listed and talked to a man named Christopher “Kit” Heffern, CGA, GG. What's nice is that this place is within easy driving distance. I'll post his bio in italics:

[Kit Heffern is President of Elleard Heffern Fine Jewelers and the grandson of company founder, Samuel Heffern. Mr. Heffern is an American Gem Society Certified Gemologist Appraiser, which represents the highest level of expertise in the industry, and a member of the American Gem Society (AGS). He also is a Graduate Gemologist with the Gemologist Institute of America (GIA). Mr. Heffern is a member of the Board of Directors of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce.]

He took down some information from me and said he was going to do some research and make some calls before getting back to me on whether he'd feel he could do a good appraisal. As you can see from the bio, he also runs a fairly high end jewelry store (http://heffern.com) and the estate jewelry listing DOES include Alexandrite, which I thought was a good thing from the standpoint of having knowledge about the stone. The listed services of the business are: Custom Design, Appraisals, Selling Estate Jewelry, and Jewelry Restoration.

So I guess my question is, should I go ahead and get an appraisal from this guy? Would he have a conflict of interest from also running the jewelry business I mentioned vs. strictly being in the business of independent appraisals? And I saw that LovingDiamonds mentioned Richard Sherwood (http://www.sarasotagemlab.com/index.htm) and his site looked really thorough and professional. Is there a benefit to shipping the stone to Richard's Lab in Florida vs getting the appraisal done closer to home? If I were to ship the stone, how should I insure the stone? Would Richard's Lab be able to get the stone appraised and back to me during the inspection period from multicolour? And again, what kind of appraisal should I ask for when I get the stone during the inspection period?

Thanks
 

LD

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Pandora - unfortunately that doesn't surprise me in the least. I bought an Alex once but there was just something about it. It was too perfect. Sure enough I sent it (believe it or not) to the London lab of the Assay office and they confirmed it was synthetic but a remarkably good one. Unlike the one in the article, it didn't have a GIA report! I wonder how on earth they could have missed it? I know that synthetic Alex can be very very very close to real ones in terms of RI etc but honestly, were they at lunch that day?

Morbus - in answer to your questions.

Haziness - I only see a tiny bit in the photos. Is this the one that David was referring to because I thought you said it was 3.07ct and this one is 3.00ct? Also, you said it had a lesser colour change than the Polish one BUT the description says strong colour change that looks good in any light. I'm wondering if this is another stone? Anyway, pull the trigger - it's beautiful and if you feel it tugging at you then it's meant to be. You know you can return it also which is a bonus. A 3ct stone is very very rare to have such good colour and clarity so please buy it before a lurker snaps it from under you.

In terms of an appraisal, first off, get the AIGS report and then also send it to another lab so you have double surety. DO NOT get an appraisal from a high end jewellers. High end does NOT equal knowledge. Also, you have to have guaranteed experience. I really really really wouldn't go to anybody apart from Richard Sherwood and I would phone him and ask whether he would feel comfortable appraising it? If you tell him you're a member of PS I'm sure he'll understand why you are cautious about getting the right appraisal. If he doesn't feel comfortable appraising it then I'm sure he'll tell you also.

Don't forget that because this gem is really quite exceptional, you should make sure that you have it appraised every 2 years or so to make sure that your insurance is correct. To give you an indication, my 3ct has increased in insurance value by over 10 times since I bought it (based on up to date price per carat etc)!

One last thing. The appraisal i.e. value is what you're paying now. No more. However, for insurance purposes you'll find there will be a hefty premium added to it because you may need to replace it one day (hopefully not) and if that's the case finding something similar may be very tough especially if there are no new finds.
 

LD

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Pandora / Morbus

Building on the linked article, I thought you might be interested in reading this from the Multicolour website. Most of my alex fluoresce red (thankfully I haven't seen an orange/yellow halo):

The red fluorescence of alexandrite can be observed using the “crossed filter” method and it has been inferred that in border line cases the presence of a red glow and a faint chromium spectrum absorption spectrum would prove the stone to be alexandrite and not chrysoberyl.

AIGS Policy

In the case of “borderline chrysoberyls”, (stones showing a visible but weak color change), it may be difficult to find any spectrum or fluorescence. Even the GIA reference guide says that alexandrite can show no fluorescence.

If a color change chrysoberyl shows a chromium spectrum and red fluorescence, it will be named variety “alexandrite”. For a “border line stone” showing a visible color change but an inconclusive spectrum and no fluorescence, the authority issuing the report will then use the master stone to make the decision. If this “border line stone” shows a weaker color change compared to the master stone it will be graded as a chrysoberyl and if it shows a stronger one, it will be graded as an alexandrite.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
I've always been told that alex has to have a chromium chromophore otherwise it's just a CC chrysoberyl as they say here. You can easily see that using a Chelsea filter and/or taking a spectrum. I'm presuming that by 'crossed filter' they intend 'Chelsea filter'?

Can you explain what you mean by fluoresce? Do you mean under SW/LW UV or under a Chelsea filter? :confused:
 

Morbus

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
8
So, taking LovingDiamond's advice to "please buy it before a lurker snaps it from under you", I decided to call David Weinberg and I asked him to hold the stone for me (so it has been taken down from the website). He should get in back from AIGS in the next day or so and as per LovingDiamonds advice, I requested that the stone also be submitted to the GIA. I'm paying the normal $100 for the GIA report, and David offered to pay the extra $100 fee for the rush job (instead of waiting 3 weeks). I thought this was very nice of him. I told David that I would get my finances arranged so that I'd be ready to make the transaction once the GIA report comes back. I plan on posting both of these reports to the forum for everybody's final opinion before making the transaction.

@LovingDiamond, should I still consider overnight FedEx to Richard Sherwood for an appraisal during the inspection period? And should I ask for a market value or an insurance appraisal? I guess I could call him tomorrow and ask him if he'd be willing to do it and what his turn-around time would be, plus how the insurance would work with FedEx since they don't insure loose stones.

I inquired about David's preferred method of payment and he said that credit card was fine, but that if I did a wire transfer then he'd give me a 3% cash discount. (Also in case of my choosing to return the stone, he said he was unsure about whether the credit card company would still charge him the 3% even after a return). Any suggestions on what is the best option for payment? And for a wire transfer this large, what is the best means of doing so? I guess I'm a little hesitant on the wire transfer due to the size and having less transaction protection than via a credit card. Also I saw on Richard Sherwood's site that they can also serve as an escrow and you can have the stone shipped to Sherwood directly from the merchant this way. Is this a good idea?

Anyways, I am quite excited right now, I really hope that I'm still this excited when I receive the AIGS and GIA reports, and I really REALLY hope I'm even MORE excited when I see the stone in person! :D As I said I will post the AIGS and GIA reports once I receive them. Oh, and since I forgot to save an archive of the webpage the stone was listed on, I'll ask David to email the photo and info so that I can post it all here. I have an extreme dislike for buyer's remorse (maybe this is normal, maybe I'm just neurotic?) so everybody hopefully voicing positive opinions will definitely boost my confidence to go through with the transaction!

Thanks to everyone!
 

Morbus

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
8
Here are the current certifications that I have. I'll post the AIG one when I receive it. David said it would take 5 days. Check out the Multicolour PDF for the better photo. Please let me know what everybody thinks?

From Multicolour:

From AIGS:

AIGS Certification.jpg
 

Attachments

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,717
Pandora|1306196923|2928676 said:
I've always been told that alex has to have a chromium chromophore otherwise it's just a CC chrysoberyl as they say here. You can easily see that using a Chelsea filter and/or taking a spectrum. I'm presuming that by 'crossed filter' they intend 'Chelsea filter'?

Can you explain what you mean by fluoresce? Do you mean under SW/LW UV or under a Chelsea filter? :confused:
I mean using my little backlight pen (not sure whether it's SW or LW) but not together with a Chelsea filter. Apologies but I get very confused with SW and LW. Here's a fluor photo of the Alex pear pictured above. You can see that the fluor is bright red - thankfully no yellow halo or orange! It's a while since I checked but I'm pretty sure my Alex show red under the Chelsea filter also. Will check later!

By the way, I was sold a vanadium chrysoberyl that seemed to change colour - very odd. I got the backlight on it and voila, red fluor! I asked David Weinberg about it and he said that it was definitely an Alex with vanadium rather than a Chrysoberyl and the distinguishing factor was the fluor!

Fluor Alex and Emerald.jpg
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,717
Morbus - I always pay by credit card via the Multicolour website but if you think you MAY return the stone or don't want to lose any money then bank transfer might be the better way for you. I can't comment on costs for a bank transfer because I'm in the UK and I would assume it's very different in the US.

I don't think I would have it shipped direct to Richard Sherwood because you'd potentially be paying for a service for a stone you may not love! Get it to you, evaluate it for a few days and FedEx to Richard if you love it. You'll still be within the returns period. I can't recall how long the returns window is with Multicolour but I'm pretty sure that David would be flexible within reason.

In terms of what type of appraisal you should get? Again, this is different in the UK so I hope somebody else chimes in and helps. Why don't you ask Richard what he recommends and then he could talk you through the options.

Good luck with this - I think you'll be pleased. Please do come back and report won't you? Pictures of course are obligatory but be prepared ........... Alexandrite is the most difficult gem in the world to photograph! It's almost impossible to capture the daylight green accurately! If you find out how then please let me know!
 
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