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Can I find out where my antique sapphire is from?

LJsapphire

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I've posted pics in a few threads, and started my own thread in the antique/vintage forum.
I have an Edwardian sapphire & diamond halo/flower ring. The sapphire is so blue, I'd only been looking at new ones on the high street before I saw this and I have never seen anything so vivid. I am not very informed however, I'm learning more as I read this forum! :bigsmile:
The antique dealer my fiancé bought it from wasn't able to tell us much about it and I'd love to find out history of the stone or even the whole ring.
I understand that it's difficult to tell much from photographs, is there any way of finding out?
Thanks :)
 

canuk-gal

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HI:

What documents did you ring come with?

Are you looking for a lab analysis? Appraisal? Have you checked your city for a colored stone gemologist who might be able to supply you with some information? Did your vendor recommend anyone?

I don't know if Gubelin will test set gems (ring) so your center stone would need to be unset from the ring, for analysis. As you are in the UK you could sent it here.

http://www.gubelin.com/en/location-finder/boutiques/gem-lab-luzern

ETA: here is your other thread from Antique Jewellery forum:
[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/antique-sapphire-diamond-cluster-ring.222556/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/antique-sapphire-diamond-cluster-ring.222556/[/URL]

cheers--Sharon
 

LJsapphire

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Thanks for the reply, it didn't come with any documents (as far as I know) but my fiancé took it to another independent jeweller to have it valued by them for insurance purposes. I think this was verbal, he has shown me the receipt from the antique dealer and it describes the sapphire, setting and sizes of the diamonds but nothing else.

I don't think I'd be happy to have it unset, I have to have it sent off to be sized down and I will miss it then! I could ask if the person who is doing the sizing will be able to tell us more.
 

arkieb1

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Some labs will do reports on set stones, it costs a little more but they can do it. Do you have a photo of it? Even with images it would be difficult for anyone to tell, you really need to take it to a lab to have it examined to have a clear idea. Lots of valuers mislabel all sorts of things like Burmese rubies which are top colour from Africa, I've seen sapphires described as "Kashmir" in colour but are not from there.... a decent lab is the best place to go.
 

LJsapphire

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Lots of photos in my thread - Canuk-girl linked to it above for me.
What is a ball park cost for a lab report?
Thanks
 

chrono

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I don't think anyone can tell you its origin or treatment, and most jewellers are not knowledgeable to gauge that. Many labs will take a set stone but I hear that there's no good labs within the UK itself. You can try GIA and Gubelin. Check their website for pricing, which is dependent on the ct weight of the stone.
 

LJsapphire

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Chrono|1462449206|4027551 said:
I don't think anyone can tell you its origin or treatment, and most jewellers are not knowledgeable to gauge that. Many labs will take a set stone but I hear that there's no good labs within the UK itself. You can try GIA and Gubelin. Check their website for pricing, which is dependent on the ct weight of the stone.

Thanks, found the price list on Gubelin :)
 

LJsapphire

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My vendor is a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain - are they no good?

I did a search on the site and I can see a mention in the knowledge pages under diamond appraisals, where it says they are comparable to the GIA.
Does this only apply to diamonds and not coloured stones?
 

chrono

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That is correct; I don't think they have the right equipment for a detailed analysis.
 

LJsapphire

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Yeah I did a search and found that the analysis lab closed because they couldn't fund upgrading equipment.
We'll see what is said when we take it to get resized. I'm not sure my fiancé would want to chase getting it analysed.
It is only for curiosity anyway.
 

chrono

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My concern would be to verify:
1. Is it natural or synthetic
2. Is it diffused
 

chrono

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LJsapphire2304|1462548215|4028104 said:
The ring is 100 years old, why would it be synthetic?
Synthetics have been around since the 1800s and was especially popular during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. They were also not inexpensive at that time!
 

LJsapphire

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I see, I was not aware that they had been around so long.

It does have inclusions, which I read is not common in lab-grown sapphires.
It's set in platinum, I've also since read that synthetics would've been set in cheaper metals.

My fiancé will be disappointed if it does turn out to be synthetic because when we were looking at new rings I suggested having a lab-grown sapphire to save money but he said it should be a natural one.

I have access to microscopes at work, I could have a look in more detail. Once I have done some research into what I need to look for.

I'm pestering my fiancé too much - he says he has told me what the vendor told him. If I ask him any more questions he'll take it back :tongue: :shock:
I'd better let it go. :|

img_11693.jpg
 

sapphiremomma

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No advice but I totally understand how you feel. I have a few vintage rings and it drives me crazy not knowing their history. It's just pure curiosity. I think what's so cool about vintage is that they have a story. And it would be fun knowing what the story is!! It is beautiful by the way!
 

chrono

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I am sorry to distress you. Synthetics were highly prized at one time in the past, so they were very popular and quite expensive, hence were set in platinum. Some synthetics also show inclusions.

Again, I am sorry to cast doubt on what is a very happy occasion and very beautiful ring. I will bow out now. :blackeye:
 

LJsapphire

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I'm not distressed, I was uninformed.

I appreciate the information and the key point is that I won't find out without having it analysed. I don't think my fiancé will want me to send it off and spend money on an appraisal, we are looking to move house and then obviously save for the wedding.
However, the Birmingham Assay office does courses for £200-300 if I had the time and cash to spare!

I still love it, it is just what I wanted from an engagement ring. I'll try not to let my curiosity bother me too much. :sun:
 

chrono

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LJsapphire2304|1462554482|4028154 said:
I still love it, it is just what I wanted from an engagement ring. I'll try not to let my curiosity bother me too much. :sun:
Thank you for your patience and understanding. You love it which counts for a lot! :appl:
 

LJsapphire

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I'm back, I've had a quote for a lab analysis by Birmingham Assay Office (UK) because I can take the ring there myself.
http://anchorcertgemlab.com/

I have yet to have it sized down, and I also enquired about an insurance valuation. Could be about £200 for the lab report and insurance valuation.

I had a look at my stone with a 10x eyepiece lens from one of the microscopes at work. I couldn't look at it properly under the microscope due to the distance between the objective lens & stage. I noticed some spots/bubbles/dirt/scratches. When I got home I got my DSLR out and snapped the following




My fiancé thinks the stone might be older than the setting, I'm wondering if the damage to the milgrain is due to the stone being changed after the setting was made (so in fact newer than the setting).

I'm still researching myself. Why aren't there any "recommended" UK companies or analysis?
I'm torn about getting it tested due to a. the cost b. the time I will have to be without it and, c. the prospect of it being a complete waste of time and coming back saying it's glass. :???:

img_0158__2_.jpg

img_0182__2_.jpg
 

chrono

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That's...a lot of bubbles.
 

LJsapphire

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it's not looking good is it?
Unless it just needs a really good clean. :errrr:
 

chrono

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Unfortunately, it is internal to the sapphire and yes, the sign isn't a good one.
 

LJsapphire

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oh well, at least it answers my question. A bit disappointed/annoyed on my fiancé's behalf. Should the vendor not have specified this?
 

chrono

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The vendor may not be knowledgeable enough to advice so.
 

LJsapphire

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From reading the internet, I had found the answer myself. I came back to the thread to confirm my suspicions.

The vendor from the antique shop was a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. I would expect them to have a bit more knowledge than me. :think:

I guess at least I have an early example of a synthetic flame fusion sapphire (possibly).
 

Gloria27

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LJsapphire2304|1462823381|4029418 said:
From reading the internet, I had found the answer myself. I came back to the thread to confirm my suspicions.

The vendor from the antique shop was a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. I would expect them to have a bit more knowledge than me. :think:

I guess at least I have an early example of a synthetic flame fusion sapphire (possibly).
Those inclusion could be guest crystals not bubbles, don't give up just yet :)
 

sapphiremomma

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do you have a nice jeweler in town? I've gone in before to mine and just asked if they could tell if it was natural or synthetic. Tell them you are thinking about having it appraised but don't want to waste your money if it's synthetic.
 

LJsapphire

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I'm not sure, I'm new to all this. I haven't really got any good jewellery apart from my previous engagement ring. Most jewellers nearby are chain stores. There is a family run business in town but I'm sure they charge.

I'm upset for my fiancé if he has paid a lot of money for something that wasn't what he thought it was. He is usually so careful and researches things well before he buys. I'm upset that my curiosity has taken the shine off my engagement ring. I still love it's appearance and nobody else will know. But we do. If it isn't natural I wonder if there is anything we can do about it.
 

sapphiremomma

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I am so sorry! Is there anyway to get up with the original vendor? I would seriously take it into the local family run store and just ask. Couldn't hurt. In my experience, other jewelry lovers love looking at people's jewelry and would probably give you an honest opinion without charging. Its not like you are asking for an appraisal, just to know if the stone is synthetic or not. Of course all of this depends on how knowledgable the jeweler is…

If it is synthetic, would you still keep it or perhaps put a different stone in the setting? It is lovely!
 
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