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Can I replace this diamond with a colored stone?

Discussion in 'Colored Gemstones' started by tweeter8177, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. tweeter8177
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by tweeter8177 » Feb 13, 2015
    Hi all!
    I am thinking about resetting my engagement ring diamond into a new setting, which will leave me with an empty 3 stone setting. It is a beautiful setting by Steven Kirsch, so I would love to put a colored stone in it and wear it as a RHR. The problem is finding a colored stone that will “fit” in it, because I am guessing I will be quite restricted in dimensions. The diamond in the setting is 9.44 - 9.48 x 5.9mm and I am guessing I will need to stay within 0.2-0.3mm on each of those dimensions.

    I really would like a red or blue (medium to dark) stone or possibly a deep pink. I was thinking a tourmaline or a spinel for my budget but I have very limited knowledge on colored stones! I could also consider a heated sapphire maybe? I also like tanzanite and that would be budget friendly. From poking around, it seems like these types of stones are cut deeper so depth could be a problem (there isn’t much room as my setting is very low profile)? I don’t really have a fixed budget, so maybe up to $8-9K (<$5K ideal).

    Am I looking for a needle in a haystack? Am I on the right track for type of stone? I certainly enjoy researching, but I feel the colored stone world is so vast! I am hoping you can give me a starting point on types of stones that could work given the budget, color and size I am looking for. If you happen to know of specific stone, that would work too!

    Thank you!

    Here is a picture of the setting.
    img_1726.jpg
    img_1524.jpg
     
    


    


  2. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Feb 13, 2015
    The limitation of it being a round (ovals are the most common shape for CS), the depth (setting is extremely low set) and the precise 9.5 mm measurements all add to the challenge. The good thing is that you have a healthy budget and no time limitation.

    How do you plan to wear this ring? Pretty much everyday or once a while? When you wear it, do you plan to baby it or you want to just wear and forget about it? If you need something hardy, sapphire and spinel are the way to go. If you don't mind babying it, tourmaline is a good option.

    9.5 mm puts you in the 4 carat range for sapphire and spinel. Toumaline is less dense and would be around 3 carats. You might have to consider something custom cut. I don't think a 4 ct heated sapphire will be under $5K, not if you want decent colour.
     
  3. tweeter8177
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by tweeter8177 » Feb 13, 2015
    Thanks Chrono!

    I would probably wear the ring 1-2 times per week and I always take off my jewelry at home so I guess I baby my jewelry. I think a softer stone would work fine with my lifestyle (office job). A custom cut stone is interesting. Of the type of stones mentioned, what type(s) make sense for custom cut? Is there a trusted vendor that would make sense to reach out too?

    Thanks again!
     
  4. by SparkliesLuver » Feb 13, 2015
    Since you baby your jewelry, and it'd be an occasional wear RHR anyway, I have to suggest these:

    1) I know you said medium to dark, but I find this aquamarine so lovely. I know green isn't always desirable in them, but I like it and appreciate that he didn't heat it.

    2) A garnet. It's a darker red, as desired. Both are 9.1mm. If you're interested, I'd be happy to post all the details.

    3) And I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention this one. It's above your budget, and it may be a bit too large, but ... :naughty:

    aqub4.jpg

    grg4.jpg

    sapphirebluerd5_60ct_9550a.jpg
     
    


    


  5. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Feb 13, 2015
    Just a general thought: go for a high RI stone (aquamarine has low RI) because they don't need to be cut deeply to look nice (windowing and tilt windowing). The reason I mentioned custom cutting is because the lapidary can make sure to get everything right for you (round shape, close enough colour, specific mm size, and depth not too deep to fit the current setting).

    Richard Homer of Concave Cut - www.concavegems.com
    Gary Braun of Fine Water Gems - www.finewatergems.com (not sure if he does commissions)
    Jerry Newman of Gem Art - www.gemartservices.com
    Gene Flanigan of Precision Gems - www.precisiongem.com (I thought he no longer accept commissions but did one recently so I am confused).
    Roger Dery of Spectral Gems - www.spectralgems.net (not sure if he does commissions)
    Jeff White of White's Gems - www.whitesgems.com
     
  6. iLander
    Ideal_Rock

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    by iLander » Feb 13, 2015
    I think you have a bit of latitude on the stone size. I think you can do a 9.25 -10 mm stone, based on the rule of thumb a jeweler once told me: For every mm of setting size, the stone can vary by 0.1 mm. So, 9.5 mm can vary by 0.9. I say 9.25, because you don't want the stone too low.

    Or, you'd be surprised, a jeweler might be able to just pop the old head out and replace it with most any shape. I have had ID Jewelry do weird stuff for me, along these lines, and they have all the NYC diamond district resources at their fingertips. Once you find a stone, you should contact them. They also do claw prongs that are just art! :appl:
     
  7. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Feb 13, 2015
    iLander,
    The setting is a handforged setting that costs $$$$$ so I don't think the OP will want the jeweller to make any alterations to it, such as swapping the basket. I would do so on a CAD/cast setting but not for a Steven Kirsch setting.
     
  8. dk168
    Ideal_Rock

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    by dk168 » Feb 13, 2015
    Chrono,

    Re: Gene, I guess some of the ladies on PS are very persistent and do not give up easily.

    DK :bigsmile:
     
  9. dk168
    Ideal_Rock

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    by dk168 » Feb 13, 2015
    Jeff White cut me this 9mm Rubellite Tourmaline and I love it. Not sure if he has anymore roughs in that size, however, it is worth contacting him to enquire.

    His pic:
    tml110.jpg

    My pics:
    jwrubellite_01.jpg
    jwrubellite_02.jpg

    Good luck with your search.

    DK :))
     
  10. dk168
    Ideal_Rock

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    by dk168 » Feb 13, 2015
    Here is a pic of Jeff White's blue zircons, surrounded by roughs that are still available:

    jwbluezircons_774910_922022044479457_2684040993265296929_o.jpg

    DK :love:
     
    


    


  11. iLander
    Ideal_Rock

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    by iLander » Feb 13, 2015
    Oh. :oops: The subtleties in a lot of PS settings are seriously lost on me . . . :)

    But I do really like the prongs on this one.

    I guess I should check out some of these fancy settings out in real life.
     
  12. dk168
    Ideal_Rock

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    by dk168 » Feb 13, 2015
    The penny dropped re: the cost of the setting when I read it was made by SK, as I have been on PS long enough to know the quality of workmanship by SK/VC/LM does not come cheap!

    DK :))
     
  13. tweeter8177
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by tweeter8177 » Feb 13, 2015
    Thanks everyone! Boy there is a lot to learn on colored stones! RI was a new term and while I found out what it is, yikes! :lol: Yes, my SK setting wasn't cheap, so that is why I want to be able to repurpose it. Right now, I am just researching my options and I was concerned it would be impossible to find a CS that would fit it. It sounds like custom cut might be the best route to go, Thanks for the suggestion Chrono and the vendor suggestions!

    Also, thanks DK and SparkliesLuver for posting some inspiration ideas! Boy i would love that blue sapphire but I would imagine it is WAY out of my price range! I also like the Rubellite Tourmaline, it is a really pretty red!

    I have a tons of questions, but I will just ask a couple more for now. Given the diameter requirement and the quite limited depth requirement, are there types of CS (spinel, sapphire, tourmaline, and tanzanite specifically) that definitely wouldn't work...meaning they are always cut deeper than a diamond for color/cut purposes? Sorry if that is dumb to ask, but this is new to me and I am just trying narrow my focus a bit. Of these types of stones, are there any that would look best in a round shape and more importantly in this setting?

    I have a lot of research to do! Any additional advice is welcome!!
     
  14. NKOTB
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by NKOTB » Feb 14, 2015
    In my (relatively) limited experience, the depth really varies according to the particular stone, i.e. Whether it was a recut, etc.

    Lisa Elser often has bigger rounds, or rough that will cut them, she'd be worth an ask.

    As a personal side note, thanks for the info, iLander!
     
  15. pregcurious
    Ideal_Rock

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    by pregcurious » Feb 14, 2015
    I think you will get the best answers from a lapidary in terms of which species could be cut to the needed dimensions without resulting in a window.

    You may want to look at the stones and prices for the different lapidaries that Chrono suggested. Some have stock stones for sale that will give you an idea on price. Two other lapidaries that do not do custom cutting but have a good range of stones with prices are Master Cut Gems and Gemfix.

    The cutters have different styles of cutting and eye for color. I would go with the one who you believe is going to work best with you and give you a product you will love.
     
    


    


  16. tweeter8177
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by tweeter8177 » Feb 19, 2015
    Hi again! I have had a chance to look at some different stones this week and I have fallen in love with tanzanites. I saw a handful and I really like the deeper blue color that is less violet (I think that is how to describe it). I know it is a very soft stone. Am I nuts to consider it for my setting? I think the best idea is to have a stone cut specific to fit my setting, so given a tanzanite, would you recommend a specific lapidary? I know I would have to baby it, but I would only wear it 1-2 times a week.

    Thanks!
     
  17. ElleW
    Shiny_Rock
    Trade

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    by ElleW » Feb 20, 2015
    Generally speaking, lapidaries try to work within the rough they have, and try to not go out and buy more rough to complete one order. I would recommend reaching out to multiple lapidaries and describing what you want/need and your situation to see who can best fulfill your desires.
     
  18. by SparkliesLuver » Feb 20, 2015
    I'd highly recommend this tanzanite. :love: :lickout: It's a large round at 10mm. Let me know if you're interested, then I can post the link. ETA: It's within your ideal budget, by the way.

    _569.png
     
  19. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Feb 20, 2015
    All CS will be cut deeper than a diamond if they are to avoid cut issues. The only exception might be demantoid and sphene. Demantoids are generally very small and expensive whilst sphenes are not meant as ring stones. I'm not sure about blue zircon but think you might be able to get away with it. Due to your very stringent requirements dictated by the setting, it is best that you reach out to a specific lapidary to work with him/her. He/she will have to see what is in their inventory or set out to procure the right faceting material for you.
     
  20. tweeter8177
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by tweeter8177 » Feb 20, 2015
    Thanks for the additional feedback! I have sent an email to SK to see if he can give me some guidance on size I can go with, so maybe he will have some helpful information for me.

    SparkliesLuver - You find beautiful stones!!! :love: I do think 10mm will be a bit big though. I will probably have have a better shot with going smaller, maybe 9mm.

    Chrono - I get the impression from your last post that you don't think the setting will work at all for most colored stones because of the depth? I certainly don't want to waste anyone's time if it isn't possible. Maybe I should look into having the basket reconstructed for a deeper stone. I guess it really doesn't matter if it is an expensive SK setting if it sits around empty!
     
  21. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Feb 20, 2015
    The bolded is correct. It is possible but it is incredibly limiting and challenging. Again, it is best to touch base with a lapidary to confirm this.
     
  22. tweeter8177
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by tweeter8177 » Feb 22, 2015
    I was checking out all the vendor recommendations yesterday and came across this Tanzanite. What do you think about it? The diameter is perfect but probably still a tad deep. I am hoping SK will get back to me on what dimensions will work next week. I will also reach out to various lapidaries about cutting a stone as recommended, but I read that some of the cutters take pre-owned stones and cut them better. Could that be an option with this stone or something similar? Also, does the hardness on a tanzanite vary? This one says 7.5 but there is another one that was 6.5-7.0, same vendor.

    Stats on this Tanzanite:
    Dimensions (L x W x D) (mm): 9.50 x 9.50 x 6.40
    Shape: Round
    Color: Vivid Blue
    Clarity: IF
    Treatment(s): Heat
    Origin: Tanzania
    Hardness: 7.5

    I also ran into a tourmaline described as "A Vivid Medium Light Pure Pink". I wasn't looking at pink but this one caught my eye because I tend to like lighter pinks versus hot pink. The vendor will get back to me with the depth tomorrow. Is this or the tanzanite worth pursuing further (additional pictures)?

    Stats on Tourmaline:
    Dimensions: 9.5 mm
    Clarity: Eye Clean
    Make: Very Good
    Symmetry: Very Good
    Treatment: No Treatment

    Thanks!

    Pictures:
    tanzanite.jpg
    round-pink-tourmaline-g2k-92479989.jpg
     
  23. dk168
    Ideal_Rock

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    by dk168 » Feb 22, 2015
    I am no expert, however, the Tanzanite looks kind of dull to me, whereas I like the look of the pink Tourmaline.

    DK :))
     
  24. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Feb 23, 2015
    Recutting is risky and the buyer bears the risk of it not turning out well (losing saturation, cracks developing, zoning showing up, etc). Not all stones are good candidates and even experienced lapidaries have been surprised by what they thought would turn out well. The tanzanite looks fine and recutting it may cause other effect you might not want.

    Tanzanite is 6.5 on the Moh's scale and has perfect cleavage, meaning it can easily break when hit with a hard and/or sharp object.
     
  25. tweeter8177
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by tweeter8177 » Feb 23, 2015
    Thanks DK and Chrono! I got a little more feedback from Steven and he said I could go down to 8.5mm in diameter, so I think that will help make this a bit easier? I realize it is still not as ideal, but at least I have a little more flexibility in diameter to allow for the depth limitations. BTW, the tourmaline I posted was 7mm in depth so that is out, but I sure loved the color!
     
  26. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Feb 24, 2015
    The possibility of dropping down to 8.5 mm is great news and I would shop for that face up size and go from there.
     
  27. Bishbunch
    Rough_Rock

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    by Bishbunch » Jul 11, 2015
    Shortly in the future I will be setting a 3 carat stone for my wedding ring on my LH. I am debating between the three-stone LM setting like you have or going with a solitaire setting with possibly a bit of enhancement on sides and a wedding band. I have seen at least four PSer’s reset their three-stone setting after a couple of years and now I see you are considering it also. Is there something you don’t like about the setting or is it more of a LH ring? Or are you just looking for a change? Whatever I set it in, I will be having it a long time and I really want to make sure it is the right setting for me. Thanks for your input!
     
  28. Bishbunch
    Rough_Rock

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    by Bishbunch » Jul 11, 2015
    Meant to say RH ring.
     
  29. tweeter8177
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by tweeter8177 » Jul 11, 2015
    Bishbunch - Good question. I love my ring most of the time (and I have not reset it yet). I have been to many jewelry stores and the sales associates think I am nuts to reset my ring, because the 3 stone ring is such a classic, elegant setting. My ring is super comfortable and very blingy. For me, the only thing that bugs me about it is how low the setting is. It has bothered my from day 1, but I wore very high settings previous to my reset, so it was a big adjustment! Most PSers want a low setting! The other thing for me is when I chose the style, I tried on a gazillion rings to figure out what I wanted, but I never never tried on a solitaire! I thought they were boring and I wouldn't like it. Well, I finally tried on a solitaire after my reset when I was helping a friend pick an engagement ring and I fell in love with it! So, if I do reset my ring, I will get a solitaire.

    I also think that in general, you are going to see more PSers reset their rings than IRL. For me it is more about change than the setting itself. I honestly do love my setting and the reason I haven't moved forward with the reset is that I don't want to regret it and miss my 3 stone! I go back and forth on the reset all the time! I hope that helps.
     
  30. Bishbunch
    Rough_Rock

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    by Bishbunch » Jul 11, 2015
    I think that is exactly my hesitation. For 20 years I had a 1.56 ct OEC solitaire on a wide band with an eternity wedding band. It sat high and I was very happy with it for many years. I reset it ten years ago into a five stone ring. It is set low and I do not like the quality of the setting the jeweler made. Just have not been happy with it. I am upgrading to a 3.0 ct MRB and have lurking extensively on PS learning about diamonds and looking at settings. I truly love the three stone with side pears but am starting to have second thoughts that I may want a solitaire again. I think you are right - I need to try on a solitaire and really think about it before making a decision. Your ring is absolutely beautiful and I can understand how jewelers would think you are crazy to think of resetting. However, it would be stunning set with a colored stone and be a gorgeous RH ring. Can’t wait to see what you decide!
     

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