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corundum conundrum - help me choose a Pad, please!

NKOTB

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jun 5, 2011
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2,025
I've been thinking about a pad sapphire lately, and have come across two that are possibly in the running. If you were to choose between a smaller, SI pear that is unheated (0.65 ct) vs. a larger, heated, cleaner oval (1.7 ct) at about three times the cost, which would you choose, and why? Assume they are both the same colour.

(Incidentally, there is also a VVS emerald cut one in the midst of being verified as unheated that is over my budget and more on the pink side, but if anyone is interested, I can send you in the right direction, after I've made my decision, if I'm allowed to do that?)
 

VapidLapid

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
4,267
Neither. Pads are the most contentious of stones. Everybody wants one, no one knows for sure what they are. they will need lab reports verifying they are pad, endless photographs so we can all argue why they are, or are not pads, and whether they are nice pads or nice not pads.....simply not a subject one can choose between two stones one has com across, it can take years to find a pad. Since the premium charged for them is so high a great deal of time and consideration will likely be spent hunting for one. There have been a few very informative pad threads here in the last two years. Search for them first.
 

NKOTB

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 5, 2011
Messages
2,025
Thanks for your input. I will do a more thorough search. Please let me know if there are any threads in particular that you think might be helpful.

What if I removed the "pad" part? Say, two blue sapphires of a similar colour. Would you go for the smaller and more included, but cheaper and untreated one, or larger/cleaner/more expensive/heated?
 

SB621

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
7,863
NKOTB|1317166334|3027367 said:
Thanks for your input. I will do a more thorough search. Please let me know if there are any threads in particular that you think might be helpful.

What if I removed the "pad" part? Say, two blue sapphires of a similar colour. Would you go for the smaller and more included, but cheaper and untreated one, or larger/cleaner/more expensive/heated?
I would wait to find one that I wouldn't have to "settle" on.
 

Arkteia

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 3, 2009
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7,565
If you are looking where I am looking, they have many beautiful pads and I'd discuss it with the vendor. Many of the ones I am seeing now have been certified.
 

NKOTB

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Messages
2,025
crasru|1317180155|3027550 said:
If you are looking where I am looking, they have many beautiful pads and I'd discuss it with the vendor. Many of the ones I am seeing now have been certified.
Two are with one vendor - the one out of my budget (but cheaper than a lot I've seen) is in the process of getting certified, and the one I'm considering is probably not worth certifying, since it's under 400 dollars - doesn't the cert process cost at least half of that? The larger one I was considering is at a local pawn shop/jeweler, and they would send it to a lab at their cost prior to purchase. I'm still mulling over the smaller one, if I buy either one, even though it does have a very slight brown modifier. (I found this thread quite interesting: [URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/do-you-think-this-pad-has-brown-undertones.127615/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/do-you-think-this-pad-has-brown-undertones.127615/[/URL] ) .
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
If it was a choice between two blue sapphires of equal colour, and of the colour that made my heart sing and I was choosing between smaller, included and unheated or larger, cleaner and heated then I would choose the latter every time.

I have no issues with heat-treatment and would prefer a larger cleaner stone over a smaller included stone as these are characteristics that are visibly obvious.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,517
So you aren't really wanting the name but a specific colour that you like, be it considered a padparadscha or just a pink or orange sapphire by the major labs, correct? If you really want a padparadscha, then make sure AGL or GIA deem it the right colour to have them consider it worthy of the name padparadscha since you are paying a premium for the name. AGL offers the Fast Track brief for $55 or so, if I am not mistaken.

Given the choice, colour trumps it for me every time. As long as it is plainly heated (no added minerals or diffusion), I'm fine with that.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,695
NKOTB|1317203560|3027690 said:
crasru|1317180155|3027550 said:
If you are looking where I am looking, they have many beautiful pads and I'd discuss it with the vendor. Many of the ones I am seeing now have been certified.
Two are with one vendor - the one out of my budget (but cheaper than a lot I've seen) is in the process of getting certified, and the one I'm considering is probably not worth certifying, since it's under 400 dollars - doesn't the cert process cost at least half of that? The larger one I was considering is at a local pawn shop/jeweler, and they would send it to a lab at their cost prior to purchase. I'm still mulling over the smaller one, if I buy either one, even though it does have a very slight brown modifier. (I found this thread quite interesting: [URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/do-you-think-this-pad-has-brown-undertones.127615/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/do-you-think-this-pad-has-brown-undertones.127615/[/URL] ) .

If the title of "Padparadscha" is not important then you're ok with the description (and price) you've stated. As this has a slight brown modifier, according to the definition I posted above, this wouldn't be classified as a Padparadscha. If it were, the price would almost definitely be over $400.

If something is calling to you AND you feel the price is right, buy it!
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Sep 20, 2008
Messages
23,283
LovingDiamonds|1317161645|3027288 said:
I'm afraid it would be a "neither" for me as well and for all the same reasons as stated so eloquently by VL.

IF and only IF I was going to get one, I would follow the only guideline available: http://www.lmhc-gemology.org/pdfs/IS4_18012010.pdf
I don't like their guidelines, as saturation is not a key thing when it comes to padparadshas. Personally, I would rather have a pink/orange spinel and save myself a lot of money. I can pay far less for unsaturated pink/orange gems. The marketing names of "sapphire" and "padparadscha" do not entice me enough to spend more.
 

gongli

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 24, 2011
Messages
82
as a newbie, i bought 2 blue sapphires recently. at first i liked my smaller concave cut heated round .8ct over my untreated oval native cut 1.21ct. the vendor photos were comparable in terms of color, and price per carat was the same. then i had them set, and now i slightly prefer the untreated. for me, the fact that the untreated has produced an amazing color in the setting gives me even more satisfaction.

though i'd like to never settle, i'm not sure that's going to be possible... the more i read and learn and look on gem dealers' websites, the more i see new and cool things that i want. sometimes preferences change because of the setting, like mine did. maybe at some point i'll be pretty familiar with everything, but that hasn't happened yet.

likewise, maybe it would've been better to have bought just 1 stone and setting with the money for instead the 2 stones and 2 settings. i could have put all the money for the second ring into just 1 stone, along with its original budget, giving me roughly 3x more money to spend on 1 stone. i actually don't regret that part since for me its much more interesting to have 1 concave ring and 1 untreated, and even with 3x more money i havent seen anything id rather have in a single stone. so maybe i didn't settle on that, or maybe i will see something next week that will make me think i did settle....

btw i've been wondering what's the difference between ceylon and sri lanka as stone origins? are ceylon stones mined/cut from before sri lanka's independence, or from some specific historic part of sri lanka? if its just customary, i wonder if it's slightly disrespectful to call it ceylon since that is sri lanka's colonial name?
 

Harriet

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
12,823
To answer Gongli's question, there is no difference between "Ceylon" and "Sri Lanka" with respect to gems. It's somewhat akin to how "Burma" and "Myanmar" are used interchangeably.

Whether or not a gem meets the 'definition' of "padparadscha" does not bother me. Unfortunately for me, a vivid orange-pink sapphire will cost an arm and a leg, even though it does not carry the name premium.
 

NKOTB

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 5, 2011
Messages
2,025
Thank you all for your input. It has made me realize: a) I don't really care if it is deemed a "padparadscha" by a lab, as long as I like the colour. b) Although I don't necessarily care about heat treatment either, I also like when a stone is just as it is from the earth - it's part of my fascination with CS to begin with.

I alternate between thinking I should just save up and get a few really high end stones, and liking having lots of cheaper (though not necessarily cheap) ones. But then there is setting them, so maybe the fewer the better. Also, I am a social worker, so wearing lots of bling to work isn't necessarily appropriate, and I need to make sure I have enough occasion to wear pieces I make.

When I spoke to the salesperson at the store with the larger, heated stone, he said: "All stones are heated, that's how they get their colour." Uhhhh...What?

The vendor of the smaller pear sent me an email saying that she thought I should wait until I find a stone that I am 100 percent sure about.

So, it looks like I'm back to the hunt.

TL, I actually had my eye on a beautiful orange-pink spinel of Tan's, but it seems to have sold. I won a small one of his recently, which is pretty, so maybe I should just consider that as an itch scratch for now. I just wasn't sure if orange-pink spinels and orange-pink sapphires look similar in person. Has anyone looked at them side by side in person, by any chance?
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
23,283
NKOTB|1317262606|3028416 said:
TL, I actually had my eye on a beautiful orange-pink spinel of Tan's, but it seems to have sold. I won a small one of his recently, which is pretty, so maybe I should just consider that as an itch scratch for now. I just wasn't sure if orange-pink spinels and orange-pink sapphires look similar in person. Has anyone looked at them side by side in person, by any chance?
I personally think there are orange pink spinels that look identical to orange pink sapphires, having seen both in person. I actually like that spinels are not heated/treated as well.

Here is mine. I've seen sapphires labeled padparadschas that look identical but cost a lot more, as much as ten times more, and for a heated gem.

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/padparadscha-spinel.138788/?hilit=padparadscha spinel
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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23,283
This is very pretty, but it's a bit expensive for a spinel, however spinel prices have gone up substantially since I bought mine. Yet, if this were an unheated sapphire, it would be many times this price.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-33ct-Extr...309?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a6ad8ccf5

Here's one that is heat treated, about 20 points smaller, same hue, although slightly lighter in tone, wonky cut (too deep), and they want nearly $2K for it. Compare the video of this one to the video of the above one. I think you would be hardpressed to know which one is a sapphire and which one is a spinel.

http://www.thenaturalsapphirecompany.com/Sapphires/Padparadscha/PA2249/Oval/stoneid=PA2249
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
gongli|1317244182|3028178 said:
as a newbie, i bought 2 blue sapphires recently. at first i liked my smaller concave cut heated round .8ct over my untreated oval native cut 1.21ct. the vendor photos were comparable in terms of color, and price per carat was the same. then i had them set, and now i slightly prefer the untreated. for me, the fact that the untreated has produced an amazing color in the setting gives me even more satisfaction.

though i'd like to never settle, i'm not sure that's going to be possible... the more i read and learn and look on gem dealers' websites, the more i see new and cool things that i want. sometimes preferences change because of the setting, like mine did. maybe at some point i'll be pretty familiar with everything, but that hasn't happened yet.

likewise, maybe it would've been better to have bought just 1 stone and setting with the money for instead the 2 stones and 2 settings. i could have put all the money for the second ring into just 1 stone, along with its original budget, giving me roughly 3x more money to spend on 1 stone. i actually don't regret that part since for me its much more interesting to have 1 concave ring and 1 untreated, and even with 3x more money i havent seen anything id rather have in a single stone. so maybe i didn't settle on that, or maybe i will see something next week that will make me think i did settle....

btw i've been wondering what's the difference between ceylon and sri lanka as stone origins? are ceylon stones mined/cut from before sri lanka's independence, or from some specific historic part of sri lanka? if its just customary, i wonder if it's slightly disrespectful to call it ceylon since that is sri lanka's colonial name?

The reason you now prefer the larger stone is because of how it performs rather than the fact it is unheated (which has no impact on the visual appearance - except possibly the internal inclusions which are not automatically visible)?

Re Ceylon and Sri Lanka, it is used very interchangeably over there for all sorts of things. None of the Sri Lankan's I have talked to have any issues with being a former British colony (one person I asked said 'let's just say that we haven't laid a foot of railway track since you guys left!) - not all colonialism was bad!

'Ceylon' sapphire is a moniker that commands a certain respect and so it is not in Sri Lankan gem dealers best interests to dispense with it. Most gemstones in Sri Lanka come from a small rural area in the south of the country called 'Ratnapura' - literally translates as 'City of Gems', although the term 'city' is pushing it a bit since the whole place is only about 3 streets!

With Burma/Myanmar, it's slightly more political - in the UK we use the name Burma not Myanmar as the latter is a name imposed by the Junta. My next-door neighbours are Burmese and also call their country Burma. Again the name 'Burmese Ruby' can command a significant premium.
 

NKOTB

Ideal_Rock
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TL|1317270478|3028508 said:
This is very pretty, but it's a bit expensive for a spinel, however spinel prices have gone up substantially since I bought mine. Yet, if this were an unheated sapphire, it would be many times this price.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-33ct-Extr...309?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a6ad8ccf5

Here's one that is heat treated, about 20 points smaller, same hue, although slightly lighter in tone, wonky cut (too deep), and they want nearly $2K for it. Compare the video of this one to the video of the above one. I think you would be hardpressed to know which one is a sapphire and which one is a spinel.

http://www.thenaturalsapphirecompany.com/Sapphires/Padparadscha/PA2249/Oval/stoneid=PA2249
Your spinel is beautiful, TL! And you're right, that NSC sapphire is very deep, and not as nice as Tan's spinel.

I've also been in touch with a vendor who has a tourmaline that is apparently a similar colour. Should I stick to sapphire or spinel? I'm not too hard on my rings, but don't want something that will get damaged relatively easily.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Sep 20, 2008
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NKOTB|1317303526|3028664 said:
TL|1317270478|3028508 said:
This is very pretty, but it's a bit expensive for a spinel, however spinel prices have gone up substantially since I bought mine. Yet, if this were an unheated sapphire, it would be many times this price.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-33ct-Extr...309?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a6ad8ccf5

Here's one that is heat treated, about 20 points smaller, same hue, although slightly lighter in tone, wonky cut (too deep), and they want nearly $2K for it. Compare the video of this one to the video of the above one. I think you would be hardpressed to know which one is a sapphire and which one is a spinel.

http://www.thenaturalsapphirecompany.com/Sapphires/Padparadscha/PA2249/Oval/stoneid=PA2249
Your spinel is beautiful, TL! And you're right, that NSC sapphire is very deep, and not as nice as Tan's spinel.

I've also been in touch with a vendor who has a tourmaline that is apparently a similar colour. Should I stick to sapphire or spinel? I'm not too hard on my rings, but don't want something that will get damaged relatively easily.
Thank you!

A tourmaline will not look as much like a sapphire as a spinel will. Spinels have a higher refractive index, and they're way more durable than tourmaline. If you want something that is a dead ringer for a padparadscha, I'd get a spinel. If you just want a pink/orange stone, then get a tourmaline, a malaya garnet or a morganite.
 
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