Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Diamond or not

keara115

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
12
My wife and I recently came across a ring left to her by her mother. Her mom bought it almost 20 years ago as an orange diamond and tested with a thermal probe it immediately tests positive for diamond and the Refractive Index as tested by a Graduate Gemologist showed it as OTL and a diamond. The GG then turned around and said she didn't think it was a diamond but rather a Spesspartite Garnet. She said that sometimes they will test positive. Well I had never seen or heard of this before so I'm dubious about her decision considering she was attempting to purchase items from me. As an example she offered $900 for a .90 color G VS1 round diamond and I thought that was very low.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

ringo865

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Messages
2,394
Yah. No.
Spessartite garnet Refractive Index: 1.790 to 1.820
Refractive index of a diamond: 2.417

Get another opinion, especially if you're selling these. You want to know what you have so you know what they're worth (on the second hand market). The buyer will know what you have. So they will have the advantage if you don't know what that is. B
 

keara115

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
12
Thank you for your response and that is what we thought. My wife is much more knowledgeable but I've read enough to know that something did not sound right. In fact I have a second orange stone that also tests positive and is 3.43 carats and nearly perfect so I'm very suspect. Thanks again for your input.
 

PS34one

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
51
Thermal testers are not intended to be used on Colored gems of any kind because they are unreliable, that why the GG didn't trust it.
As far as the RI, when you take a RI on the refractometer you cant get a reading above 8.0, that's why both spessartite and Diamond read OTL, so really an OTL RI proves nothing. Especially considering there are a number of other gems that are OTL. To prove a Garnet the best bet is a Spectroscope reading to determine the specie of Garnet. Plus Dispersion, and magnification. The GG is aware of all this but probably didn't want to go through all the elimination tests so she gave her educated opinion. If you feel uneasy, a second opinion is always a great idea but a full identification is probably the rout to take. :) Good luck!!
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,838
Thermal testers are useless for this.

The normal limit on the tool for measuring refractive index is 1.81 and sometimes as low as 1.79 depending on what they're using. OTL reading on spessartite is typical.

Separating spessartite from diamond usually isn't that difficult by the way.

All that said, an offer to buy is not an appraisal. If you want an appraisal, hire someone who isn't involved in the deal.
 

keara115

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
12
Thanks for all of the information regarding OTL and the additional information. Still not sure what the stones are but I did try the sandpaper test and the stone did not scratch in the least. Not sure why a thermal tester would not be appropriate for colored stones as the one I have identifies colored stones as some of the test objects. All of the stones test negative except for the diamonds so I'm still somewhat confused.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,287
Yikes!!! Don't use sandpaper! If it's not diamond, you still don't want to scratch it!

You need an independent appraiser who does NOT purchase items he or she appraises. Yeah, $900 for a GIA .9 G VS1 diamond is absurd unless that is a totally inaccurate grade and not GIA.

There are independent appraisers listed here:

https://www.pricescope.com/appraisers

If you call one, tell them you are under no circumstances in selling and just want an accurate appraisal for insurance purposes.
 

John P

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
3,563
denverappraiser|1470157640|4061696 said:
...an offer to buy is not an appraisal. If you want an appraisal, hire someone who isn't involved in the deal.
+1
 

keara115

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
12
OK, thanks everyone and I'm going to carry them to an independent appraiser. No more sandpaper but at least it did not scratch the surface and it was very rough sandpaper. It did however dull the paper. I'll try to let everyone know how it turns out. I did find a receipt from the original jewelry store that set the stone and found that the setting/mounting and labor costs were over 3,000 almost 20 years ago, and they gave her a discount of 60%! Right!
 

keara115

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
12
I also thought it was absurd and it is GIA certified for that color and clarity as are the accent stones. 1.54 CTW for the 14k ring and I was offered $900, just didn't seem right to me so I kept everything. Thank you for the feedback.
 

John P

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
3,563
keara115|1470232920|4062042 said:
OK, thanks everyone and I'm going to carry them to an independent appraiser. No more sandpaper but at least it did not scratch the surface and it was very rough sandpaper. It did however dull the paper. I'll try to let everyone know how it turns out. I did find a receipt from the original jewelry store that set the stone and found that the setting/mounting and labor costs were over 3,000 almost 20 years ago, and they gave her a discount of 60%! Right!
I think that's a good call. It sounds like a beautiful ring.

Do be selective when seeking an appraiser, as experience and agendas vary. A true "independent appraiser" will be someone who does not sell gems or jewelry themselves and is working for you, not a store. If you're in the USA here's a starting list: https://www.pricescope.com/appraisers If you mention what part of the country you're in some of the regulars may provide further recommendations.
 

keara115

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
12
Thank you John for your response. I am in the southeastern part of North Carolina. I took the ring to a jeweler yesterday, an older gentleman in my community, and he looked at it briefly and said he had been doing this for 60 years and that the stone was a padparadscha sapphire. It seems too orange to me to be a padparadscha but he swore it was. He did identify another orange stone that the other person identified as a spessartite as being an orange diamond.
 

luv2sparkle

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
7,814
OMG please post pictures!!! I am dying to see it!!!
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,477
Sapphire of any color will test as diamond on some diamond testers. On testers which show the a range of heat absorption instead of just yes for diamond, no for not diamond, one can separate sapphire from diamond and also use them to tell a few other similar looking stones apart, but not with 100% assurance. I have not seen any garnet which had any degree of heat absorption similar to sapphire (corundum). They tend to be inert to thermal diamond testers as much as CZ is inert.

You can tell blue topaz and syn spinel from aquamarine with a range revealing thermal probe. Synthetic spinel and spinel absorb heat while aqua does not, but further testing is always a better bet. You'd be well advised using a refractometer for such testing, but no harm in finding out the characteristics of gemstones with whatever tools you have for those times when you are not fully equipped.
 

ringo865

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Messages
2,394
luv2sparkle|1470319220|4062455 said:
OMG please post pictures!!! I am dying to see it!!!
This^^ show us everything!! :lickout:
 

keara115

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
12
OK, I'm a terrible photographer but this is a rough picture of the stone in question.

20160805_084850.jpg
 

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
7,961
keara115|1470186349|4061899 said:
Still not sure what the stones are but I did try the sandpaper test and the stone did not scratch in the least..
<Thud>
 

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
7,961
keara115|1470402911|4062752 said:
Maybe better
Hi Keara -

I'm not sure if this is the stone referred to as a diamond, a spess, or a pad sapphire (or any combination thereof) as your thread refers to more than one stone - but here's a couple of thoughts....

If this were a diamond it would a) be set in a far better setting b) be worth an astronomical amount.

If this were a pad. sapphire, it would have at least some pink in it. Pads are every range of salmon color, not strong orange.
 

keara115

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
12
Mrs. Blop, this is the ring I'm having questions about and I agree that if a pad it should have some pink which I have yet to see and if it is an orange diamond I am looking forward to an early retirement, I agree that it would be quite valuable if an orange diamond. Maybe I didn't do the setting justice but I believe the mother in law paid over $3,200 for the setting about 20 years ago and to the best of my memory $30,000 for the stone. Problem is she bought so much stuff we can remember what everything is that she did buy. I do have a smaller orange diamond that is only a carat as well as a green one that also questionable. Seems I'm going to need to send them to a lab.

Thanks for your comments. Strangely enough the sandpaper never scratched them in the least.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,588
Quick question - do you see any facet abrasion on the crown area?
 

keara115

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
12
No and I looked under a microscope at it but you are dealing with a gemstone idiot so please keep that in mind.
 

PS34one

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
51
If it were possible to look at a colored gem and "know" what it is, then a lot of GG's wasted a bunch of time and money learning the tedious process to correctly identifying Gems. To make that claim, personally I think is an insult to Gemologists who are the only one that are trained and have the right equipment to know for certain.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,838
Not to sound self-serving but are you serious? You’ve got a stone that you suspect cost your Mom $30,000, 20 years ago, that may be worth zero or possibly millions. It may be somewhere in between depending on details where you don't even know enough to know what question to ask. You’re doing destructive testing on it in order to avoid a Gem-ID fee of a few dozen dollars, and you’re asking anonymous amateurs what’s the best way to do this. Did I miss something?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
There is a saying "penny wise, pound foolish" that applies here. Look it up, get a real appraisal.
 

ChristineRose

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
926
There's a fascinating discussion of the meaning of padparascha here. The author starts with what the word actually means (the color of a lotus flower aka pink), goes on to discuss descriptions given by early users of the word (saffron and vermilion), looks at the standard for what qualifies as padparascha (everyone and his sister are trying to pass their ugly stones off as pads), and asks some experts to mark off the range of pads on a color chart.

Needless to say, there's a huge range, and some of the most famous and celebrated padparaschas don't even meet the standards set by the Laboratory Manual Harmonisation Committee. And none of the experts he asked defined it near the LMHC standard, and they didn't really agree with one another either.

The moral of the story is that if this is in fact a natural, untreated sapphire, that many would call it a padparascha.
 

keara115

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2016
Messages
12
Didn't sound self serving. The issue is that I've had three different "qualified" individuals review the stone with three different answers. The sandpaper didn't do anything to the stone and I'm just trying to get some sound advise. I believe it's still ok to ask for help and education.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,711
My 10 cents. In my humble opinion, no, it's not a diamond, it's just not cut as a diamond would be. An orange diamond of that colour, size and clarity would have been given the Rolls Royce treatment by any cutter. It looks to me like a synthetic sapphire, I say this because I have a very similar stone myself. I thought my gem, was Spessasite garnet but no, it's a synthetic sapphire. Very beautiful nevertheless. The only way to truly ascertain what the gem is is to have it properly assessed by GIA or similar. That's reasonably expensive but no jewellers thermal testing equipment can distinguish man made from real when they use the exact same raw materials ie corundum. They'll do a range of tests and examinations and give you a report. If it is a diamond - woo hoo - it's worth a bucket load of $$$$ for sure.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Something Blue
    Something Blue
    November’s Jewels Of The Weeks
    November’s Jewels Of The Weeks
    Upgrade to Five-Stone
    Upgrade to Five-Stone

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top