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Did I get conned? Alexandrite? Help!

Cina_s

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
96
There's a GIA somewhere in Toronto, I thought?

I mean, take a look at Skyjems. Virtually all the stones he individually lists have GIA lab reports.

What you paid seems in line with Skyjems' pricing.
I dont think there is one in TO. I'll have to dig a bit deeper to see. But my quick search didnt come up with it.
Thanks! I'll check out skyjems!
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,682
Alexandrite is a very rare gem and loads of appraisers haven't seen one up close and personal. I've been collecting Alex for over 30 years and I had one that fooled me by eye, fooled an appraiser who was very familiar with Alex and in the end it was only a lab that managed to determine that it wasn't real! So, forget appraisers for now. You need to send this to a lab. Will the seller allow you to send back for a full refund plus the lab cost if the gemstone isn't Alex? That might be a way for you to check safely and not waste your money.

Do you mind if I'm honest? The fact that you can photograph in that colour way is an immediate red flag. It could be an Alex with a very weak colour change but there's just something that's making me pause as it doesn't "look" right. It could be an Indian Alexandrite (which does typically have a more yellow/brown/green daylight colour) but I'd need to see how it colour changes and the fact that you've been able to photograph it in the "green" colourway makes me think it's not a natural Alex OR the colour change is so weak that it's making the photography easier. Similarly, and I hate to say this, your other ring doesn't look like an Alex either and if you're comparing the two I can see how you would be confused. Your other ring looks very much like a synthetic colour change corrundum - have you had a lab report on that one? Having said all of that, I'm basing this purely on the photographs and you'd be better sending them off to the GIA to be sure. Gubelin in Europe is also somewhere that may be able to help if you don't want to send to the GIA.
 

Cina_s

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
96
Alexandrite is a very rare gem and loads of appraisers haven't seen one up close and personal. I've been collecting Alex for over 30 years and I had one that fooled me by eye, fooled an appraiser who was very familiar with Alex and in the end it was only a lab that managed to determine that it wasn't real! So, forget appraisers for now. You need to send this to a lab. Will the seller allow you to send back for a full refund plus the lab cost if the gemstone isn't Alex? That might be a way for you to check safely and not waste your money.

Do you mind if I'm honest? The fact that you can photograph in that colour way is an immediate red flag. It could be an Alex with a very weak colour change but there's just something that's making me pause as it doesn't "look" right. It could be an Indian Alexandrite (which does typically have a more yellow/brown/green daylight colour) but I'd need to see how it colour changes and the fact that you've been able to photograph it in the "green" colourway makes me think it's not a natural Alex OR the colour change is so weak that it's making the photography easier. Similarly, and I hate to say this, your other ring doesn't look like an Alex either and if you're comparing the two I can see how you would be confused. Your other ring looks very much like a synthetic colour change corrundum - have you had a lab report on that one? Having said all of that, I'm basing this purely on the photographs and you'd be better sending them off to the GIA to be sure. Gubelin in Europe is also somewhere that may be able to help if you don't want to send to the GIA.
Hi LD, thanks so much for your response. As I have (after the purchase of the Alex ring), did more reading on these forums and on other sites. You seem to be an avid collector and expert and I was hoping to get your attention to reply this thread in more detail! your own collections are beautiful!
I am in the process of returning the larger ring. It has just been received by the seller, and I hope to get it processed as a refund soon. Fingers crossed.

I'll need to do more research on where we might have labs in Canada that does this type of testing. Sending it to Europe might be a little too far for my comfort and expensive for shipping.

As for the other ring... haha I have been trying to get the certification from the seller for over 6 months now. It was purchased from a fairly reputable store in Caribbeans, and they said the cert was lost in the mail, then it has to come from NYC, and then NYC is closed due to Covid. So apparently when its all said and done, the cert should arrive. So I really wouldn't be surprised if it is in fact a fake ring.
Disappointed yes, sentimental value is there... its still pretty.

I have a question: would a IGI certification online be enough for you to buy a ring online? There is one that I have seen on Ebay, looks like the seller has many other high end rings that he is selling, the IGI # checks out, but not sure if the stone is in fact that stone. the IGI report shows it changing to a redish purple colour, but the photos and comments from the seller are brownish, and he said he hasnt been able to replicate the redder tones himself with different lighting (not photograph, but his actual eye).

I'm so wary of purchasing an Alex now. I know its been mentioned a lot with African Gems and Multicolour, but i'm looking for more traditional "green" to "red" rather than blue to purple like the brazillian ones. I totally get that it wont be as per the myth of emerald/ruby, but something more teal to raspberry. Wondering if anyone can point me to a reputable place to buy... would be great!
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,682
Ok so first off forget the "blue to purple" of Brazilians. Very very very few will show you that colour way and if they do, they will be in the hundred of thousands of dollars not just thousands.

A "normal" very very good Alex will go from a slightly less vibrant emerald green to a warm purple (my avatar shows the purple of one of mine). Any seller who says they can't replicate the incandescent (purple) colourway is smoking crack! It's the easier thing in the world to replicate. What's difficult is photographing and getting the green accurate. That's nearly impossible.

The stones on the market at the moment are not that good as there haven't been any significant "good" recent finds. There are some poor quality green/grey things on the market and the colour change (if it changes) may look a muddy brown colour. Strangely I was looking at Multicolour the other day and noticed he hardly has any Alex and the good one he did have was something like £72,000 (and it wasn't that big) but the colour change was good. The thing with Alex is that the value is in the colour change.

Have you looked at a colour change sapphire or garnet? They are still very pricey but you've got a better chance of finding something attractive in a more affordable price range. The ones that command a high price tag are usually the ones that mimic an Alex but you need to be super aware of fakes.

Here's a video of the ring in my avatar and you'll see it's easy to see the incandescent colour but virtually impossible to show the green although in this video as I'm walking back to the natural light you get a very brief glimpse of the green I see with my eyes at about 7 o'clock on the gemstone. I promise you I see green!

Here's another one of mine that is not a good colour changer. Here you can see the green that I see with my eyes but only briefly!
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,682
Sorry I forgot to answer your question about the IGI reports online. The issue with Alex is that often the photographs are photoshopped to produce the colour people see with their eyes (or want to see!!!!) and even on some lab reports the photos will look different. The lab report on the one in my avatar looks nothing like the stone in person (although it's definitely the same stone). It's more reassuring of course and you can double check with IGI if it's a real report but be prepared that it still may not look how you think it will. If you want to link to the auction I'll be happy to tell you what I think you might see in real life - although it will be a guess x
 

Cina_s

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
96
Sorry I forgot to answer your question about the IGI reports online. The issue with Alex is that often the photographs are photoshopped to produce the colour people see with their eyes (or want to see!!!!) and even on some lab reports the photos will look different. The lab report on the one in my avatar looks nothing like the stone in person (although it's definitely the same stone). It's more reassuring of course and you can double check with IGI if it's a real report but be prepared that it still may not look how you think it will. If you want to link to the auction I'll be happy to tell you what I think you might see in real life - although it will be a guess x

Would you think this is a safe purchase?
And would you think the report colour is really that off?

Thanks for your reply again! :)
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,682
Hi LD, thanks so much for your response. As I have (after the purchase of the Alex ring), did more reading on these forums and on other sites. You seem to be an avid collector and expert and I was hoping to get your attention to reply this thread in more detail! your own collections are beautiful!
I am in the process of returning the larger ring. It has just been received by the seller, and I hope to get it processed as a refund soon. Fingers crossed.

I'll need to do more research on where we might have labs in Canada that does this type of testing. Sending it to Europe might be a little too far for my comfort and expensive for shipping.

As for the other ring... haha I have been trying to get the certification from the seller for over 6 months now. It was purchased from a fairly reputable store in Caribbeans, and they said the cert was lost in the mail, then it has to come from NYC, and then NYC is closed due to Covid. So apparently when its all said and done, the cert should arrive. So I really wouldn't be surprised if it is in fact a fake ring.
Disappointed yes, sentimental value is there... its still pretty.

I have a question: would a IGI certification online be enough for you to buy a ring online? There is one that I have seen on Ebay, looks like the seller has many other high end rings that he is selling, the IGI # checks out, but not sure if the stone is in fact that stone. the IGI report shows it changing to a redish purple colour, but the photos and comments from the seller are brownish, and he said he hasnt been able to replicate the redder tones himself with different lighting (not photograph, but his actual eye).

I'm so wary of purchasing an Alex now. I know its been mentioned a lot with African Gems and Multicolour, but i'm looking for more traditional "green" to "red" rather than blue to purple like the brazillian ones. I totally get that it wont be as per the myth of emerald/ruby, but something more teal to raspberry. Wondering if anyone can point me to a reputable place to buy... would be great!

Would you think this is a safe purchase?
And would you think the report colour is really that off?

Thanks for your reply again! :)
I have a very bad reaction when I see "possible location - Russia". That's a HUGE red flag and I have to ask why on earth IGI would put that on a lab report. I think I would call them and enquire about that report and why they put that. If you haven't read the book about Russian Alex you should because the amount of good quality material that came out of the Russian mine was TINY. In fact, most Russian material is awful and heavily included. It's a common misconception that Russian material was the best in the world. Also, as far as I'm aware, there's been no Russian alex on the market for years and IF this was Russian then the price tag would be much much much more. In fact when anybody advertises an Alex as Russian is normally raises enormous red flags.

So, my first step would be to contact IGI and ask why they would put that on a report since most Alex is either from Tanzania, Brazil, India etc. The alex itself looks ok but being able to photograph the green so well is also another flag so I would politely ask the seller how they've managed to do it and whether it's been photoshopped? You could say that you understand most Alex is photoshopped for sales purposes!
 

Cina_s

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
96
Ok so first off forget the "blue to purple" of Brazilians. Very very very few will show you that colour way and if they do, they will be in the hundred of thousands of dollars not just thousands.

A "normal" very very good Alex will go from a slightly less vibrant emerald green to a warm purple (my avatar shows the purple of one of mine). Any seller who says they can't replicate the incandescent (purple) colourway is smoking crack! It's the easier thing in the world to replicate. What's difficult is photographing and getting the green accurate. That's nearly impossible.

The stones on the market at the moment are not that good as there haven't been any significant "good" recent finds. There are some poor quality green/grey things on the market and the colour change (if it changes) may look a muddy brown colour. Strangely I was looking at Multicolour the other day and noticed he hardly has any Alex and the good one he did have was something like £72,000 (and it wasn't that big) but the colour change was good. The thing with Alex is that the value is in the colour change.

Have you looked at a colour change sapphire or garnet? They are still very pricey but you've got a better chance of finding something attractive in a more affordable price range. The ones that command a high price tag are usually the ones that mimic an Alex but you need to be super aware of fakes.

Here's a video of the ring in my avatar and you'll see it's easy to see the incandescent colour but virtually impossible to show the green although in this video as I'm walking back to the natural light you get a very brief glimpse of the green I see with my eyes at about 7 o'clock on the gemstone. I promise you I see green!

Here's another one of mine that is not a good colour changer. Here you can see the green that I see with my eyes but only briefly!
I missed this reply! Thank you for the detailed response! I reallly appreciate it! Yes, I thini I might have to do the colour change Garnet route too- but also from these forums it mentioned that they tend to be very dark and not nice coloured.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,682
Ok - the lab report is real but I'm highly doubtful that the stone in the ring is the same one because of the seller's description. Two other red flags - he's in Dubai with only a feedback of 40. I wouldn't risk it unless paying with Paypal and then only if they will give you your money back if it proves to be fake.
 
Last edited:

Cina_s

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
96
I have a very bad reaction when I see "possible location - Russia". That's a HUGE red flag and I have to ask why on earth IGI would put that on a lab report. I think I would call them and enquire about that report and why they put that. If you haven't read the book about Russian Alex you should because the amount of good quality material that came out of the Russian mine was TINY. In fact, most Russian material is awful and heavily included. It's a common misconception that Russian material was the best in the world. Also, as far as I'm aware, there's been no Russian alex on the market for years and IF this was Russian then the price tag would be much much much more. In fact when anybody advertises an Alex as Russian is normally raises enormous red flags.

So, my first step would be to contact IGI and ask why they would put that on a report since most Alex is either from Tanzania, Brazil, India etc. The alex itself looks ok but being able to photograph the green so well is also another flag so I would politely ask the seller how they've managed to do it and whether it's been photoshopped? You could say that you understand most Alex is photoshopped for sales purposes!
Thank you!! I appreciate this. Yes that Russian part threw me too. But was hoping its just a junior or new appraiser. For sure was not assuming it would be Russian.

A question about the photographing of the green- is this with a cell camera? or like an actual camera or both- that its hard to get the green?
 

Cina_s

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
96
STOP - don't buy! I think the lab report has been tampered with. I need to look at mine but can't do that for a few hours. Also, this guy only has 40 feedback and is HIGHLY suspect.
Thanks LD! I will not make any purchases! and appreciate the HARD stop. But when you do have a moment can you let me know what to look for in these online reports, to help me figure out which are real and which are not?
 

Cina_s

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
96
Ok - the lab report is real but I'm highly doubtful that the stone in the ring is the same one because of the seller's description. Two other red flags - he's in Dubai with only a feedback of 40. I wouldn't risk it unless paying with Paypal and then only if they will give you your money back if it proves to be fake.
Ok! So no ring from them! haha. Will keep looking for this elusive real Alexandrite! :)Thanks for the feed back!

So Am I correct to say: If real (not professional) photos can show a good green colour (cell or cell camera) it likely is not a real Alex? Because the Green should be hard to photograph, but the purple/reds should show up on photos?
 

Cina_s

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
96

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,682
Thanks LD! I will not make any purchases! and appreciate the HARD stop. But when you do have a moment can you let me know what to look for in these online reports, to help me figure out which are real and which are not?
My concern was I was wondering if a photo of the "alex" in the ring wasn't the one in the photo on the IGI report. I was trying to find one of my IGI reports to see whether they stuck on photos (like in the one in the auction) to see if that was normal for them. However, I don't have anything from IGI in India so can't check. I REALLY have a problem with them putting Russia as a location. Honestly this can't be right and IF the guy selling the ring was as clued up as he says he is, he wouldn't be selling it at that price. So it's fishy.

I was going to suggest you bought a book that is very well written about Russian Alex and then I saw the price! I've got two of these lol - not sure how I ended up with 2! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Russian-Alexandrites-Karl-Schmetzer/dp/3510652622
 

Cina_s

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
96
My concern was I was wondering if a photo of the "alex" in the ring wasn't the one in the photo on the IGI report. I was trying to find one of my IGI reports to see whether they stuck on photos (like in the one in the auction) to see if that was normal for them. However, I don't have anything from IGI in India so can't check. I REALLY have a problem with them putting Russia as a location. Honestly this can't be right and IF the guy selling the ring was as clued up as he says he is, he wouldn't be selling it at that price. So it's fishy.

I was going to suggest you bought a book that is very well written about Russian Alex and then I saw the price! I've got two of these lol - not sure how I ended up with 2! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Russian-Alexandrites-Karl-Schmetzer/dp/3510652622
Very interesting. I'll get my hands on it. Clearly you LOVE Alex's if you have 2 of that book! Too bad we are an ocean apart or I'll buy the 2nd one off of you! :)

Ok, so I'll steer clear of this ring, and not purchase it. Too many red flags for this ring. I'll keep hunting. Thanks again!
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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Have you come across David Weinstein's jewellery website? He's the owner of Multicolour and a collector of Alex. He will give you an honest appraisal of any gem he has. If you're clear about what you want then he can make a ring for you. Here's a link to his website. https://www.davidwein.com/jewelry/list/139/10/0

Ignore the photos of the stones in the ring and ask him to send you a video of any one you're considering. I don't think his website does justice to any of the stones.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
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Messages
9,682
The alex in this ring is small but looks gorgeous! https://www.davidwein.com/jewelry/a...nd-white-gold-ring-00112925/overview/139/10/3

Again, small but might be worth asking for a video. I like the stats of the Alex. https://www.davidwein.com/jewelry/a...nd-white-gold-ring-00111645/overview/139/10/4

Another! https://www.davidwein.com/jewelry/a...-00110242/overview/139/10/6?poffs=1&pic=front

Most of his rings come with GIA reports too included in the cost. Some of his rings are made to order so will depend on the stones he has in. However if it says "in stock" then I think he'll have the gemstone to video for you.
 

Cina_s

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
96
Have you come across David Weinstein's jewellery website? He's the owner of Multicolour and a collector of Alex. He will give you an honest appraisal of any gem he has. If you're clear about what you want then he can make a ring for you. Here's a link to his website. https://www.davidwein.com/jewelry/list/139/10/0

Ignore the photos of the stones in the ring and ask him to send you a video of any one you're considering. I don't think his website does justice to any of the stones.
Thanks yes! I have discovered him through these forums and his Multicolour page. I do like these better than the African Gem's site. as they seem to be less blue-purple. And the African Gem's site certificate, is their own, which I don't like.

There are a few that are under 1ct that i think are nice. the over 1ct that I can afford seem to be not nice in colour. I'm aiming for 0.7 to under 1.5 ct.
 

Cina_s

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
96
The alex in this ring is small but looks gorgeous! https://www.davidwein.com/jewelry/a...nd-white-gold-ring-00112925/overview/139/10/3

Again, small but might be worth asking for a video. I like the stats of the Alex. https://www.davidwein.com/jewelry/a...nd-white-gold-ring-00111645/overview/139/10/4

Another! https://www.davidwein.com/jewelry/a...-00110242/overview/139/10/6?poffs=1&pic=front

Most of his rings come with GIA reports too included in the cost. Some of his rings are made to order so will depend on the stones he has in. However if it says "in stock" then I think he'll have the gemstone to video for you.
Yes! The 0.6 something one is pretty! Thanks for these. I'll ask him what is instock!
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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Yes! The 0.6 something one is pretty! Thanks for these. I'll ask him what is instock!
Be aware, the minute you go over 1ct the price will sky rocket (if it's a good Alex) so you'd be better off getting a smaller higher quality stone.
 

Cina_s

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
96
Be aware, the minute you go over 1ct the price will sky rocket (if it's a good Alex) so you'd be better off getting a smaller higher quality stone.
Yes. Sadly yes. Im wondering if rather a smaller Alex or a larger but less good. I guess smaller but good is always better.

are the Alex's on the Ajsgem.com concerned a so-so for colour? The prices are much lower than multicolour, but wonder if its because the colour is not vivid at all.
 

Cina_s

Rough_Rock
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Jul 2, 2020
Messages
96
They're all yuck I'm afraid. Horrible colour changes on them all.
Haha ok. A yuck from you is a strong sign to not purchase those :)
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 22, 2014
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Origin for Alexandrite is difficult to ascertain. Apparently there are types of inclusions that appear only in Russian origin Alexandrite. Russian Alexandrite is typically more included than from other sources. Russian alexandrite is favoured for its very strong green to purple red colour change. That said, some Alexandrite out of Brazil is frankly astonishing. Indian origin Alexandrite tends to have weaker and different toned colour change ie more yellow green to brownish pink.
My wee Alexandrite is presumed Russian. Here in Australia we don’t have anyone with the experience / knowledge / credentials to certify it as Russian or of any particular origin. It doesn’t matter to me.
It is extremely difficult to catch the daylight colour with a camera. Maybe over 100 attempts before it looks on screen like my eyes see it. Incandescent is easier but there are fewer incandescent light sources available around the house (everything seems LED / energy saving ha ha).
I’d suggest keep looking. Be patient. Choose a vendor with a great return policy. You really do need to judge an Alexandrite in person in “your” lighting conditions. Studio photos adjusted to the “correct wave length” are all well and good but what the point if where you live, with your normal light conditions, if 9A828B00-693D-48F1-AFEF-2FA75EC6E8D1.jpeg 2A674F93-0599-450D-802A-EF3F937D147D.jpeg can’t produce the colours you saw in the vendors photos?
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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Here is a photo of inclusions found in a Russian Alexandrite and a close up of mine (in its original setting). 9997F2FE-832D-43A2-8B36-C124E386ABA3.jpeg 894C6EB2-E840-4457-9B3A-15A45F932FAA.jpeg
 

LisaRN

Ideal_Rock
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For what it's worth I used to purchase Alexandrites from Multicolour gems back in the day that look very similar in color to yours. They were greenish/yellow and they had weak to moderate color change. They changed to pinkish color or orange/pink. They were much cheaper than they are today, but I sold them all. They just didn't have the qualities that I think make Alexandrites look beautiful. So I think yours may very likely be an Alexandrite, at least technically.
 
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