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Embassy Emeralds- anyone out there?

EmeraldEmpress

Shiny_Rock
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Apr 23, 2019
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Has anyone recently purchased from or communicated with Embassy Emeralds?
I have been trying, in vain, to make a purchase from them. After reading the positive reviews about Embassy Emeralds on these forums, I decided to give them a try. Alas, their communication/customer service has been very much so lacking....
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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If you can’t get in touch with a vendor via email, phone call, or otherwise, I would avoid them. Communication is everything when it comes to a reputable company.
 

partgypsy

Ideal_Rock
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I haven't communicated with them in a couple years, but I do know the owner goes down to south America a couple times a year. Still, there should be someone in place if that person is not available to ask questions to.
 

EmeraldEmpress

Shiny_Rock
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I couldn't agree more about communication being paramount! Also agree there should be someone available....

I reached out initially and a few days went by (their website says you can typically expect a response within a day or so, but most likely within hours) reading that I thought the lag time I was experiencing was particularly odd. I reached out again and the second time got a response, to which I responded back to immediately. Nothing back since then, shame b/c the gems look very lively and lovely, but they don't seem to want to take my money lol
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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When I went to their website, my phone said the site was “not secure.” I wouldn’t place an online order there.
 

EmeraldEmpress

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:( perhaps these are all signs to look elsewhere, such a shame though b/c the vendor had received such high praise on these forums previously
 
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TheGarnetGirl

Brilliant_Rock
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Are they on our recommended vendor list? If so just maybe we should change that if this keeps happening?
 

EmeraldEmpress

Shiny_Rock
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I looked over the most recent ( late 2018 ) updated version of the Recommended Vendor List and did not see Embassy Emeralds listed there. I guess despite the positive reviews they never made it to the list? They truly do appear to have lovely gems.
 

EmeraldEmpress

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So I've just heard back from Embassy Emeralds.... PSers, what do you think?

This is what they have to say about the stones I'm interested in:

*They have surface-reaching inclusions, particularly on the backside facets
*They were last oiled over 4 years ago
*They are currently rated near ‘moderate’

The stones have been treated with the standard commercial cedar oil treatment that most Colombian emerald vendors in Colombia use. From several conversations with Colombian gemologists, we’re told it is not a pure natural cedar oil but a blended of natural and synthetic. It’s been explained to us that this oil has a refractive index closer to that of the emerald material than pure oil and that it is more colorless, and more viscous (thick) to reduce leakage. The pure oil is also considerably more expensive and difficult to come by, so it’s understandable why the blend is common.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I believe opticon is now the gold standard for emeralds. Cedar oil is not considered an oil, but a type of resin, and its widely used but not as stable as opticon. Arthur Groom is a company that would replace their cedar oil with what I think is opticon. He calls it the Excel Treatment, but I’m not sure of the specifics. I also obtained this from the internet.

“The traditional treatment for emerald is fracture-filling with natural oils. Cedarwood oil is most commonly used, because it is colorless and has a refractive index close to emerald. But the oil can dry out and emeralds have to be re-oiled from time to time to keep them looking their best.”

Opticon lasts forever from what I’ve heard, and can even withstand ultrasonic cleaning, but never put an emerald in one!!!

Most decent emeralds have moderate treatment. The better ones have faint to minor treatment, and rarer beyond rare is no treatment.

So here’s my experience, I have a Columbian emerald I purchased many years ago, and didn’t send it to a lab. I didn’t spend that much on it, so I was thrilled when I got it. It was a gorgeous satiny deep green color and very clean. Upon setting it, a small chip was in the side of the stone. I sent it to an emerald expert who offered to look at it for me, I forget his name, but he used to browse these boards. He told me it was a piece of resin that fell out. The resin in some of the stone did also dry out, but he said my stone had minor treatment, and was Muzo color. He said that only that facet had the treatment and it fell out. He recommended I re-treat it with opticon. Therefore, you really have to be careful with the appearance over time, especially with moderately treated emeralds and surface fractures. My emerald is still gorgeous, but it isn’t as clean as when I first bought it. It looked very clean for an emerald, almost too good to be true. One of these days I should send it and the other one I obtained from the same dealer to AGL. I would definitely send it to AGL now if I paid thousands. The dealer was on eBay and I think close to the mines as he was Colombian, but I don’t see him on there any more. This was 25 years ago at least. I have four stones from him, but two of them are really exceptional in color despite treatment.

Here’s an incredibly horrid picture of my stone in an empty setting. I took it out of a platinum setting because the edges of the stone were exposed. At least you get an idea if the color in that spark. I have to reset it.
271C0E68-F2B1-4F45-A1A6-9602C485F9E8.jpeg
 
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EmeraldEmpress

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@T L, I'm looking to have a pair of simple, classic 4-prong earrings made (suited for daily wear). Given the specs on the stones from Embassy Emeralds, do you think they would be suited for this?
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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@T L, I'm looking to have a pair of simple, classic 4-prong earrings made (suited for daily wear). Given the specs on the stones from Embassy Emeralds, do you think they would be suited for this?
If you want to maintain their look, They will have to be re-oiled every so often. Given their spotty communication, I probably wouldn’t deal with this company. Also, are they very expensive? Do you need to send them to AGL? I would want to know I am getting what I am paying for, especially with emeralds.

What are the sizes? What does “near moderate” mean? Is it minor treatment that’s almost moderate, or more significant?
 

EmeraldEmpress

Shiny_Rock
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@T L, the spotty communication has rubbed me the wrong way- to be certain.
Also what you'd said before about the non-secure website concerns me....
These emeralds are what I'm looking for though, from what I can tell. Just the surface-reaching inclusions concern me..... Mostly b/c I'd want to wear and enjoy them daily. Wearing them as earrings would protect them more than a ring/bracelet setting, but still.

They are asking $3k, negotiating a bit with me to possibly stay right at $3k
I'd want EE to send them to AGL on my behalf and have the sale contingent upon AGL's report.

Here are the specs:
Supposedly Muzo
3.25 cts, 6.96mm x 6.51mm & 6.79mm x 6.4
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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@T L, the spotty communication has rubbed me the wrong way- to be certain.
Also what you'd said before about the non-secure website concerns me....
These emeralds are what I'm looking for though, from what I can tell. Just the surface-reaching inclusions concern me..... Mostly b/c I'd want to wear and enjoy them daily. Wearing them as earrings would protect them more than a ring/bracelet setting, but still.

They are asking $3k, negotiating a bit with me to possibly stay right at $3k
I'd want EE to send them to AGL on my behalf and have the sale contingent upon AGL's report.

Here are the specs:
Supposedly Muzo
3.25 cts, 6.96mm x 6.51mm & 6.79mm x 6.4
Well depending on the type of report you get, you won’t know how much they’re treated and that means a lot. The higher end reports that state this are expensive. Do you have photos of the stones?

Does it need to be emerald, or will another green gem do?
 

prs

Brilliant_Rock
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I believe opticon is now the gold standard for emeralds. Cedar oil is not considered an oil, but a type of resin, and its widely used but not as stable as opticon. Arthur Groom is a company that would replace their cedar oil with what I think is opticon. He calls it the Excel Treatment, but I’m not sure of the specifics. I also obtained this from the internet.
The director of a very large emerald importer and wholesaler told me they switched to the Excel process for all their emeralds except those that were "auction quality". He said they did this because most emerald final customers have no idea they need to re-oil their emeralds every five years or so. As a result their emeralds' appearance slowly deteriorates as the traditional cedar oil evaporates. The Excel process solves this problem.

I don't know if Excel is the same as Opticon but I suspect not. Here is the Excel website WWW The pricing of $100 per carat quoted on the site seems outrageously high. I would suspect their trade pricing is a whole lot lower.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Thanks @prs - it sounds like a proprietary treatment for emeralds. Cedar “oil” is terrible.
 
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T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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@T L, yes, has to be an emerald : ) my heart is set on a pair of emerald earrings.
I have green eyes and have wanted a pair for a long time now....

Posting some photos of these View attachment 689648 E2.jpg E3.jpg E4.jpg E5.jpg
Hard to tell from a photo, but I suspect moderate treatment. Stones with significant treatment are like fish gravel. Well it’s a risk you’ll have to weigh with dealing with this company. Good luck!
 

mellowyellowgirl

Ideal_Rock
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3,046
Hi!

I bought a tiny emerald from Emerald Embassy. The transaction was smooth however they didn't tell me about the surface reaching inclusions so I got quite a shock when I received the stone as it looked "chipped" on the girdle and in one spot on the table.

Once I contacted them they were very prompt with their reply and gave me several options to rectify the situation. In the end I kept the emerald and received a discount on it. I have set it and I'm very happy with it. The colour is sublime. Mine is supposedly Muzo too. Very intense colour.

Maybe make them an offer in lieu of the inclusions?

20190110_164729.jpg
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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One thing to be really wary of with emeralds are surface reaching fractures, especially along the table.
 

EmeraldEmpress

Shiny_Rock
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I was so worried it would crumble during setting but it survived!
This is my fear with having the stones I like set too... EE says "They have surface-reaching inclusions, particularly on the backside facets" so what if they fractured in the back?

Is it very difficult to find stones without surface-reaching inclusions? Or is this just an accepted risk most emerald owners take?

If I bought this set and there was damage during setting it wouldn't be worth the purchase.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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This is my fear with having the stones I like set too... EE says "They have surface-reaching inclusions, particularly on the backside facets" so what if they fractured in the back?

Is it very difficult to find stones without surface-reaching inclusions? Or is this just an accepted risk most emerald owners take?

If I bought this set and there was damage during setting it wouldn't be worth the purchase.
If the treatment is moderate or more significant, assume surface reaching fractures. They even show up with minor treatment. If the emeralds are treated with Excel, then they’re more durable from what I hear. No matter what you decide, make sure your jeweler is familiar with emeralds. I would also not bezel an emerald. Tell the jeweler not to use an ultrasonic cleaner or steam. They should especially be careful with metal like platinum, high karat gold is optimal.
 

T L

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EmeraldEmpress

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If the treatment is moderate or more significant, assume surface reaching fractures. They even show up with minor treatment. If the emeralds are treated with Excel, then they’re more durable from what I hear. No matter what you decide, make sure your jeweler is familiar with emeralds. I would also not bezel an emerald. Tell the jeweler not to use an ultrasonic cleaner or steam. They should especially be careful with metal like platinum, high karat gold is optimal.
@T L, thank you for the excellent information and advice! So you wouldn't necessarily be concerned about the backside facets with the surface-reaching inclusions?

EE has gone silent again since their reply to me, so this may be more for my education than pulling the trigger on making this purchase with them...
 

EmeraldEmpress

Shiny_Rock
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I did not read this full article, but emerald “oiling” really disguises fractures quite a bit. If you scroll down this page, you will see an emerald before and after treatment. It’s quite shocking.

https://www.katerinaperez.com/articles/emerald-oiling-the-refining-process-and-its-impact-on-pricing

That being said, emeralds are wonderful beautiful gems, but they do require special care.
@T L, I'll say the Before and After oiling photos are a shock! You can really see why re-oiling is important too. I can hardly believe that's the same stone!

Also, while I absolutely love platinum, I've read enough to feel that setting my emerald earrings into white gold would likely be best.
 
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T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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@T L, thank you for the excellent information and advice! So you wouldn't necessarily be concerned about the backside facets with the surface-reaching inclusions?

EE has gone silent again since their reply to me, so this may be more for my education than pulling the trigger on making this purchase with them...
You’re welcome.

I’m most concerned about table reaching fractures, because the table, and crown facets, are what you see. If the resin dries up in the table, or falls out, it’s not a pretty sight. At least it’s easier to hide along the pavilion. In my stone’s case, it was a pavilion facet that the resin fell out, I can set it, and no one would know.

I also learned the hard way to make sure you have a jeweler who knows what he/she is doing when it comes to emeralds.

ETA: I have an emerald I wear quite often, but it sits deep in a protective setting. These gems are meant to enjoy.
 
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EmeraldEmpress

Shiny_Rock
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You’re welcome.

I’m most concerned about table reaching fractures, because the table, and crown facets, are what you see. If the resin dries up in the table, or falls out, it’s not a pretty sight. At least it’s easier to hide along the pavilion. In my stone’s case, it was a pavilion facet that the resin fell out, I can set it, and no one would know.

I also learned the hard way to make sure you have a jeweler who knows what he/she is doing when it comes to emeralds.

ETA: I have an emerald I wear quite often, but it sits deep in a protective setting. These gems are meant to enjoy.
@T L, more solid advice, truly thank you!

Do you suppose by "backside facets" EE meant Break Facets on the bottom/pavilion? download.png
 
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