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Feedback/Advice Needed on Sapphires for E-Ring

Gts80

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 8, 2015
Messages
4
I am in the market for a Sapphire Engagement ring. I have chosen this ring by Maytal Hannah as my inspiration e-ring_7.jpg

I'm looking for a cushion cut Royal Blue/Ceylon sapphire for the center stone, somewhere around 2cts. I'm also looking to have the setting custom made and incorporate some diamonds from a piece of my grandmother's jewelry.

With this in mind I went to a B&M jeweler on the recommendation of a family member and met with the craftsman who works there to explain what I wanted. We had a very good initial discussion, and he indicated he would begin contacting his sources for sapphires.

We met a few weeks later when he had some sapphires for me to inspect, and what he had to show me was:

2.25ct Ceylon for $5850

1.80 ct Sri Lanka $7200

2.42 ct Sri Lanka $10,000

Pictures: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B8BvXU9xMpS8VEltb2xZR05CMmM&usp=sharing#grid
Unfortunately the pictures aren't the best for ascertaining quality/value, but it's all I have. None of the stones came with any type of certification or grading.

He indicated to me that these sapphires represented "top quality" for their respective prices - basically I could not find a better quality stone for the price(s). I'm a novice at best when it comes to gemstones, but as I inspected the stones I became a bit concerned with the integrity of his statements. Specifically because of the 2.25 ct Ceylon - the girdle is clearly chipped in more than one place. What you can't see is that stone had a rather large window in the center, with two eye visible inclusions in the center of the stone that were exacerbated by the windowing.

I couldn't understand why he would be showing me any chipped stones for an engagement ring, much less a stone that represented "top quality" for the price. It made me question his representations about the other two stones as well.

He also had apparently forgotten our previous conversation where I requested had indicated wanting a custom made setting, and told me that whatever stone I bought it would REQUIRE a custom made setting as there would be nothing premade that could fit any of the sapphires he was showing me. At that point I began to think perhaps his statements were disingenuous, so I finished looking at the sapphires, politely thanked him for his efforts and told him I'd be in touch.

What would be useful for me is some general feedback on the accuracy of what was being presented to me. Are the prices he quoted me reasonable for the cut/size/color I'm looking for? Should I expect that kind of quality (chipped girdle) for that price range?
Would I have better luck buying from an online vendor, or buying direct from a cutter?

Also, I don't know how to get around the custom work I would need to fit my grandmother's diamonds without going to a B&M jeweler - can anyone recommend someone reputable in the Boston area?

Thanks
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
18,217
Ok, so I think the first and potentially most important question is: what is your budget? I think if you are able to afford as much as he's trying to charge for the center stone alone then I'd suggest going to Meytal Hannah directly if possible. You could ask if she is willing to incorporate your grandmother's diamonds--I know many high end vendors are open to using some client's stones.


The second thing is that I'd be VERY wary of anything this jeweler is telling you. I 100% disagree that those are "top quality" stones and that you couldn't find better for the price. Of course those pics aren't the best for assessing quality, but chips are a huge red flag, and there are many beautiful stones in your price range that will be of higher quality. Another important question is: what treatments are you ok with for the sapphire? Heat only? No treatment at all? Heat is a very common treatment, and many people are ok with at least some heat--but some would prefer none. That will be a factor when thinking about prices, as stones with no treatments at all will command a higher price.


We would all be happy to help you find some things--I'll start looking around now, but for now I'd stay away from that jeweler until you see what else is out there :wavey:

EDIT: Here are 2 options I found and have been looking at for a while. First is 2500 and the second is 3200 (I believe). Another place to search is Pearlmans Jewelers (you can look online and use their search tool).
Sapph4_(450x600).jpg 12107967_10205281850954385_5373972221840702680_n.jpg
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
9,786
All three are fairly dark but I notice that you want "Royal Blue" are you happy with the colour of the examples? You also need to find out about treatments, and if possible origin, a non heated Sri Lanka Sapphire is worth more than a heated one from Africa for example. A good stone unless the jeweller plans to re-polish an antique stone should not be chipped before it is set.
 

Gts80

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 8, 2015
Messages
4
Thank you for your reply - It's good to know my concerns weren't unfounded!

To answer your questions:

My budget is a bit flexible. I'd like to spend between $5000-$7500 total. I'm anticipating the setting with diamonds will run me around $2500-$3000 depending on material and number of accent diamonds (although maybe that number needs to be adjusted??). The sapphire budget is around $2500-$4000. However I'm willing to stretch a bit beyond that (10k total) if thats what it takes to get to a point where I'm happy with the sapphire. I really don't have a great handle on what to expect as far as quality/cost ratio, which is why I'm here. I didn't give the jeweler I interacted with a budget as I didn't want him to shoe horn what he presented me into a price window, and was trying to get a feel for the stones themselves.

I'm ok with some heat treatment as long as it doesn't impact the stone visually or structurally in a negative manner. What matters to me is the visual beauty of the stone, and that it is quality - paying extra to be able to say it isn't heat treated isn't as much of a concern for me.


Those two sapphires you've pointed out look great. Particularly the hand shot on the 2nd one (Asscher cut?) Good to know there are great looking stones out there in that price range. Ill take a look at the jeweler you suggested.

Thank you again.
 

Gts80

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 8, 2015
Messages
4
Thank you for the reply. I had a feeling the chipped stone was suspicious.

As far as color - I'd never seen any sapphires in person before, but I liked how the royal blue looked in photographs I'd seen. Having seen those stones in person in all honesty the Sri Lankan "Royal blue" ones seemed a bit dark. Particularly when placed on the hand. Perhaps what was being shown wasn't a true royal blue or the stone had a lot of extinction, but my impression afterwards was that I might need to look for a lighter color that will have a bit more brilliance.

I'm ok with heat treatment only. Part of my concern with what I was being presented was there was no documentation so I couldn't verify what treatment if any was applied to the stone. I got the impression this jewler was not used to dealing with much scrutiny from his customers.
 
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