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First coloured stone purchase... need help!

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LaurenThePartier

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My aqua . . . by Finewater and my Scap from Peter Torraca.




 

LaurenThePartier

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Lori, I sooooo love your Asschers. I aspire to have as lovely, and well cut, a collection as you, dear!
 

aquasea

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Wow, Lauren, I looooove that aqua! I don''t think I have seen one that colour before.

After exhaustive research (Oh dear, I fear this is becomming an obsession) I have found a couple of spinels that I would like peoples thoughts on...

http://www.customgemstones.com/SPINEL/sp1107.html

http://www.customgemstones.com/SPINEL/sp1106.html

They look very pretty in the pictures but I have read that often these stones are quite a bit darker in reality that they appear in the pictures.
 

Barcelona

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Both of those are sold. Always check the "New Stones Added" section. He seems to update that more quickly than the individual pages.
 

Barcelona

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Here are two iolite''s, light bluish-purplish in color and under $100:

http://www.bestcutgems.com/product/IT-710

http://www.bestcutgems.com/product/IT-694
 

aquasea

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Date: 3/30/2009 11:35:25 PM
Author: Barcelona
Both of those are sold. Always check the ''New Stones Added'' section. He seems to update that more quickly than the individual pages.

But of course they are!! I am rapidly losing the will to live over this project. Maybe coloured stones aren''t for me. Sticking to diamonds seems to be easier
 

aquasea

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Thanks for the Iolite suggestions. Do you know anything about this site? I just read a thread that basically said that it was extremely difficult to find pretty iolite so to not go there... is this wrong?
 

Pandora II

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Date: 3/31/2009 1:45:10 AM
Author: aquasea
Thanks for the Iolite suggestions. Do you know anything about this site? I just read a thread that basically said that it was extremely difficult to find pretty iolite so to not go there... is this wrong?
Extremely hard - but then it depends on your parameters.

Some of us here are what could be described as ''stone snobs'' and want as fine a specimen of whatever as we can get and will save up to obtain it. You get what you pay for with coloured stones as with most commodities.

Others are more interested in a pretty stone to wear in a ring, and are after a good price/quality ratio.

Others fall into the half and half group.

Either way, the more time you spend learning and looking the more expensive it seems to get as your eye becomes educated...


I don''t wear my stones at all so for me it''s all about buying the best quality I can find even if it takes months to find the right stone (sometimes I get lucky and find one very fast).

Are you wanting stones to keep in small boxes as a collection or are you wanting stones to actually wear? If you want to wear them then you will need to be aware of the different characteristics - hardness, cleavage, difficulty of finding certain shapes (most coloured stones are cut to maximise the rough (as with diamonds), so you will find far more ovals and cushions than other shapes in spinels/sapphires/garnets etc whereas with stones like aquamarine and tourmalines you will find a lot of emerald and step-cuts) and the huge price differences for different qualities.

Some types of gemstone are much rarer than others even within the same species - for example, good demantoid garnets are VERY expensive, top quality spessartite and tsavorite can command similar prices per carat to diamonds and are very rare in large sizes, but you can get a very nice rhodolite with a relatively small budget. All garnets, but big differences.

It''s worth spending some time going through the websites of the vendors listed at the top of the page to see the sort of things out there and the sort of prices they command. It all seems horribly complicated and confusing at the beginning - but it does start to make sense pretty quickly!

Coloured stones are not like diamonds where there are numbers and guides. A lot comes down to personal preference. For myself colour is everything and within reason I''m not that bothered about cut. For others cut is as important in a coloured stone as in a diamond and they tend to go for precision cutters.

Regarding Iolite, I have never held a decent piece - I have seen pictures and a decent one in the Natural History Museum gem collection. I would never set it as a ring stone - it''s soft and has perfect cleavage so it will potentially pose problems in setting, will need to be really babied and if you hit it in the right place you will have two stones for the price of one...
 

Pandora II

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Palagems is a great website for seeing great examples of different sorts of gemstones (it''s trade-only so no prices).

Here are a couple of iolites that they have - and represent the kind of colour that they can be...

Most people here are very happy to help you find the right stone for your needs and budget, so feel free to keep asking and posting up pictures of possibles...


iolitepalagems.jpg
 

aquasea

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Thank you so much, Pandora, your reply made a lot of sense and really cheered me up. I will keep looking. I think I am after a pretty blue spinel or possibly a tsavorite (although from what you just wrote it seems the spinel might be a more sensible first stone purchase). I am intending to find something that I will be able to wear in a ring. I have contacted a few of the vendors but noone seems to have anything appropriate for me available at the moment. I guess I need to learn patience



(BTW your ring in your avatar was the start of this whole "I think I need to get into coloured gemstones" nonsense!)
 

loriken214

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Date: 3/30/2009 11:05:44 PM
Author: LaurenThePartier
Lori, I sooooo love your Asschers. I aspire to have as lovely, and well cut, a collection as you, dear!
Thank you Lauren...I''m honored! YOU have an amazing collection and I would love to see more of it.....


Lori
 

loriken214

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Date: 3/31/2009 5:43:33 PM
Author: aquasea
Thank you so much, Pandora, your reply made a lot of sense and really cheered me up. I will keep looking. I think I am after a pretty blue spinel or possibly a tsavorite (although from what you just wrote it seems the spinel might be a more sensible first stone purchase). I am intending to find something that I will be able to wear in a ring. I have contacted a few of the vendors but noone seems to have anything appropriate for me available at the moment. I guess I need to learn patience



(BTW your ring in your avatar was the start of this whole ''I think I need to get into coloured gemstones'' nonsense!)
Aquasea,

Patience is a virtue in gemstone collecting. I finally learned that after jumping on too many "imperfect" gemstones. I''ve gained so much valuable knowledge, here on PS, and now I make choices based on my specific wants/budget.

Don''t give up. Work with the cutters/sellers until you find what you are looking for. I''ve missed out on many stones, but ended up getting something just as pretty or even prettier.


Lori
 

mercoledi

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Don't give up! Finding the right stone for you can take time, it's OK! Plenty of us have requested stones from the cutters mentioned when we can't find what we want. You seem to like blue, so here are some suggestions for 'gateway stones':
Dan's new purple sapph
pair of blue-green tourmalines
Incredible BB green tourmaline
BB blue-purple spinel
BB blue topaz

Also, Barry Bridgestock at ACS will post new stones tomorrow, usually a 10 am central time.

Happy hunting!


ETA: blue spinel ec
Blue/purple spinel princess
Spinels are nice for those of us recovering from diamond lust because they're very brilliant stones.
 

Pandora II

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Date: 3/31/2009 5:43:33 PM
Author: aquasea
Thank you so much, Pandora, your reply made a lot of sense and really cheered me up. I will keep looking. I think I am after a pretty blue spinel or possibly a tsavorite (although from what you just wrote it seems the spinel might be a more sensible first stone purchase). I am intending to find something that I will be able to wear in a ring. I have contacted a few of the vendors but noone seems to have anything appropriate for me available at the moment. I guess I need to learn patience



(BTW your ring in your avatar was the start of this whole ''I think I need to get into coloured gemstones'' nonsense!)
Pleasure.

Thanks for the comments on my ring - it took nearly 5 months just to give you an idea of patience!
 

aquasea

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Thank you so much for these suggestions, Mercoledi. I was thinking about Dan''s purple sapphire. It looks really lovely but I am wondering whether it will look like an amethyst to a novice like me! I also really like the the blue spinel EC you posted. Is the cut on this one good? I don''t know much about emerald cuts. I was never really a fan on them in diamonds but I have recently seen a few on here that are gorgeous, perhaps I have only seen poor quality ECs in real life?
 

aquasea

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Thanks for your advice and words of encouragement Loriken and Pandora, I guess patience is really a virtue I am going to have to cultivate if I want to get into coloured stones seriously...it doesn''t come naturally to me though
 

mercoledi

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Date: 3/31/2009 7:48:45 PM
Author: aquasea
Thank you so much for these suggestions, Mercoledi. I was thinking about Dan''s purple sapphire. It looks really lovely but I am wondering whether it will look like an amethyst to a novice like me! I also really like the the blue spinel EC you posted. Is the cut on this one good? I don''t know much about emerald cuts. I was never really a fan on them in diamonds but I have recently seen a few on here that are gorgeous, perhaps I have only seen poor quality ECs in real life?
Well, I suppose it could be confused with amythest though the sapph should be a bit richer in color (amythest can look glassy) and the flash is different. You will know it''s an sapphire though.

As for the EC spinel, From the one picture provided it looks like it could be a good stone. Other PSers have bought from GemRite in the past and recommend it. They have a 7 day review period if you''re not happy with it and you should feel free to email them (or any vendor) first with with any questions you have about the color or brilliance of the stone. An EC has a very different look from a round or other brilliant cut, the long facets and virtual facets reflect broad swaths of light. If you love pinfire, this may not be the cut for you. In that case I''d reccommend one of Dan''s octagonal barions, those babies are bright! Most spinels shift, so the stone may be blue in sunlight and more purplish in incandescent light.

Because it''s a blue stone the spinel might be confused with a sapphire (spinel has been used as a sapph simulant for a very long time) but spinel is in general more brilliant.

Those are both promising stones and about the same size. With colored stones, the final verdict comes from you eyes. If you see it in person and don''t like it, send it back! Don''t be scared of Dan''s return policy, he''s a very nice and reasonable person.

Do you want to buy stones to collect or to set? Be warned, either way it can be addictive
 
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