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Help evaluating with ruby ring or loose ruby/spinel ?

Discussion in 'Colored Gemstones' started by PriscaSinclair, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. PriscaSinclair
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    by PriscaSinclair » Apr 14, 2019
    Hi everyone!
    I am new here and you all are so full of knowledge I just decided to join so that I can ask what you think. I originally was just looking for a natural ruby ring... and I found one on Ebay with a GIA cert so initially I was excited... but after doing some research I am now thinking maybe I need to take a step back and reevaluate? I have found it's hard to tell the quality of a ruby. Especially when ...

    1.) You don't know what you are doing
    2.) You are looking at pictures instead of the actual ruby.

    And originally I was trying to stay under 3K for something over 1 carat maybe 1.5 carats but this now seems unrealistic? Maybe I would have better luck finding another reddish stone like a spinel? I would like to have a small natural stone of some sort if possible. Of course it's not going to be anywhere near perfect in that price range but I would like to try to find as much of a quality gem as I can. I put a link to the ring on Ebay at the bottom that I had put an offer on but the seller ignored me and let it expire. I thought she would counter but she didn't. I did send her a follow up question about the ring and asked for a few more pictures but she never answered me. Maybe thats a hint telling me to start my search over with a just stone first and try to put a ring together myself? I know my poor husband thinks I'm OCD and I should just buy the dang Ebay ring and be done with it but I just don't want to make a costly mistake on this!

    Thank you so much for any thoughts or pointers! I have read some posts on here and thats why I am wondering that if Im going to be on such a tight budget maybe the easiest way for a new person to try to do this herself (with possibly equal to better results than a ready made ring) would be to just look for a gem on Gemfix and then hope to find a setting with the IvyRose people on Etsy?

    Heres a spinel I found that seems ok. And then here's a ruby too but wow its getting up there in price.

    https://gemfix.com/gems/spinel-31-338
    https://gemfix.com/gems/ruby-19-594

    And here's the ready made Ebay ring -

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/18K-Natura...ppraisal-9000-UCG-Valentines-Day/292923641438

    Thank you!
     
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  2. lovedogs
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    by lovedogs » Apr 14, 2019
    i think the ebay ring won't look nice in person. That's WAY too cheap for a ruby, especially one that isn't teated. So I assume that they are photographing it in really flattering light, and IRL it would be black.

    It will be almost impossible to find a good color 1ct ruby under 3K that isn't filled/heavily treated. It will be slightly easier (But still hard) to find a red spinel, but not impossible.

    the one you found from gemfix was 4K by itself, so definitely the whole ring will be above your preferred 3k budget.

    I like the red spinel you found from gemfix! What kind of setting are you looking for?
     
  3. T L
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    by T L » Apr 15, 2019
    All of the stones you picked, including the ring, will probably look like pyrope garnets in real life. Unfortunately, you picked the most expensive gemstone, and color, to get. With your budget, I would probably abandon my search for a ruby, or a fine red spinel, or increase the budget by a substantial amount, if you want something red with minimal treatment.

    If you like those gem colors, I would get a red family garnet instead, in which case you’ll save a great deal of money, and you can put it towards a nice setting. Red and pink garnets are durable, sparkle like mad when well cut and are untreated, not to mention, very affordable.
     
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  4. hwm
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    by hwm » Apr 15, 2019
    I was looking for a red stone with similar budget as well but found that it is quite a difficult task...
    anyway, I considered the below stones but eventually I passed all of them because of different reasons. You might take a look and see if you are interested in any of them:
    Too pink for me
    https://www.wildfishgems.com/inc/sdetail/unheated_tanzanian_ruby_1_09/10910/19429

    Over Budget
    http://www.diamondsbylauren.com/index.php/jewelry/135ct-pink-cushion-cut-sapphire-ring-r7555

    A bit too Dark for me, no fluorescence, with a hint of orange (price was 2500 usd)
    https://loupetroop.com/listings/loo...el-mahenge-tanzania-agl-prestige-report;28327
     
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  5. lmyracle
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    by lmyracle » Apr 15, 2019
    Oooh, I don't care for that return policy on the e-bay ring. Just want to say don't rush into anything and take your time finding what truly speaks to you, even as frustrating as it is trying to find what you want. Good luck!
     
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  6. qubitasaurus
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  7. lovedogs
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  8. PriscaSinclair
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    by PriscaSinclair » Apr 15, 2019
    Wow you guys are great! So fast with so much amazing info!
    Lovedogs, I agree about the Ebay ring, I was afraid it would look black and when I asked for more pics I got no response (hmmm...).
    and Lmyracle you are right to catch that return policy. Ebay has her listed (officially) as normal 30 day returns but at the bottom she has a written caveat that she WONT take returns unless the listing was not as described. More fishiness...
    In regards to a setting I was looking for something in platinum since its strong and maybe in a halo type setting, but I could do 14k white gold if it makes it cheaper. Doesn't have to be clever or fancy just something classic (or simple) lol that will still look decent years from now when I give it to my daughter. My husband completely agrees with TL saying that garnet is practical and its my birthstone so thats they was to go if I can find a sparkly one thats not black looking indoors (like the garnet ring I already have.) I haven't even searched for garnets because I just thought they were always a darker stone and I would rather go more pink than too dark. (But I'm going to start! Might as well learn what's out there and get the real price of things)
    In fact the pink ring that HWM sent by rings by Lauren has almost the exact setting I kind of had in mind! That is soooo pretty!!!! I would be happy to have that ring as a substitute for my original ruby ring and in fact if I could put something together that looked remotely like that for under 3k I would be very happy. I could wait a bit I guess and just save some more money. I LOVE that ruby on Loupe troupe as well omg its such a nice color and I like the spinel even though it is a little darker but its 4k today... even more than that great ruby!

    But anyway, its all good because I am a practical girl and I have lots of other places to search now and you guys have given me tons of homework that I can go start on and at least know I know and Im not stuck looking on Ebay for this type of thing.

    BTW did I mention I really want that ruby! Maybe if I cook a nice dinner tonight and discuss it with my husband...


    And thank you all for the help and lessons lol! This world of red gems is quite complicated but utterly fascinating really and something tells me I have just found the tip of the iceberg :D
     
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  9. T L
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    by T L » Apr 15, 2019
    I’m glad you’re considering garnets. This one is nice, and he’s a precision gem cutter. It might go more peachy in artificial light, so I would ask about that. He may have other stones worth considering if this has sold. He also does pink tourmaline, but I don’t recommend that gem species for everyday wear.

    https://www.facebook.com/RiouxRocks/photos/a.411235748914195/2150406774997075?type=3&sfns=mo

    One other thing to note about ruby is that it’s extremely dense, so a one carat gem will face up smaller than most other gems. If you want a larger looking stone, it’s not that practical.
     
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  10. lovedogs
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    by lovedogs » Apr 15, 2019
    This one would be glorious
    https://www.finewatergems.com/store/p509/4.40_ct_"Hearts_and_Arrow"_Rhodolite_Garnet.html

    Not too dark and he's offering a 20% discount until Wednesday I think. It's precision cut and amazing.
     
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  11. alene
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  12. alene
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  13. T L
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    by T L » Apr 15, 2019
    Nice red spinel. It has fluorescence, which I forgot to note. If the OP still wants a ruby or a spinel, she should make sure it has strong red fluorescence. Red garnets do not, but I suspect those pyrope garnet looking rubies and spinels she originally picked out, did not either. Typically dark brownish red spinels or rubies do not fluoresce.
     
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  14. chroman
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  15. qubitasaurus
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    by qubitasaurus » Apr 15, 2019
    If you are dreaming of a ruby, then I would go with a ruby or a spinel that has flourescence -- in the lower price ranges I honestly feel they look similar. I would not personally pick a garnet. They rarley look like rubys or spinels. I think LD has a thread where she found one which approximated a spinel, and for years later I checked every garnet looking for those attributes only to conclude they were as rare as hens teeth.

    The finewatergems ones look promising. His sale is quite short in duration though -- see his instagram for details.
     
    


    


  16. T L
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    by T L » Apr 15, 2019
    I think the darker red spinels and some darkish rubies are dead ringers for pyrope garnet, like the ones the OP originally picked. However, a fine ruby or a spinel, no way, especially if they fluoresce. I do think some rhodolites are quite beautiful though in their own right, and if one is on a strict smaller budget like the OP, it’s a nice alternative. Just my two cents=)2

    Of course if the OP really wants a decent ruby or spinel, the budget needs to go up, as demonstrated by some of the stone suggestions in this thread.
     
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  17. qubitasaurus
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    by qubitasaurus » Apr 15, 2019
    @TL do you know who owns thr red garnet I am thinking of? It is round, stop light red and apparently did not shift too much. It was someone's first gemstone purchase they posted to this forum (someone who went on to create 1000s of posts).

    I thought it was LD but I can't find it (it does not help that LD's photos in her older posts now don't seem to load for me).

    In any case I agree that there is a point where garnets can look convincingly like dark spinels and rubys. And if it turns out to be difficult to find a sufficiently bright spinel or ruby within budget then garnets are lovely and sparkly and would make a good substitute. I would still hunt first for a smaller spinel though, as I think for 3 k it may be possible. So many get posted to loupetroop for far less

    https://loupetroop.com/listings/loo...1-dot-06-ct-oval-pink-mahenge-spinel-plus-lot

    Meanwhile it would be possible to ask finewatergems about whether the spinel above and other ones on his site show flourescence and how strong this flourescence is (this has clearly been something that he has been testing for). With the 30% sale some of the spinels on the finewatergems site are definitely in budget.

    I still feel like if I was dreaming of a ruby, then I would not want to recourse to a garnet without first trying all my other options. As you said a good ruby or spinel will be difficult to imitate -- the real deal is amazing.
     
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  18. T L
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    by T L » Apr 15, 2019
    LD owns a very beautiful umbalite (a beautiful quality rhodolite from the Umba valley in Africa). I think it was super old material from Gene at precisiongem, and it was more of a pink/purple.

    I don’t recall seeing a stop light red garnet ever, here or in real life. To be honest, you’re not going to get stop light red except in the finest quality spinels and rubies in my opinion. Red garnets can be reddish, but not stop light red. Since stop light red can be subjective, this is what I consider “stop light red.”

     
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  19. T L
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  20. qubitasaurus
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    by qubitasaurus » Apr 15, 2019
    I found it! I always get LD and iLander confused I have no idea why (so sorry guys...)

    https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/finally-the-bubblegum-ring.150757/

    I don't know what you would call the colour, I agree stop light red is subjective and isnt quite the right descriptor for this stone anyway. And the thread which started the search, which I think is actually very topical for the current OP

    https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/which-stone-do-i-need.143386/

    I agree with TL, a good ruby above 1 ct. will be hard to find below 3 k. They are just astronomically expensive. You can read iLanders threads to see how long she searched for this bublegum ring, and conclude a garnet which even remotely approximates a ruby is an equally formidable task. This stone was at some stage a HG for me, I would have loved to have found one. More recently there has been some lighter coloured garnets which don't look at all like rubies but are pretty in their own right. This would be a distinct possibility.
     
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  21. T L
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    by T L » Apr 16, 2019
    Ilander’s garnet is a very nice orangey red to my eye. I think it’s beautiful. It’s hard to find reddish garnets that do not go dark. I think the OP said above that she would be open to pink stones, and there are some lovely pink garnets as you mentioned, that do not go dark. If she wants to go much lighter pink, then some pink spinels would be in budget.

    Isn’t it fun to find long lost, but fascinating threads? =)2
     
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  22. qubitasaurus
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    by qubitasaurus » Apr 16, 2019
    This thread was one of my all time favourites.... I keep scrolling through it smiling idiotically at myself, haha. Clearly I need to go live my real life for the rest of the day! But I love reading old posts, actually I always love reading yours too. I learn a lot from them.
     
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  23. T L
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    by T L » Apr 16, 2019
    Oh thank you qubitasaurus, you’re making me blush! The OP might like my color right about now.:kiss2:
     
  24. icy_jade
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    by icy_jade » Apr 16, 2019
    Was reading this thread with interest as I recently got an unheated 1.2ct Mozambique ruby (locally certified as ‘red’ color) along with setting for below 3k. Am not in US and I guess pricing can differ quite a bit thought to share that maybe still possible to find a ruby within OP’s budget with a bit of luck.

    From top left then clockwise: Outdoor shaded sunlight, bright sunlight, bright balcony shaded sunlight and indoor with pigeon blood earring for color reference
    104464D1-09FB-4E70-A367-18C0C002AFDC.jpeg

    It’s not the desired ‘pigeon blood’ color but I personally quite like the pink modifier.

    I was actually looking for a 2 to 3ct ruby but kinda gave up after hearing the prices for 3ct (astronomical!!) plus really just unexpectedly fell in love with this one (suspect is the pretty floral halo) when I tried it for fun.

    FWIW my personal experience was that nice red spinels with good fluorescence had pretty shocking prices when I enquired with IG sellers... so much so that they were more like ruby equivalent pricing rather than ruby replacement pricing and getting hard to justify getting when I really wanted rubies. And garnets etc just didn’t have the pop of color when I saw them (nice bright ones seem to be so rare and just as hard to find as a nice ruby?). And didn’t manage to find any really red rubellite to compare too. I rem a PS-er has a rubellite that gets mistaken for ruby but can’t rem who...

    @PriscaSinclair good luck and hope you find something soon! I know how it feels cos I was in your shoes recently too. Btw are you open to preloved rings? If yes what size are you?

    PS Oh ya, just to add. Burmese stones were way out of range but African stones were relatively more budget friendly. Seeing Burmese on the cert automatically adds XX% (30? 50? Not sure and can’t rem cos the prices were too traumatic - selective amnesia haha) to the price tag... it was to the extent that if I heard it’s a Burmese ruby I won’t even bother to ask about price.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
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  25. T L
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    by T L » Apr 16, 2019
    Icy Jade, you didn’t buy that ring for under $3k, you stole it!!! Wow, great find!!! Beautiful ring, and who the heck knows what color “pigeon blood “ is anyways! I’ve seen a gazillion different shades of “pigeon blood.” It’s an absolutely ridiculous metaphor that doesn’t describe color at all. Your ruby looks a lot nicer than some of the so-called pigeon blood rubies that I have seen.

    Mozambique rubies can be very beautiful, so I wouldn’t look to Burma only for a nice ruby, especially if on a budget. You’ll be paying a much higher premium for the Burma origin. One of my favorite ruby rings on this forum, actually one of my all-time favorite rings on this forum, is a Mozambique ruby ring. I can’t find pics of it though!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
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  26. voce
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    by voce » Apr 16, 2019
    For 1ct+ ruby on a budget, you can get nice stones if you buy heat only and African origin. I'm really glad I got my ruby ering when I did because looking at the alternatives, df and I got it for a steal., because it's unheated and a pure red.

    When it comes to ruby substitutes, I have opinions. Good red spinels that are pure red are priced so high, yeah, they might as well be rubies. I find it easy to resist those prices when I already have a red ruby. Rubellite tourmalines can be comparable to pink red rubies without fluorescence. I personally think even the best garnet is not a good substitute for a ruby. The reason being is that while rubies look better under the sun, garnets darken instead.
     
  27. PriscaSinclair
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    by PriscaSinclair » Apr 16, 2019
    Lovedogs that Rhodolite garnet was fabulous and so big! Kind of more raspberry-ish to my untrained eye but just so beautiful I didn't even realize how pretty garnets could be. Its sold already :( I was crushed but the price was pretty sweet so no wonder. I looked for another one like it (Chroman sent a great link to garnets thank you! ) since raspberry (or whatever color that was) is my second favorite color but I haven't found one just like it yet.
    TL, The Malia garnet on Rioux Rocks is so sparkly its hard to stop looking at it but my husband said he thinks with my fair skin I would be happier with something with a bit more contrast, like a spinel (if I can afford one) or even a Rhodolite garnet like the one Lovedogs sent. But I have decided that if I get a garnet its going to be an amazing garnet so that I can love it for being a beautiful representation of its kind, instead of looking at it and always wishing it were a ruby. Seems unfair to the poor garnet to do that lol.
    But I haven't ruled out the spinel! There is something I just LOVE about the spinels. I think its because nobody I know has one and its kind of fun to have something unique. Plus they are gorgeous and Mother Nature just made them that way without us even having to do anything to make them prettier. Hubby likes the 2.18 ct Burmese spinel that Alene sent the best of all so far and I admit its amazing. I wouldn't have much left for a setting but I could always set it later in a few months. The only problem with it is the sale is over sooo soon I would have to hurry up and make a decision fast because I certainly can't afford that stone without the 30% discount.

    BTW Voce the ring in your avatar at the top is crazy gorgeous and classic and right along the lines of what I was looking for originally before I realized the extent of my financial constraints :)

    However after seeing the ring that Icy Jade just posted holy moly!! Maybe there is chance to still find a ruby lol! Thats like a QUEEN ring! Good heavens and under 3k such a steal! And yes I was originally looking at preloved rings because I thought I could get a better quality stone for my money if I bought something used. However, its been really hard for me to evaluate the stones in those rings, and so few seem to come with AGL or GIA certs...

    Also, just to show you how new I am to all this, I had to go look up 'fluorescence in a ruby' so that I could try to keep up with what you guys are saying! Generally I've only heard that word in terms of a light bulb. :idea:

    But I must say it's great fun hunting these gems. Sure could get addicting!
     
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  28. voce
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    by voce » Apr 16, 2019
    I wouldn't go with preloved rings. There are some who charge more for the "vintage" and "uniqueness" factors, and in my experience (of looking, not buying) there's a lot of preloved rings that have synthetic stones. Antique sellers usually don't include lab reports, and rubies are something you'll definitely want lab reports for. With how high the prices for red spinels are these days, I'd want to see AGL for them as well before I'd consider buying them. Because let's face it, at least some of the spinels on the market are man made.

    Oh, by the way, I thought you might enjoy this thread showing fluorescence in rubies and spinels.
     
  29. T L
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    by T L » Apr 16, 2019
    PriscaSinclair,
    I’m very impressed with the homework you’re doing as a newbie to colored gems. Rubies are the most challenging of gems to purchase. You’ll find all kinds of horrid stones at high prices, and it’s so hard to weed out the best at a fair price.

    Good luck. By the way if you see a stone you love from a vendor, and it’s sold, ask if they can source more of the same material. You never know.
     
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  30. meely
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    by meely » Apr 16, 2019
    Following this with interest. There is someone who bought a killer spinel sometime in the last 18 months it was a gorgeous vibrant colour. I think it was an instagram vendor. Can anyone remember who I'm referencing and do a shoutout? Pretty sure there was a dedicated thread.
     

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