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Help from the PS Appraisers

attyl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
10
In all honesty, the stone referred to in this post is a sapphire, but all of the appraisers hang out over hear in Rocky Talk. Please forgive my minor subterfuge.

Appraisers, would you feel comfortable ascribing an origin to a stone for insurance purposes? If so, besides a microscope and maybe a UV lamp, what equipment would you need?

Or would you typically require the client to have an AGL report or some other lab document, which you would then just include in the appraisal?

I appreciate any help on this issue.
 

Karl_K

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
9,481
There are very few appraisers who have that skill set, if your selling it based on location someone is going to want an agl or gia(very high end stone) report.
I would go further and say most appraisers are not suitable for a no treatment report on sapphire either.
Its is rather a specialized area that takes a lot of expensive equipment and constant training,
 

attyl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
10
Ah, I should have been more specific.

It's highly unlikely that this stone will ever be sold as it's for an engagement ring. But the person setting it requires the client to have the stone insured first, so I would definitely want the appraisal to specify the origin and treatment levels, as it was specifically purchased as an untreated Montana sapphire from a reputable PS vendor, who personally knows the mine owners. I don't doubt the vendor's word at all, but "like kind and quality" would definitely have to be an unheated US stone.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,749
In a word, no.

There are some molecular things that can be looked at with the right tools, like a Raman spectroscope, that can give clues to the geologic origin of a particular stone but even that doesn’t really identify a specific location in most cases. That’s what AGL is doing for example. The geology was settled a million years before the political boundaries were. True country of origin claims are nearly always based on provenance or the history of the stone and even those can be suspect. I’m happy to consider documentation from AGL, GIA, Gueblin or similar credible lab in my value conclusions and I”ll do it as a direct reference to their report (ie. Stone reported to be Ceylon origin per the attached report), but I do not make country of origin calls on appraisals and probably wouldn't even on a stone that I, personally, mined. It's just not defensible.

If you want paperwork to 'prove' Montana provenance, get a written statement from the dealer or the mine guys, and then get an AGL statement based on the geology. Have both of these referenced by the appraiser in the body of the report. Assuming the insurance company binds a policy, which is likely unless there's som other problem, the client should be well covered.
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,084
Not an appraiser, but it seems unlikely that a jewelry-gem appraiser would find it profitable to make the investment -- as AGL, for example, does -- in (a) collecting various specimens for research-comparison, and (b) the equipment that's used in sussing out geographic origin. E.g., the base price for the least expensive GemmoRaman alone is more than $12,000.

This 2009 article is no longer au courant, but you'll still get an idea of what's involved & the range of equipment (with photos); it gave me a greater appreciation of why Origin reports from the reputable labs cost more, and why you see a qualifying phrase like "Based on available gemological information, it is the opinion of the Laboratory that the origin of this material would be classified as Ceylon (Sri Lanka)."
http://gemologyproject.com/wiki/index.php?title=Origin_determination
 

attyl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
10
Thanks so much for your replies, guys. They do make perfect sense. Off to the AGL it goes!

This being my first real gem purchase, it's hard to know exactly how to budget; it's far more complicated than just "setting" and "stone". I'm so glad I found this resource (PS) before I made any REALLY costly mistakes.
 
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