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Help! Just learning about sapphires!

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tiggah77

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My future-fiance and I are researching diamond alternatives for my enagagement ring, and several people have suggested white sapphires. We have an appointment next week with one firm to look at one, but we honestly don''t know what to look for in a white sapphire! Our goal is to get a princess-cut white sapphire somewhere between 0.75 and 1 carat to be set into a ring we are having custom-made per my design. I''ve been reading posts on here all day and you all seem so helpful and knowledgable!
Here is the link for the white sapphire we will be going to see, as long as it hasn''t been sold by then! =) Any thoughts, ideas, opinions would be greatly GREATLY appreciated!!!

Thanks!!!!!

http://www.thenaturalsapphirecompany.com/Sapphires/Unique/U2706/Princess%20Cut/stoneid=U2706
 

chrono

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I don't know how much you know about sapphires but white sapphires do not have the fire or dispersion of diamonds. They are white and are brilliant but will not have the rainbow flash. They are pretty on their own terms but cannot be compared to diamonds. Would you consider a coloured gemstone? European royalty typically are engaged with coloured gemstones.
 

MakingTheGrade

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While you're at NSC, you should ask to see their box of sapphire rings, it's quite impressive! And it might give you some new ideas of what you might like in terms of color (or lack of color if you decide to stick with white).

I picked out a small padparadscha sapphire stone from looking at their ring box, hehe. I love it, very sparkly.
 

ma re

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Like Chrono said, there really isn't a stone that looks A LOT like a diamond, at least not if you know what the differences are. And being an e-ring stone (that should be more durable and resistant to wear than "ordinary jewellery") makes it even harder to find something suitable. But if you're not after something identical to diamond, than white sapphires certainly are nice stones. Now, if you haven't seen white sapphires in person, there are some things to know i.e. to expect. It will not have as much "life" to it as a diamond, especially in such a (relatively) small size, due to sapphire having a lower refractive index i.e. not being able to slow down light as much as a diamond can. Perceived "liveliness" is also affected by the cut, and if you're not absolutely in love with a princess cut, I'd recommend something else. Due to reasons stated above, choosing a step cut such as an emerald cut, will make the stone appear much more scintillating, as there are less facets and they're larger so it's easier for the stone to "catch" light and exhibit brilliance. Not to mention that princess cuts, unless well protected by a setting, are not the best option for an engagement ring, as cuts with sharp corners are easier to damage. Well this gives you some things to consider and maybe rethink, but hope you'll still have fun
 

tiggah77

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We started out (clueless, mind you) wanting a light blue stone like an aquamarine or a blue topaz, until we discovered that they are not durable enough. We're open to other options...it's not that we're looking for something to replicate a diamond, we know nothing will look like a diamond...we're more looking for a beautiful stone to use instead of a diamond.

The truth of the matter for us is, right now we simply can not afford a diamond... there are other things we want to do with our money in addition to getting married... and I'm not comfortable with the practice behind diamonds. Any other suggestions are certainly welcome!!!! =)

As far as the princess cut goes... unfortunately with the design of the ring we feel it's the only shape that will work, although we're researching other options here as well!
 

MakingTheGrade

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If you like light blue you can also consider blue zircon, blue spinel, or blue sapphire. (It''s a bit tricky to find light blue sapphires though, they tend to get heated to darken the blue, but they are out there)
 

MakingTheGrade

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Here''s a pretty light blue sapphire (though not a princess). It''s 1.3 cts for 420$.

thumb_29418.jpg
 

MakingTheGrade

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Another light blue sapphire:



Blue zircon:


Blue spinel (in a more saturated, deeper blue. They come in lighter blues too)


Just to give you a little idea of what''s out there :)
 

tiggah77

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MakingTheGrade: Wow! Those first few are awesome! Thanks so much for the inspiration!
 

MakingTheGrade

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Date: 4/23/2009 4:23:29 PM
Author: tiggah77
MakingTheGrade: Wow! Those first few are awesome! Thanks so much for the inspiration!
No problem! I love blues :) Did any one in particular catch your eye?
By the way, NSC is having a 10% off mothers day sale, just fyi if you go through them in the next few weeks.
 

tiggah77

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Seriously? I just set it up today for them to send me the stone to view. It should be here tomorrow... although we still don''t really know what to look for...we''re flying by the seat of our pants here! They didn''t mention anything about a sale, but I may just have to ask! =)

I''ve also been in touch with Richard Homer. Boy is he fun to chat with! =) He has an awesome hexagon cut that I have completely fallen in love with...but no white sapphire.

This whole process has become completely overwhelming! I feel like I should lock myself in the library with books about gemstones! Thank goodness for this site! Just reading other people''s posts has become very helpful! =)
 

MakingTheGrade

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Would his hexagon cut work for your design? It'd be exciting to get a Homer cut gem for an E-ring :) So you're still leaning towards white stones?
Michael E has an octagon cut sapphire that could be gorgeous, it's 1ct untreated 6.4mm.
 

chrono

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Date: 4/23/2009 4:41:56 PM
Author: MakingTheGrade
Would his hexagon cut work for your design? It''d be exciting to get a Homer cut gem for an E-ring :) So you''re still leaning towards white stones?
Michael E has an octagon cut sapphire that could be gorgeous, it''s 1ct untreated 6.4mm.
That''s a fine looking blue sapphire. The colour is very rich and velvety looking.
 

chrono

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Tiggah,
I would be very concerned about the pointy corners of the princess cut. They have a tendency to chip at those points, even during the setting process and diamonds are the hardest gems. If you want a similar outline but with less of a breakage risk, I''d go with a sqare cushion shape which has rounded corners.
 

MakingTheGrade

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Although, his design might involve a bezel setting, in which case it'd be more protected?
 

cinnamon013

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MTG, that blue zircon is so yummy! Might not be the best color for an engagement ring, but I'd love to look at that stone every day.
 

ma re

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If you need a square shape for the design, there''s carre cut a.k.a. square step cut, which is the same shape as a princess but "less complicated" so more suitable for colored stones. It''s often used for small accent sapphires and rubies, but I''m sure some larger stones can be found with it too. Zircon is about as durable as an aqua (if not less), and since you need a square shape, keep in mind that you can probably find them in spinels more often than in some other stones. But the problem with blue spinels is that in the majority of cases their blue isn''t a nice, straight shade, but more of a grey-blue. There are also blue tourmalines (although not very durable - kind of like aquas), but they''re rarely light blue, and affordable ones are more towards teal than blue. I''d also check to see if cushion cut would work - that could make your search much easier.
 

tiggah77

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In my mind I''m still leaning towards the white, but it will all depend on seeing things in person. The princess cut from my original post was delivered today, so we''ll get to see how we feel about both the shape and the color. I''m very glad to hear from you all that there are other square options besides the princess cut. Due to the ring design it does have to be square, but not neccessarily princess. I''m getting a lot of feedback against the princess, so it''s time for me to alter my research! =)

If we were to go with blue, it would have to be a pretty light blue with no green in it. No offense to the color teal, but it''s not my favorite color. =) I''m definitely concerned about the durability of the stone we choose since it is going to be an e-ring, which is why we''ve been going for sapphires.

I''ve been in constant contact with Richard over the past few days, and I''m loving what he has to say... and he''s able to work within our price point. So we''ll check out the sapphire we have on loan from NSC and see how we feel about the white, but I''m getting the feeling we won''t be keeping it.

You are all fantastic! Thanks so much for the advice and opinions!!!!!
 

LD

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Date: 4/23/2009 4:41:56 PM
Author: MakingTheGrade
Would his hexagon cut work for your design? It''d be exciting to get a Homer cut gem for an E-ring :) So you''re still leaning towards white stones?
Michael E has an octagon cut sapphire that could be gorgeous, it''s 1ct untreated 6.4mm.
OMG
please help ............. who is Michael E?
 

MakingTheGrade

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Hey LD :)
Michael E is a jeweler/cutter, he used to be a regular PS poster a few years back but I guess he's been too busy lately. Isn't the sapphire pretty? It "may" be too dark depending on the lighting conditions of this photo, but I would have to see it in person to judge.

You can email him : [email protected]
He's super duper nice :) I think this stone is 500$. Let us know if you get it!
 

LD

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Date: 4/24/2009 2:48:21 PM
Author: MakingTheGrade
Hey LD :)
Michael E is a jeweler/cutter, he used to be a regular PS poster a few years back but I guess he''s been too busy lately. Isn''t the sapphire pretty? It ''may'' be too dark depending on the lighting conditions of this photo, but I would have to see it in person to judge.

You can email him : [email protected]
He''s super duper nice :) I think this stone is 500$. Let us know if you get it!
Thanks so much MTG. I found his website a minute ago but can''t find the sapphire
Am I looking at the right website? www.gemshoppe.com????

I''ll email him now - I agree it may be too dark but if I don''t ask I won''t know!
 

MakingTheGrade

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He doesn't list his stones on his site often, you have to ask (he's really more a jeweler than a cutter is the impression I get). (I have a light blue sapphire from him on the way!) I'm sure if you email him with the photo attached, he'll know what you're talking about. Let us know what he says and if you get it! Hehe, I love to live vicariously through you guys!
 

LD

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Enabler


Aaaaah that explains it then! Thanks again for the info. I''ll ask a few questions and see where we get. I''ll let you know if I get it. Thanks a million. x
 

MakingTheGrade

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I love enabling! Hehe, I figure if PSers buy the stones that I can''t afford right now, I''ll at least get to see lots of pictures!
 

D&T

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I love learning new things form you guys!.... I love the octagonal shape... yummy...
 
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