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Help me figure out if I am going nuts...

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rockzilla

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In an earlier post I wrote about my stolen tanzanite ring that I have been looking to replace with a sapphire ring. It was a cushiony-oval shape with diamond sidestones. https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/my-tanzanite-diamond-ring-now-lost-forever.55048/

The issue I am having is something I am noticing in a sapphire I am considering buying, but I also noticed it in my old tanzanite as well, so it is not entirely new. The sapphire is a 7x5mm cushion cut, that I would set N-S in a ring.

What I notice, when I look at the stone set down on my hand, is that a portion of the top half of the stone looks dark - say from the 50% point to perhaps 70-75% up the stone. The rest of the stone looks really sparkly except for this "line" across it. It is not an inclusion or something inside the stone, but it has something to do with light just not coming through at that point. If I flip the stone over 180 degrees, it has the same effect, again on the top portion the stone. The bottom "half," no matter the orientation, is very sparkly.

Is it unreasonable to think that every part of the sapphire will be sparkly from top down view? Is this some sort of sapphire version of the bow-tie effect? I tried looking it up in the forums, but didn''t find anything on bow-ties for colored stones (or cushions for that matter)

Other than this I really love the color and everything else about the stone. Hoping the color stone experts will chime in...

PS I tried to take a photo, but there is no way I can capture it with my skills/camera
 

tulip928

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Is it doing something like this? My pink sapphire is an oval, 6.9 x 6.1, and it does this in some light, other times its bright and sparkly and glowing in color.

ring 067 (3).jpg
 

movie zombie

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probably cut.....could be over staturation.....but it could be extinction.

movie zombie
 

MustangFan

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It probably has something to do with the cut.
Most people said when I was looking for a pear shaped sapphire this would happen to the tip, but the color in the stone I chose is pretty even with color.
 

widget

Ideal_Rock
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I think you're referring to "extinction".

Here are a couple of experts' comments about it that I found:

DiamondExpert: "Extinction refers to dark/black areas of no light return within a stone..."

widget
 

elmo

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I think a lot of longish oval and longish cushion shapes show this by nature of the cut. One of the cutters like Richard M will have to comment in more detail. I've always thought that to avoid that, you're better off with something that's more square i.e. similar length/width that also has sufficient depth for the type of material.
 

movie zombie

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an oval that is well cut will not have extinction. but you do pay a price for that. my spess is such a stone. i cannot abide extinction....especially for an important ring.

widget, extinction was the problem i saw with the spinels some we saw last october when we visited with a vendor in san francisco.

movie zombie
 

widget

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 2/1/2007 12:40:27 PM
Author: movie zombie

widget, extinction was the problem i saw with the spinels some we saw last october when we visited with a vendor in san francisco.
In my very limited (and amateur) experience, extinction is often a problem, especially in more saturated stones. My sapphire, described by the seller as having no extinction, does indeed darken in some light situations. Same with a tsavorite I have.

I wonder if all "darker" stones are prone to this?

I''d love to hear more about this from an expert!

widget
 

pricescope

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I will forward this to Richard M. Very interesting subject, i just bough 2 color change sapphires form him. One of them he described as having some extinction problem, not bad though. When i am looking at this stone i do see those areas...but i love it. This stone being a bit dark in addition to having extinction issue has incredible scintillation of red, orange, purple and yellow pin-point flashes. Let me tell you, this light show looks to me much better on velvet dark background.
That''s how i like it - firework on a night not a day sky, but i am a weirdo.
 

rockzilla

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Thanks for everyone who has chimed in so far...hopefully we can get some more "expert" opinions =)

Will the extinction be present regardless of the angle, or can it change as you move the stone in the light? I also notice that if the stone is furher away, I can''t see the extinction at all, it is just from a particular angle/distance.

I think my plan right now will just be to go to the jewelry district downtown this weekend and look at a bunch of stones (not to buy, just to look) and see if it is something common to this shape of stone or if it is just mine. I think it will just be good to look at a lot of stones in person, then I can tell how I really feel about this one. I didn''t notice this phenomenon in some of the B&M stores in my nearby mall, but this could be a) because they are crappy and dark all over and b) I didn''t spend hours staring at each stone =)

I just love that when I hold this sapphire at arm''s length away, it jumps out at me!

RZ
 

movie zombie

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a bit of extinction is one thing....but when the majority of the stone is extinct, i just can''t go there especially if i only get a brief glint of color when i turn the stone a particular way. but each to their own.

over saturation is a matter of color for me and a different issue. sapphires are tricky because of that and that is i think why the best command such huge premiums....deep rich color without being over saturated. and this probably why i tend to like the lighter even teal sapphires from montana......more affordable!



movie zombie
 

rockzilla

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I found this article on the web:


http://www.ruby-sapphire.com/r-s-bk-quality.htm

If you look 1/2 way down the page, there is an example where they are showing what a window looks like. There are two stones, the one on the left has darkness in the top left hand corner. This left stone''s dark area is sort of what the extinction looks like in mine.

Thanks!

RZ
 

Linda W

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I am so glad this subject came up.

One of my padparadscha sapphires does this. It is an oval, 1.49c. In certain light the top part is slightly dark, but in other lights, she shines so beautifully. I love her anyway.


IRINA: Your color change sapphire sounds gorgeous. We can''t wait to see it.


Linda
 

Richard M.

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Date: 2/1/2007 11:08:00 AM
Author: elmo
I think a lot of longish oval and longish cushion shapes show this by nature of the cut. One of the cutters like Richard M will have to comment in more detail.
Thanks for an "easy" question -- NOT!
There is simply no “one size fits all” answer to that question. In general your comment is accurate, elmo, but explaining “why” in a few short paragraphs is almost impossible. What follows is the dime version of the Lecture.

The Round Brilliant, with its hundreds of variations, probably returns the most light to the eye of any cut, hence its name. That’s because it functions as a “light bucket” (an affectionate term for telescopes from my amateur astronomer days.) Light entering through the crown is focused down to a series of evenly-arranged facets that bounce light rays from each other and back through the crown to the eye. The light paths are short, even and direct in properly-cut stones.

It''s much more difficult to obtain full-face brilliance from a gem with one long axis like long ovals, octagons, long cushions, etc., because some reflected light tends to ''cascade'' from one end of the stone to the other while leaving portions in shadow (depending on the facet design.)

One solution to this problem is the Barion cut, which has a pointed pavilion just like a round brilliant. It was originally designed for square or rectangular diamonds but has been adapted to many colored stones and other shapes. While the optical performance is great it results in rather deep stones and is quite wasteful of material so you’ll seldom see it in valuable materials like sapphire. Some other facet plans can result in good light performance but there are many variations that have to be taken into account and cut stones vary greatly in that respect. “The Guide,” which has wide use as a reference for gem pricing, says: “…most gems will show a combination of brilliance, windowing, and extinction.”

Not many sapphires are cut in the U.S., for instance. They’re usually cut in the country of origin for color or to retain weight, not brilliance. Recutting will not always yield optimum light performance without serious reductions in size and weight.

Hope this doesn’t raise more questions than it answers.

Richard M.
 

rockzilla

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Thanks Richard! I guess I will just have to decide if I *love* the stone extinction and all. Everything else is perfect, and it is the best I''ve seen so far (with the exception of one ridiculously priced piece at Tiffany''s) so we''ll see what happens this weekend =)

I can''t believe the sapphires they try to sell people in some stores around here...look like a black piece of plastic! The one I have certainly puts those to shame, even with the extinction. But, I can also understand why someone would want a more "perfect" cut stone, especially if price is not as much of an issue.

It seems the consensus is that, in this shape of stone, it will be very difficult to find a non-extinction stone that has all of the other qualities I want in it (color, brilliance, etc).

RZ
 

movie zombie

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Date: 2/1/2007 5:14:19 PM
Author: rockzilla
Thanks Richard! I guess I will just have to decide if I *love* the stone extinction and all. Everything else is perfect, and it is the best I''ve seen so far (with the exception of one ridiculously priced piece at Tiffany''s) so we''ll see what happens this weekend =)

I can''t believe the sapphires they try to sell people in some stores around here...look like a black piece of plastic! The one I have certainly puts those to shame, even with the extinction. But, I can also understand why someone would want a more ''perfect'' cut stone, especially if price is not as much of an issue.

It seems the consensus is that, in this shape of stone, it will be very difficult to find a non-extinction stone that has all of the other qualities I want in it (color, brilliance, etc).

RZ
if there is no extinciton then it is not redicuously priced. price goes down with less desireable cuts. less desireable cuts exhibit extinction. it just comes down to how much extinction you can live with....some can live with lots and others none.

movie zombie
 

rockzilla

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I meant the whole piece was ridiculously priced (to someone at my income level anyways) and I was comparing the brilliance of the stone, not the extinction/lack thereof (the tiffany''s one was actually round, so less likely to have extinction anyways). I understand that combining all the desirable factors makes a stone more expensive, but I guess eventually I will have to decide if I can deal with a stone with some inperfections or no stone at all, as I don''t have an unlimited budget.

This whole thing is makind me sad.

RZ
 

movie zombie

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Date: 2/2/2007 2:18:38 AM
Author: rockzilla
I meant the whole piece was ridiculously priced (to someone at my income level anyways) and I was comparing the brilliance of the stone, not the extinction/lack thereof (the tiffany''s one was actually round, so less likely to have extinction anyways). I understand that combining all the desirable factors makes a stone more expensive, but I guess eventually I will have to decide if I can deal with a stone with some inperfections or no stone at all, as I don''t have an unlimited budget.

This whole thing is makind me sad.

RZ
and therein lies the rub: most of us don''t have an unlimited budget! in december i saw $38,000 star rubies which were indeed beautiful but i''m not about to drop that on a stone.....but those montana sapphires have possibilities.

just like in the world of diamonds, we get what we pay for and its always about deciding what the tradeoffs are that we can or cannot live with. like those in the diamond forums, i''ll reduce size and perhaps go for less popular/desireable color before i''ll go for poor cut. and often what is pleasing to my eye isn''t the most popular/desireable color. this helps to reduce price.

as long as you''re willing to live with what you buy, why not?! its all about what makes you happy. but the differences between a $300, $3000, and $30,000 sapphire are going to be noticeable to someone who cares about such things.....just like with diamonds.

i know it is sad but like real estate not everyone can live in a mansion. just get the very best your budget will allow and the best stone that amount of money will buy.

not wishing to live in a mansion but certainly wishing i had an unlimited budget to buy the very best each and every time [heavy sigh],

movie zombie

ps check out montana sapphires here: http://www.customgemstones.com/ i have not yet bought from him but i believe others here at pricescope have. also, i''ve communicated with him via e-mail re stones and have found him to be no pressure. his stones go quick but that .81 sapphire that is already sold looks really interesting. i believe he has a good return policy also.
 

MustangFan

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I understand your frustration
It is really hard to nit pick with colored stones
A lot of stones are cut lop sided and that really annoys me (native cut) I''ve seen in a lot of high end jewelery store where they off set the stone to prevent it looking lop sided face up. Also my stone has a "big belly" or pavillion which doesn''t fit in standard diamond setting, so if you chose a stone like this plan on having a custom made setting,which can be expensive depending on what you pick. It seems like if you want deep color the thickness of the stone will be larger than a diamond. Where I went their platinum settings started at 2k and 14k started at 1,200. I think some extinction is envitable with rich blues, it all depends how much you want to live with. If you pass the one you have up, you might regret it later. Especially if you have specifics in mind. I really wanted a pear which was difficult to find, basically they only normally cut a stone into a pear if it''s rough is shaped similar. Hence why so many stones are ovals, at least this is what I was told... Also I wanted the cut to have symmetery, a certain color I had in mind.. It all depends on how long you want to wait to find the right stone also. As they say, if it speaks to you, then I would keep it, but if it doesn''t move on to the next one.
 

movie zombie

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yes, deep pavillions do
 

rockzilla

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Thanks you guys for being so nice...this has been a rough week for me (outside of the sapphire searching) and I think I should wait to make this major (for me) purchase until I am in a better frame of mind. When my tazanite ring was stolen last year, it was one of two nice pieces of jewlery I had (the other being a tiffany open heart necklace that my BF got me for our two year anniversary) and now my fingers just feel so lonely without it. I guess I am still mad that the nicest thing I ever bought for myself was stolen by some jerk of a plumber.

Colored stones are more complicated to shop for online, since there aren''t a lot of standard cuts, it is hard to tell color from photos, it is expensive to have things sent to you/send back, etc. I am going to spend some time seeing a lot of stone in person to get a better idea of what I really want in this purchase.

I was hoping this project would be fun, and I guess, if it is not fun right now I should give it a break until I can have fun with it again. I really appreciate the advice and knowledge of the people on this board!

RZ
 

movie zombie

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sounds like a good plan! i was in the same position at one point....and also decided to wait until my head was in a better space. please keep us posted!

movie zombie
 
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