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Help me make/find the perfect sapphire e/ring

HelpMeOut

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
7
Complete beginner to buying jewelry so please bear with me....

So in the past month I have decided that it is time to propose to the woman of my dreams and now the mission is to find the ring of her dreams. I know through previous conversations that she would like an emerald cut sapphire, white gold or platinum, and I know she likes antique style rings. I think the antique style however is really the least important of the 3 above.

I have never bought jewelry for anyone other than myself so this is a big way to start. Once I started I my research I have quickly come to realize that I am in way over my head. I went to a 4 jewelers in the past week (don't live in a huge city) just to see what sapphire rings are available and I only saw 1 ring that was even remotely close to what I want (but still not close to being something I would be proud to give her). I am now thinking that I will likely be buying the ring and/or stone online.

Here is what I am thinking so far....
Budget - 5k.
1-2ct Emerald Cut mid blue/dark blue Sapphire - VVS1 quality
Maybe 3 stone ring with 2 smaller side diamonds
Platinum or white gold band

And some questions.....
1) Does getting the stone GIA certified matter as much if I do not care about heating?

2) I know the stone is the focal point but how much of the budget would you put into the stone vs. the ring and possible side stones (If I buy them separately)?

3) Once I get the gems how long does it generally take for a jeweler to put the whole ring together?

4) Can you haggle with online retailers about the cost of free stones?


I am sure more questions will come up and I will try and post ring ideas I get on here so that she does not see them in my bookmarks or email.

Here are some gems/rings I like so far...
http://www.faycullen.com/Antique-Sapphire-Engagement-Rings-/8874/
http://www.wildfishgems.com/inc/sdetail/10883/9970
http://www.gemsny.com/sapphires/1.91-Carat-Emerald-Sapphire-S1155DEC
http://www.langantiques.com/products/item/30-1-3711

Thanks everyone in advance!!!!!!!
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Congratulations on both deciding to get engaged and on going for a coloured e-ring!

My answers to your questions:

1) Does getting the stone GIA certified matter as much if I do not care about heating?

Personally I might get a quick report from AGL to verify that no high heat was used - that way you are safe regarding light element diffusion - but no need for more than that. I have a preference for AGL over GIA for coloured stones.

2) I know the stone is the focal point but how much of the budget would you put into the stone vs. the ring and possible side stones (If I buy them separately)?

Put as much as possible into the centre-stone. I would leave buying sidestone to the vendor of the ring, you will be covered for possibly breakage on setting at that point plus they will have more avenues for sourcing them and probably at a better price even once you have paid their margin.

3) Once I get the gems how long does it generally take for a jeweler to put the whole ring together?

All depends on a variety of factors but I would figure 6-8 weeks to be safe. You need to buy the centre stone first as coloured stones are rarely calibrated and so you might find it tricky to find a stone to fit a particular setting.

4) Can you haggle with online retailers about the cost of free stones?

By free I presume you mean 'loose'! You can always try - worst they will say is no...

Good luck!
 

pregcurious

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
6,724
I agree with Pandora, and only have bits to add:

1) Does getting the stone GIA certified matter as much if I do not care about heating?
It's always good to verify that you are getting what you paid for. You will pay more for a stone without heat treatment (other variables being the same)

2) I know the stone is the focal point but how much of the budget would you put into the stone vs. the ring and possible side stones (If I buy them separately)?
You can ask for quotes for rings including sidestones to determine how much money you can maximize for the stone. You should do a search for Fay Cullen on PS for reviews.
 

HelpMeOut

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
7
Pandora said:
By free I presume you mean 'loose'! You can always try - worst they will say is no...
Good luck!
Thanks for all the info! By free I did mean loose. It would be great however if I could find "free" stones :cheeky:

Faycullen has some great looking rings but most of them appear to be settings for a round stone. Can they modify the setting to hold an emerald cut? I have found a couple loose stone retailers online and posted links above....any that you would recommend to check out or avoid?
 

violet3

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
3,793
HelpMeOut|1312255041|2982051 said:
The one from gemsny changed urls.....

here is the new one. Thoughts?

http://www.gemsny.com/sapphires/1.91-Carat-Emerald-Sapphire-S1155DEC/

and why is the exact same stone $700 more on their amazon store?

http://www.amazon.com/Carat-Loose-Sapphire-Emerald-Gemstone/dp/B0054KPUF6/ref=sr_1_36?s=jewelry&ie=UTF8&qid=1312255102&sr=1-36

That is lame

That is a beautiful stone, but the cut of it looks like a radiant rather than an emerald cut - just in case she's dead set on an emerald cut stone.
 

HelpMeOut

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
7
I think she likes shape of the emerald cut gemstone (rectangular) more than the actual emerald cut itself......i think.... ugh.

This is why I have not bought jewelry before
 

TristanC

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
995
Can I quickly just say that an emerald cut, and an asscher, and a radiant all look worlds apart. Especially with coloured stones.

Didn't help huh?

Frankly for sapphires, they aren't as sparkly as diamonds, I would go for a stepcut stone - to me personally some emerald/asscher sapphires I've seen are really lovely. And it isn't a popular cut style with them, so you might get a bit of a differentiation, especially since your SO likes the shape.
 

HelpMeOut

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
7
TristanC|1312262503|2982112 said:
Can I quickly just say that an emerald cut, and an asscher, and a radiant all look worlds apart. Especially with coloured stones.

Didn't help huh?

Frankly for sapphires, they aren't as sparkly as diamonds, I would go for a stepcut stone - to me personally some emerald/asscher sapphires I've seen are really lovely. And it isn't a popular cut style with them, so you might get a bit of a differentiation, especially since your SO likes the shape.

No no no...it helps a lot. She is all about avoiding the typical e-ring but it still being classic. I will try and focus on emerald cut. Let me know if anyone finds any.

Here are a couple more (has anyone done business with this website?)
http://www.thenaturalsapphirecompany.com/Sapphires/Blue/B4347/Emerald%20Cut/stoneid=B4347
http://www.thenaturalsapphirecompany.com/Sapphires/Blue/B3679/Emerald%20Cut/stoneid=B3679

Is it normal for colored gemstones to have surface imperfections? Both the above gems looks awesome in the pic but the movie looks as though they have imperfections that are pretty obvious on the surface of the stone despite being VVS1/VVS2. The larger of the 2 looks as if it has a small fracture in the stone vertically. How often do you find a stone with flawless or excellent clarity (which I know is a marker of internal abnormalities) but have surface imperfections that take away from the beauty of the stone. If anything I would think surface properties would be more important for colored stones than internal abnormalities but again I am a total beginner....

Does anyone have a remote ballpark for a basic Platinum vs white gold 18k ring and the labor for the jeweler to place the main stone. I am thinking spending 4100 on the main stone may not leave a tone of cash for the remainder of the deal. I could go over the 5k budget but I would like not to go over too much.
 

violet3

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
3,793
TristanC|1312262503|2982112 said:
Can I quickly just say that an emerald cut, and an asscher, and a radiant all look worlds apart. Especially with coloured stones.

Didn't help huh?

Frankly for sapphires, they aren't as sparkly as diamonds, I would go for a stepcut stone - to me personally some emerald/asscher sapphires I've seen are really lovely. And it isn't a popular cut style with them, so you might get a bit of a differentiation, especially since your SO likes the shape.
I'm going to respectfully disagree with this statement for a couple of reasons. Tristan is right that colored stones don't sparkle like diamonds; however, that is exactly why I personally like a radiant or a rectangular cushion as opposed to a step cut. In a dark blue sapphire, it could be hard to see the steps and the cut in real life. That radiant you posted, while not as sparkly as a diamond, will give you some sparkle as opposed to an EC - ie. step cuts in general will have less sparkle and i would maximize the sparkle you CAN have in a colored stone. I would, however, ask her if it's the EC she really wants or just the rectangular shape - then ultimately go with what she wants. Can you look at stones together - that could be fun :))

re: the natural sapphire company - they have some beautiful stones, but I personally have seen lots of beautiful stones that do have heat treatment and it brings the price down dramatically while enhancing the color. I think on here there are mixed reviews of the natural sapphire company, but my memory on that is fuzzy.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,517
Firstly, when it comes to coloured gemstones, you are better off buying the stone and setting separately. Also, look for something eye clean, not necessarily VVS quality. Coloured gemstones have an entirely different criteria compared to diamonds.

Here's a blue sapphire that meets your criteria in terms of colour, cut, clarity and size. However, I've heard that he has not responded to emails lately for some reason or other, so if interested, please call.
http://www.steveperrygems.com/gems/ceylon.htm
cs23StevePerry.jpg

1. It is a good idea to verify that it is heat only, not heated with other mineral added (diffusion). As such, GIA or the AGL brief is sufficient.

2. This is a personal preference. To some, the setting is equally important as the stone. A 3 stone ring shouldn't be that expensive but since you are looking for something with an antique feel, adding engraving or etching might bring up the cost. Still, I would put most of the budget towards the stone.

3. If you have the design pat down and the jeweller isn't swamped, it might take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks for a simple type of setting. In most cases, it's always a good idea to have plenty of time leeway, so give yourself at least 3 months for the setting to be completed.

4. I have no idea what you mean by "free" stones.
 

vinkalmann

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 23, 2009
Messages
231
I think emerald cuts stones are going to be few and far between when compared to say cushion cut stones. You may want to see if she cares that much because you'll have a much better time finding the perfect color stone when you have a bigger pool to choose from. You'll also find you get more bang for your buck. For example, the per carat cost on the NSC stones you posted is really up there, yet the stones have a lot of zoning (the color isn't consistent across the stone) which I wouldn't think you should be getting for that per carat price.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,707
I also respectfully disagree about step cuts. Also, there are step cuts and then there are step cuts. I tend to find that these have broad flashes of colour rather than the sparkle you may see from a diamond. However, there are some coloured gemstones that sparkle like crazy and will rival a diamond! The colour and saturation of a gemstone will also affect how it performs so I would suggest that you look at a number and see what appeals to you most.

If you're new to gemstones I thought you might find the following useful:-

Natural, untreated gemstones - typically cost the most and have come out of the ground as nature intended.

Natural, heated gemstones - watch this because there's the low heat (which means the gem has been heated to improve colour etc) and this is acceptable to many people. HOWEVER, high heat means that it's been treated more aggresively sometimes with additives. Gem collectors typically don't buy these although for the average jewellery buyer it would be accceptable. It should however mean the buying price is lower.

Treated gemstones - unfortunately there are a plethora of treatments used commonly ranging from filling of fissures, dyeing, treating by beryllium diffusion (very common with sapphires) etc etc. This should affect the price although unfortunately sometimes these treatments are not disclosed.

It's worth doing some research and deciding what's acceptable to you. Then ask LOTS of questions of the vendor AND verify with a laboratory (preferably AGL).
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Chrono, if that stone is as pretty in real life as it looks on my monitor then it's a real beauty!
 

HelpMeOut

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 1, 2011
Messages
7
Chrono said:
However, I've heard that he has not responded to emails lately for some reason or other, so if interested, please call.
http://www.steveperrygems.com/gems/ceylon.htm
cs23StevePerry.jpg
That really is a great looking stone. I will try and give him a call. However at the top of the page you linked it says "Last updated December 8, 2008." It will be interesting to see if that stone is even still available.


As for the comments about asking her again what she wants...
She knows it is coming at some point in the future but has no clue I am actually looking for a ring at this time. I really want the actual day to be a complete surprise so just asking her what stone she wants is not really an option. Also, asking her friends will be difficult b/c they find it strange that she does not just want a big diamond.

Thanks for all the input!
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,517
Pandora,
I've been drooling over that step cut sapphire for a while - it looks gorgeous in the picture but I have no clue if it looks like that IRL.

Pregcurious,
That ring is quite interesting and seems to meet the OP's requirements although there is no mention of treatment on the sapphire. The cut is also a little off symmetry but I don't know how apparent it will look in person. I'm not too bothered by it although I know many ladies tend to be affected by it.
 

pregcurious

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
6,724
You could ask how it looks in person. It looks to me like the top left prong is not the same as the others, but it might be the angle of the shot. The price is decent. Worst case, you can make your own like this, knowing what it will already look like.
 

Justin_Cutter

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
539
Here is a nicely cut Emerald from a company I have purchased from. The color doesn't appear to be as strong as the one Chrono posted but over all it is a very nice stone. Nicely sized too.

http://cgi.ebay.com/2-58CT-FLAWLESS...0120?pt=Loose_Gemstones_1&hash=item3a65085d28

You could ask them to take a couple in hand pictures in different lighting and email them to you. Gemsthailand has done this for me in the past.

~Justin
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,517
Justin,
My gut feel is that that emerald isn't going to perform IRL. Looking at the picture, something seemed off in the center and the pavilion picture shows a very flat topped and shallow stone. In doing a calculation from the dimensions provided, the total depth is only 49% which is extremely shallow, meaning it is going to have a fairly large window, tilt window and probably rather dead looking in person.
 

Justin_Cutter

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 20, 2011
Messages
539
Chrono,

Good observation. I defer to your judgement since you have far greater knowledge and experience than I do. :))


I wonder if the Steve Perry emerald has been messed with in respect to contrast and saturation. I have never seen his stones in person so if they always look like the pictures IRL please forgive my ignorance. When I compare the pictures of Steve Perry's sapphires for sale it looks to me like there is a large discrepancy in the brightness and contrast in the background. I actually think most of his stones are laying on the same material when the pictures are taken. This makes me question the accuracy of the color show. Please don't take me wrong I am not stating this as fact these are just my observations. I fear that the emerald shown would be much darker IRL.

What do you think?

~Justin
 
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