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Help Needed Finding the Perfect Ruby

Discussion in 'Colored Gemstones' started by TommyTheCat, May 28, 2019.

  1. TommyTheCat
    Rough_Rock

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    by TommyTheCat » May 28, 2019
    I'm quickly discovering that hunting for the perfect ruby is a pretty exhausting endeavor, and as a complete newcomer to the colored gemstone game, I'm hoping that I can get some help. A little background information on myself, I'm a complete and hopeless perfectionist. Once I get my head wrapped around an idea, I'm all in and then some. So to all those who would feel the need to warn me about the possible costs for the kind of gem I'm about to ask for, just know that I'm fully aware of the incredible prices some gems can go for and am willing to pay such a price for the right gem.

    The ruby I'm looking for is untreated, round, between 1.5 - 2 carats, "pigeon's blood" red, as close to perfect clarity as possibly, and a flawless cut. Basically, I'm just looking for the most exquisite example of a ruby I can find at the specified carat size. However, the theme of the piece this ruby would be set in is "Blood", so the color and shape serves more of a purpose than just being desirable.

    I would really appreciate if anyone could point me in the right direction to a seller or cutter who could provide such a ruby. Or if you're already aware of such a ruby that's available, even better! I've searched numerous sites, and the only ones that looked promising turned out to be most likely shams.
     
    


    


  2. Bron357
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Bron357 » May 28, 2019
    Have you looked at Leibish.com? They are a quality gem seller and have a reasonable selection.
    Top quality rubies are rare as well as expensive.
    Clarity in coloured gemstones is assessed with the unaided eye (diamonds are assessed at x10 magnification). If you are after an unheated ruby the clarity aspect is tricky. Rubies have Rutile silk, it can make the gem more translucent than transparent and while heating reduces this silk, the gem is now “heated”. So you might have to weigh up that consideration.
    Be aware that colour labels, even from reputable labs, are somewhat subjective. Pigeon blood red is the “top colour” and the term is liberally used. I would suggest looking at the ruby and deciding if the colour appeals or not, irrespective of what colour label is given. Also be aware that computer resolution and lighting used by the vendor can and do alter the colour perception. You really need to see the ruby with your own eyes to be sure. For this reason, only deal with vendors who offer a no fuss return for full refund (except you pay shipping costs) if it’s not as expected.
    It goes without saying that you need a reputable lab report. Rubies are frequently treated and the difference in price between “unheated and heated” can be vast, let alone if there is evidence of residue.
     
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  3. voce
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by voce » May 29, 2019
    Two things are really important to decide if you're buying a ruby.

    1) whether or not you want unheated
    2) whether or not you care about origin

    Unheated rubies vs heat only are two to three times the price per carat at the same quality. Be forewarned that a lot of people are prejudiced in favour of Burmese rubies because the best of the best of those have clarity along with a UV fluorescence that makes them glow in dim light conditions. However, there are also a lot of gemmy high quality Mozambique origin rubies that I consider perfect with a purer vivid red colour and good fluorescence.

    So you are constrained by your budget and the size of the ruby. For best value, look for heated ruby from a jeweler such as Pearlman. For the unheated Burmese, two online vendors to check out are Wildfish Gems and National Gemstone, who have ready stock.

    To source a ruby, I would definitely recommend Inken of Enhoerning Jewelry (Etsy). She found me a perfect ruby that AGL graded as very good in their full grading report, sourced a suite of diamonds for the setting I wanted, and is now making an exquisite setting for that ruby. Definitely friendly and very pleasant to work with, with my highest recommendation for her thoughtfulness and trustworthiness.
     
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  4. qubitasaurus
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by qubitasaurus » May 29, 2019
    I think you can probably reach out to Roger Dery. Chances are he can cut you something in the desired shape (although I would expect that if you get picky about exact shape you will pay more per ct. As they will end up cutting the rough in a way that does not maximize yield. Furthermore comissioning something can be a risk so you wouls want to check returns and restocking fees on any custom cut stones.).

    https://rogerdery.com/gems/?page=/product/1901049

    Alternatively I suspect someone could source one for you at one of the shows, maybe a dealer like ivy new york who are based in Hong Kong could manage this. Alternatively gems by nomads deal in exceptional stones and have a big presence in this arena.
     
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  5. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » May 29, 2019
    I would reach out to Nomads and Constantin Wild. Probably will need to be precision refaceted into a round. It is highly unlikely you will find this through normal avenues, given top red, untreated and eye clean.
     
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  6. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 29, 2019
    Before you purchase any ruby, I highly recommend you go to a gem show, and look at as many rubies that you can in person. Ignore the “pigeon blood” moniker, it’s overused, inaccurate and romanticizes a stone to make you purchase on emotions, rather than logic.

    With as expensive as rubies are these days, you cannot make a mistake and overspend on an inferior stone., or some synthetic or highly treated material. Any expensive ruby should also come with a FULL color grading AGL prestige report, so you have an unadulterated opinion of the gem by a top gemological lab. Other labs, although reputable, do not give enough information on the quality of the gem. Any lab that uses metaphors like “pigeon blood” to describe color is catering to the vendor, not the consumer. Teach yourself what hue, tone and saturation are as well.

    Also read the sticky post at the top of this forum if you’re new to colored gems.
     
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  7. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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  8. TommyTheCat
    Rough_Rock

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    by TommyTheCat » May 29, 2019
    Thank you for the advice, everybody! Just to clarify a few things: 1) I'm only using the term "pigeon's blood" to convey the color it is I'm looking for; that deep red with little to no hues leaning towards brown, pink, or purple. I don't intend to buy a gem simply because of what the seller wanted to name the color. 2) One of the reasons I'm looking for such a high quality gem is because I see this as an opportunity to invest in something that could, at the very least, maintain a high value for a very long time. I learned long ago that if I'm going to let my imagination and perfectionism rule me as much as they do, I need to at least make each endeavor worth my while. Hence the "all in and then some" mentality, and why I'm looking for the best ruby I could possibly get my hands on. 3) I have the means, so money is not an issue. While I have absolutely no intention of overpaying for anything, neither do I have any intention of undercutting myself or this project by setting too low of a budget. 4) After I finally make a choice on a ruby, it's going to the AGL (and possibly another lab as well) for a full report and then to an appraiser, whether or not it's already been certified. I can't afford to go around letting myself be made a fool of. ;)2

    I had read that Burmese rubies were considered the cream of the crop, but I wasn't aware it was because of the UV fluorescence in low light, so I wasn't paying too much attention to origin. I'll have to adjust that and start looking for a Burmese ruby. Thank you for the advice @voce.

    @T L, are there any gem shows you would recommend? I live in Arizona, and the only one I'm aware of is the Tucson Gem Show.

    I'll be sure to check out all of your recommendations asap!
     
  9. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » May 29, 2019
    Just FYI gems are a very poor investment. So please buy what you like and will enjoy/wear, rather than thinking about it holding valie over time. Trying to resell stones (even amazing ones) often means taking a 40%+ loss, since you'll never buy anyrhing that is close to "cost" for trade members (and if someone tells you that you're getting it at cost, they are likely lying).
     
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  10. TommyTheCat
    Rough_Rock

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    by TommyTheCat » May 29, 2019
    I have no intention of selling this ruby, and it will be going into a piece of jewelry I've designed in collaboration with an artist. So I will most definitely be wearing it for most of my life. When I say "maintain a high value for a very long time", I mean decades, if not generations, rather than years, and more of an heirloom investment rather than anything else. If it is ever sold, it will most likely be by my descendants after I'm long gone.
     
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  11. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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  12. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 29, 2019
    You’re lucky to be in Arizona because Tucson is the cream of the crop when it comes to American gem shows. Unfortunately, some are open to the public and some are not. There are serval shows going at once, so I would book a trip when it’s available.

    It’s really important to look at very high-end gems from a dealer that specializes in rubies to see what constitutes a fine gem. Videos and pictures just never do them justice.

    The most important thing you need to learn though when gem hunting is patience. It could take a while to find that perfect piece, And yes, it has to be Burmese if you want the best. Just know that not all rubies that come from Burma are automatically better than every other ruby, but the finest do come from there, and origin carries a premium.
     
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  13. VividRed
    Shiny_Rock

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    by VividRed » Jun 28, 2019
    Exciting adventure, I am on a ruby hunt as well and it is very fun. My observations so far:

    - pigeon blood means nothing. I know because I wanted one too and saw many. It’s an overused term for something that nobody can really put their fingers on. Read this article from Richard Hughes, foremost expert on rubies and sapphires (and if you like rubies, I suggest you buy his book, it’s money well spent): https://www.lotusgemology.com/index...-blood-a-pilgrimage-to-mogok-valley-of-rubies

    - origin is only cool if you collect. I agree with previous comments that a fine ruby needs to be chromium-rich and iron-poor, which results in high fluorescence. See this article from GRS, covers the subject extremely well in my opinion: http://gemresearch.ch/pigeons-blood-royal-blue/. Burma rubies tend to fluoresce strongly but some Mozambique rubies can too and they are MUCH cheaper.

    - if you are serious about your money, absolutely buy unheated. Nothing wrong with heated stones but to me they just don’t cut it, I want the real deal. Sadly, that means you need a large wallet and lots of time.

    - top-top color, which in ruby is vivid red with medium/ medium-dark tone and only very slight punk/purple modifiers, loupe-clean, precision brilliant cut, no color zoning etc. You are looking at the 0.1% of the market. for Burmese you’re looking at 50k /ct. and above, simply because they are SO RARE. Mozambique will be seriously cheaper and with enough patience you can find decent deals. If you don’t care about origin, by all means go for Mozambique.

    Robert Genis from National Gemstones has a stunning 2.14ct. Burmese he sells for roughly 60k with a full AGL report, but it is moderately included and not with the cut you want. If I could afford it, it would be mine already :) here is the link in case you are interested http://www.preciousgemstones.com/214burufs.html

    Good luck with your hunt and keep us posted - we want to know how it goes!
     
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  14. VividRed
    Shiny_Rock

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    by VividRed » Jul 12, 2019 at 3:19 PM
    Any updates on your hunt?
     

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