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How do I value my 1ct Brazilian Pariaba?

PaulaGem

Rough_Rock
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I've been in the business for 25 years, but have dealt with semi-precious for setting in sterling and don't know much about gems of this class. I know it is Brazilian Paraiba because I bought it in Tucson in the mid '90s. It was one of a lot purchased by a friend with more expertise in the area. I don't have the right lighting or camera skills to take a good picture of it, but it's a clean stone. The only inclusions are the striations which you can see in the first picture. More pics at http://www.strung-out.biz/paraiba/


Paraiba01.jpg

Paraiba05.jpg

I saw a reference on this site to $20,000 for a one carat stone. The only dealer I found at the September Denver show offered me $600 cash but that didn't seem right. Kind of a large gap there.... :confused:
 

Barrett

Ideal_Rock
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Very nice...I can see that typical color being reflected back from the pavilion that you normally see on paraiba pics online. The one issue I see is the cut design. Being a standard square cut it lacks the facets to provide lots of brillance and light relfection back to the eye. One thing you hear over and over is you can't really see the vividness(glow/neon) until the stone is cut. Being a stone with few facets to bounce the light back to the eye it's going to lack that "pop" that one would have with having many more facets...ie. less neon/less glow.(neon/glaw comes in the reflected light not the transmitted light)
It's a fantastic gemstone either way and I would be greatly interested in seeing a report on it.
In that top picture is that a little pink I see? If so that would lend credence to it being a paraiba as man many were pink/purple core with a blue copper rich rind. I have a few examples of crystals that show this characteristic from batalha.
 

PaulaGem

Rough_Rock
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I haven't sent it in for a report, having just decided to sell it recently. I bought it in '95 or '96 I think. I would love to connect with a reliable jeweler or appraiser in the Denver area to work with. It is my understanding that provenance can only be certified by AGL in New York.

Ideally I would just take it back to Tucson and shop it around but haven't been back since I contracted valley fever there in '98. Other than that, how should I go about getting a fair value for the stone?
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
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As mentioned in our other replies you'll struggle to sell or even have this correctly valued as a Paraiba Tourmaline unless you have a lab report from AGL stating the chemical make up (i.e. that it is a Paraiba) AND provenance. I suspect the dealer that offered you $600 was correct because without authentication, that would be the price for a lovely colour Indicolite. With authentication, it will be possible to command a higher buying price but because of its cut, I'd hesitate to say what that might be. The cut is not optimal for this stone as Amguy has already pointed out but I think a re-cut would lose valuable weight so it's a bit of a catch 22.

First step has to be a lab report to confirm what it is/isn't. Once you have the lab report, you potentially have a marketing tool.
 

PaulaGem

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Part of the catch 22 is that I don't know how much I should invest in having the stone tested. I KNOW it's Paraiba because I've had it for over 15 years, and the person I bought it through was known to me. Can anyone give me a range of values under the assumption that it is actually Paraiba?
 

LD

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Please forgive me but I can't tell you how many people "think" they have X because they bought from Y. There are lots and lots and lots of incidences on this forum where X turned out to be W! The value depends on what a lab report indicates it is and then what somebody is willing to pay. You cannot value from photographs. I'd suggest you have a look at Paraiba International to get a ballpark figure http://www.paraibainternational.com/products.php?category=3&page=all&sort=

An AGL report is not expensive and IF this is a Paraiba Tourmaline will make a huge difference to value and what you're able to sell for. Without it, the value is anybody's guess.
 

VapidLapid

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It may be Paraiba to you since you've had it for 15 years, but it doesnt really matter what it is to you, what matters is what it is to your hypothetical buyer. If you can find a buyer who is satifsfied with your it is what it is because I've had it for 15 years proof then it doesn't really matter what you sell him. The only way now to prove to your potential buyer that it is from Paraiba, and also cuprian, is to get the big AGL report. Until then this is all smoke up your bum. As has been pointed out the cut is less than sub optimal. For most knowledgeable buyers then this would have to be considered as rough and re-cut. If you really hope to get out of the $300 per carat range and into the $20,000. per carat range you will surely need to offer your buyer the reassurance of a certitude more in line with industry standards. Without that, my best guess would be that it is worth somewhere between fifty dollars and twenty thousand dollars per carat.
 

Barrett

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$50 and 20K..LOL..Vapid :nono: :bigsmile: :bigsmile:

As LD pointed out, you don't know how many times people have thought they had something when it turned out not to be. I just related a story about my paraiba seller...99% of all the stones I bought from her tested positive for copper as a coloring chromophore but one did not and that one I paid many many many thousands of dollars for. For all intents and purposes this one should have tested fine as well, as did the over 100 I had gotten previous, but this one did not.
So as you can see when you say " I KNOW it's Paraiba because I've had it for over 15 years, and the person I bought it through was known to me." doesn't mean squat...I knew my person and bought from her for years and and bought directly from brazil and spent many many more thousands of dollars and all had tested right...but...one...and it was the best damn indicolite I have ever seen..to bad it wasn't cuprian..sigh.
As the post "conned on ebay" shows you CAN"T assume anything when it comes to paraiba. Your stone looks like a paraiba from the picture but so did Rockhuggers....
I really hope it is 'cause I love cuprians and hope yours turns out to be colored by Cu
 

Barrett

Ideal_Rock
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Here is a pic of what a paraiba with many more facets looks like..I sure do love this stone
Notice how in your pic thas greenish glowy neon color is only showing in one block in the top pic..roughly square in shape...thats what this stone is showing but it's all over the place. Your cutting/design is responsible for the lack of the "glow"
I mean this doesn't even look like a gemstone..it looks garish and fake..thats a paraiba tourmaline

paraiba tourmaline David Federman article modernjeweler.com.jpg
 

PaulaGem

Rough_Rock
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It looks like testing the stone to verify Paraiba will be $240-$340. The problem I have is that I have no way to gauge what the return would be. Is the minimum $2000 per carat? Then it would be worthwhile, if it's $1000 I'm not sure. This is the problem that I am wrestling with.

By the way, the color is extremely uniform and it does glow nicely from all directions. The pic was taken in natural sunlight and because of the single light source, simpler cut, and lousy photography, I understand why the photo didn't show well.
 

PaulaGem

Rough_Rock
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Thanks for suggesting Paraiba International, but the stones on there don't even come close to the color that mine has. Mine is much more intense and more "windex" color. I have scoured the net for something that looks close to it and similar in weight and have come up empty.
 

Deia

Brilliant_Rock
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Just get a lab report. No one will be able to get you a ballpark figure without a lab report.

For all we know it could be glass (sincerely hope it's not, just saying).
 

SB621

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Point blank- NO ONE who is semi knowledgable in the industry is going to buy that stone from you without a lab report. So if you have to invest $200-$300 to sell it I"m not sure I see the problem. Look at Kelpie's thread....do you really want to me in that situation if you do find someone to sell it too and they test it and it turns up to be some other type of stone??

As for you knowing what it is because you have had it for 15 years. My grandmother had her mother's engagement ring in our family for almost last 100 years. It was a very pretty 1 ct ruby- had it tested and it was not a ruby though EVERYONE in my family thought it was. It was a little bit of a shocker for all my aunts who had been fighting over who would inherit it. :nono:
 

Barrett

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I think you should take the plunge and get it tested..
If you ever plan on selling it and even just for piece of mind you should get a report that shows copper and that shows Brazilian origin. If it all turns out to be positive and the color looks above and beyond a normal indicolite and more like one of the kind on Pala's page or africagems page then I would think you would have no issues getting 2K++ for it. But this is just a shot in the dark guesstimation...in reality your stone or anyones stone is only worth what someone will pay for it
 

LD

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amethystguy|1317384413|3029570 said:
I think you should take the plunge and get it tested..
If you ever plan on selling it and even just for piece of mind you should get a report that shows copper and that shows Brazilian origin. If it all turns out to be positive and the color looks above and beyond a normal indicolite and more like one of the kind on Pala's page or africagems page then I would think you would have no issues getting 2K++ for it. But this is just a shot in the dark guesstimation...in reality your stone or anyones stone is only worth what someone will pay for it
I apologise to my friend, learned compradre and respected colleague, Amguy, but I disagree. I wouldn't pay $2k for this particular stone for the following reasons (1) it's only 1ct (2) the colour - it's NOT windex blue (3) the cut (4) performance will be severely affected by the cut. Some of the samples on PI are much nicer in overall terms. Sorry to be brutal but this just highlights the case that the price you could sell it for depends on the buyer! I have a fairly extensive collection of Paraiba - as does Amguy - and you can see we have two entirely different opinions on what we would buy it for!

Sorry but spending under $500 for a potential larger return makes sense. Of course it's not guaranteed - nothing in the gemstone world is and even if this comes back as a Paraiba then you need to find the right buyer. The right buyer will NEVER give you top dollar unless there's a report so in essence if you don't speculate you'll never accumulate.
 

PaulaGem

Rough_Rock
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The pictures are not great. The guy that offered me $600 on the spot had small Paraiba in stock and said he got started in the business with it. He said it was windex blue. It looks like windex to me with perhaps the slightest pull toward the green.

I understand that the cut is not optimal, but it has a lot of life, so maybe it was a pretty good stone to start out with. As is it would look wonderful in a simple contemporary band style, which was what I intended to do with it originally.

Is it possible that it was cut in this manner because of the nature of the stone itself? Just wondering because the stone is not exactly square and the glow runs parallel to the longer side no matter which way you turn the stone.

I read here that color saturation was important, I believe. This stone is beautifully saturated with color.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
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The stone will have been cut to preserve weight.
 

Barrett

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hehehe..LD..and you are married ;)) ..sigh....maybe one day when I make it across the pond :oops: ... ;)) ;)) ;)) :kiss:
 

partgypsy

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If I had something that was worth potentially thousands of dollars and it cost me 240 to get a report, I would be doing it! Even if you were keeping it and wanted to know an insurance value, well you need to have a grading report. It seems pretty simple.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
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amethystguy|1317408335|3029889 said:
hehehe..LD..and you are married ;)) ..sigh....maybe one day when I make it across the pond :oops: ... ;)) ;)) ;)) :kiss:
Well, I do introduce my husband as "my current husband" so ................... :lol: :oops: :lol: :oops: :lol: :oops: :lol:
 

VapidLapid

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PLease look at the tourmalines on the palagems.com site. look at the paraibas, the cuprians, the neon and the indicolites. Huge differences in the paraiba/cuprian/indicolite triangle. Your stone looks more like the indicolites than anything. Since you are a trade member you should be able to log in with them to see the prices.
 

PaulaGem

Rough_Rock
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I've had it for 15 years without insuring it... I don't plan to now.

The report would probably be $340 because of the additional testing for provenance. It would more than double my cost basis in the stone so I wanted to have a clearer idea of its value before I made the decision.

I just found this which may explain why the stone was cut the way it was. Remember, there was a fair amount of Paraiba in Tucson the year this was purchased, and it may have been cut by some Brazilian guy who was just cutting it the way he usually cut tourmaline.

Cut. The cuts used on tourmaline are as varied as the color. Due to its strong pleochroism, darker tourmalines are cut to display the lighter of the two pleochroic colors. This means orienting the c-axis of the crystal parallel to the table facet. Gems cut with this orientation are often rectangles and rectangular emerald cuts because of the elongated nature of tourmaline crystals.

Tourmalines of lighter color are typically oriented with the table facet perpendicular to the c-axis, to display the richest color possible. Thus they are often cut as rounds, triangles, trillions and ovals. A quick glance at the tourmaline suite shows this.
http://www.palagems.com/tourmaline_buyers_guide.htm
 

PaulaGem

Rough_Rock
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I'm almost certain it's Paraiba because it was bought in Tucson in a year where there was a lot of it around. The woman who bought it did some cutting herself and spent several days going to multiple vendors and making her selection. I realize that would not be sufficient for most buyers of the stone, but it certainally increases the odds of it being genuine, wouldn't you think?

Pala is interested in buying the stone, but I don't want to sell it until I have a better idea of its value. They don't have any Paraiba on their site that is this vivid.
 

LD

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PaulaGem|1317411106|3029939 said:
I'm almost certain it's Paraiba because it was bought in Tucson in a year where there was a lot of it around. The woman who bought it did some cutting herself and spent several days going to multiple vendors and making her selection. I realize that would not be sufficient for most buyers of the stone, but it certainally increases the odds of it being genuine, wouldn't you think?
No. I'm sorry but this doesn't mean anything at all. You cannot tell a gemstone's chemical composition by just looking at it. It doesn't matter where it was bought, when or by whom. It makes no difference. Please read Amguy's example above where he told you that a stone he bought, that was amongst a whole heap of Paraiba and looked the same, turned out not to be copper bearing.

It doesn't seem to matter what we're telling you, I get the feeling that you're positive this is a Paraiba Tourmaline and therefore don't want to spend the money on getting it tested. If that's the case, believe me, you'll never realise the best selling price for this stone - why should anybody risk paying the sum you have in mind without any assurance? Would you buy something for a reasonable sum of money without a lab report? You've asked for advice and we've given it. To keep saying that you know this is a Paraiba is a little like putting you head in the sand and fingers in your ears.

To my eye, your stone looks like a nice indicolite. I don't see a Paraiba. As VL has alluded above, if you look at Palagems you'll see a similar gemstone (although much larger than yours) on their website. That should be enough to make you pause for thought.

If Pala is interested in your stone then sell it to them - whatever they offer to buy it for from you is a good guide to its worth. If you could find a buyer you could probably sell it for 20% more (at a push and IF you found a buyer)!
 

PaulaGem

Rough_Rock
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I was responding directly to Vapidlapids post, but it seems that you can't tell that on this site.

I have had a professional who deals in Pariaba state that he believed that it was one.

I clearly stated my objective here several times and I don't appreciate getting scolded like a child.
 

LD

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Then ask them what it's worth.

Your objective appears to be to tell us it's a Paraiba and keep asking the price. Nobody is giving you that because it would be foolish. If you don't want to hear that then I'm sorry.
 

PaulaGem

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I will try one more time to explain my intent here - but first I will say what it is NOT.

I AM NOT looking for anyone to tell me if it is or is not Pariaba. I have good reason to believe it is and until I am told otherwise by a competent professional who has actually seen the stone or a lab report I will continue under that assumption.

I AM NOT looking to sell the stone to anyone here, so it is of no concern to anyone here if it is or is not a genuine Brazilian Pariaba. Respectful opinions are welcomed, but please do not try to tell me it is an African copper bearing tourmaline because I bought it before that source was discovered. If you believe that is not a Pariaba that is fine, but don't expect me to believe an opinion that is based on looking at my crappy photos.

I AM NOT comfortable selling a stone like this without knowing more about the market. Even if I had the stone tested and it came out Paraiba I would still have this problem.

I AM trying to understand what the general going rate is for such a stone under the assumption that it is a Pariaba. I have bought and sold stones for twenty five years, I am not a novice. We are talking about a stone that can only be properly valued by an experienced professional, I understand that, but I want to have some sort of an idea of the RANGE of price that this stone might get so I can decide if I want to sell it as is, have it tested, keep it or whatever.

I HAVE been researching this material on line for over two weeks now. I HAVE NOT seen any stones of this clarity or intensity of color offered in a size that is close to one carat. Most of the stones I HAVE seen are visibly included and of a much lower grade, weaker in color, or are African in origin.

I HAD HOPED to meet with some trusted Brazilian dealers at the September Denver Show. Many of the people I knew did not come, others left early. One show was 40% vacant this year.

I HAVE shown the stone to one person recently who did seem to be very knowledgeable about the subject. Since I have bought and sold stones for 25 years I know when someone knows their business and when they do not. I also know that there are a lot of people in the business who will take advantage of others. My instinct tells me that the dealer who saw the stone was enthusiastic about it but the price offered did not match his enthusiasm.

I HAVE shown the stone to a local gemologist who specializes in colored stones and when I told her that i believed it was Paraiba and when and where I bought it she did not think it was necessary to warn me that it probably was not a Paraiba, on the contrary, she told me how impressed she was with the stone.

I HAVE sent pictures of the stone to Pala and they are interested. I HAVE NOT dealt with them so I have no idea if they would give me a fair offer or not and my knowledge is such that I don't have enough information to make a decision so I have not sent the stone to them.

There have been several helpful posts on this thread and I thank those people for contributing their knowledge to the cause.

If anyone else wishes to comment on the POSSIBLE value of the stone ASSUMING it is a Brazilian Paraiba I would appreciate the input. If you just want to argue please do not waste your time or mine.
 

colormyworld

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Hi PaulaGem,

Pala would not require a lab report as I am sure they could determine whether your stone is what you claim. For your peace of mind you could have the stone evaluated by a lab. My experience with this company has been an offer of 30 to 40% of what they were selling similar stones for.
 

Barrett

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~Remember Iron prodices the same color as copper in tourmalines and there are 1,000,000 times more Iron colored tourmalines than copper colored tourmalines.

~Who did you buy it from in Tucson? I may know them. Who was the dealer you showed it to? I might know them as well.

~You can't possibly know just by saying.."I bought it in Tucson and a lot was around and I know the person so that automatically makes it a cuprian tourmaline"
You must understand that.

~The denver show sucked this year you are right. :nono:

~Being a gemologist means nothing..I know many stupid gemologist who have never held or seen half the colored stones out there with paraiba being a big one on the list(as well as a good alex for that matter)..on the contrary I know many gemologist and non-gemologist that are my peers who's advice and comments I take for all they are worth and pretty much unequivocally trust on a whim.

~ Don't take your stone to an appraiser unless you are having it insured..ie. don't pull a "76steve" :bigsmile:

~ The price of your gemstone is worth what someone will pay for it or another way of putting it... what you can sell it for. Japanese pay a lot. Pricescopers pay less.

~ You can't judge a paraiba's color by it's body color. Tons of regular blue tourmalines have that same body color(and better) as shown in your pics. It's the reflected light that is used to judge a stones color. That will determine if your stone is worth more in line with LD's estimate <$,1000 or my guesstimation of >$2,000.

~ You can't judge anything reliably from online pictures(but we love to try)

~ Without a lab report I would go with Vapid's guess and even tweak it to
$5-$50,000
 

minousbijoux

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Paulagem, you have to understand that we are a little community here and have gotten to "know" each other over time. Many people, like you, drop by with "how much is this worth" or "how much should I expect to pay" questions. Many of them really want to believe they have something of rarity and extreme value; most of them do not.

I am by no means an expert, but it seems to me that it is a whole lot easier to find a one carat, poorly cut paraiba that may or may not have eye visible inclusions than to find a a 2.5+ ct beauty. The ones I've seen that command the premium are the bigger ones with the glow, not necessarily subcarat ones or poorly cut 1 caraters. The one thing that I find amazing is that paraibas and cuprians have that glow, almost no matter the lighting - in low light, they are lit from within, and in bright light, they appear floodlit. Amguy, I think about a year ago, maybe even in that same thread in which RH was arguing her stone was a cuprian, you posted pics of paraiba rough. Even uncut, it was glowing! So Paulagem, it may truly be that you have a fine quality paraiba - good for you if you do. But its hard to see that from all the pictures on your website, none of which show much glow.

I personally would much rather have a gorgeous, top of the line, windex blue cuprian than a less than ideal, somewhat included, one carat paraiba, and I bet there are others who feel the same. I would therefore suggest, as others have already, that you stop looking for the answer from us CSers, and look at Swala's (they have one Paraiba on their website), look at Pala's, (and look at cuprians and neons as well) and look at Paraiba International and interpolate from what they have. I would also contact them and ask what price they would sell an AGL certed, high quality, eye clean, 1 carat or under, windex blue Brazilian Paraiba. Then cut that price significantly as you'll get a lot less because you are not Pala or PI.

Good luck to you.
 
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