shape
carat
color
clarity

How do the experts of PS feel about this ruby? More importantly, vet this vendor?

margauxmines

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
34
Hi everyone! Lurking around while I recover from vaccine side effects. Got a ruby query for the community!

First off, has anyone transacted with @spectaculargem (Instagram) / "Red Star Gem" (website in their IG bio) before?

I was offered a pretty 2 ct ruby for a good price, but I don't know if it's too good to be true. The vendor says the ruby is unheated and untreated, but I'm not sure about that last bit. Does it look filled to you? Any other red flags I need to check out? They said the ruby will come with a certificate from "American International GemLab"—the favourite, not-really-the-legit-AIG-lab lab that most Thailand-based vendors send gems to.


Thoughts? How much should a gem like this cost? Am I being swindled lol?

Thank you in advance!
 

VividRed

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
275
Hi @margauxmines and welcome.

Right off the bad - that’s a pink sapphire, not a ruby. It is heavily included, more cabochon material than facet quality. In this quality I would argue that treatment is not really a show stopper, however it might be unheated.

if you like this type of color, move your search towards pink sapphires and save some $$$.

At any rate, and almost any price, I would pass on this stone. It is not too good to be true, it is not really good and that might explain the low price (how much is the vendor asking?).

keep us posted :)
 

VividRed

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
275
Also, American International Gemlab is not a thing, AGL (American Gemological Laboratory) or GIA (Gemological Institute of America) are the legit ones.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
4,813
This looks like something valued between $20 and $80. It's heavily included and won't really look transparent on the finger. If the vendor is asking more for that, I'd distrust the vendor.
 

margauxmines

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
34
Right off the bad - that’s a pink sapphire, not a ruby. It is heavily included, more cabochon material than facet quality. In this quality I would argue that treatment is not really a show stopper, however it might be unheated.

if you like this type of color, move your search towards pink sapphires and save some $$$.

At any rate, and almost any price, I would pass on this stone. It is not too good to be true, it is not really good and that might explain the low price (how much is the vendor asking?).

keep us posted :)

I'm actually looking for a bright neon pink stone. I've given up my search for an affordable Jedi (see my previous thread a while back, haha) but this seemed like a close enough colour. However, you're right, it is heavily included so I don't know if it's worth it... The vendor is asking for $150 for this 2ct stone.
Also, American International Gemlab is not a thing, AGL (American Gemological Laboratory) or GIA (Gemological Institute of America) are the legit ones.
I know, I always find it funny how they pass it off as the legit AGL lab :lol:

Ps: glad you recovered from the vaccine side effects!
And thank you very very much! It knocked me flat the first 24 hours, but I'm slowly getting better and getting my energy back!

This looks like something valued between $20 and $80. It's heavily included and won't really look transparent on the finger. If the vendor is asking more for that, I'd distrust the vendor.
It's $150 for 2ct! I really liked the colour. I just want a neon pink stone that fits the budget :(sad
 

VividRed

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
275
What is the return policy? Can you return it hassle-free? If so, and if you like the color, try to offer 120$ and see what the vendor says
 

margauxmines

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
34
What is the return policy? Can you return it hassle-free? If so, and if you like the color, try to offer 120$ and see what the vendor says

I haven't asked about the return policy. But since you pointed out that it likely won't appear sparkly on the hand, I'm less inclined to buy it. :( I want something bright and neon and sparkly!
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
4,813
I want something bright and neon and sparkly!

So do thousands of others. A sizeable natural colored stone with all those qualities will cost in the thousands, and cannot be had on a budget. I suggest you get a lab stone if you are on a budget.
 

margauxmines

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
34
So do thousands of others. A sizeable natural colored stone with all those qualities will cost in the thousands, and cannot be had on a budget. I suggest you get a lab stone if you are on a budget.

Thanks for the input! What do you think my options might be if I'm on a budget, aside from lab? I don't really need a big stone, 1.5ct and below is enough for me. I can compromise on the clarity, but I absolutely will not buy a windowed stone... and I really want a neon pink colour.
 

VividRed

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
275
Highly included pinkish red spinel might be for you, but you’re Probably still looking at more than 150$ for a 1.5ct stone. Try asking “thegemcollector” on IG, she might be able to help you
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
3,835
Thanks for the input! What do you think my options might be if I'm on a budget, aside from lab? I don't really need a big stone, 1.5ct and below is enough for me. I can compromise on the clarity, but I absolutely will not buy a windowed stone... and I really want a neon pink colour.

What is your max budget for a moderate to heavy flux heated Ruby/hot deep pink sapphire?
Not glass filled.
Plus - did the stone in your initial post meet your requirement of ‘sparkly’?
If you want something natural, and moderate to heavy treatment is ok, but want a lot of scintillation/sparkle and no window - I think something has to give or go lab.

Edited to add: ‘obligatory not an expert’
 
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dk168

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
8,999
I love the colour, however, it is a Sapphire rather than a Ruby.

For what it is worth, I would probably buy it for no more than 120 USD.

DK =)2
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
3,835
As for the stone you posted -
(Assuming the stone you receive looks like this - did they provide a video?)
For the price they are quoting you - are you aware of what your shipping costs are? Tracking ability? What payment forms do they accept? I know nothing about this vendor - but is this play money for you, or money you will miss if lost?
For the money they are quoting you, I’d assume it’s heavily treated or manmade.
What setting plans do you have? How much is that setting going to cost - especially if you need a custom mount if the stone size demands that?
Will the setter work with this stone and work with it in a way they assume it’s heavily treated and not ruin it?

If you like it and accept it for what it is, and also what it’s not - 120-150 I’m not seeing where the issue is. Aside from pretty much absolutely knowing the vendor is deceiving you somewhere by stating it’s natural corundum that’s not been heated or treated, or the picture isn’t at all what you are receiving.

Have you looked at Etsy shops to see what you can get for 120-150 in lab/synthetic rubies?
 

margauxmines

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
34
Highly included pinkish red spinel might be for you, but you’re Probably still looking at more than 150$ for a 1.5ct stone. Try asking “thegemcollector” on IG, she might be able to help you

Thank you for the reco! :)
I love the colour, however, it is a Sapphire rather than a Ruby.

For what it is worth, I would probably buy it for no more than 120 USD.

DK =)2
I wonder why the vendor calls it a ruby then, everyone here says it is a sapphire. As for me, I'm not knowledgeable enough yet to tell the difference.
Thank you! :)
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
4,813
Thanks for the input! What do you think my options might be if I'm on a budget, aside from lab? I don't really need a big stone, 1.5ct and below is enough for me. I can compromise on the clarity, but I absolutely will not buy a windowed stone... and I really want a neon pink colour.

Aside from lab, you can look at tiny stones. A sparkly neon pink natural stone will cost somewhere between $1k-$3k USD at the carat and a half size. At $150, you can buy a 3mm neon stone, such as this for $108.


If you search Instagram, you may be able to find 4mm neon pink spinel for $180.

If you want anything over a carat, it's dream on unless you're willing to spend more than $1000.
 

margauxmines

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
34
What is your max budget for a moderate to heavy flux heated Ruby/hot deep pink sapphire?
Not glass filled.
Plus - did the stone in your initial post meet your requirement of ‘sparkly’?
If you want something natural, and moderate to heavy treatment is ok, but want a lot of scintillation/sparkle and no window - I think something has to give or go lab.

Edited to add: ‘obligatory not an expert’

Well, I was hoping to stay around the $200 range, but if there's nothing to be had in that price I suppose I can always hold off until I have more to spend. Unfortunately no, it does not meet my "sparkly" requirement. It's a pretty colour but it does "shine" a little more like glass to me... albeit nice-coloured glass. :loopy:

As for the stone you posted -
(Assuming the stone you receive looks like this - did they provide a video?)
For the price they are quoting you - are you aware of what your shipping costs are? Tracking ability? What payment forms do they accept? I know nothing about this vendor - but is this play money for you, or money you will miss if lost?
For the money they are quoting you, I’d assume it’s heavily treated or manmade.
What setting plans do you have? How much is that setting going to cost - especially if you need a custom mount if the stone size demands that?
Will the setter work with this stone and work with it in a way they assume it’s heavily treated and not ruin it?

If you like it and accept it for what it is, and also what it’s not - 120-150 I’m not seeing where the issue is. Aside from pretty much absolutely knowing the vendor is deceiving you somewhere by stating it’s natural corundum that’s not been heated or treated, or the picture isn’t at all what you are receiving.

Have you looked at Etsy shops to see what you can get for 120-150 in lab/synthetic rubies?
  • The video I posted is the video the vendor sent me. Since I'm not set anymore on buying it, I'm not sure if it's polite to still ask for other videos...
  • They said FedEx express shipping was included in the price, and I could pay through PayPal.
  • I will miss this money. haha!
  • I was thinking either a ring or a pendant for setting. I work with a family jeweller who gives me good prices on custom settings.
  • If I disclose that it is treated, then I'm sure they could work accordingly.
I've not tried to buy yet from Etsy, but thank you for the recommendation! :)
 

margauxmines

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
34
Aside from lab, you can look at tiny stones. A sparkly neon pink natural stone will cost somewhere between $1k-$3k USD at the carat and a half size. At $150, you can buy a 3mm neon stone, such as this for $108.


If you search Instagram, you may be able to find 4mm neon pink spinel for $180.

If you want anything over a carat, it's dream on unless you're willing to spend more than $1000.

I'm not looking for anything over a carat. Not even a carat. I've seen the prices :loopy: I'm quite content with the 0.30-0.75ct range.
 

Cinders

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
94
Hello! I'm new to the forum but I wanted to let you know, margauxmines, that it is possible to find very pretty, natural gemstones on a budget. I've been involved with gemstones for quite some time now and I have some gorgeous (even some neon!) stones that were all very inexpensive.

Obviously, many of my gemstones would not meet the general standards of PS members. However, many people don't have thousands of dollars to spend on gemstones.

Anyway, all I really wanted to say is to not give up hope for a pretty gemstone on a smaller budget. And, hello to everyone!! (I've been reading the forums for a few months now & I really love the sense of community!)
 

Cinders

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
94
Oh, one more thing---think about tourmaline! I have a couple gorgeous small, sparkly hot pink tourmalines that were very affordable.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
4,813
It really depends on which factors are most important to you.

Sparkly + neon + pink + above 0.3ct + $200 or less doesn't really compute. Yes, there are many natural CS that are very pretty within that budget, but most of them are not neon. You can get a neon pink tourmaline under $200, but by my standards (having owned a fairly wide variety of CS for a consumer, both large and small in size), tourmalines are not sparkly. So between neon and sparkly, you've gotta choose to keep the desired size range and stay under $200.

FWIW I agree your best bet is pink tourmaline. However, there's sparkly under a wide variety of light environments, which is my definition of sparkly, and then there's sparkly only under direct intense light. Moderate your expectations when buying on budget.

My personal opinion is, if you have to squint and look at it in a certain environment to say it's neon or to say it's sparkly, you shouldn't call it neon or sparkly. The CS that truly deserve to be described so won't need you to squint to see them that way.
 

Cinders

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
94
Voce, you have a beautiful collection of sparkly stones! It's true that tourmaline will never sparkle like a demantoid. And virtually none of the standard jewelry purchased/manufactured/sold is suitable to a well-informed, highly discerning PSer.

Edited to add: Your advice to moderate expectations is excellent.

That's what makes PS a wealth of knowledge---it's filled with passionate gem lovers!!

Also edited to add: I'm sorry my comments are all over the place---I'm in the midst of chaos while my kiddo & spouse chase our crazy dog. (Playing, loudly.)
 
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Cinders

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
94
Also, I apologize if I seemed contentious. I did not mean any disrespect whatsoever.

I just want new members to know there are pretty things available at many different price points.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
4,813
@Cinders you don't need to apologize or be afraid of expressing yourself. I did not think you came across as contentious.

It seemed to me the OP had wanted a lot on a budget. Just because CS aren't diamonds doesn't mean you can get whatever you want on a budget. These are still rare naturally mined, so I was simply explaining my perspective so that the OP doesn't get hopes unrealistically high.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
14,084
Definiry dont buy that "ruby". It will likely look dark and dead in real life. I would much prefer a small but bright stone to a large one without much life
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
5,503
Hi,
That isn’t a ruby it’s a pink sapphire. In some cultures that colour might be referred to as a ruby but most buyers expect red.
buying off Instagram is risky in my opinion. Unlike eBay and Etsy there is no way of checking the number of happy prior purchasers and their comments. Plus eBay and Etsy offer a dispute resolution facility if nothing is received or the gem is not as expected.
A bright pink sapphire with good sparkle and over 2 carats will cost a lot more than $200 unfortunately.
I bought this sapphire from an Etsy seller called LuckyStarGem. It was $100 US and is just on 2 carats. It’s natural, it’s also included but I bought it for it’s unusual colour. They have a few other nice gems for the price. just check the videos, the photos are somewhat over bright.
B5AB3550-4CE7-412D-ACE6-191B173B5E49.jpeg
 

margauxmines

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
34
It really depends on which factors are most important to you.

Sparkly + neon + pink + above 0.3ct + $200 or less doesn't really compute. Yes, there are many natural CS that are very pretty within that budget, but most of them are not neon. You can get a neon pink tourmaline under $200, but by my standards (having owned a fairly wide variety of CS for a consumer, both large and small in size), tourmalines are not sparkly. So between neon and sparkly, you've gotta choose to keep the desired size range and stay under $200.

FWIW I agree your best bet is pink tourmaline. However, there's sparkly under a wide variety of light environments, which is my definition of sparkly, and then there's sparkly only under direct intense light. Moderate your expectations when buying on budget.

My personal opinion is, if you have to squint and look at it in a certain environment to say it's neon or to say it's sparkly, you shouldn't call it neon or sparkly. The CS that truly deserve to be described so won't need you to squint to see them that way.
It seemed to me the OP had wanted a lot on a budget. Just because CS aren't diamonds doesn't mean you can get whatever you want on a budget. These are still rare naturally mined, so I was simply explaining my perspective so that the OP doesn't get hopes unrealistically high.
I suppose that settles it! My apologies if my question or my expectations were in any way offensive or too stupid to have been posted on PriceScope. =)2 Thank you for all your great points!
(edited to remove an extra "you" that was in there haha)
 
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margauxmines

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
34
Hello! I'm new to the forum but I wanted to let you know, margauxmines, that it is possible to find very pretty, natural gemstones on a budget. I've been involved with gemstones for quite some time now and I have some gorgeous (even some neon!) stones that were all very inexpensive.

Obviously, many of my gemstones would not meet the general standards of PS members. However, many people don't have thousands of dollars to spend on gemstones.

Anyway, all I really wanted to say is to not give up hope for a pretty gemstone on a smaller budget. And, hello to everyone!! (I've been reading the forums for a few months now & I really love the sense of community!)

Hello Cinders, lovely to meet you! =)2 Thanks for the encouragement! And thanks for your reco of tourmaline! I actually already have a bunch of tourmaline but in more muted pink colours. =)2

It's very true, people like me with smaller budgets can find good buys, just have to be patient and go through a bit of disparaging from others. :lol: I have bought lovely CS that I did not have to spend thousands on. I don't have thousands to spend anyway, so of course we go bargain-hunting, within reason!

131335708_879186242632847_8720266586514959240_n.jpg

This lot of tourmaline was my very first buy (bundled with something below), and as you can see, they're all actually windowed... which is how I came to realise I really don't like windows and would not compromise on that for any of my next purchases. The light here is bad (I'm terrible at photography!) so they look a touch darker than how they actually are in real life!

201009210_4828919920456112_1464587025848106271_n.jpg

My other tourmaline is a peach Portguese cut! It's 6mm and I got it for $80 including FedEx shipping.

200392634_149882577201824_8599618933772518231_n.jpg

Not a tourmaline, but a spinel! It's roval-y at 7,2x6,6 mm. The inclusions bring orange into the stone, which I really love! It's just been set into a ring, which is my boyfriend's anniversary gift to me. :) Adding this here because this spinel + the tourmaline lot above cost me $230 including shipping. The vendor has become a great friend but unfortunately has not been able to find a neon/hot pink stone I like, so I've been looking around elsewhere!

200442523_4064195293666496_3550261638634003265_n.jpg

Here's a red spinel, also from the same vendor! This is another roval-y one at 6,1x5,8mm! Bad lighting again, but the stone is bright and my friend has described it like "a globule of red blood" haha! Though of course at only $150, I will have to excuse some of the dark zones here. Luckily I'm capable of making compromises! :lol:

198439058_206403721225015_3040545737341851123_n.jpg

And if you will indulge me one more, this is a gorgeous violet sapphire I bought from a local vendor. It's petite at 5mm, but the sparkle factor is wow (at least, to me!) because of the great cutting. It's such a pretty colour too! Best part is that this was only $60!

Also, I apologize if I seemed contentious. I did not mean any disrespect whatsoever.

I just want new members to know there are pretty things available at many different price points.

So I 100% agree with you! There are always beautiful things at different price points, even if the price point is as tiny as mine that I probably seem delusional to most! :lol: Please don't worry, you did not come across as disrespectful at all. =)2 I appreciated the kind words!
 
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