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I contacted AGL about testing for diffused sapphires

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I know this was of concern to many people that have purchased sapphires, so I have some additional information about the testing of them for diffusion and other treatment. I wasn't getting very far with them via email, so I called their NY office and was put on the line with a more knowledgeable person, but then after she was unable to definitively answer some of my questions, she put me on the line with Chris Smith. I believe Chris Smith is the President of AGL, but I didn't ask (unless there are two Chris Smiths that work there). He told me that if I wanted additional testing, the most inexpensive would be getting the $55 memo, His credentials are listed in the URL below.

In addition to sending the stone, I would have to put notes in there that I approve it for additional testing with the LA-ICP-MS machine if necessary. They do not own an LA-ICP-MS machine, but what they can do is send it out for testing with that machine. This is $100 extra, which to me, isn't unreasonable since the machine is very expensive. They told me that they can sometimes tell if a sapphire has been diffused with analytic tecniques, but if they cannot, they would send it out for LA-ICP-MS testing if you specified that you wanted that.

http://www.aglgemlab.com/Staff.aspx

I hope this helps for those wanting to know more about getting your sapphires checked out. I have a sapphire that was designated HT (heat only) by AIGS, but they did not specify if they tested for diffusion, so I think I will ship it off to AGL. Otherwise, it's going to sit in a box forever.
 

Aoife

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Thanks for posting this information, TL. Since my purchase of the unheated pink sapphire, I've been steering clear of sapphires with the exception of Montana sapphires, but this is very helpful to know since we recommend AGL so often on this forum. Do you happen to know where the LA-ICP-MS machine is? In other words, would it be easier to bypass AGL and send the corundum somewhere else to begin with?
 

Pandora II

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He is the President of AGL.

I believe GIA have a LA-ICP-MS, quite a few Universities will have them so I'd guess that is where they are sent. That's where they go in the UK anyway...

TL - that's not a bad price at all.
 

LD

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TL - thank you. Very informative.

Pandora - do you know which Universities in the UK have the LA-ICP-MS. The reason I ask is the last time I wanted to have a sapphire checked for diffusion I had to send it to Switzerland. *grumpy face*
 

Pandora II

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Bristol and Kingston for definite - possibly Cardiff and Leeds as well and maybe a few others. I don't think it's available to the public and it's hugely more expensive than the labs in the USA (around £500 a stone at Bristol IIRC).
 

Barrett

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Good job on getting some up-to-date info there, TL :)
 

Arkteia

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Thank you so much, TL! Very helpful for future purchases.
 

T L

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You're all very welcome. :)

I just shipped my sapphire off. It's too pretty to let languish in a box, so we'll see what happens. Depending on the results, it may still languish in a box. :(sad
 

colorluvr

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Thanks TL - great information... on the same topic, does GIA have the LA-ICP-MS inhouse for their testing or do they send it out also (this question is for anyone who can answer).

I know I had never heard of AGL before this forum, only GIA for testing of stones, but I think someone on here said that GIA was more expensive for testing for diffused sapphires....

I have some stones to send also, and wanted to make sure that AGL was still the best place to go. TIA
 

T L

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colorluvr|1303256385|2900504 said:
Thanks TL - great information... on the same topic, does GIA have the LA-ICP-MS inhouse for their testing or do they send it out also (this question is for anyone who can answer).

I know I had never heard of AGL before this forum, only GIA for testing of stones, but I think someone on here said that GIA was more expensive for testing for diffused sapphires....

I have some stones to send also, and wanted to make sure that AGL was still the best place to go. TIA

AGL is the premier lab for colored gems in the United States. They also have the most comprehensive lab report (the prestige report). They are very highly regarded in the trade for colored gems, even more so than GIA. GIA is more highly regarded for diamonds and fancy colored diamonds.
 

colorluvr

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Thanks for the clarification - AGL it is!
 

T L

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I just wanted to follow up on this thread as there are a lot of potential sapphire buyers on PS lately.

AGL called me today about the test results of my sapphire. It is heated, but no other treatment was detected, so no diffusion. They didn't have to send it out for testing with the LA-ICP-MS machine, so that saved me quite a bit of money. They're sending it back to me via registered/insured mail. I'm now happy to have the peace of mind that it has been through it's appropriate paces, and I can fully enjoy the gem. :bigsmile:
 

bright ice

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TL|1305253493|2920301 said:
I just wanted to follow up on this thread as there are a lot of potential sapphire buyers on PS lately.

AGL called me today about the test results of my sapphire. It is heated, but no other treatment was detected, so no diffusion. They didn't have to send it out for testing with the LA-ICP-MS machine, so that saved me quite a bit of money. They're sending it back to me via registered/insured mail. I'm now happy to have the peace of mind that it has been through it's appropriate paces, and I can fully enjoy the gem. :bigsmile:


That's great news for you TL. Be at peace now.
 

Sparkly_Not_Gaudy

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TL|1305253493|2920301 said:
I just wanted to follow up on this thread as there are a lot of potential sapphire buyers on PS lately.

AGL called me today about the test results of my sapphire. It is heated, but no other treatment was detected, so no diffusion. They didn't have to send it out for testing with the LA-ICP-MS machine, so that saved me quite a bit of money. They're sending it back to me via registered/insured mail. I'm now happy to have the peace of mind that it has been through it's appropriate paces, and I can fully enjoy the gem. :bigsmile:
So what are you going to set it in and share photos? :)
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Sparkly_Not_Gaudy|1305303115|2920788 said:
TL|1305253493|2920301 said:
I just wanted to follow up on this thread as there are a lot of potential sapphire buyers on PS lately.

AGL called me today about the test results of my sapphire. It is heated, but no other treatment was detected, so no diffusion. They didn't have to send it out for testing with the LA-ICP-MS machine, so that saved me quite a bit of money. They're sending it back to me via registered/insured mail. I'm now happy to have the peace of mind that it has been through it's appropriate paces, and I can fully enjoy the gem. :bigsmile:
So what are you going to set it in and share photos? :)

It's a violetish blue, but my first lab report from AIGS deemed it blue. Origin is Madagascar (or so the vendor states). Photos taken with my old camera. I have to take some new shots with my new camera when it returns from AGL. I don't know what I'll set it in, but I would love to do rose or 18K yellow gold. I'm not really a fan of white metal.

TLsapphire.jpg
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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AGL brief came back. Here's a photo of the AGL sapphire brief for those that wanted to see what it would look like. It indicates no additional enhancement and a photo of the sapphire on a cloudy day in my car.

TLsapphireAGLbrief.JPG

TLsapphirepear1.JPG
 

VapidLapid

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I thought I understood about the testing for diffusion treatment but now I am confused. How can they tell without LA-ICP-MS testing?
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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VapidLapid|1306457137|2931310 said:
I thought I understood about the testing for diffusion treatment but now I am confused. How can they tell without LA-ICP-MS testing?

They told me over the phone they are able to sometimes determine no diffusion with analytical techniques. However, some sapphires require an LA-ICP-MS machine if they don't have the tell tale microscopic signs of low heat treatment.
 
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