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I just bought a 5.5 ct unheated sapphire. What do I need to look for/ be aware of when I get it?

elizat

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I’ve purchased several things from Sin City Finds and have always had positive experiences. While “trust but verify” is always a sensible approach, I’m a little disturbed by the speculation in this thread. Those are pretty serious accusations to throw around casually.

I agree. You said it more bluntly than me. She's above board and does right by her buyers. She'd never sell a switched stone or switch a stone. It would be the end of her sales. Why do that for $3500?!
 

Arcadian

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Well let me state I don't know her from Adam. There have been trusted vendors here who have been duped. I won't go into the history of whom and where but do some research on this board. I've also seen vendors dupe people on this board where they had not done so before.

Next, this is a consumer board. As a consumer I've seen some stuff go down and I've also been hoodwinked myself. Call me cautious I guess.

Furthermore, let me state that I don't care who its from, a 5.5ct sapphire for very little $$ will ALWAYS give me pause. It could be from G-O-D and I would still want to verify what the heck it is.

Like I said, I sincerely hope its just an excellent deal, but its always good to verify no matter who its from.
 

lmyracle

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While I've not bought from her, I've only heard good things about her being on the up and up, so that's a plus.

I can say $3500 for unheated is a crazy price IMO. My avatar is my 5.05 unheated Ceylon sapphire ring and I paid around $13K for mine (setting/diamonds included) if that makes you feel any better about not getting ripped off. Then again, it may cause question as to why the great price?

I hope yours turns out to be all that you want. I think it would look amazing in a different setting. Please keep us posted!
 

lilmosun

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I think it's going to err very violet which is a less desirable for many. I think that went into pricing.

Yes, it is not uncommon with unheated sapphires to shift colors. I bought my "blue" unheated sapphire and was disappointed that it shifts more towards purple in most lights. But in this case, it is advertised as "violet" and not blue so I assume the OP is aware of this. While not a true blue sapphire, it still seems to be a very good price for an unheated sapphire of that size. Congrats!
 
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JPie

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Well let me state I don't know her from Adam. There have been trusted vendors here who have been duped. I won't go into the history of whom and where but do some research on this board. I've also seen vendors dupe people on this board where they had not done so before.

Next, this is a consumer board. As a consumer I've seen some stuff go down and I've also been hoodwinked myself. Call me cautious I guess.

Furthermore, let me state that I don't care who its from, a 5.5ct sapphire for very little $$ will ALWAYS give me pause. It could be from G-O-D and I would still want to verify what the heck it is.

Like I said, I sincerely hope its just an excellent deal, but its always good to verify no matter who its from.

As I’ve already said, it’s good to verify a purchase like this and I think to that end there’s been good advice given. What’s not okay is when forum members speculate without any evidence or experience with the vendor that maybe she’s hiding a chip or the stone in the report isn’t what’s in the setting.
These threads show up when people search vendors on Google and this is someone’s livelihood.
 

Arcadian

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As I’ve already said, it’s good to verify a purchase like this and I think to that end there’s been good advice given. What’s not okay is when forum members speculate without any evidence or experience with the vendor that maybe she’s hiding a chip or the stone in the report isn’t what’s in the setting.
These threads show up when people search vendors on Google and this is someone’s livelihood.

How is this any different from what would happen if anyone else asked? Is it because you happen to buy from her?

listen, I honestly am not a vendor cheerleader by any stretch but I like to think I'm fair minded.

That also said, It wouldn't matter even if it was from a trusted pricescoper, I would say the exact same thing. Verify what it is because a sapphire of that size is straight status symbol. Sapphires of that size and without any treatment are not typically that cheap. Neither is gold for that matter...have you seen the price of spot gold lately?

I didn't say or even disparage the vendor because in the words of Mariah Carey "I don't know her." Therefore I will treat her like every other vendor who is selling something.

Think about it like this; if OP had not said anything, neither would anyone else. But she asked and some of us gave what we feel are honest answers. No one has to like those things, but if she didn't want to know, she wouldn't have asked.

Again, I sincerely hope its one hell of a deal and still do, but I won't apologize for what I said either.
 

winnietucker

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As the person who started this, I should prob step in here as I can see how this thread could go.

I’d really appreciate if we could keep this thread nice. I 100% appreciate all of the comments because as previously stated, I don’t know anything about sapphires. The comments about stone swapping/ hidden chips are prob good for me to be aware of as a newbie. It’s not something I would have worried about and I’ve bought diamonds worrying about that. I wish there was a comprehensive guide to gemstones/ gemstone buying so I could get this info without having to ask. With that said, I trust the vendor and I hope no one reads this thread thinking she’s shady.

I’ll be back with updates once the ring is in.
 

Bluemuse

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Looks like a beautiful stone to me and a great price for the size and unheated. I love the violet hue. I think as others have said, it will come down to how you feel about it once you have it in hand. I noticed that it’s a little deep and maybe slightly off oval, which may be contributing to the lower price.
As the owner of a quirky, older sapphire I wasn’t looking for a perfect stone. But I did find a stone that spoke to me. You’ll have to see if this one does to you. The price is really great and it is hard to find one that size, priced well.
Mine was just under $1000/ct for 8cts.
If everything checks out and you love it, then it’d be a keeper for me.
Hope you love it! Look forward to seeing it once you have it!
 

Lisa Loves Shiny

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I could see why you jumped on this- from the pictures the stone is great and the price amazing. My biggest concern would be that the stone was damaged when it was re-set after being sent to GIA. If it was fractured, but the fracture does not reach the surface, some sellers would hope to minimize that and just call the fracture an inclusion or veil. It it has some tiny chips hidden by the bezel the ring would still go a good deal IMHO.

Crossing my fingers that you found a great deal. Great deals do happen. :)
 

JPie

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@Arcadian I understand that the posts were in response to the OP’s question. Did I react strongly because it’s a vendor I’ve had a good relationship with? Yes. Would I feel the same if it was a vendor I didn’t know? Also yes. It’s possible to look out for each other here without attributing malicious intent when there’s no evidence. Selling something at a low price isn’t exactly damning proof.

I don’t expect you to apologize or see things my way, just as you wouldn’t expect me to like what you and others have said. Have a good night.
 

2Neezers

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I love the violet color of the sapphire! I was able to pull up the close up picture of the stone from GIA. It‘s blown up, so it shows all of the features of the stone pretty clearly, things you most likely won’t see with the naked eye. It looks like there could be a tiny nibble at the 2 o’clock position of the girdle and the culet looks off center. These are things someone like Jerry Newman could most likely fix at a reasonable cost if they bother you, or they might not be noticeable to you at all in person. I can’t wait to see what you think once you receive it!
403BAB5D-C1E9-4D9C-970C-E712A54F5FEA.jpeg
 

winnietucker

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I love the violet color of the sapphire! I was able to pull up the close up picture of the stone from GIA. It‘s blown up, so it shows all of the features of the stone pretty clearly, things you most likely won’t see with the naked eye. It looks like there could be a tiny nibble at the 2 o’clock position of the girdle and the culet looks off center. These are things someone like Jerry Newman could most likely fix at a reasonable cost if they bother you, or they might not be noticeable to you at all in person. I can’t wait to see what you think once you receive it!
403BAB5D-C1E9-4D9C-970C-E712A54F5FEA.jpeg

I thought that was weird but at 5.5 cts exactly I’m worried about losing weight. Would that be a significant value decrease? I know it doesn’t matter that much but purposely doing something that devalues it seems less than ideal.
 

GliderPoss

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Next, this is a consumer board. As a consumer I've seen some stuff go down and I've also been hoodwinked myself. Call me cautious I guess.

Furthermore, let me state that I don't care who its from, a 5.5ct sapphire for very little $$ will ALWAYS give me pause. It could be from G-O-D and I would still want to verify what the heck it is.

Like I said, I sincerely hope its just an excellent deal, but its always good to verify no matter who its from.

I couldn't agree more, this whole point of PS is to educate, to enlighten and yes - to caution if needed. We've all said a million times "Trust but verify" and "If it's too good to be true - it probably is!" :naughty:

I too, sincerely hoping it's a cracking deal and look forward to seeing the results. :wavey:
 

yssie

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I can, off the top of my head, come up with a good handful of reasonable reasons for this pricing. A good deal? Yes. The steal of a lifetime, so good it must be suspect? I sure don’t think so.
1. It’s violet, not blue,
2. It’s neither strongly saturated nor silky,
3. It has prestigious origin, but none of the hallmarks of top specimens from that location, so prestigious origin adds no prestige pricing premium,
4. I’m guessing it may not be eyeclean at closer range,
5. The mount is polarizing in terms of aesthetic - some will love it, some will not,
6. Perhaps most critically here - this is not the type of piece this vendor normally deals in, so it’s probably not an easy or “gimme” sell to her usual clientele,
7. ...

How it came to be for sale is irrelevant. All that matters is that @winnietucker received a ring featuring a stone that both (A) is what is described in the GIA, and (B) is in the condition described in the GIA. An independent appraiser will be able to verify both.

We all know that “pure speculation” about stone switching and hiding major chips under girdles wouldn’t enter the discussion were this a PS pet vendor. And yes, this sort of “pure speculation” is absolutely damaging - what would you think if you googled a shop and discovered conversation about nefarious activities? Just how much digging would you bother to do before writing that shop off? Let’s kindly not play coy with our communal comprehension of the power of suggestion.

Edit - ditto @elizat and @JPie. And I’ve never bought from this vendor.
 
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LilAlex

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I thought that was weird but at 5.5 cts exactly I’m worried about losing weight. Would that be a significant value decrease? I know it doesn’t matter that much but purposely doing something that devalues it seems less than ideal.

I'm pretty skeptical in general but I think this is legit. My concerns were outlined above. I visited the IG page and everything seems to sell very quickly. Lots of sales. Your ring seems to be typical for this vendor.

Vis-a-vis the eccentric culet, it's just a native cut; I would not recut for fear of losing saturation, especially in this undersaturated (but very pretty) stone.

And about my "overcast skies" comment -- you're lucky in the northwest. This should look its best there, imo. Very rare for a sapphire to look its best in bright sun -- except for a top Kashmir, maybe.

Again, I think the stone is a great bargain and a really nice find. As I said above, I'm still a little puzzled by the sequence of events prior to the listing. There are low-volume, high-margin sellers and high-volume, low-margin sellers and this may be one of the latter.
 

Bron357

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I’m confident its the same sapphire as the GIA certificate and I don’t think there will be any acquired cracks or chips since the report.
yes, I think it was a great buy.
But why was it cheap?
no 1 reason will be the vendors business model, she buys and resells fast. I don’t think she has huge margins, she may well have bought it for $3,000 so $300 profit without costs suits her. She doesn’t want to sit on items waiting for a buyer,
2. the colour, it’s more violet than blue and rather pastel. That’s not to everyone’s taste. It may not be particularly “sparkly” especially in low light. In low light it may also look “grey / dead”.
3. the setting is pretty polarizing, a lot of people wouldn’t care for it at all and most people, currently, don’t want to embark on a resetting project.
im sure you will love it.
if not, put it up on Loupe Troop for $3,300 and it will last 15 seconds there!
 

prs

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I thought that was weird but at 5.5 cts exactly I’m worried about losing weight. Would that be a significant value decrease? I know it doesn’t matter that much but purposely doing something that devalues it seems less than ideal.
Colored stones don't have all important carat weight price points similar to diamonds. For colored stones it's all about the color. If you need to have a few girdle chips cleaned up and that takes it below 5.5cts, the impact on price would be negligible. If the chips were visible then cleaning them up might actually increase the value.
 

LD

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Oh yes, that was a question I forgot to ask and it’s prob a dumb question but I need to know. She said it changes color but GIA wouldn’t call it color change because it’s not significant enough. If it’s all good and everything is as seems and I keep it, could I somehow get GIA to reconsider? Color change was an interesting possibility and Finewater Gems had one - but it was too dark for my taste. So it’d be nice if it were official. Not sure how that affects value and if GIA would even consider it though.

If the stone moves from blue to violet it's not a colour changer. It would be classed as having a colour shift (which is a different thing). Colour change is where the stone changes colour from one side of the colour wheel to the opposite side. Colour shift is when it shifts side to side (which is what blue and violet would do). However, the reason it probably hasn't been designated as having a colour shift is because most sapphires have the ability to do this and it has to be fairly obvious (rather than subtle) for it to be mentioned in a report. Hope that helps.

BTW I think this probably is the same stone but I think I'd need to see it unset and to look at the cut a bit better. The cut does look like it has a wonky culet and a few other issues - none of that should worry you if the colour is fantastic.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
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As I’ve already said, it’s good to verify a purchase like this and I think to that end there’s been good advice given. What’s not okay is when forum members speculate without any evidence or experience with the vendor that maybe she’s hiding a chip or the stone in the report isn’t what’s in the setting.
These threads show up when people search vendors on Google and this is someone’s livelihood.

This is a consumer forum and it was being pointed out that it was something to look for. That's sound advice. When anything is too good to be true you have to wonder why. The price in this instance is too good to be true so it's wise advice from everybody to proceed with caution and check everything thoroughly. You can't sensor things in a consumer forum just to make vendors happy. If this stone turns out to be everything it's cracked up to be then anybody falling on this thread will see the outcome whether it's good or bad. I truly hope the outcome is good and I suspect the pricing MAY be because the stone is violet and has a wonky cut that will mean losing a fair bit of carat weight to correct (although it would still be a good buy even having that done).
 

LD

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Here's a couple of reasons why the price may be lower than expected. If you look at the two circled areas there appears to be chips - also if you look from 4 o'clock down to 6 o'clock the stone edge seems very uneven HOWEVER that could just be the cropping of the photo for the lab report. The edge does appear wavy in other areas too (ie 10-11 oclock). Once set (if in a bezel like it is, you wouldn't notice it but if you're going to re-set it, I think it'll be more noticeable.

Next can you see the line I've drawn down the middle? You can see how the culet is off centre to the right of the line. Stones are cut like this when a lapidarist wants to keep the weight of the stone. A precision cut would of course lose weight and with this stone you'd need the culet pulling back to the centre and possibly the outside edge neatened and so this is a fair amount of work to get it ready for a beauty pageant. I will say though that if you love the colour then having this done will be money well spent BUT two words of caution:

1. As mentioned by @LisaRN above, you need somebody to fully check out the stone to make sure no damage has been done to the stone when it's been set (after the lab report was done). You can see a few inclusions in the stone already - none that look too frightening but without having the stone in hand it's difficult to tell. Having this look at properly by a lapidarist before commiting might be a good idea especially if you're thinking of changing the setting. Some gemstones are just not good candidates for a recut and inclusions obviously play a part in this.

2. You also need to speak to a lapidarist and ask 2 questions (a) how much weight is the stone likely to lose if you want to make it perfect or just tidy it up a bit and (b) in his/her experience, how will it affect the colour? In some recuts the colour changes significantly. To give you an idea, I've just purchased a sapphire that was recut. It went from Royal Blue to a Vivd Cornflower blue (sorry I don't like using those terms but I hope it gives you a mental picture). Now as it happens, in my case it improved the stone which has an incredible sparkle but lost top colour. It's not always predictable what will happen however a good cutter will give you their best guess. Some people love the quirkiness of a "native" cut gemstone and for top gems I think sometimes it's best left alone and unique.

sapphire on ps.png
 
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Mrs_Strizzle

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I think it looks like a lovely stone with her own personality (I like to be able to identify my stones by sight). These tend to be my favorite. My avatar ring is a 5.69 ct unheated Sri Lankan color shifting sapphire. Not trade ideal color by any stretch (but what I wanted), and was around the same price point with a ct of pretty diamonds. So these deals exist, not a complete unicorn, but a good deal for non trade ideal. I will echo Bron and say list it on LT if it isn't love for you. I would love a violet sapphire of this size ;-)
 
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winnietucker

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Here's a couple of reasons why the price may be lower than expected. If you look at the two circled areas there appears to be chips - also if you look from 4 o'clock down to 6 o'clock the stone edge seems very uneven HOWEVER that could just be the cropping of the photo for the lab report. The edge does appear wavy in other areas too (ie 10-11 oclock). Once set (if in a bezel like it is, you wouldn't notice it but if you're going to re-set it, I think it'll be more noticeable.

Next can you see the line I've drawn down the middle? You can see how the culet is off centre to the right of the line. Stones are cut like this when a lapidarist wants to keep the weight of the stone. A precision cut would of course lose weight and with this stone you'd need the culet pulling back to the centre and possibly the outside edge neatened and so this is a fair amount of work to get it ready for a beauty pageant. I will say though that if you love the colour then having this done will be money well spent BUT two words of caution:

1. As mentioned by @LisaRN above, you need somebody to fully check out the stone to make sure no damage has been done to the stone when it's been set (after the lab report was done). You can see a few inclusions in the stone already - none that look too frightening but without having the stone in hand it's difficult to tell. Having this look at properly by a lapidarist before commiting might be a good idea especially if you're thinking of changing the setting. Some gemstones are just not good candidates for a recut and inclusions obviously play a part in this.

2. You also need to speak to a lapidarist and ask 2 questions (a) how much weight is the stone likely to lose if you want to make it perfect or just tidy it up a bit and (b) in his/her experience, how will it affect the colour? In some recuts the colour changes significantly. To give you an idea, I've just purchased a sapphire that was recut. It went from Royal Blue to a Vivd Cornflower blue (sorry I don't like using those terms but I hope it gives you a mental picture). Now as it happens, in my case it improved the stone which has an incredible sparkle but lost top colour. It's not always predictable what will happen however a good cutter will give you their best guess. Some people love the quirkiness of a "native" cut gemstone and for top gems I think sometimes it's best left alone and unique.

sapphire on ps.png

Thanks! I did decide to contact Jerry Newman. I figured better to get that ball rolling and get his opinion vs reset and then wish I did it...

I’m kind of growing on her weird cut though. She’s unique. I’ll wait to see if he replies/ what he says.

Should I contact others?
 

chrono

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Let's wait and see when it arrives. It's too soon to make other plans. One step at a time. Bring it to your jeweller and scrutinize the stone as much as you can, see its performance under various lights, etc.

If it's just flea bites, off center culet, a bit wonky outline, I would leave it as is.
 

LD

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Thanks! I did decide to contact Jerry Newman. I figured better to get that ball rolling and get his opinion vs reset and then wish I did it...

I’m kind of growing on her weird cut though. She’s unique. I’ll wait to see if he replies/ what he says.

Should I contact others?

Always good to have a few opinions but don't forget you haven't seen it yet and you may not like it! The only thing is that they probably won't be able to tell you much until they see it. Why not send them a photo that's been posted above of the blown up version from the lab report? That will give them an idea but I doubt they'll be able to commit until seeing it. I know you only have a 3 day returns policy but why not speak with the seller and ask if that can be extended and explain that you want a lapidary to look at it to see if the cut can be improved?

Do you have a loupe? If yes, when it arrives, have a look and see if you can see anything of concern - you're looking for any internal cracks etc. Also run you nail gently across all surfaces to see if you can feel anything out of place and then if you do, give that area a good look through the loupe.
 
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