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Intense color aquamarine

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zeolite

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I bought this VERY expensive aquamarine crystal 14 years ago, and have ever since been aging it like a fine wine. I was convinced that I had overpaid for this crystal, and that the cut stone would be worth considerably less than I paid for the crystal. Buying rough, especially very expensive rough, is full of risk. This picture was taken about a week ago.




4715aqua.jpg
 

zeolite

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Here it is, finished at 11.04 cts.



Aquamarine price is hyper-sensitive to tone, how deep the usually very pale blue color is. America is considered a dumping ground market for aquamarine. Most aquamarine in the U.S. is closer to off white, than pale blue, and very relatively inexpensive,



In Japan and in Europe, the deeper material is highly prized, with very high per carat prices paid. Top aquamarine is hard to price correctly, because it is so rare. Only a slightly deeper color gives a much higher price.



The deepest color is called Marta Rocha blue, named for a Brazilian beauty queen at the time that a deep color crystal was found. I think in 25 years of Tucson gem shows, I've seen perhaps 4 Marta Rocha blue aquamarines, and all very large (30-65 cts), which helps make the color a deeper blue.


4743aqua.jpg
 

Gailey

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Wow Mr Z, care to share some more info. How much did the crystal weigh? Who cut this beauty? Good looking step cut pears are as rare as rocking horse doo-doo.

It''s a lovely, lovely stone. I hope it won''t languish in a box but will hang around the neck of Mrs Z eventually.
 

Harriet

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Mr. z,
It''s beautiful. I''d like to start collecting crystals too. Care to guide me?
 

somegirl932

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just wanted to comment, "wow"... i love the color, and i don''t usually like pears, but that''s amazing.
 

platinumrock

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movie zombie

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are you still convinced you overpaid for this crystal given the beauty it turned out to be once you cut it?!

mz
 

LtlFirecracker

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Date: 4/6/2009 8:53:27 PM
Author: movie zombie
are you still convinced you overpaid for this crystal given the beauty it turned out to be once you cut it?!


mz

I have the same question. I think it is a very pretty stone. I have been looking at aqua for a while now, and have been finding that the deep blues are very expensive.
 

marcy

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What a great color and beautiful stone!
 

bookworm240

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When I saw the picture I said OMG out loud. I have been getting educated on aquas lately. Yours is amazing. What will you do with it??
 

soycoffee

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Ditto all the other poster''s questions, and their WOWs!! I''m also not generally that into aquas, but, this is really gorgeous. Good buy, I''d say!:)
 

cushioncutnut

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Wow! What a stunningly gorgeous rarity!!
 

chrono

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I, too, am attracted to cystals lately, especially good ones with natural termination points, or that perfect shape. How do you "shop" for the right one?
 

T L

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Zeolite,
Would these qualify as top gem aquas?

AquaBraclet-C_550x458.jpg
 

zeolite

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Everyone, thank you for your kind compliments.

Gailey, more info: The rough crystal weighed 30.12 cts. It was cut by a multiple AGTA (American Gem Trade Association) Cutting Edge winner, and not any of the 8 or so cutters mentioned often on this board. It won’t adorn Mrs. Z’s neck, since she won’t wear what she has now (including a top Burmese ruby wedding ring). She keeps them all in a dark bank vault for safekeeping. The aqua will be kept loose and fondled regularly by me, as part of my cut and un-mounted collection.


It is interesting that you noticed the step cut. Most pear cuts are modified round brilliant cuts. These cuts feature very long, narrow triangular facets on the bottom, and on the wider top, much wider triangular and kite shaped facets. So in a sense, these facets don’t line up, top to bottom. This is very handy for covering inclusions that are eye visible, but very difficult to see.


In a step cut, there are very large, rectangular facets, and the top and bottom facets perfectly overlie each other. This demands that the crystal be absolutely flawless, for this cut to work.


Harriet, Chrono: Most gem crystals have no defined exterior faces and just look like broken glass. Other crystals have excellent outer faces, but are full of inclusions, and are not facet grade. These specimen crystals may not be very expensive. There are some rare few crystals with excellent exterior faces that are facet grade, like my 405 ct aquamarine here, first page:


https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/show-us-your-rough.108836/


I find my crystals at rough gem dealers in Tucson. You just have to look at a large number of crystals.


TL, if the aquamarines in that bracelet really are that saturated when viewing in person, then they tower head and shoulders above any aquamarine I have ever seen. They look more like Kashmir sapphires than aquamarines. But I think that is Photoshop, or radically underexposed slide film. That style is Art Deco, and I’ve seen many bracelets and necklaces like that, in person, at Sotheby’s. They were never even close to that color saturation. And those cut aquas were in the 30 to 50 ct size for each stone in the finished neckace.


I shoot my pictures with an expensive Canon digital camera, in Canon Raw, not jpeg. In Raw, after the picture is taken, I can change the white balance, contrast, saturation, and exposure, to force the picture to very closely match the actual stone. I don’t just print the camera’s initial output. Then I hold the gem next to my computer monitor, and tune the color on my screen in Photoshop, to match the gem in my hand.


Most people use Photoshop to pump up the color saturation to make the gem more salable! I take the camera output, and turn down the saturation to match the actual gem.

Moviezombie, Ltlfirecracker: No, as I view the finished gem, I definitely didn’t overpay. But it easily could have happened, the gem could have finished much more pale. As it was, there were inclusions on the side and rounded end, that forced the finished pear to be smaller than I expected. Since width to depth ratios must be within a certain range, that forced cutting away large amounts of perfectly clear, color deepening material from the top (the crystal was excessively deep). I can only guess the depth of color if those inclusions weren’t there.

I have one hyper expensive 80 ct facet grade tanzanite crystal that needs to be cut. And one facet grade 115 ct Pakistan topaz crystal with such perfect terminations, that it will not be cut.


After the tanzanite, I will quit on expensive crystals while I’m ahead. I’ve been badly burned with 3 total losses, trying to get top tsavorite color. Buying specimen grade crystals is another matter, but buying facet grade material should only be done by a cutter, or someone closely working with a cutter. You need to see many rough crystals before and after, to get a feel for how a rough crystal will transform into a desirable finished gem.
 

mercoledi

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Wowee, glad you decided to go through with it! Lovely pear and a really interesting cut.
 

Jypsie

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WOW! It''s awesome!
 

Harriet

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Thanks, zeolite. I'm miffed that I missed this year's Gem and Mineral Show, but I'll dig around next year if I snag a guest pass.
 

T L

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Date: 4/7/2009 5:57:10 AM
Author: oldmancoyote
If the colour is unretouched/photoshopped, I''d definitely say so. Yours, TL?
I WISH!! These are by designer Raymond Yard. They''re famous for their art deco jewelry and the famous Rockefeller sapphire ring (my all time favorite ring) is by them. They seem to have the most gorgeous aquas I''ve ever seen. Desperate Housewives star Nicolette Sheridan wore one of their aqua rings somewhere. Well it''s on their website. Maybe it is photoshopped, I don''t know. Aqua is my birthstone, so I have a few you could say, but I really can''t say I love aquas because they all seem to have some grey in them. There are some very nice ones on ParaibaInternational''s website though.

Beautiful Gem Zeolite. Congrats on the cutting.
 

chrono

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Date: 4/7/2009 12:08:24 AM
Author: tourmaline_lover
Zeolite,
Would these qualify as top gem aquas?
Are you kidding me? Definitely top aquamarines!
They are such a saturated vivid pure blue.
 

loriken214

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Date: 4/6/2009 7:39:32 PM
Author: Harriet
Mr. z,
It''s beautiful. I''d like to start collecting crystals too. Care to guide me?
Ditto! I love crystals and have a few little ones, but would love more!


Lori
 

MonkeyPie

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That is one heck of a stone, and a great story to boot! I''m glad you took the plunge and cut it, it''s amazing.
 

partgypsy

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zeolite. Thanks so much for showing us the before after of an amazing crystal and gorgeous cut stone. It''s not often one can see the before-after of cuts. I definitely do not have the cojones to buy very expensive crystals for making into cut gems, if I ever buy crystals, just for the enjoyment in their uncut state.
I know that there are some color intensity gradings as well as verbal nomenclature for the various intensities of aquamarine, where you would put your pear?
 

OUpearlgirl

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Oh wow.. that is gorgeous!
 
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