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Is this Alexandrite good value?

Discussion in 'Colored Gemstones' started by dnzs, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. dnzs
    Rough_Rock

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    by dnzs » Jul 14, 2019
    Hi All. I found a nice Alexandrite ring, that I want to give as an engagement ring. I am a beginner to alexandrite, and am very nervous about paying online for such a stone. I feel like i'm in the "too good to be true" area!!

    I have attached some images of the ring, and I'd love to get some opinion.

    candle.jpg regular.jpg

    Off the bat, you can see that there are heavy inclusions in the ring. I think that is a good thing, for determining that it is indeed real, but maybe there are too many inclusions? I do like the way it looks. It feel more unique.

    The Stone is 1.07 carat, and it looks like it has a very good colour change (...is it nice colour change??) The stone does not have a lab certificate, but it will be sent to GIA upon purchase. The cost of the ring is USD 3300.

    I am worried that for a 1.07 carat, with such a nice colour change, that the prices don't add up! I don't mind the inclusions, but I just want to make sure i'm not drastically overpaying.

    This forum has been really helpful in my search for understanding more about gems etc. so thank you!
     
    


    


  2. prs
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by prs » Jul 14, 2019
    The green photo (natural light) seems odd to me...why is everything around the ring blacked out? Maybe ask for a better daylight photo before proceeding.

    If GIA finds the stone to be lab created do you trust the vendor to give you a full refund? Also, do you have the option to return the ring if the real life colors are not as good as those in the vendor's photos?

    Otherwise it looks to me like a really nice ring and a great find if it's a true alexandrite with the color change as shown.
     
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  3. dnzs
    Rough_Rock

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    by dnzs » Jul 14, 2019
    HI prs! Thanks for the reply.

    This person has a few rings for sale, and they all have the same blacked out background. I have asked for an additional picture without it, closer to regular daytime lighting. Did something about the image I uploaded give you a sense this may not be natural mined alexandrite?

    I'll be paying with PayPal, so if it is not true alexandrite, or the colours don't look like the images, I believe I should be ok to get a refund. I was offered a guarantee by the seller stating if I am not satisfied with the ring upon examination, they will send a different ring, or replace the stone for one of similar value (more clarify/less inclusion, but less colour change)

    Here is another picture, from a bit of a different angle.
    closeup.png
     
  4. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Jul 14, 2019
    I doubt it's real for that price. Does it come with a certificate? It might be color change garnet, or a synthetic.
     
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  5. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Jul 14, 2019
    I would want a guarantee from the seller that if it comes back from gia as anything other than natural alexandrite that you'll get a full refund.
     
  6. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Jul 14, 2019
    What I find odd is that alexandrite goes green in sunlight, but those “green” photos do not look like sunlight, or even artificial sunlight, is on them. I suspect extreme photo enhancement, especially for the green colorway. I agree with @lovedogs about the guarantee of a refund if the GIA report comes back with bad news.
     
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  7. the_mother_thing
    Ideal_Rock

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    by the_mother_thing » Jul 14, 2019
    Having owned a real/natural alexandrite, I cannot emphasize enough how very difficult it is to photograph an alex’s blue/green daylight color without some experience and tinkering with the environmental light, such as that the vendor pic above (on the finger) shows. This leads me to think one of the following: it’s not a natural alex (fyi, inclusions can be replicated in lab stones); it’s not an alex (lab or natural) at all, but perhaps a color change garnet or some other variety of stone; or it’s a legit/natural alex and the vendor has tons of experience & knowledge photographing them to get the in-person color captured petty closely.

    It may help to reveal who the vendor is that is offering this ring/alexandrite. Some are more reputable and trustworthy than others, and when it comes to alexandrite, those familiar with them on PS will likely know who the ‘good’ vendors are.
     
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  8. dnzs
    Rough_Rock

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    by dnzs » Jul 14, 2019
    Thanks 'lovedogs'! The seller has already guaranteed that it is 100% natural. since I'll be paying with PayPal, the PayPal guarantee is enough for me, since it is advertised as natural alexandrite. The seller also offered to send it to an independant GIA certified appraiser. I reach out to them also, and she confirmed that she is familiar with the seller, and they can confirm this sellers alexandrite to be natural.

    What kind of price tag would you expect to see on a stone like this?


    Thanks for the comments the_mother_thing!!

    The seller has other rings, and all the pictures are taken in the same style. multiple pictures, with a 100% black background. He also has other stones, not just alexandrite, but claims to specialise in alexandrite for 19+ years.

    The vendor is Luis Levandi from Texas. Does anyone know him?

    This is all being done online/the phone, and man, is it hard to find the truth! It took me a full week until I found this vendor, so you can bet I've filtered through my fair share of lies, BS, and scams online, until I finally found something that seems good for me! It is such a beautiful ring. I really love the design, it just feels too good to be true at this point!:think:
     
  9. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Jul 14, 2019
    Either the color change will be almost nonexistant IRL, or the inclusions will be horribly distracting, or it's not authentic. There just is no way this is a strong color change natural alexandrite for 3k including the setting.

    And a gia appraiser is not the same as GIA certification. You need to send it to gia directly.
     
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  10. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Jul 14, 2019
    I can't find this vendor anywhere. What is his store name?
     
    


    


  11. the_mother_thing
    Ideal_Rock

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    by the_mother_thing » Jul 14, 2019
    A person who has been dealing in gems & jewelry - and specializing in alexandrite for 19+ years - would have some online presence, reviews, etc. I just did a quick search for that name - which I have never heard of - and found nothing.

    I would suggest searching/reaching out to multicolour.com (note the spelling as I typed it) as a trusted alexandrite source. Don’t let their location worry you; that is where I bought mine, others on PS have purchased gems from them, and they are known to be a very reliable, knowledgeable, reputable dealer in natural alexandrite.

    Even if you don’t buy from there, it would be a good benchmark to gauge whether the guy you are talking to has his stones priced reasonably.
     
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  12. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Jul 14, 2019
    Exactly. I did the same and literally can't find anything about that person.
     
  13. LilAlex
    Rough_Rock

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    by LilAlex » Jul 14, 2019
    I can't think of a stone that's harder to buy online than an alex. I also think it's an almost "sure-to-disappoint" engagement ring. I've looked at a lot of top-notch Brazilian (Hematita) alex in high-end retail jewelers and whereas they may impress a connoisseur, they are unlikely to impress a co-worker :) They do not change from raspberry to grass-green like a traffic light. The lighter ones (not Brazil) tend to have ugly-ish colors and the ones with crazy-good color shifts are excessively dark, imo. And small. They are not "hard to photograph" -- it's just really hard to make your photos show what you think your eye is seeing.

    If I were doing this marriage thing again, I would do a vintage (Edwardian) ring with an original unheated blue sapphire of the purest blue -- light to medium-dark -- that my budget could absorb :) Assuming, of course, that that suited spouse-to-be's taste, too!
     
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  14. lovedogs
    Ideal_Rock

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    by lovedogs » Jul 14, 2019
    Definitely check multicoulor.com. they have some great Alex stones, and you can really tell how the color change affects price, and how mixed lighting needs to also be a nice color. The ones that are under 3k are either smaller, have a weak color change, or have unappealing colors.
     
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  15. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Jul 14, 2019
    I saw this one on Etsy and here’s what I like about it

    1) It’s not a “black hole.”
    2) it’s got decent color ways. I’m hoping photos aren’t enhanced
    3). Full color change
    4) Not cheap, but not ridiculously expensive for an alexandrite either.
    5) Not terribly included
    6) No window

    Things I don’t like

    1) kind of deeply cut
    2) The cokorways aren’t that saturated, but they’re not muddy either
    3) wish it came with a GIA report, but if one likes it, check with seller if refund is okay if GIA report is ok.


    https://etsy.me/2Y5f2KW

    Other than this stone, almost all alexandrite I see online are overpriced muddy stones or “black holes.”
    I wouldn’t buy this stone, but I don’t care for any alexandrite currently available online.
     
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  16. voce
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by voce » Jul 14, 2019
    @T L does that assessment of "muddy" also apply to the 2 ct one Finewater Gems has? That was the one I thought I might get at a future date if I could afford it, if it's on sale, and of course, if it's still available. Nothing else I've seen really appeals to me, since most of them photo dark or, as in the case of the Japanese vendors with no return policy, would be too pricey for me given the risk.
     
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  17. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Jul 14, 2019
    If that’s the one with the enormous window, and it’s a rectangular cushion, I really dislike that stone, and that’s an understatement for me.:confused2: Sorry!! He has other very pretty gems though.
     
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  18. Bron357
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Bron357 » Jul 14, 2019
    82E39527-9226-4545-A5CF-F0AE091C4B54.jpeg E7C8E4DA-F01B-439E-9328-FD9D55A764D5.jpeg 7877F567-695C-4670-AEDD-A83D11021A94.jpeg BEC1C5DE-CE7A-428E-B2D4-B04CF4035F6E.jpeg 85584A3E-97D4-49CB-90CD-0966A9CB98F7.jpeg Looks lovely but it would be better if he had a no fuss return policy than you having to rely on PayPal to give you a refund. A good vendor usually offers a return if it’s not as you expected (shipping costs excluded), especially in this “shop online world”.
    You might find that you can’t replicate the colour in the “photos” in real life.
    Here are both Vendor photos and my photos of my Alex bracelet. In real life the colours aren’t quite the same.
    The daylight colour looks more subdued in real life and I can’t replicate the incandescent colour with any light source I have. And as I’ve discovered, most inside lights these days are the “cool” type so the Alex stay green.
    If I was a vendor selling an Alex online, I’d get a GIA or AGL lab report myself to prove to potential buyers it was an Alexandrite. Anyone who sells Alexandrite knows just how many synthetics are “out there” and that there’s other gems similar to Alexandrite which aren’t Alexandrite.
    Here is a colour change Garnet. Colour change is just like Alexandrite except it’s $800 instead of the $8,000 as per TL ‘s example.
    Caution is always advised when it comes to Alexandrite.
     
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  19. Sungura
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Sungura » Jul 14, 2019
    @dnzs my biggest concern at this moment is the return policy. What if this comes back as natural Alex but the colors are totally different from the pictures. From your earlier posts I understand you can only return that for store credit. I would only buy if there was a “no questions asked return policy. Then you can see if you like the gem in real life as well as get it certified
     
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  20. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Jul 14, 2019
    [QUOTE="Bron357’/]Here is a colour change Garnet. Colour change is just like Alexandrite except it’s $800 instead of the $8,000 as per TL ‘s example.
    Caution is always advised when it comes to Alexandrite.[/QUOTE]
    My example was actually $5k, but yes, still pricey for such a blah stone.

    Gorgeous bracelet you have there!!
     
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  21. Jujeh
    Rough_Rock

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    by Jujeh » Jul 14, 2019
    I definitely agree about the lack of a wow factor. It is something to consider. Even the finest alexandrites aren't that impressive during many everyday lighting conditions. Why? Because most of the lighting conditions we encounter in everyday life are not like the ones vendors use to photograph gems.

    I have an 'unmentionable' alexandrite ring that I wear often and it's a very high quality one. Even still, most lighting conditions are mixed. So there will be green and purplish light both coming from the stone, creating a bit of a 'confused' or 'muddy' look. I have a few lower quality alexandrite (natural) rings and they all share this characteristic too. So I don't think I'd choose it for an e-ring.

    The idea that alexandrites are 'emeralds by day and rubies by night' is pure marketing hype. I don't think there's any stone in the world that could come close to that.

    I found an image online of an alexandrite under mixed lighting. Not that appealing imo and a lot of alexandrites look much worse than this.

    Anyway, all that to say, definitely make sure wherever you buy from has a great return policy in case you don't like how it looks in everyday lighting conditions.

    e92c9c13c008669ab614157a3ac09589.jpg
     
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  22. Bron357
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Bron357 » Jul 14, 2019
    DB5B24C5-D732-416B-A121-DE5AA1962F2A.jpeg
    My example was actually $5k, but yes, still pricey for such a blah stone.

    Gorgeous bracelet you have there!![/QUOTE]
    Sorry TL, when you’re an Aussie $5K IS $8K AUD :eek2:
     
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  23. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Jul 14, 2019
    It’s a fun stone though. I like LD’s, as hers seems to have a very distinct color change under ordinary light settings. I just wish it wasn’t so outrageously priced, because even unattractive stones are $$$$$
     
  24. new-beginning
    Rough_Rock

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    by new-beginning » Jul 14, 2019
    YAX852ac This is a stone on the Multicolour site - less than 1 ct, less than $8000 - compare this to the $3300 over 1 ct stone.
     
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  25. Jujeh
    Rough_Rock

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    by Jujeh » Jul 14, 2019
    Yeah, I agree. That's why I have 3 alexandrite rings and 1 pendant. (None of the natural ones are very high quality, but they do all have some color change.)

    I just think most people wouldn't love it for an e-ring ...
     
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  26. Sungura
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Sungura » Jul 15, 2019
    Found it. There is a website listed
    E1060572-53DD-4FBD-950F-A8F240267D9B.jpeg
     
  27. dnzs
    Rough_Rock

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    by dnzs » Jul 15, 2019
    Thanks Sungura! Sorry for the late reply...It was night time!
    Yes, I agree. I havn't paid yet, and I will make sure to get an agreement for a 'no questions asked' return policy.

    As for the certificates.... If I do buy the ring, first, the vendor will send it to a GIA lab, where it will be given a Lab certificate. After it has the GIA report, it will be sent to an independant jewellery appraiser (who happens to be also GIA certified) for an appraisal for the ring. So it will actually be coming with two different documents, which seems fair to me.

    Since I am overseas, the vendor will send the ring to GIA and the appraiser, and I will receive it afterwards.



    The website is here - https://www.thealexandrite.com/
     
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  28. Bron357
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Bron357 » Jul 15, 2019
    I would advise some caution.
    Firstly, one of the rings on the website with a GIA report is noted as “clarity enhanced” in the GIA report. This is not mentioned by the vendor and is actually a significant issue. Many would say a clarity enhanced gem is worth little. The gem in question is for sale in a ring for $8,970 US.
    This is not to say the gem you are purchasing is or isn’t treated but I would be asking the vendor up front “ has the Alexandrite in my ring been subject to any treatments?”.
    The other thing that struck me is that the Alexandrites are nearly all the exact shade of green. Now, I own a bracelet with 40 odd Alex’s and I can assure you no two are exactly the same. So it makes me wonder if the photos are manipulated. The photo in the GIA report doesn’t seem to “match” the vendors photos either. Of course, Alexandrite is nigh impossible to photograph but if you’re buying on the basis of a few photos you might be disappointed by the reality.
    Which leads into the next issue, if you’re an overseas buyer it can be complex and expensive to receive jewellery and the decide to return it. Customs and taxes you may be liable for upon importation are often difficult to recoup once paid, if you can get them back at all.
    And another concern, for me, is if the vendor is so confident in his product, why does he wait until a buyer has committed and paid before sending off for a GIA report? Incidentally GIA is not as highly regarded as say AGL when it comes to coloured gems. GIA are mainly diamond appraisers.
    Me, I’d ask him to send it for a GIA report BEFORE I pay, I’d even offer to pay for the report up front.
    And the other thing is, his carat weights are “as advised”, the GIA is assessing the gems mounted so you don’t actually have confirmation of carat weight.
    And if you have a GIA report, I’m not sure why you need another appraisal from a GIA graduate? Those “appraisals for insurance purposes” are generally highly inflated and are only for the purpose of making the buyer think “I got a big bargain”. A ring is worth what it sells for, not the $$$$ on a piece of gilt edged paper.
    So in summary, I would not pay for the ring until I had GIA report confirmation of no treatments.
    I would then, as an overseas buyer, have to decide whether or not I’ll be disappointed in the actual ring when the green isn’t as vivid and the incandescent purple red maybe more grayish because it will be difficult and expensive to return the ring.
     
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  29. Bron357
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Bron357 » Jul 15, 2019
    89367CD1-62FA-40B9-9389-17DFC9073D72.jpeg sorry report from vendors website.
     
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  30. dnzs
    Rough_Rock

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    by dnzs » Jul 15, 2019
    Wow!! Thank Bron357, for that amazing reply, and taking the time to look.

    I have already asked if the stone has had any treatment, and the vendor confirmed there was no treatment. He did mention that the ring itself had been polished, and covered with a rhodium to make it shiny. Would covering it in rhodium effect the alexandrite stone?

    I will ask for the ring to be sent to AGL instead of GIA. In my research I found a guy who bought an alexandrite from someone, had it tested by GIA, and the confirmed it was alexandrite. He then sent it to AGL, who confirmed it wasn't! I was actually thinking about asking him to send it to AGL instead.

    I have asked for more pictures, but he seems hesitant to send them, which is worrying.

    I think it is a good idea to pay first for the AGL test, and when that comes back, continue with the purchase.

    Hopefully it all goes well, but from the general sentiment here, I think I may be wishing for too much :shifty:
     

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