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Lab Test for a Sapphire -- AGL vs CGL-GRS

curious_sapphire

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
3
Hi everyone!

I've been lurking around for many months now, and I've learned a lot from reading these boards. Thanks to all the shared knowledge and eye candy that gets posted here, I now have a lovely sapphire engagement ring of my own :D

The sapphire and setting were purchased locally in Vancouver, and the sapphire was sold to us as a heat only stone. The jeweler could not provide any lab certification, but we decided to make the purchase anyway.

Lately, I can't shake the feeling that I'd like to have the "peace of mind" that lab testing would offer. I did so much reading about beryllium infusion, lab created synthetics, glass fillings etc etc, and I'd like to know for sure whether or not my sapphire was subjected to any of these less than desirable treatments.

I know that AGL is the most widely recommended lab for coloured stones, but I don't feel completely comfortable sending my ring to New York in the mail. The only local option that I've been able to find is the Swiss Canadian Gemlab (http://cglworld.ca/), which happens to be located right in downtown Vancouver. I've been meaning to get in contact with them, but I thought I'd gather some outside opinions first. Has anyone gotten testing done through CGL-GRS, and are they reputable? If I do choose to ask them to test my ring, what kind of questions should I be asking them to make sure that the proper testing is done?

Thanks a lot!
 

RDE

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 22, 2016
Messages
2
From their website CGL are associated with GRS. Both labs are internationally known although I would say AGL is more stringent. That said treatment and origin determination would be no problem for either of these labs.
 

DDOC

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 24, 2016
Messages
91
GRS is very reputable, so I would say an affiliate would be also.
The one question i would ask is "Can they test for Beryillium?" Their Thailand office can I believe.
This is because the equipment required for this test is specialized and most general labs don't have it, they will give you an estimate in their opinion.
All certs have a disclaimer saying it is opinion only, and they can't be held responsible for discrepancies.
Most other requirements for testing Sapphire are found in all labs.
 

curious_sapphire

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
3
Small update --

The lab's gemologist said that he could look for evidence of high heat treatment (using a microscope / UV lamp / infrared spectrometer) and make an educated guess about Be treatment. Further testing would have to be done in Switzerland, Hong Kong, or NYC at partner labs that have a LIBS instrument to confirm Be treatment.

Cost of services (all Canadian dollars):
- $70 for an ID card (looks like the equivalent of an AGL gemstone brief)
- $100 for a report (does not include Be testing)
- additional $100 to $150 plus shipping for Be testing

:think: Sounds reasonable?
 

mahaha

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
111
Hi Curious_sapphire, any updates? I'm also planning to get my stone tested at the Vancouver lab. Which option did you go for? Thanks!
 

OTL

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Messages
1,349
I'm curious who did you buy the sapphire from and why they can't provide a certificate? I wouldn't feel so confident buying from them if they can't provide that. I have experience with CGL, they are OK to test for semi precious stones like garnet, chrysoberyl, tourmaline, etc. I don't think they can do LIBS or even LA-ICP-MS, I would still go with AGL for peace of mind. In fact, I sent many of my stones to AGL for testing.
 

Helicoptergem

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
62
AGL is great and they can get it tested for B.E. I have seen a lot of grumbling about there recent price increase. I like AGL but I hate spending that type of money unless the stone is of size and value that can justify it.
 

mahaha

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Messages
111
I'm curious who did you buy the sapphire from and why they can't provide a certificate? I wouldn't feel so confident buying from them if they can't provide that.
Hi OTL,
The original certificate is from CGJ. I couldn't find any information about it. The stone was recut and a new certificate wasn't obtained. The vendor is willing to supply a new certificate, but for the interest of time, I'd like to get the stone tested here locally instead of sending it out back and forth.
 
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