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Light blue star sapphire

acaw2015

Brilliant_Rock
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Hi all wonderful and knowledgeable people of colored stones land :))

I have been contemplating getting a star sapphire to set in a diamond halo pendant. I own a tiny (probably synthetic?) star ruby, but prefer blue (and not synthetic).

I know that the star is not visible all the time and am instead focusing on getting a lovely colored sapphire cabochon. I dont really need a perfect star and would in fact prefer a less perfect star beacause a perfect star would remind me of my "fake" star ruby. I prefer light blue, maybe slightly white/grayish and possibly a slight lavender tint as long as the main color is blue.

Are there any recommended vendor here who sell blue star sapphires? My budget is approx 1000 usd for the stone, but I am still trying to learn if that is a realistic budget or if I need to save up some more to get something nice.

I found this vendor, are they reputable?
http://www.thenaturalsapphirecompany.com

What would you say about this stone? I am not looking to buy right now, I am simply trying to learn what to look for.
http://www.thenaturalsapphirecompany.com/p-36606-oval-star-sapphire-s523/



Thank you for any thought or recommendation on this!
:wavey:

img_0132.jpg
 

acaw2015

Brilliant_Rock
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the more I search this company I become sceptical re ordering from them. Any advice or help finding a reputable vendor?
 

fel

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
275
Did you review the recommended vendors list? I think a bunch of them have star sapphires and star rubies. You want to be really careful to avoid diffused stars and other treatments, or if you are OK with those treatments, make sure you don't over-pay. Many older stars are synthetic (Lindy stars, and other non-lindy replicas). I have also found that some stars from the 1940's and 50's are other star stones (such as star quartz) with a doublet backing of blue glass, rendering them "natural" looking stars that do not have the hardness of sapphires.

Good luck in your search.
 

acaw2015

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 30, 2015
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763
Hi fel!
Thank you for your reply! It makes me feel like I have a lot to learn.
I have looked at the list, but the company I mentioned is included on the list and when I did a search they have had very mixed reviews. The reviews are hard to judge since there seems to be some cases of shilling. I simply dont know where to start and I would really appreciate some help. I assume different vendors specializes on different types of gems...? Sorry, new here. :confused:
I have a local jeweler who carries star sapphires. I almost feel like giving up buying this online.
:wavey:
 

fel

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
275
I haven't bought any stars from the online gem cutters, as the ones I like tend to be out of my price range.

Richard Wise has gorgeous ones. Too expensive for me. http://www.rwwise.com/

Gemselect has a lot of stars.

Mastercut gems has stars. There are some diffused ones so watch out. The natural ones come in a range of prices, some inexpensive. For example, see this one: https://www.mastercutgems.com/Products-323-NATIVE_CUT_GEMSTONES/9014-Natural_Hot_Pink_Star_Sapphire_1_02_ct_-Gem.php?FromPage=1

Some people have recommended Starruby.in

I got my beautiful star sapphire (seen in the Sally HoW thread) from one of the ebay antique jewelry vendors, embedded in a man's ring. Mine has a great star but the color is almost clear to very light bluish purple. It probably wouldn't be considered a blue sapphire.

I find stars are a lot easier to evaluate in person than online. I have returned a lot of them!
 

acaw2015

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 30, 2015
Messages
763
I absolutely love your ring! I hadnt seen it before. I especially like the design with the other stones! Your star is just about what I am looking for.

Oh ok... I see this is not as easy as I first thought it would be. Thank you for the links! I will look into them. I will also do some further reading and research on star sapphires.
 

acaw2015

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 30, 2015
Messages
763
Ok, so I have read some more re treatments in star sapphires.. heating and diffusion etc. I dont want a stone with a vivid or dark color/tone and I assume since the star fades with heating this is not a huge issue, at least in my case?

I have read about diffusion in stars but I have never seen mentioned how that affects the look other than making the star show up more. Does it affect to actual look of the star compared to a natural star? I would prefer a stone without diffusion because I prefer the stone natural and I dont like the look of a perfect star, but I would like to know this before making any decisions.

fel: thank you so much for sharing your knowledge!

The vendors you mentioned dont have any light blue stars, but I think some of the sites were helpful re finding more information.

The only online vendor I have found with light blue stars in stock is actually TNSC. I am not based in NY and so cant go visit them in person. I hear what you are saying fel re seeing stones in person vs online, but it is a hard task because I have only seen one stone being sold in my town. That was at a high end jeweler and several years ago, never seen any since.

Any advice?
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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7,032
The Natural Sapphire company isn't a terrible company. To me, overly expensive? Yes. Had some pissing matches back in the day with folks on the colored stones forum? Yes. But you do see the product and they treat the customer pretty well.

You might be able to do better online elsewhere, but yes, they do vet their stones in house, so if you're looking for some peace of mind, you have that too. Thats what makes it more expensive over there. They have to pay the people to do these things.

If you're not looking to purchase at the moment, then definitely educate yourself based on what you want to look for in a star sapphire so you'll understand what to purchase and from there you can decide from WHOM to purchase from.

You want a strong white star with straight legs, and sharp points that reach close to the edge of your stone. You also want a star that is well centered. For blue, you want a smooth body free of pits and few if any surface reaching inclusions, and the body should always look pleasing to the eye. (they can't always show the star right?). I prefer a close to transparent body with few surface inclusions. By the nature of the stone itself, star sapphires can't exist without inclusions but, you want it to look good so based on images, the inclusions in the lower left corner for me would not be acceptable at the price posted. Any grey preference will be up to you, I don't mind some, but not overly grey.

You want a stone with a flat back (hey no need for wonky if you don't need it right?) Sometimes the backs are not finished and thats fine, but a flat back should be something you want. For me, heated is ok for sapphires. Other types of treatments, not so much. Star sapphires can be found quite easily not heated, but always insist on full disclosure and decide for yourself what you want.


http://www.gia.edu/search?q=star+sapphire
 

acaw2015

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 30, 2015
Messages
763
Thank you Arcadian!! :wavey: Great info.

I did notice the inclusions on this stone... but didnt think anything about it. :saint: Really appreciate this feedback.

Maybe a dumb question, but if the stone is almost transparent wont there be issues with windowing considering to cab cut? :confused: :read:

Flat back it is! Never thought of that.

I am taking notes of all of this. Great many thanks! Now onto those gia links and furter reading...
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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acaw2015|1475524169|4083280 said:
Thank you Arcadian!! :wavey: Great info.

I did notice the inclusions on this stone... but didnt think anything about it. :saint: Really appreciate this feedback.

Maybe a dumb question, but if the stone is almost transparent wont there be issues with windowing considering to cab cut? :confused: :read:

Flat back it is! Never thought of that.

I am taking notes of all of this. Great many thanks! Now onto those gia links and furter reading...

No dumb questions! We all had to start somewhere! :bigsmile:

In this case likely no issues. The reason is because when cabbing a stone, you're not creating flat facets, you're creating a sphere (or half spherical shape)... Not counting sugarloafs here.... :mrgreen: I'm not in the trade and will likely butcher a lot of terminology here (sorry guys I try my best :Up_to_something: ) but basically as long as the sphere of the stone looks good, not too high, not too shallow or too wonky, you shouldn't have any issues.

Star sapphires will always have inclusions but, even with that, you CAN have one that is semi transparent and if you're willing to pay enough, very fine in color! I believe you're looking for a lighter color, blue/white/greyish, which will help to keep costs down and allow you to find something bigger. The more towards ideal color the more money you'll pay, also the higher the ct weight...well, you get what I'm saying...

When looking, keep in mind that with a star sapphire, the weight will not be in the diameter of the stone. Go by diameter of the base of the stone to get the size you want and not the ct weight (though we PAY by that ctwt.... :shock: ).

So I dug up some pictures of my itty bitty stone; Its a 1ct semi transparent non heated greyish blue. its only 1ct so has a tiny footprint as the weight is in the top. The star isn't as super strong, but, the body color is one I find to be extremely pleasant even without the star. I feel you have to be able to enjoy the stone with and without.

As you can see its a softer star, not terribly centered (I bought for collection more than anything else :$$): ), but even body colors this transparent can have much stronger stars that are well centered...It does require sometimes looking through A LOT of stone though.



a further away view

_38392.jpg

cabs2.jpg
 

fel

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
275
> You want a stone with a flat back

Just one caveat. If you want a ring like mine, a round back is needed. My sapphire is almost a perfect sphere, which is what allows it to be supported in the petal setting.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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fel|1475527838|4083297 said:
> You want a stone with a flat back

Just one caveat. If you want a ring like mine, a round back is needed. My sapphire is almost a perfect sphere, which is what allows it to be supported in the petal setting.
Is your setting custom? Most stock settings tend to work best with flatter backs for cabs.
 

fel

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
275
yes mine is very custom from Sally HoW.


Here are some pictures -- one before it was reset (in its original ring), and one showing why the back curve is needed for the particular design. It has a great star but I don't have a picture that captures it. Very translucent, symmetrical, and centered. However, the light color brings down the price. In some lights it looks like a clear sapphire or moonstone.

You can see there are striations (which allow the star to appear), and there are also some sort of glowy orangey inclusions on the sides.

star_sapphire_3.jpg

starsapphire2.jpg
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
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fel|1475529702|4083313 said:
yes mine is very custom from Sally HoW.


Here are some pictures -- one before it was reset (in its original ring), and one showing why the back curve is needed for the particular design. It has a great star but I don't have a picture that captures it. Very translucent, symmetrical, and centered. However, the light color brings down the price. In some lights it looks like a clear sapphire or moonstone.

You can see there are striations (which allow the star to appear), and there are also some sort of glowy orangey inclusions on the sides.

Ooo pretty! I love this setting. makes it look like a Faerie Queen's ring! :appl: Its very lovely! The lighter color, yeah that would bring the price down but it does allow for one to get a really nice sized stone too. and I do indeed love the body color!!

I saw one small but really lovely saturated blue star sapphire..... but the price was stratospheric :shock: Thats ok, light blue it is!! :lol: its just one of those areas were you have to decide whats the most important.
 

acaw2015

Brilliant_Rock
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Again, many thanks!! :wavey:

Arcadian, lovely stone (s)! And again to fel, gorgeous ring!

I read some of the gia articles, especially one re diffusion. Apparently the effect of diffusion is not very deep into the stone? Does this mean that a translucent star will have a different look when the star is strengthened by diffusion than if it is not? Eta: I saw one article where they described how the star can actually reflect from the bottom of the stone in a diffused (transparent and synthetic) star and so creating "two" stars in one stone... makes me think it looks different from natural stars.

Oh and I thought learning about diamonds was hard..! I am also trying to learn about opals and that seems even harder. Still learning...
 

acaw2015

Brilliant_Rock
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Ah just realized I was mentioning synthetics in a way that may violate the terms in this forum. I just want to clarify that I am not interested in synthetics, I was only trying to understand the difference between diffused and non diffused natural stones. I hope that is ok with this clarification since diffusion seems to be common in *natural* stones...
Sorry.
 

fel

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
275
It is my impression that is OK on this forum to talk about synthetics for the purpose of learning how to identify and avoid them. Anyway I think diffusion is a treatment to a natural sapphire (not to be confused with a synthetic sapphire).


To respond to your question -- I am not sure you would want to "count on" being able to identify diffusion by just looking at a stone. Best to purchase from a reputable seller who will guarantee the level of treatment specified is accurate. Sapphires are very tricky these days and even your average jeweler would not be able to say what treatment a sapphire has just with normal equipment. I actually had a well-respected appraiser review one star sapphire (not the one pictured above) to give me an oral report as to whether the sapphire was natural and untreated except for heat. This was an ebay purchase and I wanted to make an informed decision before retaining it. The sapphire came back untreated except for possibly heat. However, I later found out the sapphire had a doublet of glass pasted on the back to render it more blue...
 

acaw2015

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
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fel|1475610969|4083638 said:
It is my impression that is OK on this forum to talk about synthetics for the purpose of learning how to identify and avoid them. Anyway I think diffusion is a treatment to a natural sapphire (not to be confused with a synthetic sapphire).


To respond to your question -- I am not sure you would want to "count on" being able to identify diffusion by just looking at a stone. Best to purchase from a reputable seller who will guarantee the level of treatment specified is accurate. Sapphires are very tricky these days and even your average jeweler would not be able to say what treatment a sapphire has just with normal equipment. I actually had a well-respected appraiser review one star sapphire (not the one pictured above) to give me an oral report as to whether the sapphire was natural and untreated except for heat. This was an ebay purchase and I wanted to make an informed decision before retaining it. The sapphire came back untreated except for possibly heat. However, I later found out the sapphire had a doublet of glass pasted on the back to render it more blue...
!!!

Ok, I see...
 

acaw2015

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
763
Thank you fel! :wavey:
I am looking for a little more blue and less grey. But the price on that one is really something..! If you ever see anything else that catches your eye please let me know!
I am still revisiting the stone in my first post from time to time... loving the color, not loving the inclusion... But hey, I am in no hurry to buy anything. ;(
 

acaw2015

Brilliant_Rock
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fel, my price range is ca 1000 usd. The larger the stone the better (spread not weight), but my main priority is to get a nice looking stone/color.

I also want to say that I am still in the "just looking" phase. I have plans to buy for a special occasion that hasnt taken place yet. So you see I am in no hurry at all. I dont want to waste your time looking unless youre up for it. :))

mochiko42 thank you! That stone is really lovely! And it seems a great spread for the weight. Still too grey for me though...
 

acaw2015

Brilliant_Rock
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I thought I would post an update.

I ended up buying the star in my first post during the thanksgiving sale.

I really should have sent the stone back. I love the color, the star is apparent and the stone is lovely, transparent and silky at the same time, *but* The inclusion is, as discussed in this thread, apparent and eye visible. It is more apparent in some lighting situation than in others, but still visible. It also disrupts the star somewhat. As much as I love the color, when I put the stone against my neck it kind of disappears. No, my skin is not blue, :wink2: but for some reason the color blends with the color of my skin.

All in all I am not completely satisfied. I love looking at it in it's box though. I doubt that I will ever have it set, and so I should have sent it back, but there it is, still in it's box...

img_14521.jpg

img_14522.jpg

img_14523.jpg
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I am sorry it isn't what you were hoping it to be, even though it ticks your other boxes. Perhaps one day it might grace your neck as a pendant where it is up to less scrutiny?
 
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