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List of vendors who specialize in high quality but maybe low carat padparadschas

DotDiddy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
33
Good evening all,
I have been aimlessly searching around for padparadschas to make into my engagement ring. I keep finding there to be vendors who have very low carat pads, usually sold in bulk lots with each under .3 carats and vendors who only carry 1.5 carats and up, exclusively. I am totally new to this, being that I only started learning about them so I could shop for my ring but am now also genuinely interested in learning more about gemology in general.

What I am looking for with respect to making this ring:
-Natural, unheated and untreated Ceylon sapphire between .7 and 1.5 carats
-Oval, pear, brilliant, round, or a cool modern cut that brings out the different colors
-Certified pad
-Light orangey pink or sunset, any tone of it light enough that it looks peachy pink and sparkles orange
-VVS

Basically I just want to find vendors who have near perfect pads and would rather go down in carats than in quality, and I am unable to find this with the resources I have found so far. I have searched on these forums and found Dudley Blauwelt but can't figure out how to contact him directly, John Dyer, and Gemfix as suppliers that have sold in the past pads fitting the description. Unfortunately right now there are none available from Gemfix and Dyer that match. Are there any other recommendations for those who specialize in pads? Am I possibly being too picky? I am definitely fixated on a pad for my engagement ring but will likely flank it with spinels/parti sapphires.

Thank you very much and I look forward to any point in the right direction.
 

Cerulean

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
856
If you want a pad for your engagement ring, you shouldn't settle!

I have seen Inken from Enhoerning come highly recommended for sapphires, and I have seen beautiful pads on their site before. I have not worked with this vendor, but believe many other PSers have with great success.

I believe Inken can also potentially source what you are looking for if it is not currently in their inventory. They have a light peachy pad now, but it is larger than your size requirements:

https://www.enhoerning-jewelry.com/loosegemstones/221-ct-unheated-ceylon-padparadscha-sapphire-agl

If you share your budget, others may poke around for you! Just want you to know that sapphires commonly face up smaller than diamonds of the same carat weight - and I would look at dimensions more than carats. Some stones with quite different weights might be similar in size.
 
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DotDiddy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
33
Gary from Finewater also has a Pad right now...not sure of your budget...it is quite richly colored, not sure if it is what you are looking for

https://www.finewatergems.com/store/p585/1.59ctPadparadschaSapphire.html
Thank you very much! I will reach out to them. The Finewater one is beautiful but is heated and therefore is a little darker than optimal. Hopefully they will get back to me with some idea if they can get one in stock that isn't! RE Enhoerning, that particular pad is much too large but their other pads they have sold in the past are right up my alley. The coloring of this one is VERY pretty. Could do with slightly more pink but I'd rather it be too orange than too dark pink so it's nice. Thank you very much for this recommendation.

I'm looking at a hard maximum budget of around $3k for a .7-1.5 carat, but as stated in this thread I don't know what dimensions I am talking about, haha. It's the equivalent of a 1.5 carat or less round/oval diamond that I'm envisioning. I'll have to look around at what different dimensions look like on fingers. Is there ever a size at which point it is useless to get a pad since it is too small to see its complexity?
 

Ionysis

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2015
Messages
298
I buy from this vendor - his stock is lovely and lives are half what you would pay In the US usually but with all pads you need to be very choosy - most are locally cut, most have some inclusions, and everyone has their own colour preference.

C311C5EE-4148-4D10-9227-28C8CD2EF96B.png
 

Cerulean

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
856
3k might be tight for over a carat for a pad, especially for unheated, and especially from an American vendor...they are very expensive for optimal color from what I’ve seen. But others know more about pad pricing..it is crazy how expensive some of them are

The one from Enhoerning would face up about as large as a 1.25-1.5 carat oval diamond, which is why I’d encourage you to look at dimensions and not carats. As an example, some sapphires are very bottom heavy, might weigh “a lot” but face up very small.

I’d reach out to Inken directly instead of just looking at what is on their site. Definitely. Tell them your budget and let them potentially source for you.

I have also bought directly from a vendor from Sri Lanka where prices are much more reasonable,but you don’t get the benefit of easy returns or white glove service. However I had a really good experience with him...he has a pad now and might have others as he’s a wholesale vendor...but I know less about optimal color for pads as I prefer blue sapphires and this one seems very orange to me

http://instagr.am/p/CFSBxBQBadj/
 
Last edited:

elizat

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
2,140
Pads are difficult.

I think you need to figure out exactly what color you like first. I have attempted to purchase a pad two times and I don't like any of the colors. I ultimately have landed on that my skin tone is probably not one that works for it.

Have you actually gone and put the different color options on your hand, looked at them in different lighting to see what actually looks good on you?

I think the Finewater stone is expensive for a heated stone. I personally don't like the color in it either, but again color is highly personal.
 

idola

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 17, 2020
Messages
9
I've been looking for a pad with similar specs so I've seen a lot of these little guys in the past few days. Although I've seen some that are inside of your price range and the color you're describing, they have origins in Madagascar instead of Ceylon sometimes, and other times have fairly noticeable windows.

What do you think of this one? It's 1.42 cts, inside of your budget at $2.6k, GIA certified, and a pale peachy color. The cut is probably not optimal (though I'm not an expert) and you'd have to request a video to see how bad the window is, and it's from Madagascar rather than Ceylon. But I think it's very beautiful. :D

 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
10,251
Pads are crazy expensive, especially since Princess Eugenie received one as her engagement ring.

Also, it’s a tough time for colored stones right now with Covid. Gary at Finewater has stated he is unable to travel to Sri Lanka right now, so he hasn’t been able to do his shopping like in previous years.
*** last I checked and I think it’s probably still the same.

My usual go tos are:

Finewater gems— Gary looked for probably a year for my yellow sapphire. I have bought several stones from him.

Inken who seems to have contacts everywhere. Pre Covid, she sourced my emerald, which is gorgeous and I also bought some melee stones from her on loupetroop.

I had good luck with AJs gems; I think they are in Bangkok. I got up in the middle of the night to email with them and pay and luckily the sapphire pair were gorgeous and it all worked out, so I didn’t have to worry about returns.

Also, as an aside, Thailand is having some political issues right now. My cousin has been stuck there since the pandemic and he is hoping to come back to the US in November.

You could try Ed at Wildfish gems, but he is probably out of your price range.
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
10,251
Thank you very much! I will reach out to them. The Finewater one is beautiful but is heated and therefore is a little darker than optimal. Hopefully they will get back to me with some idea if they can get one in stock that isn't! RE Enhoerning, that particular pad is much too large but their other pads they have sold in the past are right up my alley. The coloring of this one is VERY pretty. Could do with slightly more pink but I'd rather it be too orange than too dark pink so it's nice. Thank you very much for this recommendation.

I'm looking at a hard maximum budget of around $3k for a .7-1.5 carat, but as stated in this thread I don't know what dimensions I am talking about, haha. It's the equivalent of a 1.5 carat or less round/oval diamond that I'm envisioning. I'll have to look around at what different dimensions look like on fingers. Is there ever a size at which point it is useless to get a pad since it is too small to see its complexity?
I think your budget is unrealistic for that size and unheated. Also remember, sapphires tend to be deep, so face up smaller.

My sapphire and CBI diamond 3 stone ring has about a 1.6 sapphire.


Oh, also email David at Diamonds by Lauren or check his website. He would be another good one to search one out for you.
 

DotDiddy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
33
I buy from this vendor - his stock is lovely and lives are half what you would pay In the US usually but with all pads you need to be very choosy - most are locally cut, most have some inclusions, and everyone has their own colour preference.

C311C5EE-4148-4D10-9227-28C8CD2EF96B.png
Thank you. I wrote them off as they kept trying to peddle me a $25,000 gigantic stone after finding out I was in the US and I got weird vibes after that, but if you had a good experience maybe I should just push harder for a smaller gem. Thank you for your recap of your experience with buying from them.
 

DotDiddy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
33
3k might be tight for over a carat for a pad, especially for unheated, and especially from an American vendor...they are very expensive for optimal color from what I’ve seen. But others know more about pad pricing..it is crazy how expensive some of them are

The one from Enhoerning would face up about as large as a 1.25-1.5 carat oval diamond, which is why I’d encourage you to look at dimensions and not carats. As an example, some sapphires are very bottom heavy, might weigh “a lot” but face up very small.

I’d reach out to Inken directly instead of just looking at what is on their site. Definitely. Tell them your budget and let them potentially source for you.

I have also bought directly from a vendor from Sri Lanka where prices are much more reasonable,but you don’t get the benefit of easy returns or white glove service. However I had a really good experience with him...he has a pad now and might have others as he’s a wholesale vendor...but I know less about optimal color for pads as I prefer blue sapphires and this one seems very orange to me

http://instagr.am/p/CFSBxBQBadj/
Thank you. Yes, I'm starting to realize I may just be totally out of reach trying to buy from an American vendor at my budget. I was messing around on Instagram and just got concerned as I'm not versed in gems and don't want to get super ripped off. Here I go again though to find a Sri Lankan vendor! Haha
 

DotDiddy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
33
Thank you. Yes, I'm starting to realize I may just be totally out of reach trying to buy from an American vendor at my budget. I was messing around on Instagram and just got concerned as I'm not versed in gems and don't want to get super ripped off. Here I go again though to find a Sri Lankan vendor! Haha
And yes, I will go check out what dimensions I'm looking for
 

DotDiddy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
33
Pads are difficult.

I think you need to figure out exactly what color you like first. I have attempted to purchase a pad two times and I don't like any of the colors. I ultimately have landed on that my skin tone is probably not one that works for it.

Have you actually gone and put the different color options on your hand, looked at them in different lighting to see what actually looks good on you?

I think the Finewater stone is expensive for a heated stone. I personally don't like the color in it either, but again color is highly personal.
Thank you for your honesty. No, I haven't gone to look. I haven't found any jewelers near me that carry any pads to check them out, so I'll have to go next time I'm in the city to find the couple I know of that do. I'm a little tan on the hands so was hoping the sunset/lotus colors wouldn't wash me out but alas, I am expecting to flank them with darker cooler parti sapphires after looking at how pads look on others
 

DotDiddy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
33
I've been looking for a pad with similar specs so I've seen a lot of these little guys in the past few days. Although I've seen some that are inside of your price range and the color you're describing, they have origins in Madagascar instead of Ceylon sometimes, and other times have fairly noticeable windows.

What do you think of this one? It's 1.42 cts, inside of your budget at $2.6k, GIA certified, and a pale peachy color. The cut is probably not optimal (though I'm not an expert) and you'd have to request a video to see how bad the window is, and it's from Madagascar rather than Ceylon. But I think it's very beautiful. :D

Thank you for this recommendation! I will reach out to them for a video. Off the bat it looks a lot like what I've seen of peach sapphires so will need to advise, and I have no idea about cuts. Definitely worthwhile to look into it. It's pretty!
 

DotDiddy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
33
Pads are crazy expensive, especially since Princess Eugenie received one as her engagement ring.

Also, it’s a tough time for colored stones right now with Covid. Gary at Finewater has stated he is unable to travel to Sri Lanka right now, so he hasn’t been able to do his shopping like in previous years.
*** last I checked and I think it’s probably still the same.

My usual go tos are:

Finewater gems— Gary looked for probably a year for my yellow sapphire. I have bought several stones from him.

Inken who seems to have contacts everywhere. Pre Covid, she sourced my emerald, which is gorgeous and I also bought some melee stones from her on loupetroop.

I had good luck with AJs gems; I think they are in Bangkok. I got up in the middle of the night to email with them and pay and luckily the sapphire pair were gorgeous and it all worked out, so I didn’t have to worry about returns.

Also, as an aside, Thailand is having some political issues right now. My cousin has been stuck there since the pandemic and he is hoping to come back to the US in November.

You could try Ed at Wildfish gems, but he is probably out of your price range.
Thank you very much for this. I will reach out to everyone on this list. I am in no rush so hopefully a unicorn will turn up at one one of those whom you've listed that fits within the budget, haha. Seems like I'm shopping at the worst time!
 

Cerulean

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
856
Listen I found my dream sapphire with a similar budget from the Sri Lankan vendor I linked just as the pandemic hit, shipping was delayed, his whole nation was on lockdown, and then delivery trucks were being looted, so ANYTHING is possible!
 

DotDiddy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
33
Listen I found my dream sapphire with a similar budget from the Sri Lankan vendor I linked just as the pandemic hit, shipping was delayed, his whole nation was on lockdown, and then delivery trucks were being looted, so ANYTHING is possible!
Here I go running back over to them haha. Thank you so much. Will update if anything materializes.
 

LilAlex

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
652
I think pads are even harder to buy online than blues. Even a good lab report is no guarantee that it will speak to you (the stone, not the report =)2). The tiniest little shift in the pink or peach direction and it's a whole different ballgame, imo.

I agree with others -- if you have the time and a flexible budget, Inken is great. I spent some time years ago with AfricaGems and ended up with a very small but cute one. Owner Marc is great but the Gems2000 wholesale pictures are a little generous.
 

Ionysis

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 1, 2015
Messages
298
He does stock mainly larger stones - he doesn’t hold much under 3 carat unless it’s top quality ruby or pad. Most of his stones are 5ct plus, which is costly. There is another vendor I use in Sri Lanka for my smaller stones but the quality varies - you need to be choosy.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,708
OP will start with the obvious; you are somewhat unrealistic about what you can get for your money. This isn't bad! Heck I do it...lol

You do need to temper your wish list with what is actually out there. Thats not to say you can't get it, but, does mean you need to be patient and knowledgeable (or you hire someone to be those eyes for you!)

I'm going to repeat some of what others have said because it has some bearing!

If you're not in a rush, great! Don't get discouraged if you don't find it at first because with your recs you could be looking at a good year or more...

A pad with a report in general will be more expensive than one without. 3K for a pad, with a report and a perfect cut.... will a tiny sliver of a pad.

For pads, especially with what your asking for, in my opinion, you should only work with someone with a very good return policy. It does mean you're probably spending more, but that also will depend on what you value as good /great customer service. (I'll pay more for it, someone else will not)

Know what color variation you're after. There's plenty of them, and they keep changing...lol

Sounds to me like you're looking for this particular range and not the vivid ones....

These are some pretty decent looking pads that have GIA reports. Yes, Mark and some other American sellers can be more expensive but, you have to think about the trade off of that. You may get more hand holding, a better return policy, a longer evaluation policy, etc. Even if not American, if a seller has those traits, then yes you'll pay for that.

there's no free lunch out there so you have to decide how much hand holding you're willing to exclude from the price.

If you're buying from instagram/etsy/ebay/etc please please please do your homework first!

Some places, like Etsy will give the customer the run around if things go south. I personally don't buy from instagram but many do with great results. People here who are more experienced going these routes can guide you to some great stones, but how you work with that vendor can sometimes be on you.

Trust but verify. A stone without a report,even from a trusted seller, make sure that if YOU pony up the money to get the report and its not as described you'll be able to get your money back. For certain gemstones this I feel is crucial.

Make your expectations to the seller known! You don't have to tell them your life story but make it known what you really are looking for so no time gets wasted on either side

Also please take your time and read because I feel like you need to. Being green means you can also get burned if you're in too much of a hurry or, you get sick of looking at stones and just want to pick one (it happens). If you had an unlimited budget and didn't care then well...thats another story! But you do have a budget, you need to know what goes into safely making a pad purchase.

If you haven't done it, do a search on pads here you're going to bring up lots of stuff.

Then go to GIA's website. Then go to ICA's (www.gemstone.org) website. And even go to AGTA's website (https://agta.org/education/gemstones/sapphire-blue/) and lotus has some good info on how stones get graded (https://www.lotusgemology.com/) There's lots of other websites out there but these are at least a decent start from my perspective.


Your self education is going to help your quest.
 

Cerulean

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
856
OP will start with the obvious; you are somewhat unrealistic about what you can get for your money. This isn't bad! Heck I do it...lol

You do need to temper your wish list with what is actually out there. Thats not to say you can't get it, but, does mean you need to be patient and knowledgeable (or you hire someone to be those eyes for you!)

I'm going to repeat some of what others have said because it has some bearing!

If you're not in a rush, great! Don't get discouraged if you don't find it at first because with your recs you could be looking at a good year or more...

A pad with a report in general will be more expensive than one without. 3K for a pad, with a report and a perfect cut.... will a tiny sliver of a pad.

For pads, especially with what your asking for, in my opinion, you should only work with someone with a very good return policy. It does mean you're probably spending more, but that also will depend on what you value as good /great customer service. (I'll pay more for it, someone else will not)

Know what color variation you're after. There's plenty of them, and they keep changing...lol

Sounds to me like you're looking for this particular range and not the vivid ones....

These are some pretty decent looking pads that have GIA reports. Yes, Mark and some other American sellers can be more expensive but, you have to think about the trade off of that. You may get more hand holding, a better return policy, a longer evaluation policy, etc. Even if not American, if a seller has those traits, then yes you'll pay for that.

there's no free lunch out there so you have to decide how much hand holding you're willing to exclude from the price.

If you're buying from instagram/etsy/ebay/etc please please please do your homework first!

Some places, like Etsy will give the customer the run around if things go south. I personally don't buy from instagram but many do with great results. People here who are more experienced going these routes can guide you to some great stones, but how you work with that vendor can sometimes be on you.

Trust but verify. A stone without a report,even from a trusted seller, make sure that if YOU pony up the money to get the report and its not as described you'll be able to get your money back. For certain gemstones this I feel is crucial.

Make your expectations to the seller known! You don't have to tell them your life story but make it known what you really are looking for so no time gets wasted on either side

Also please take your time and read because I feel like you need to. Being green means you can also get burned if you're in too much of a hurry or, you get sick of looking at stones and just want to pick one (it happens). If you had an unlimited budget and didn't care then well...thats another story! But you do have a budget, you need to know what goes into safely making a pad purchase.

If you haven't done it, do a search on pads here you're going to bring up lots of stuff.

Then go to GIA's website. Then go to ICA's (www.gemstone.org) website. And even go to AGTA's website (https://agta.org/education/gemstones/sapphire-blue/) and lotus has some good info on how stones get graded (https://www.lotusgemology.com/) There's lots of other websites out there but these are at least a decent start from my perspective.


Your self education is going to help your quest.
This is brilliant advice. I just wanted to add as someone who went the Instagram route / directly to a Sri Lankan wholesaler - it took a MAJOR leap of faith, and I am very risk tolerant for things like that (but still, was nerve wracking at times). I had seen that another PSer had worked with this vendor, but thats all i had to go off of. I knew it was possible that I would end with a stone that I wasn't happy with (or could even get scammed, if he just decided not to send it after I paid - what the heck could I do???), or that I would be stuck selling it on Loupetroup...a lot was out of my control. I was prepared to take the financial hit if things went south. This is what you get if you go a couple steps earlier in the supply chain. there is a reason that more margin is slapped on for US sellers, as you are paying for service, experience and peace of mind. the increase in cost is not arbitrary, nor is it unfair.

Now, if thinking about that scenario makes your stomach churn, it might not be the best option for you. I did have a tremendously positive experience with my vendor, got a stone that would have minimally cost 2x more in the USA, and I feel we actually became friends and we closely collaborated on how to ship my stone safely across the world during a crazy tumultuous time. He was not used to shipping directly to American clients (again, he is a wholesaler) - his inventory also varies in quality, which i expect is common. My stone is also native cut and they have slightly different ideas about cutting than is typical in the west from what I learned. But I find it charming, and I asked for photos and videos of the stone in multiple lighting conditions. Do not take one video or photo at face value. Sapphires are shifty buggers, i'm sure pads are harder than vivid blues to capture. And if you want precision cut, native cut gems are not for you.

What I did is absolutely not for everyone, and it wasn't for my e-ring, it was a "covid consolation gift to myself" purchase. Not suggesting that you couldn't get a great e-ring stone from it either...just wanted to warn and did not want to a paint a rose colored picture for you. I looked at hundreds of photos and videos of sapphires, ramped up a lot of a learning very fast to be identify a "good" color that was pleasing to me (not trade ideal) and also shared ones I was thinking about on the forum for a second pair of eyes. I went from knowing diddly about sapphires to being confident enough to take the plunge in a matter of weeks, but it took a lot of effort and I am nowhere near as knowledgeable as others here who have years of experience under their belt...

this is where, i wonder if Inken or another concierge style service could be a great fit.
 

DotDiddy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
33
I think pads are even harder to buy online than blues. Even a good lab report is no guarantee that it will speak to you (the stone, not the report =)2). The tiniest little shift in the pink or peach direction and it's a whole different ballgame, imo.

I agree with others -- if you have the time and a flexible budget, Inken is great. I spent some time years ago with AfricaGems and ended up with a very small but cute one. Owner Marc is great but the Gems2000 wholesale pictures are a little generous.
Thank you for the input and recommendations! Yes, I am willing to wait. I already have an engagement ring, but for family political reasons am looking at a padparadscha to make a new one, so long and awkward story I won't bore y'all with. The point is I can wait forever if I have to, haha. This "generous picture" mess is where I falter so heavily since I already have a weak eye for this.
 

DotDiddy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
33
OP will start with the obvious; you are somewhat unrealistic about what you can get for your money. This isn't bad! Heck I do it...lol

You do need to temper your wish list with what is actually out there. Thats not to say you can't get it, but, does mean you need to be patient and knowledgeable (or you hire someone to be those eyes for you!)

I'm going to repeat some of what others have said because it has some bearing!

If you're not in a rush, great! Don't get discouraged if you don't find it at first because with your recs you could be looking at a good year or more...

A pad with a report in general will be more expensive than one without. 3K for a pad, with a report and a perfect cut.... will a tiny sliver of a pad.

For pads, especially with what your asking for, in my opinion, you should only work with someone with a very good return policy. It does mean you're probably spending more, but that also will depend on what you value as good /great customer service. (I'll pay more for it, someone else will not)

Know what color variation you're after. There's plenty of them, and they keep changing...lol

Sounds to me like you're looking for this particular range and not the vivid ones....

These are some pretty decent looking pads that have GIA reports. Yes, Mark and some other American sellers can be more expensive but, you have to think about the trade off of that. You may get more hand holding, a better return policy, a longer evaluation policy, etc. Even if not American, if a seller has those traits, then yes you'll pay for that.

there's no free lunch out there so you have to decide how much hand holding you're willing to exclude from the price.

If you're buying from instagram/etsy/ebay/etc please please please do your homework first!

Some places, like Etsy will give the customer the run around if things go south. I personally don't buy from instagram but many do with great results. People here who are more experienced going these routes can guide you to some great stones, but how you work with that vendor can sometimes be on you.

Trust but verify. A stone without a report,even from a trusted seller, make sure that if YOU pony up the money to get the report and its not as described you'll be able to get your money back. For certain gemstones this I feel is crucial.

Make your expectations to the seller known! You don't have to tell them your life story but make it known what you really are looking for so no time gets wasted on either side

Also please take your time and read because I feel like you need to. Being green means you can also get burned if you're in too much of a hurry or, you get sick of looking at stones and just want to pick one (it happens). If you had an unlimited budget and didn't care then well...thats another story! But you do have a budget, you need to know what goes into safely making a pad purchase.

If you haven't done it, do a search on pads here you're going to bring up lots of stuff.

Then go to GIA's website. Then go to ICA's (www.gemstone.org) website. And even go to AGTA's website (https://agta.org/education/gemstones/sapphire-blue/) and lotus has some good info on how stones get graded (https://www.lotusgemology.com/) There's lots of other websites out there but these are at least a decent start from my perspective.


Your self education is going to help your quest.
Thank you very much. I went MIA for a couple days learning from these sources. Who could possibly know the depth of this gemology field from a few days of looking at shiny Instagram minerals?! I have started asking people what their contracts look like and found that many.. don't use them? Would you mind giving your opinion on a couple that I've found?
 

DotDiddy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 18, 2020
Messages
33
This is brilliant advice. I just wanted to add as someone who went the Instagram route / directly to a Sri Lankan wholesaler - it took a MAJOR leap of faith, and I am very risk tolerant for things like that (but still, was nerve wracking at times). I had seen that another PSer had worked with this vendor, but thats all i had to go off of. I knew it was possible that I would end with a stone that I wasn't happy with (or could even get scammed, if he just decided not to send it after I paid - what the heck could I do???), or that I would be stuck selling it on Loupetroup...a lot was out of my control. I was prepared to take the financial hit if things went south. This is what you get if you go a couple steps earlier in the supply chain. there is a reason that more margin is slapped on for US sellers, as you are paying for service, experience and peace of mind. the increase in cost is not arbitrary, nor is it unfair.

Now, if thinking about that scenario makes your stomach churn, it might not be the best option for you. I did have a tremendously positive experience with my vendor, got a stone that would have minimally cost 2x more in the USA, and I feel we actually became friends and we closely collaborated on how to ship my stone safely across the world during a crazy tumultuous time. He was not used to shipping directly to American clients (again, he is a wholesaler) - his inventory also varies in quality, which i expect is common. My stone is also native cut and they have slightly different ideas about cutting than is typical in the west from what I learned. But I find it charming, and I asked for photos and videos of the stone in multiple lighting conditions. Do not take one video or photo at face value. Sapphires are shifty buggers, i'm sure pads are harder than vivid blues to capture. And if you want precision cut, native cut gems are not for you.

What I did is absolutely not for everyone, and it wasn't for my e-ring, it was a "covid consolation gift to myself" purchase. Not suggesting that you couldn't get a great e-ring stone from it either...just wanted to warn and did not want to a paint a rose colored picture for you. I looked at hundreds of photos and videos of sapphires, ramped up a lot of a learning very fast to be identify a "good" color that was pleasing to me (not trade ideal) and also shared ones I was thinking about on the forum for a second pair of eyes. I went from knowing diddly about sapphires to being confident enough to take the plunge in a matter of weeks, but it took a lot of effort and I am nowhere near as knowledgeable as others here who have years of experience under their belt...

this is where, i wonder if Inken or another concierge style service could be a great fit.
I found a couple from GemOcean! The guy who runs it seems very nice but says he doesn't sell with contracts. Is this what you found as well? I absolutely would rather go from the wholesalers in Sri Lanka if the alternative is to pay thousands more to buy white glove from an American supplier. Anyway this will force me to learn my stuff which will be more fulfilling anyway, of course unless I allow myself to be totally misled hah.
 

Cerulean

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Messages
856
I found a couple from GemOcean! The guy who runs it seems very nice but says he doesn't sell with contracts. Is this what you found as well? I absolutely would rather go from the wholesalers in Sri Lanka if the alternative is to pay thousands more to buy white glove from an American supplier. Anyway this will force me to learn my stuff which will be more fulfilling anyway, of course unless I allow myself to be totally misled hah.
I am not sure what buying with contracts even means, honestly. Shows what I know :lol: My purchase was faith-based, and I knew that returning would be an absolute nightmare and didn't even consider it an option. Im sure he would have....but I wouldn't have wanted to deal with it.

The white glove is not just for high touch service, but also security. I just want to make that 100% clear!

Here's how the process went, it was bare bones:

  1. Selected stone on IG
  2. Inquired about pricing
  3. Asked for more images in different lighting - was pleased with images
  4. Requested official gem lab report verifying specs (I'd recommend Lotus, but I wasn't able to get lotus bc of lockdown, we used Royal Gem Lab which is not as reputable) - I believe I paid extra for report
  5. I was satisfied with report
  6. Final pricing discussions
  7. Paid for the gem (I actually paid his friend, who actually has a PayPal account, apparently PayPal is not easy to get as money transferring is complex in Sri Lanka)
  8. Gem shipped within a few days via DHL with insurance, he attached tracking # to PayPal receipt
  9. Gem arrived, in love! I could send to AGL (more reliable lab) but I do not intend to resell and don't care
 
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