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Looking for a Montana Sapphire...

edwardk

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Nov 13, 2015
Messages
10
Hi everyone, I am new here and was hoping that I could draw upon the collective wisdom of forum members.

I have spent quite some time looking through the forums, and while I feel somewhat enlightened, I still feel as if I know absolutely nothing about gemstones.

I am looking for a stone for an engagement ring. Initially I was interested in an aquamarine ring, however after reading through PS it seems that it would not be appropriate for everyday wear. Hence the the new search for a Montana Sapphire.
I am set on trying to find a light blue, or lightish blue-green stone. And (sort of) set on finding a cushion cut stone around 6.5-7mm. (I am also not opposed to round cuts).
My inspiration for how it would be set is based on the tiffany legacy aquamarine ring http://international.tiffany.com/jewelry/rings/tiffany-legacy-aquamarine-ring-GRP07552

One of the major barriers I am running into is that I live in New Zealand and therefore any purchase I would make would be online, without seeing the stone in person. So I want to be close to certain that I will be happy with the stone before purchase.

I have looked at a bunch of sites. Gemfix has a lot of Montana Sapphires, but seeing as they won't send extra photos, they are out.

I liked the colour of this one:
http://www.thenaturalsapphirecompany.com/p-54876-cushion-unique-sapphire-u5266/
They have sent me this photo of it:
image.png
And I have asked for more photos in different lighting conditions + whether I could get an AGL report prior to purchase if I were to buy (waiting to hear back).

That stone would be at the top-end of my budget. Also its dimensions are 6.63L x 6.42W x 5.86H. To me that seems quite deep giving it a high carat weight for the face area (if that is a correct way of describing it). Is there any benefit to having it cut so deep or does it just mean I pay more for it to look similar in size to a smaller carat stone?
Also in general - what do people thing of this stone and its price?
I know that there have been concerns about TNSC and other members have had bad experiences previously, so that also is a little concerning...

Other stones that I like the look of are:
http://www.earthstreasury.com/product/1-85-carat-aqua-blue-montana-sapphire/
This one grows on me whenever I see it; despite it being a round cut.

http://www.earthstreasury.com/product/1-51-carat-medium-robins-egg-blue-montana-sapphire/

http://www.earthstreasury.com/product/2-02-carat-blue-green-montana-sapphire/ (probably out of my price range, and I would prefer it if it were a squarer cushion 6.6x6.6 rather than 7.8x6.6mm)

I also like the colour of the bluegreen montana sapphire in Jeff White's current available gems and have emailed him about what I am looking for.
http://www.whitesgems.com/availablegems.html

Thanks to anyone who read all of this.

Just some other information:
I would prefer a stone from US rather than Africa or Sri Lanka. I know that Australia have some blue-green sapphires - but from what I understand they tend to be darker; and I would prefer a lighter coloured stone.
My SO has no idea (I hope) that I am looking for engagement ring stones. Hence she has had no (direct) input into it being a coloured stone rather than the traditional diamond. But I do know that she would prefer me to pick something myself and I am very confident she would be happy with a coloured stone.
 

GregS

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
717
Why not Africa or Sri Lanka? The first Earth Treasury stone looks best to me, no haze and decent color which is surprising. When I think Montana Sapphires I think poor color, that one looks pretty nice despite the typical green modifier.

If it was me, which it obviously isn't, I'd rather have a slightly smaller, top color Sri Lankan stone.

I'd forget about the NSC stone, lousy cut, bottom heavy, grey, hazy/included etc...
 

Violetphoenix

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Sep 24, 2014
Messages
139
Have you also checked out Peter Torraca's website? There's a small but nice round MS. Torraca.net
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jul 31, 2014
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15,298
Hi there, and welcome to PS :wavey:

I would also encourage you to be open to stones other than Montana.

One potential option (I might have missed it, but did you specify budget for this?) is to contact Alastair Kelsey. He's in Australia (which I know isn't NZ, but at least closer than US vendors so if you do have to send a stone back it wouldn't be as big of a hassle hopefully), and makes amazing rings. He also can source stones, and I've seen some amazing creations from him (and people on PS have been happy with his work as well). Just so that way you could get both stone + setting from one person which might help.

If you are 100% set on a Montana, this Etsy vendor has a very good reputation here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MountainMommaGems , and her gems are quite beautiful. This one looks great to my eye, but it's not a cushion: https://www.etsy.com/listing/240262098/genuine-montana-sapphire-blue-bj-round?ref=shop_home_active_1 and also might be too dark for you.

EDIT: after looking at the stones you linked that does help get an idea of budget. So never mind on that question! Also, I love the Earth Treasury stones as well, so I think either of those are much better than the NSC stone.
 

edwardk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Messages
10
Thanks for the quick replies!

GregS|1447465629|3949445 said:
Why not Africa or Sri Lanka? The first Earth Treasury stone looks best to me, no haze and decent color which is surprising. When I think Montana Sapphires I think poor color, that one looks pretty nice despite the typical green modifier.

If it was me, which it obviously isn't, I'd rather have a slightly smaller, top color Sri Lankan stone.

I'd forget about the NSC stone, lousy cut, bottom heavy, grey, hazy/included etc...

In terms of colour I actually quite like having the addition of the green hue which is one of the reasons that I was drawn to the Montana stones. Also if I were to find a 'pure blue' stone I would want it to be quite a light tone - (similar-ish to aquamarine) which I thought isn't that common in Sri lanka/african stones (maybe because it is less popular)?

That aside - the main reason I prefer not to go with african/Sri Lankan stones (african particularly). Is because of ethical issues. I don't want to start an ethics of gemstone mining discussion but for background:
My SO other and I have lived and worked in various parts of rural africa and lived in/visited a few villages that had been very negatively affected by mining operations. I understand that extrapolating this experience to rule out any stone from africa is a big call. But it has left me feeling that if I were to buy a stone from africa I would want to know exactly where it has come from and would feel like I need to visit the area myself to alleviate any guilt. I know my SO feels similarly.

Thanks for the advice regarding the NSC stone.
 

edwardk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Messages
10
lovedogs|1447467490|3949455 said:
Hi there, and welcome to PS :wavey:

I would also encourage you to be open to stones other than Montana.

One potential option (I might have missed it, but did you specify budget for this?) is to contact Alastair Kelsey. He's in Australia (which I know isn't NZ, but at least closer than US vendors so if you do have to send a stone back it wouldn't be as big of a hassle hopefully), and makes amazing rings. He also can source stones, and I've seen some amazing creations from him (and people on PS have been happy with his work as well). Just so that way you could get both stone + setting from one person which might help.

If you are 100% set on a Montana, this Etsy vendor has a very good reputation here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MountainMommaGems , and her gems are quite beautiful. This one looks great to my eye, but it's not a cushion: https://www.etsy.com/listing/240262098/genuine-montana-sapphire-blue-bj-round?ref=shop_home_active_1 and also might be too dark for you.

EDIT: after looking at the stones you linked that does help get an idea of budget. So never mind on that question! Also, I love the Earth Treasury stones as well, so I think either of those are much better than the NSC stone.

Thanks for the advice about Alastair Kelsey, I might get in touch with him. (And thanks for knowing australia and NZ are different - lots of people don't :) )
In terms of getting the setting done; I would actually prefer to have that done in nz because there is a ring maker here that I want to work with, also it would be cheaper because I would only then have to pay customs on the stone.

I have had a look at mountainmommagems store already and do like some of her gems, including the one you posted; but you are right it is slightly on the dark side compared to what I am looking for.
 

edwardk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Messages
10
Violetphoenix|1447467220|3949454 said:
Have you also checked out Peter Torraca's website? There's a small but nice round MS. Torraca.net

Thanks for the advice - just had a look at the site and I very much like the colour of that stone!
I am just on my phone at the moment but once I get to my computer I will have to have a look on a bigger screen.
 

edwardk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Messages
10
I did a little more research and would be happy to look at Ceylon sapphires also. (If I could find a light enough blue colour)

Unfortunately the 1.85carat stone from earth's treasury was sold yesterday!

The ones that are top of my list at the moment are:
http://www.earthstreasury.com/product/1-34-carat-baby-blue-montana-sapphire/
I can see some silk in the photo, but am not particularly sure that is a bad thing? And it is unlikely to be seen in hand?

and:
http://www.torraca.net/projects/sapmt1061/
this one doesn't seem quite so 'sparkly' (for lack of a better word), but I like the colour and kind of feel like it emphasises the colour better. (And it all may just be the difference in lighting too?)

Does anyone have any particular opinions/advice about these?

Thanks!
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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15,298
edwardk|1447528026|3949655 said:
I did a little more research and would be happy to look at Ceylon sapphires also. (If I could find a light enough blue colour)

Unfortunately the 1.85carat stone from earth's treasury was sold yesterday!

The ones that are top of my list at the moment are:
http://www.earthstreasury.com/product/1-34-carat-baby-blue-montana-sapphire/
I can see some silk in the photo, but am not particularly sure that is a bad thing? And it is unlikely to be seen in hand?

and:
http://www.torraca.net/projects/sapmt1061/
this one doesn't seem quite so 'sparkly' (for lack of a better word), but I like the colour and kind of feel like it emphasises the colour better. (And it all may just be the difference in lighting too?)

Does anyone have any particular opinions/advice about these?

Thanks!

It's hard for me to tell how those would perform in hand in terms of sparkle, so you might consider emailing both vendors to ask for a few more photos to get a better sense of each one.

My first instinct is that I prefer the ET stone since the PT one looks slightly less "sparkly" as you said. But I think more pics would clarify that.
 

Crazie4Cuts

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
542
Here's a smaller Montana sapphire @ 1ct that faces up and sparkles nicely from Jerry Newman of Gem Art: http://www.gemartservices.com/img/for-sale/montsapph195.jpg.. I've been looking at his other Montana sapphires and this one seems to be a very good cut (why after all it is Jerry!) and great price! I have not purchased a stone from Jerry, but he is on the Pricescope recommended list.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jul 31, 2014
Messages
15,298
Ohhh, I like that one very much! Not sure if it's darker than you want, but it's beautiful and his stones are always well cut. I've heard great things about him here, although I've never worked with him personally.
 

Crazie4Cuts

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
542
To EdwardK re: Opinion of Montana Sapphires from Peter and Earth's Treasury- I'm sorry I didn't directly respond the first time regarding the stones you provided links in your post above. In my opinion, I do not prefer the appearance of silk in my colored stones. I'd rather see a stone without silk so I can enjoy the gemstone's full color. 'Silkiness' (for lack of a better term) to me distorts the color of the gemstone, but others may prefer it as some stones 'glow' or provide a soft appearance or velvety look. These stones have been untreated and completely natural.

Please also note the price of these Montana sapphires per carat is rather high.. Earth's Treasury: $802.24/ct, Peter's: $1788.62/ct, and Jerry's: $500/ct.

But then again these stones are not like diamonds and I do not know how Montana Sapphires are priced. Perhaps someone in the Trade can comment. I see that Peter's and Earth's are both untreated, but not sure of Jerry's as the description does not provide more detail. He does have a 5+ Montana cushion which in his description was treated, so I can only assume that the 1 ct is untreated, but you can reach out to him an ask for more information if you are interested in this stone.
 

edwardk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Messages
10
Thanks for the help and advice everyone.

Looking through the different photos of stones I think I am starting to get an idea of what I like. But it is still extremely confusing!

Out of all of them so far I think that this was my favourite http://www.earthstreasury.com/product/1-85-carat-aqua-blue-montana-sapphire/ but someone nabbed it before me! So here is hoping another similar one might come up at some point.

There are a few from blazengems that interest me, so have sent an email, but I will wait to hear back +/- more photos before I ask for any advice about them. Fingers crossed something good comes up.
 
S

SparkliesLuver

Guest
I found one with a color very close to aquamarine, but the shape isn't exactly what you said you wanted. Figured I'd ask though since it's a very pretty unheated Montana sapphire. Here are the dimensions: 1.49cts, 7.1 x 4.5 mm. Let me know if you'd be interested and then I can post a picture and the link.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Apr 22, 2004
Messages
38,228
Most Montana sapphires today are heat treated so if it matters to you, then you might want proof that it is unheated.

Secondly, Montana sapphires are very shifty little things. What looks light blue under one light source, usually shifts to a very different colour under a different light source. This will be tricky since you are buying sight unseen.
 

partgypsy

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I just wanted to say, while aquamarine may not be ideal, I feel people should use the stone they want for their engagement ring. My engagement ring was an emerald. My sister in law's was an opal. There are settings that can do a better or worse job protecting the stone. Yes you may end up getting scratches on it, but can also be polished.

also edited to add, if you can choose the stone in person, that is the ideal thing. All sapphires to some extent and especially Montana sapphires are prone to being "shifters" shifting how they looking outdoor and indoor light. Because of that one photo is not necessarily going to be representative to how the stone performs or how you feel about it. This may be a situation of going to a store or gem show may be helpful to at least look at stones.

Also I would suggest expanding to Ceylon stones. They are not typically a sky blue but are typically clear and bright which is what you are looking for.
 

Jajabis

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Chrono|1447700151|3950383 said:
Most Montana sapphires today are heat treated so if it matters to you, then you might want proof that it is unheated.

Secondly, Montana sapphires are very shifty little things. What looks light blue under one light source, usually shifts to a very different colour under a different light source. This will be tricky since you are buying sight unseen.

THIS!
[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/my-montana-sapphire-from-rough-to-cut.216711/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/my-montana-sapphire-from-rough-to-cut.216711/[/URL]
This is mine that i've made for my gf's e-ring.

Also, this stone has Zero treatment done too it. I got it through blazengems.


Edit: Blaze normally has a lot more than what's seen on his website.
 

edwardk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Messages
10
Thanks for the help/advice everyone.

SparkliesLuver said:
I found one with a color very close to aquamarine, but the shape isn't exactly what you said you wanted. Figured I'd ask though since it's a very pretty unheated Montana sapphire. Here are the dimensions: 1.49cts, 7.1 x 4.5 mm. Let me know if you'd be interested and then I can post a picture and the link.

I would appreciate if you could post a picture. I am open to considering different shapes - for me finding the right colour stone (with decent brilliance) is the most important thing at the moment.

Chrono said:
Most Montana sapphires today are heat treated so if it matters to you, then you might want proof that it is unheated.

Secondly, Montana sapphires are very shifty little things. What looks light blue under one light source, usually shifts to a very different colour under a different light source. This will be tricky since you are buying sight unseen.

I don't particularly mind if it is heat treated - as long as I am not paying an 'unheated price'. For proof that is is unheated should I ask for an independent lab assessment prior to buying?

I understand that Montana sapphires are shifty and I would make sure that I can get photos of the gem under many different light sources prior to purchasing. I don't mind the colour shift; my main concern would be if it looked dark greyish under certain/many light types.

part gypsy said:
I just wanted to say, while aquamarine may not be ideal, I feel people should use the stone they want for their engagement ring. My engagement ring was an emerald. My sister in law's was an opal. There are settings that can do a better or worse job protecting the stone. Yes you may end up getting scratches on it, but can also be polished.

also edited to add, if you can choose the stone in person, that is the ideal thing. All sapphires to some extent and especially Montana sapphires are prone to being "shifters" shifting how they looking outdoor and indoor light. Because of that one photo is not necessarily going to be representative to how the stone performs or how you feel about it. This may be a situation of going to a store or gem show may be helpful to at least look at stones.

Also I would suggest expanding to Ceylon stones. They are not typically a sky blue but are typically clear and bright which is what you are looking for.

After looking through the Montana sapphires I actually am growing to like them more than aquamarine anyway! Also I think my partner would prefer to not have to worry about scratches as much.

Unfortunately we don't have many gem shows in NZ! And there are no Montana Sapphires in stores here that I have been able to find. (We are a pretty small country). I obviously want to find what I am looking for first off, but if I find something that I think is 'perfect' and purchase it and realise I don't like it in person, I would be happy to send it back and potentially change tack.

I am open to looking at Ceylon stones, and I have looked at some. But I do quite like the hint of green that the Montana sapphires tend to have.

Jajabis said:
Chrono|1447700151|3950383 said:
Most Montana sapphires today are heat treated so if it matters to you, then you might want proof that it is unheated.

Secondly, Montana sapphires are very shifty little things. What looks light blue under one light source, usually shifts to a very different colour under a different light source. This will be tricky since you are buying sight unseen.

THIS!
[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/my-montana-sapphire-from-rough-to-cut.216711/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/my-montana-sapphire-from-rough-to-cut.216711/[/URL]
This is mine that i've made for my gf's e-ring.

Also, this stone has Zero treatment done too it. I got it through blazengems.


Edit: Blaze normally has a lot more than what's seen on his website.

Thanks, I had seen your thread earlier! Looks great and I can totally see about the colour shift.

I have tried to get in touch with Blaze but I think that his email inbox is full because I keep having my messages bounce back! I have messaged through facebook as well, so hopefully that one goes through.
 
S

SparkliesLuver

Guest
edwardk said:
I would appreciate if you could post a picture. I am open to considering different shapes - for me finding the right colour stone (with decent brilliance) is the most important thing at the moment.

Here you go. :)

_35314.jpg
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
38,228
As of this point, I don't think there's a significant difference in price between heated and unheated Montanas, unlike "regular" blue sapphires. Yes, do inquire about whether it will end up dark greyish indoors since it is important to you. The issue with beryl or aquamarine isn't that it will get scratched but it will chip if the wearer does not wear it with care.
 

Jajabis

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
Messages
46
edwardk|1447908046|3951606 said:
I have tried to get in touch with Blaze but I think that his email inbox is full because I keep having my messages bounce back! I have messaged through facebook as well, so hopefully that one goes through.

Try giving them a call?

"phone 8:00 am. to 6:00 pm Monday through Saturday at 406-227-4027"

http://blazengems.com/retail/shop/i...e&id=5&zenid=cee9f39efa08b1de1b83794407a8edfc


Edit: I read that you are in New Zealand. While i'm not that far away, Blaze did allow me extended time on the return policy because i wanted to view the color of my stone before shipping it to Michael E for inspection and cutting. I'm pretty sure he just want's everyone to be 100% happy with there purchase. Also, the picture's he supplied me with seemed to fit the color almost exactly.


Edit EDIT!:
http://blazengems.com/retail/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=83_53_61&products_id=1313
Here goes one that i would ask for more pictures. :)
 

attyl

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Nov 23, 2015
Messages
10
OP: I have an option for you, but don't want to post it until you're online for fear of lurkers

(speaking of which, while this is my first post, I've been lurking for months! I just haven't wanted to post anything until the whole ring is finished, but you've come to the right place. The PS people are super helpful. This post has driven out of lurkdom though, as my center stone is going to be one of Jeff Hapeman's Montanas as well)
 

edwardk

Rough_Rock
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Nov 13, 2015
Messages
10
Thanks for coming out of the woodwork :angel:
I actually have found a stone that I think I am going to get; just waiting for it to arrive with the seller and for them to send me a couple of extra photos.
I don't want to post a link to it until I buy it either in case of lurkers! Haha, and maybe you shouldn't post the one you found in case it is the same one! I feel like I am being extra paranoid, but I think the one I have found is what I was looking for and don't want it to be snatched out of my grasp

And congrats on your purchase!
 

edwardk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Messages
10
SparkliesLuver said:
edwardk said:
I would appreciate if you could post a picture. I am open to considering different shapes - for me finding the right colour stone (with decent brilliance) is the most important thing at the moment.

Here you go. :)

Thanks for this link; I think I have found a different one though (as I wrote above) - once I confirm I will post the link to it
 

attyl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
10
Well just in case, I wanted to let you know that it was my boyfriend and I who purchased the Earth's Treasury stone you originally liked so much, along with several other stones. But we decided that it wasn't quite right for us and sent it back. It probably hasn't actually reached Jeff, but it is listed as back in stock!

So if you did want to go with that sapphire, I just wanted to let you know that it is available and gorgeous (the boyfriend and I actually decided we wanted a bit of a silkier stone so we returned that one for being too sparkly!) and that Jeff is awesome to work with.
 

edwardk

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Messages
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attyl said:
Well just in case, I wanted to let you know that it was my boyfriend and I who purchased the Earth's Treasury stone you originally liked so much, along with several other stones. But we decided that it wasn't quite right for us and sent it back. It probably hasn't actually reached Jeff, but it is listed as back in stock!

So if you did want to go with that sapphire, I just wanted to let you know that it is available and gorgeous (the boyfriend and I actually decided we wanted a bit of a silkier stone so we returned that one for being too sparkly!) and that Jeff is awesome to work with.

That was exactly the stone I was looking at! And I thought it might have been you who bought it and returned it when you came on here.
I was just waiting for Jeff to get it back and send me a few more pictures, but have purchased it now.

This is the one:
http://www.earthstreasury.com/product/1-85-carat-aqua-blue-montana-sapphire/

Thanks everyone for the help so far!
 

attyl

Rough_Rock
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Nov 23, 2015
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Excellent! I'm so glad it all worked out. I hope you, and the intended recipient, love it.

So many Montana sapphire engagement rings recently!
 
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