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My Sapphire and Diamond Halo Ring

SapphireSun

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
100
Hello!

I feel so nervous posting here for the first time! I have been lurking on Pricescope for months now and I just wanted to share my ring with you all. It is a natural, unheated 1.65 carat oval blue sapphire with .60ctw F VVS2 diamond halo. It's very simple and quite small compared to some amazing sapphires I've seen here, but we love it! When my husband and I started our search for my 10th Anniversary ring I read so many negative reviews of The Natural Sapphire Company (here and elsewhere) that we decided not to check them out, but after not having any luck with local jewelers I went to their site and found a nice looking ring. I wrote them a simple question asking if they could change the gold and alter the style and was surprised to receive a response that they could custom make a ring for me and charge me the same price as the ring I was interested in (custom rings by local jewelers were far more expensive and did not include high quality diamonds) which made me very excited. They offered the same sapphire from the ring I was interested in and obtained a GIA certificate for me free of charge. I was extremely worried about the sapphire because I did not view it before purchasing so I made sure to let them know that I expected the sapphire to look exactly as pictured and also got a hand shot, but to be honest, it's not the same as being in their showroom slowly going over every blue sapphire and finding one to fall in love with because I didn't know what I would fall in love with. There are so many hues of blues and I'd imagine you could fall in love with many hues of blues! I had seen a heated cornflower blue and thought that was what I wanted and was told this blue sapphire is considered cornflower (it's not exactly the same as the one I had personally seen and held, but then again there are so many variations of cornflower blue on the internet). I know that in the past any good posts about NSC would mean that it was a shill, but I'm not here to post my experience with them, I'm just really interested in what you all think of the sapphire? When we received the package my husband told me to wait for him to arrive home from work so we could open it together (we upgraded his band too), but I couldn't contain my excitement. One, I worried that it wouldn't be what I expected and 2, both rings came in one box so I wanted to make sure that indeed both rings were there, so I called my 3 yr. old over and opened the box to him and asked him to tell me how many rings he saw (seriously did this). His eyes just popped when he saw the rings and then slowly counted to two. At that point I just couldn't put it back and wait for my husband so I turned it around and was completely overjoyed! I loved it! I know that's all that matters, but I have become slightly obsessed with blue sapphires now and would appreciate your thoughts. What do you think of the color and cut? And for anyone who is really interested in a fair review of NSC and my experiences I'll be glad to answer (they are currently making me a pair of diamond earrings using my engagement diamond, so yes, I would go back).

IMG_0312 (1024x768).jpg

IMG_0333 (1024x768).jpg
 

MakingTheGrade

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 2, 2009
Messages
12,610
I went to their showroom to pick out a padparadscha in person since those goobers are so wicked hard to photograph! And you're right, the inventory is a little overwhelming in a good way, just trays and trays of sapphires... But when you see "the one", you just get snagged!

The color on your ring seems lovely!
 

AN0NYM0US

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
328
I'm glad that you're happy and it is a nice looking ring. Can I ask why you chose GIA over AGL for the grading? Would you mind posting the report? It's not too often I see a GIA gemstone report and I'm kind of a geek :read:

Also did you contact any of the PS recommended vendors at all prior to NSC? I'm just curious as to why you chose a company with a less than stellar reputation? I'm not bashing you or judging you, I'm just curious.
 

SapphireSun

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
100
MakingTheGrade: Thank you for your post! It's like having a "celebrity" comment on my post as I've read so many of yours!

Anonymous: Thank you for your post! If you go on NSC's website you can find a GIA report to look over. Some of their already made rings will have one posted. Unfortunately, I did not get to choose between AGL and GIA, although I did inquire what the difference was and was told that GIA is internationally accepted. I did check out a few of the recommended vendors and I must admit that I can find sapphires for considerably less than what I paid, but in the end I didn't want to take a chance with an overseas vendor or eBay. Some vendors were actually priced higher than NSC as well. I did not want any heat treatment whatsoever. I also happen to live in a very high sales tax state and NSC does not have sales tax (for my state) so we saved hundreds (it's why we included a new band for my husband)!! The security of knowing that there is an actual office to complain to and the fact that their jewelry are lifetime guaranteed - meaning, free cleaning/polishing/prong tightening and rhodium plating made it more worthwhile. Plus, they custom make rings, earrings and pendants. I found it too much of a hassel to buy a loose stone and then find another vendor to set it and then find yet another to appraise it. Those are my reasonings for choosing them and continuing my business with them.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
38,172
It's great that you had the opportunity to look at many sapphires before making your choice. That's the best way to shop because it can be difficult to realize exactly what you want if you've only seen 2 or 3 stones.

How much honesty are you asking for? At this point, it is really too late to return the rings and I can tell you really love it, so does it matter? Your pictures do not show enough detail to be able to assess the colour and cut. Using the macro feature (flower or tulip mode) will allow you to get closer to the ring. Also, I'd love a profile view of the ring. It's really pretty.
 

SapphireSun

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
100
Thank you Snoopkat!

Hi Chrono, thank you for your post! Actually, I did not get a chance to view many sapphires...only a few and they were heated or enhanced. I am jealous of anyone who has the opportunity to personally view these natural sapphires! I did feel very overwhelmed looking at so many on the internet as they started blurring into one blue. As I mentioned before, I was set on a cornflower blue, but now I'm not so sure. I had thought that I didn't like the dark blues, but I'm sure in person they would be lovely as well. I honestly would love to hear your opinions on my sapphire. Yes, I would not be able to return it, but the reason why we went ahead with the purchase is simply because out of 6 vendors (3 custom & 3 websites), they were the better option, and again they offered very high quality side diamonds. The pictures were also taken by my iPhone 4s. I find that the sapphire is always blue, whether it's dark, cloudy, indoors or sunny (being most brilliant in natural sunlight). I don't have the macro features on my iPhone, but am happy to post the vendor's images of my ring when it was completed. Please, be as brutally honest as possible!!

IMG_0282 (1024x768).jpg

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SapphireSun

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
100
Oops, last one I wanted to show was the face profile of the vendor's image, but hit submit too soon!

image002.jpg
 

bluenights

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
81
It's stunning! great stone, classic design and Elegant. Diamond is huge! And I'm glad that you really enjoy it

Do you mind share how much you pay for it?
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
38,172
Did NSC send you any pictures of the unmounted sapphire?
 

SapphireSun

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
100
Hi Bluenight, thank you for your post! The diamonds are 2.3mm each. I had looked at getting 3mm, but was talked out of it by a couple of vendors so I decided that if they wanted me to save my money it was a good thing. I can tell you that if you look online at NSC's website you'll get an understanding of how much my ring is. I also noticed that you had posted about Bluenile.com and I had also checked them out. Mind you, their gemstones are treated and they are not that differently priced from NSC, plus their side diamonds were of lower quality, just my observation. I guess it's very subjective, yes you can get a lot more sapphire for less, but this sapphire was rated IF (flawless) and it was not the most expensive one because it's not vivid or intense, just strong. Good luck on your search!!

Hi Chrono: Unfortunately, by the time I realized that I should see images of it loose they had already set it in the new mount and I was told they did not have any images of it loose as it was already set in the original ring. They did offer many times to send just the stone for my viewing, but I declined. As for the zoning, I completely agree with you as I saw the same thing, just many weeks later (I don't know why it didn't bother my eyes when I first looked at the ring), depending on the lighting and angle it does turn half the stone lighter/darker, however you want to see it, but there are no windows or extinctions (which I was more concerned with at the time). I also chalked it up to being only "strong" colorwise. Is that why there are zonings? What does "zoning" really mean? It does not happen a lot by the way, just when indoor lighting hits it at a certain angle. It does not happen outdoors. Any other flaws you see? I think if I were to do this again I would choose an "intense" color stone. I really just thought I liked a lighter blue, but for my first sapphire I think I did alright. Thanks!
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Messages
5,949
Your ring is beautiful! Classic style, and I love the way the underside of the mount is - so many times on settings like that it looks bulky instead of elegant. Your sapphire does have a little zoning, but the color is so lovely it wouldn't bother me one bit if I was the one wearing it. I bet you just can't stop staring at your hand now!
 

Enerchi

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
10,658
WOW!!! quite the little bling trinket!!! :love: :love: :love:

That looks beautiful! Perfect on your hand - great coverage. I love that colour/saturation of blue - seems to me to be the 'perfect' sapphire colour - is it as gorgeous in all lighting situations???? Go on ---- take more pictures then you can post and tell us how perfect it is EVERYWHERE!!! :D
 

SapphireSun

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
100
Distracts: Thank you!! I love the curved basket look, but I wish my stone had more depth because I love when the basket is full!

Enerchi: Thank you for your post! I take pictures of it whenever I can with my iPhone. The best lighting is when we're outside and it's sunny. It's brilliant. When it's cloudy or with indoor lighting I can see more of the zoning, but it also throws off lots of light here and there. For the most part it is always the color of blue jeans, a tad darker than cornflower.

What causes it to zone? Is it the depth of the stone or color saturation?
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
38,172
Zoning or banding is inherent to the material itself, regardless of the hue, tone and saturation. Lapidaries do their best to orientate and cut a design to minimize any face up zoning. Overall, you didn't do badly in your choice of sapphire. Could you have done better? Sure! Could you have done worse? Sure! You were right to avoid windowing and extinction. The saturation could stand to be better, as you noted. I see it as medium, rather than strong but you know it better as you have it in hand while I am making presumptions based on NSC's photographs. I think it's a pretty package and congrats on your 10 year anniversary.

ETA
Coloured gemstones only need to be eye clean. There should not be a premium for a flawless stone unless you are talking about top quality rare material in large sizes.
 

SapphireSun

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
100
Hi Chrono,

Thank you for your opinions! I couldn't agree more with you, but where's the fun in a good hunt if you find the "perfect" one too quickly? I'll get that 5 carat plus one day (right now it would be slightly obnoxious and impractical to wear one that size around the house as I'm a stay at home mom to 2 boys - I might get mistaken for a trophy wife)!

What I have come to appreciate about untreated sapphires is that they are truly rare treasures to behold and admire. No matter how big or small, what hues or inclusions, I'd imagine I would love them all! I will continue to follow this forum and hope to see many more blue sapphires, although the yellow sapphires are tugging at my heartstring too!

Here are a few more pics I took today with my iPhone (overcast weather)... Enjoy!

IMG_0370 (1024x768).jpg

IMG_0371 (1024x768).jpg
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
38,172
What I see in the two newest pictures is not colour zoning but termed on PS as half-and-half extinction which is a function of the cut. It will always show itself no matter how you orientate it but is lessened when not under strong light or direct light.
 

ChrisA222

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
800
Maybe a cutter can chime in here...I was always under the impression that extinction like that was due to the material, not the cut. I've had stones precision-recut and still had extinction. Or, does it have to do with depth? Maybe even with a precision-recut if you don't have the depth, you have extinction?

Gene, Dana, can you guys chime in on what extinction is (aside from the obvious) and what can be done to correct it (if anything)?

Apologies to the OP if this is a 'threadjack' but I am sure curious on what causes extinction and if it can be 'fixed' generally speaking.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
38,172
Chris,
Sorry for the post and run but I wanted to type a quick reply. There 2 types of extinction - one where the tone is overly dark which is due to the material and the second is due to the cutting where the lapidary did not make the correct design choice. The more common cut related extinction is when half of the stone is bright while the other half is dark, evenly split down the center. Depth has little bearing on this and I've seen this often enough in precision cut stones.
 

SapphireSun

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
100
To be honest, it really hasn't bothered me that much (would I buy another one with the same flaw, maybe not). When I wake up in the morning and stare at my ring it is a complete deep blue...sleepy. When I walk around the home (under lighting) I see colors jumping and flashes of very light blue. When I am outside under the sun it is a very brilliant blue (as pictured) and I cannot see the half and half. I quite like that it throws off these flashes of lighter and darker blues (because of the half and half?). I guess if I wanted a perfect stone I could get a heated or treated one (for the price).

On a side note, I did receive an image of my earrings from NSC and am not too pleased, but hopefully in person I might still love it.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
38,172
SapphireSun,
My apologies for the threadjack; it was inconsiderate of me and I should have discussed that in a different thread. Please continue to post more pictures (and of the new earrings). It is refreshing to read of good experiences with NSC.
 

SapphireSun

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
100
Hi Chrono:

No need to apologize because I wanted to know too! Thank you so much for taking the time to post! I hope to post my earrings when I get them tomorrow. I am afraid that I won't be happy as the images I was sent of what they would look like do not match the images of the completed earrings. I do not like surprises like that. But perhaps I'll love it anyway.

Txgreeneyes: Thank you!

I have learned so much since finding this forum. I understand that there are quite a few PSers who will wait years to find their perfect stone...and I waited about 3 months. It is quite overwhelming to find the "perfect" sapphire because 1. we were on a budget (having kids mean tons of guilt for splurging on this ring (and earrings) for myself when we could have sent them to computer camp) and 2. there are no natural sapphire vendors nearby where we could have gone to peruse their sapphires. I wish we were planning a trip to Thailand or Vietnam instead we're going to France this summer. This sapphire ring is just perfect for me because it came in under budget, it fits my lifestyle and personality and it represents 10 years plus with a gorgeous man who introduced me to fois gras and good wine!
 

Enerchi

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
10,658
It is a beauty! I love how it does look so close to the denim blue - its a gorgeous setting and looks amazing on you! enjoy it and wake up every morning looking at it... and smile!! I'd be very happy, too!
 

Arkteia

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
7,588
It is a beautiful ring. I imagine it to be a medium blue, someone on the lighter side, and very bright! I would not mind the extinction in your case because the stone is so bright. I love the halo, too. Congratulations!
 

stargurl78

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 19, 2010
Messages
3,296
I think it's a beautiful ring! Yes, there are probably nicer sapphires out there but then you are of course going to spend more. I think yours is a lovely color and that setting is perfect. It looks great on your hand and congrats on 10 years! I actually purchased a sapphire earlier in the year that would probably not be deemed top color but I can't afford top color so mine is perfect for me (I like dark-ish sapphires though). I actually plan to set it in a setting similar to yours when I can save up enough funds.
 

SapphireSun

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
100
Thank you for your posts Stargurl78 and Enerchi!

Here's another photo of my sapphire that I took this morning under the bathroom lighting.

IMG_0397.JPG
 

SapphireSun

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2012
Messages
100
Re: Update to My Sapphire and Diamond Halo Ring

Disclaimer: really really long...sorry!

How do I start…first I would like to say that I still love my ring and that the slight change of heart towards my sapphire is not because of the views from PSers. The more I learned about sapphires and the more images of sapphires I saw led me to question if I would be happier with a sapphire that didn’t have this half and half distinction. I fully admit that I did not request to see the sapphire in person, but was greatly assured that the stone looked exactly as pictured on the web and was also given a detailed description. However, that detailed description left out a very important detail, that as a newbie to sapphires I would have wanted to know, that due to the cut of the stone the stone does show a lighter color on half of its face depending on how the light hits it. I was concerned in the beginning that there was zoning and that the color didn’t look evenly distributed from the images, but was only informed that all sapphires have some uneven distribution of color. I didn’t know to ask for further clarification because I wasn’t even aware of “half and half extinctions.” I only knew to ask about windows and extinctions. When I received the ring I was unbelievably happy, I really was very nervous and anxious, expecting the worst that when I finally saw it I was just relieved and loved it. So, here’s my story: after weeks of staring at my stone I finally posted images of it on PS because I really wanted honest opinions about it and I can’t thank enough all the PSers who responded, especially to Chrono for going a step above and educating me on the half and half extinctions, even if it’s not the correct term. Well, after reading more about sapphires, looking at more images of sapphires and speaking to a certified gemologist about these half and half extinctions (who was so kind to take his time to explain that it wasn’t really a flaw, but more about aesthetics, and who felt that if I wasn’t aware of it or am not happy with it I should be able to return it) I decided that perhaps I would be happier with a different stone that didn’t have this distinction. I sent an email to NSC (I will not include the person’s name because I don’t think that’s fair) about my findings and feelings and was really surprised to hear the response I got back. Back story, my husband is like Switzerland, he rarely takes sides and sees only good on both sides, but after reading the response I forwarded to him he called me (yes, he took time from work to deal with this non-emergency issue for me) and summed up the response I got back brilliantly, (in his French accent) “Yo Biatch, you said you liked it so suck it up!” I also won’t include the actually response because again I don’t think that’s fair. But here’s my response back:

Thank you for your response.

I completely agree that no one should be able to professionally evaluate a sapphire without seeing it in person. PSers were only giving their opinions when asked, and were able to spot the uneven coloring even though I only posted the best images of the ring as I wanted to capture its beauty. However, I was impressed that they were able to spot it right away. I also didn't feel that they were criticizing the sapphire, but pointing out what they saw, which is exactly what I see. I may not have used the correct term in referring to it as a half and half extinction and it is not a flaw. When I had questioned the coloring in one of my many emails to you, you simply stated that the color is evenly distributed, but it clearly does show half of the sapphire lighter. I think you could have mentioned that to me in the beginning when I asked you to be my eyes.

I did get a second opinion from a credited gemologist who did inform me that this does not happen to every sapphire. He did use a term, that slips my mind, to how the rough was cut, but he also explained it was more a matter of aesthetics than anything else.

Again, I do love my ring. I have never doubted that. I was only hoping to get your thoughts and what could be done to ease my mind. I did find your response a bit defensive and I did not mean any harm so I'm not sure where that came from.
I had in fact thought about it for weeks (it is why I posted the images on PS, I wanted their opinions).

I think at the end of the day I was expecting for you to say that you stand behind the quality of the sapphire (as you have done so) but also that if I felt that I was no longer satisfied with the sapphire that you would be more than happy to find me a similar replacement that does not have this distinction. Again, I was merely contemplating my options. Do I not have the guarantee that if I am not happy with the sapphire than I may return it for a store credit?

I have to say that I am disappointed in your response because it didn't address my concerns and it did not provide any options. I may have been delighted with the sapphire, but now I'm not so sure.

I haven’t heard back. I’m not sure how I am supposed to feel right now so that’s why I wanted to share my story. Maybe it’ll all work out, maybe I don’t want a different sapphire after all, but I just wanted an explanation to the half and half and any options I might have. I don’t understand why it was met with negativity. If given the option, would you exchange the sapphire for one that does not have this distinction or am I making a non-issue into an issue?
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
38,172
SapphireSun,

Regardless of what you may think and feel, I do feel that I had a hand in causing you to doubt your stone and am sorry for it. I think the ring is very beautiful and the colour of your sapphire is still way above many B&M stones. While some sapphires have varying degrees of colour zoning, not all of them do. Note that this is different from what I call "colour contrast" which is what creates the liveliness one sees in a stone due to the cutting.

I am very happy to hear that you are doing your homework and even going as far to speak to a experienced gemmologist. It's never too late for such things. This half and half extinction probably does not bother some people and at the same time, is avoided by another group of people. As you said, it is an aesthetic decision. Please rack your brain really hard to recall the proper teminology for this look. :twirl:

As for the return / exchange of the stone - are you outside the return / review / exchange period? If so, NSC is not obligated to take back your stone. To be fair to NSC, the colouring of the sapphire is evenly distributed, only that half of the stone is extinct when viewed under certain conditions, which is due to the cutting, not the material itself. I know that NSC dislikes PS, so perhaps by virtue of mentioning this forum, they became defensive.

If given the option, my preference is to purchase a sapphire without this type of extinction. However, if my window for returning the sapphire is over, I have no choice but to keep the stone and chalk it up to a very expensive lesson learned.
 
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