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Need help evaluating sapphire ring I found second hand

marjie978

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
16
Hi,

This is my first post so please bear with me if I make any mistakes. I found a local post on Craigslist of someone looking to sell a heat treated platinum halo sapphire ring. He paid around $15k for it and is looking $11,500 for it. I personally feel it is bit high but I can't help but lust after this ring and am hoping I can make this work some way.

This is what the gentleman posted about the ring:
..."5.23CT CUSHION CUT BLUE CEYLON SAPPHIRE HEATED MEASURING 9.71 X 10.66 X 6.11MM SET IN A HANDMADE "SIENNA" PLATINUM FOUR PRONG SPLIT SHANK LADIES RING WITH 100 ROUND BRILLIANT CUT DIAMONDS = .79CTS TW PAVE SET IN A HALO AROUND THE SAPPHIRE AND ON THE TH. . .. . .. . .. . .Original owner and purchaser. Have both sales receipt showing purchase price of $15,540 and Appraisal showing value of ring at $16,900."...

The pictures that he posted were pretty bad but the sapphire still sparkled. He sent me a follow-up picture and its easier to see the ring but I am concerned about light leakage from several areas on the stone and am looking for opinions. I have attached the follow-up picture for everyone to evaluate.

Do you think its a bit high of an asking price for a heat treated stone? He cannot tell me if its low heat treatment or not as he does not have the information himself. This gentleman has been in contact with the jewelry store that he purchased the ring from and they assured him that though it is heat treated it has not been had any other treatment and said they purchase their gemstone from one of the "top stone dealers in the US"...whatever that means. The Sapphire does not come with any certification. I'm not so much concerned about that because I intend on having Peter Suchy Jewelers in CT do an appraisal prior to purchase (if it gets that far).

Anyways, I've always had my heart set on a sapphire as an engagement ring but have had to block out this dream because an unheated untreated sapphire is usually out of my price range ($30K+), so this ring is finally something that I love in my price range. I feel horrible saying this because it makes me seem ungrateful but I am "settling" for a diamond and am currently working with a diamond dealer on a 1.5-2.0 ct rectangular cushion cut diamond.

I appreciate all of your responses.

Marjie
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
23,284
marjie978|1316990131|3025377 said:
The Sapphire does not come with any certification. I'm not so much concerned about that because I intend on having Peter Suchy Jewelers in CT do an appraisal prior to purchase (if it gets that far).
I would never ever ever buy an expensive sapphire without an accompanying AGL report, and it would have to be from a very well known and highly reputable dealer. Sapphires are synthesized, dyed these days, not just heated, and you may be out a lot of money from a dealer you know very little about. You may not get a refund if it comes back as anything other than described. Appraisers cannot always tell all the treatments a sapphire can have, so it really needs to go to a lab, and the best lab for colored gems is the AGL in NYC.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
It does look beautiful from the photographs - and that is not a cheap setting so that should be factored into the equation.

Even heated, that is a big sapphire - and colour looks nice - so the asking price isn't bad at all. I would be tempted to get the sale dependant on the results of your appraisal AND a lab report from AGL to confirm nothing more than heat and get the full details of the stone.

Please don't settle for a diamond if you really want a coloured stone. You really will regret it.

ETA: To look for things like obvious windows, you need a shot taken straight down onto the table. All stones will show a tilt-window no matter how perfect the cut. I don't see anything in that photograph to make me think 'ouch'.

That said, one not great photograph is not enough to give any kind of real opinion. I would class it as 'looks promising'. :bigsmile:
 

Bella_mezzo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
5,754
It is a very pretty ring, but I can't make any judgements on the quality/treatment. I second sending it to AGL. If your budget is approx. $10k and you are open to heat treated sapphires I think you could have a similar ring made by a master craftsman like Leon or Victor Cannera and find a great sapphire from Jeff White or Pala Gems or any number of other vendors...

I have a sapphire ering too, don't "Settle" for a diamond if that's not what you want ;)) . You have a really healthy budget and can certainly have a gorgeous statement sapphire ering.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,707
How about you say to the vendor that you will pay for the AGL report IF the sapphire comes back as simply heated? You can agree to leave the money with a third party (perhaps one of the appraisers known to this forum) only to be paid on receipt of the satisfactory report.

If the sapphire comes back as something other than heated (and unacceptable to you), the vendor pays for the report and also gets to keep it. You get your money back from the third party.

It's a lot of money to lose or buy something that turns out to be different so I'd urge caution.

I would second Pandora in saying please don't settle for a diamond. If this sapphire is speaking to you, there's a reason. You want a ring you'll love! I also agree that the setting looks expensive and points to a good purchase. The sapphire may have a small window but honestly unless you have a head on photo it's impossible to say for definite. Even if it has, at over 5ct, I wouldn't worry too much and would concentrate on the colour.
 

Arkteia

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Nov 3, 2009
Messages
7,565
I'd say, if it is just heated, it is a good buy! But I would totally second all of the above posters that it needs to be appraised with AGL to prove lack of any treatments other than heat.
 

Barrett

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
2,218
,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸-AGL-American Gem Labs-,.-~*´¨¯¨`*·~-.¸ some good advice there...I would take that advice and run with it 100%
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Bella_mezzo|1316991295|3025396 said:
It is a very pretty ring, but I can't make any judgements on the quality/treatment. I second sending it to AGL. If your budget is approx. $10k and you are open to heat treated sapphires I think you could have a similar ring made by a master craftsman like Leon or Victor Cannera and find a great sapphire from Jeff White or Pala Gems or any number of other vendors...

I have a sapphire ering too, don't "Settle" for a diamond if that's not what you want ;)) . You have a really healthy budget and can certainly have a gorgeous statement sapphire ering.
Bella, my worry would be that a setting like that is going to be $5k plus from LM or similar, and the chances of finding a sapphire in that kind of colour in over 5cts for $5k is slim IMO...
 

marjie978

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
16
Wow! You guys post quickly.

1. I do think it will cost more than the asking price to have a similar ring recreated. I am still waiting to hear what the ring size is because if its not safely sizable I am out of the running on this one because the seller does not want to split the stone from the setting.

2. I very much like the idea of sending out the stone to be evaluated to make sure that it has only been heat treated. But I have 2 questions.
a. why is everyone suggestion AGL v.s GIA or AIGS?
b. I've had glimpses of GIA reports and it will say something like "no indication of TE".... what is that? Is it a kind of heat treatment?

3. Several of you think that this is a great and somewhat fair deal. How much would this ring cost retail? I know what the gentleman paid but I don't know if he overpaid.

Best,
Marjie
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
23,284
marjie978|1317042789|3025766 said:
Wow! You guys post quickly.

1. I do think it will cost more than the asking price to have a similar ring recreated. I am still waiting to hear what the ring size is because if its not safely sizable I am out of the running on this one because the seller does not want to split the stone from the setting.

2. I very much like the idea of sending out the stone to be evaluated to make sure that it has only been heat treated. But I have 2 questions.
a. why is everyone suggestion AGL v.s GIA or AIGS?
b. I've had glimpses of GIA reports and it will say something like "no indication of TE".... what is that? Is it a kind of heat treatment?

3. Several of you think that this is a great and somewhat fair deal. How much would this ring cost retail? I know what the gentleman paid but I don't know if he overpaid.

Best,
Marjie
GIA is good, but in all honesty, AGL is more highly regarded for colored gems, and if you get the top of the line prestige report with the AGL, you get much more for your money in regards to knowing the true quality of the gem. AGL also has a gem brief that is quite a good buy (I think better than the GIA), if you want to go that route too.

AIGS is a respected lab, but it's in Thailand, and they switch management so often, I personally lack confidence in them. JMO.

Sapphires also need to be evaulated for color zoning, and although it appears nice from the table, it might have heavy zoning. That's something to consider has well.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
In the USA - GIA for diamonds, AGL for coloured stones IMO. I'm based in Europe and SSEF or Gubelin would be my choice here purely because shipping backwards and forwards is easier. As you are in the USA, it's easier to ship to AGL than ship to Thailand and AIGS.

TE - as far as I am aware, it stands for Thermal Enhancement... ie a fancy way of saying heated!
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,517
Ditto; the ring (stone and setting) has the potential to be a great buy considering what I'm seeing from the single picture. Be sure to have the sale contingent upon the sapphire being checked out by BOTH the appraiser (to gauge colour quality, colour shift under various lighting, colour zoning and cut issues, setting quality) and AGL (heat only). AGL is the premier lab for coloured gemstones in the USA.
 

marjie978

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
16
Ok, so I am reading things like "zoning" that I do not understand.

Can you recommend articles or books I can read up on sapphires to become more familiar with science and cut?
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,707
Zoning is when you get what looks like streaks of (normally) darker colours throughout the stone. It can adversely affect the stone's appearance but minimal zoning is not really an issue. The photo below shows a sapphire with some quite obvious zoning (not my ring by the way!). From the photo you've posted, there doesn't appear to be extensive zoning but it's impossible to say unless you see a series of photos from different angles.

With a sapphire of over 5ct you may get some zoning and you may also get a few other issues i.e. it may not be precision cut etc., but this is the trade off for buying a big stone. It shouldn't put you off unless you need total perfection in your stones.

The main concern with sapphires are (a) treatments and (b) colour and (c) cut - normally in that order (although a and b can be reversed also).

Sapphire Zoning_1_1.jpg
 

marjie978

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
16
Hi,

Haven't been on in a while. I wanted to give an update. My fiance bought the ring and proposed right before christmas. The ring appraised for more than what the original owner paid for it and is fully insured with JM.
 

Lady_Disdain

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
3,988
Did you get a lab report as well or was the appraisal based on the seller info?
 
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