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Need help finding sapphire ering

Discussion in 'Colored Stones' started by Ayers, Mar 24, 2009.

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  1. Ayers
    Rough_Rock

    Messages:
    21
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    Jan 21, 2009
    by Ayers » Mar 24, 2009
    I''m helping a friend track down a sapphire engagement ring - it feels a lot harder than the diamond shopping I did for myself a few months ago (and that was tough!)

    He''s looking for a:
    Ceylon, untreated, 7x9mm, oval sapphire

    and a custom setting with a trellis solitaire look that is contoured (thinner at top)


    1) Looking at a few sites reveal a WIDE range of prices from cheap (sapphires.ca) to expensive (cherrypicked). How would I know I''m not getting ripped off? There were a few on Planetarygems.com that also looked good.

    2) What kind of certification is reliable?

    3) Can you buy custom settings pretty easily without buying the stone?

    4) Any other factors I need to ask him about?

    Thanks a ton!
     
  2. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    35,897
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    Apr 22, 2004
    by chrono » Mar 24, 2009
    I agree that buying coloured gemstones is much harder than trying to get a diamond because you really need an eye for colour. There's also no short cuts like the HCA or set of parameters to adhere to.

    I would stick to trusted vendors. I have not bought from Planetarygems but I am biased against them because they sell gems according to some spiritual reason. Gemstones should be bought based on beauty. For an engagement rings, I would get the best for my budget and would stick to my favourite and trusted few meaning:
    www.winkjones.com and Richard Homer (who also does traditional flat faceting) www.concavegems.com
    Cherypicked and www.Palagems.com (Wink can get you pricing)
    NSC
    Barry at www.acstones.com
    Jeff White at www.whitesgems.com
    www.ajsgems.com

    I trust my vendors so I usually don't go for lab certs. However, there are a lot of synthetic blue sapphires out there AND I always go for a cert anyway once my purchase amount crosses a certain threshold. The best is AGTA, followed by AIGS and GIA. Gubelin is excellent too but not woth the hassle of shipping to Europe.

    I would never buy a custom setting without getting the stone first. As you have already experienced, buying gemstones is difficult enough without trying to limit yourself to a certain measurement. You never know what shape you'll be getting and even 2 identical carat weight stones can have totally different measurents due to the cut.

    Other considerations:
    1. Set a budget first
    2. Decide if gentle heating is all right or it must be an unheated stone. An unheated stone usually will have a different softer look but aslo cost more
    3. Decide on the tone and hue. Cornflower blue? Light blue? Kashmir blue? Which shade of blue? The purer and saturated (vivd) the sapphire, the more it'll cost.
     
  3. LostSapphire
    Ideal_Rock

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    by LostSapphire » Mar 24, 2009
    and may I add, #4:

    Be prepared to be patient to find the right one. It takes longer, because you can''t just buy a sapphire "off the shelf". Each one is different (hence, beautifully unique!). When I started looking for mine, I figured, a few weeks...(HA!)...after almost 5 months I had the PERFECT BLUEBERRY (for me, that is!). But the journey was fascinating. I learned lots of stuff, enjoyed the view, met lots of interesting people here in coloured stones, and the shopping, OH the shopping!

    And I know it''s not an ''upgradeable'' item but a forever piece...as long as I don''t lose this one!

    LS

    p.s. JEFF WHITE ROCKS!

    Wishing your friend Good luck and lots of fun!
     
  4. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
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    by chrono » Mar 24, 2009
    I hope I don''t scare you off but it took me 3 years to find the right blue spinel; then again a top blue spinel is rarer than a top blue sapphire.[​IMG] LS is correct that you must be patient and think through every stone carefully.
     
  5. MakingTheGrade
    Ideal_Rock

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    by MakingTheGrade » Mar 24, 2009
    Wow! Do you have a pic up anywhere?
    Haha...maybe I should start looking for a stone for my med school graduation ring now...(my parents wanted to buy me a college ring, but I told them not to because I didn't like the design, so they're letting me design a grad ring as a present)

    Good luck with the hunt!
    And yes, once you find the stone, getting the custom setting wouldn't be very difficult. There are plenty of vendors who do that. :) If you go through a company like Natural sapphire company, they offer custom settings as well. Or you could buy the stone loose and go through Whiteflash etc to get a custom mounting made :)
     
  6. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Mar 25, 2009
    Unfortunately no pictures. But I can explain. Really![​IMG]
    My dealer doesn''t take pictures because he''s like me - lousy at it.
    Secondly, it''s back in his hands so that he can send it to a lab to be certified that''s it''s a natural untreated cobalt spinel.
     
  7. Ayers
    Rough_Rock

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    Jan 21, 2009
    by Ayers » Mar 26, 2009
    Thanks for the great advice! I think his engagement party is in a few months, so hopefully he can get lucky with one of these vendors. I''ll let him know everything I find out here, and let you guys know what he eventually gets! :)
     
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