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Need Help - Sri Lanko Sapphire

lucida

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
134
Hello All,
I am not in the jewelry industry but love jewelry. I have been looking for an investment grade Sapphire for many years now and I wanted to get some expert opinion to see if this was worth the investment? The seller wants 19k, I had offered 15k. He apparantly bought it from Sothebys for 19k. I always have wanted a Kashmir sapphire but those are scarce. Is this worth it or not? I'd appreciate any suggestions or comments please. Thank you. Is this a highly desired color? I know the origin is second best? Here's the info in the pictures:
19.85cts
Violetish blue
No heat
Sri Lanka
Please take a look at the pics for other details? Thanks again



sapphire_17.jpg sapphire_17.jpg sapphire4_2.jpg sapphire3_3.jpg sapphire2_14.jpg sapphire1_10.jpg
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,367
For a stone that is supposedly worth that much, I'm surprised you only have the AGL Prestige report and not the Prestige Full Grading report, which tells you about the quality of the stone.
http://aglgemlab.com/the-prestige-report/

How much it is worth depends on the colour quality and the appraisal is an in-house appraisal, which tends to over-inflate the value as there is a strong conflict of interest.
 

lucida

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
134
Hello and thank you for the response. Yes I'm not paying much attention to the appraisal - that's probably just for insurance purposes. This is all that there is from the seller. based on this, what do you think? Is it worth that much for this sapphire?
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,084
FWIW, Sotheby's listed a pre-auction estimate of $30,000 - $50,000 for the ring, which was offered as Lot 276 at its April 19, 2016 Magnificent Jewels auction in NYC
http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2015/magnificent-jewels-n09495.html
-- the same auction where the blue diamond ring previously owned by Shirley Temple Black (Lot 319) ended up unsold.

But there isn't a Lot Sold price under the estimate for the Lot 276 ring, which signifies no bidder met the reserve price set by the owner & the ring did not change hands by virtue of the auction. To see what I mean, compare the ring's post-auction page
http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2015/magnificent-jewels-n09495/lot.276.html
and the Shirley Temple blue diamond ring's page
http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2015/magnificent-jewels-n09495/lot.319.html

with, e.g. the one for a sapphire and diamond ring (Lot 231) that sold for appreciably more than the pre-auction estimate
http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2015/magnificent-jewels-n09495/lot.231.html

So, I'm wondering if the seller is the owner of the Lot 276 ring which didn't sell at the April auction, or is the owner's agent. The $19K auction purchase price he's told you might be what he successfully bid for the ring at an earlier Sotheby's auction... of course, another possibility is that he's just made up that story (does he not have his Sotheby's purchase paperwork?)

P.S. Don't be flapped about the fact that 2015 is the year that appears in the URLs above; looks like 2015 is the date the web template was created & Sotheby's adds on a unique ID number for each auction. The n09495 in the URLs is the same ID number that appears under the Sotheby's notation in the middle panel of the AGL report. That notation, plus the February date on the AGL report, suggests that Sotheby's had AGL evaluate the ring as part of its pre-auction prep.
 

lucida

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
134
Wow, thank you so much for this detailed work, I had no idea this information was available online like that. The seller said that his cost was $19k, but that's all I'm going off of. The paperwork that I posted was what he sent me.
Given all of this, you think it wouldn't be worth it then? What do you think? This is a lot of money for me. Given the statistics, color, origin, etc, is it an exceptional deal? Thanks again for all this help., I still have to digest all of this information:)
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,367
I'm afraid no one can evaluate the value from photos alone because nuances of colour makes a huge difference in price, and there's nothing in the paperwork that tells us anything about the colour quality. I only know that the stone is slightly included and unheated, which is an incomplete picture.
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,084
No need to feel self-conscious about the fact that $15,000 is a lot of money for you -- it is for most of us!

The reality is, however, that you're not going to get an awesome, nearly 20-carat unheated sapphire for that price tag. I personally would rather have a much smaller sapphire than the 19+ ct one you've posted with a cut and color I find more appealing... and heat is fine with me (I wouldn't knowingly accept any sapphire that has been subjected to other treatments).

But we don't all share the same priorities. So may I ask what you mean by "investment grade sapphire" (are you seeing this as a "nest egg" to sell in your retirement years?) -- and what qualities are most important to you, e.g., is an unheated sapphire of paramount importance, how small a stone might be satisfactory, do you have a strong preference for a particular shape-cut? for example, some people love emerald/step-cut sapphires, others wouldn't want one)

P.S. What kind of return-refund policy is the seller prepared to offer, were you to purchase this ring? Even if a vendor is conscientious about posting/sending photographic images or videos that mirror what s/he sees, it's exceedingly unlikely that your computer/screen is color-calibrated like theirs. Nor do all colors "register" with each one of us in the same way.
Bottom line: There really is no satisfactory substitute for seeing a stone in hand, under various lighting conditions to see if-how it "shifts", and whether it "grabs" you.
 

PrecisionGem

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2004
Messages
1,702
I always cringe when someone asks about a stone being an investment. The fact that the seller who apparently paid $19K for it, is considering selling it for less, is telling you just how good an investment gemstones really are. If I had an investment that someone stated is worth over $100,000 and could only sell it for a fraction of that, I would not consider that a very good investment.

But back to the stone, a unheated blue sapphire that size for $750 per carat is a very very low price.
 

lucida

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
134
Yes I agree with you. He is also saying that he chose this because it didn't have a window. Any idea what it means? Also I thought he bought it from Sotheby’s since there's that lot information on the report but he's stating he showed it to them for valuation.
So sorry for all of these questions.
If it were you guys, would you pay 19k or 15k ( is what I want to lower the price to. )
Thank you.
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
18,853
lucida|1467563068|4051044 said:
Yes I agree with you. He is also saying that he chose this because it didn't have a window. Any idea what it means? Also I thought he bought it from Sotheby’s since there's that lot information on the report but he's stating he showed it to them for valuation.
So sorry for all of these questions.
If it were you guys, would you pay 19k or 15k ( is what I want to lower the price to. )
Thank you.
A window refers to a function of a poorly cut sapphire. It's a portion of the stone that is "see through"

See the example below

_37673.jpg
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
12,337
If it was me, I would pass on the stone/ring. Yes, for the size of the sapphire, it is an excellent price. Large, clean, and unheated sapphires of that color are rarities. But if the photos and lab report photos are indicative, then it would not be considered the highest grade in terms of color, as its lacking somewhat in saturation.

If I were in the market for a sapphire in the hopes that it would at least not go down in value over time (no guarantee of course and even more dicey to buy any stone as an investment), I would want an untreated medium tone, vivid blue sapphire with a violet modifier. This one does not appear to meet all those criteria and therefore would not be considered a top tier stone. That said, it is lovely and a good price!
 

PrecisionGem

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2004
Messages
1,702
If the pictures you posted are accurate of the color of the stone, and it is indeed no heat or other treatments, then the pice of $19,000 is a bargain.
 

lucida

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
134
Hello All,
I wanted to provide an update on my situation. So I ended up buying it. I have another issue with it now. There's an inclusion right below the surface and when I hold it up in the sun, all the light is refracted from that and honestly it's annoying me. Also the color is more violet than blue. The pictures they posted were blue. I've attached the picture of what I mean regarding the situation and my heart sank when I saw this.
This is the seller's response, although I don't know if this is the case or not, which is why I'm turning to all of your professional opinions:

""The flaw that you are talking about is no damage, but a natural characteristic called a surface reaching feather. To dealers it's a common occurrence, but I understand that as a consumer it may be a problem for you. I've had buyer's remorse like that in the past, I just wish that we hadn't wasted so much time for nothing.""

Based on the pictures, the certificates and everything, is this a bad price and should I return it? I have asked to return it, however I have not heard back from him in exactly a week and am getting nervous. If I am stuck with it, is it still a good price? I'm honestly looking online and sapphires of this size but heated are the same price and this one is unheated. What would you do? Am I getting nervous over nothing? This was a HUGE purchase for me, so I have to love it and know that it was worth it.
Thank you.

sapphire01.jpg

sapphire02.jpg

sapphire03.jpg

sapphire04.jpg
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,367
A surface reaching feather of that size and easily seen is a deal breaker for me. I would return it for a full refund.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
10,477
Chrono|1473297276|4074216 said:
A surface reaching feather of that size and easily seen is a deal breaker for me. I would return it for a full refund.
+1, I would certainly return it. Not only will it bother you because it's so easily observed, but it could also be a potential issue of durability for the stone. And if he doesnt respond to you about your requests to return (and didnt discuss or disclose the obvious issue in the stone), then you have more than enough to open a case with Ebay/Etsy/your credit card company. I hope he responds soon!
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 11, 2012
Messages
9,528
The colour of it would be a deal breaker for me, add the inclusion and I personally would buy a smaller stone that is a more vivid colour.
 

lucida

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
134
Thanks all for y I ur recommendations. He hasn't responded yet though. Yes I'd rather buy something half the size but good quality, but haven't found anything. Thanks again
 

GregS

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
717
If there wasn't a no return clause and you feel the stone was misrepresented then you are entitled to a refund. If you paid via Paypal I would open a dispute, especially since the seller isn't replying to you.
 

woweezowee

Rough_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
82
lucida|1473296092|4074210 said:
This is the seller's response, although I don't know if this is the case or not, which is why I'm turning to all of your professional opinions:

""The flaw that you are talking about is no damage, but a natural characteristic called a surface reaching feather. To dealers it's a common occurrence, but I understand that as a consumer it may be a problem for you. I've had buyer's remorse like that in the past, I just wish that we hadn't wasted so much time for nothing.""
So this guy sounds like an *******. The feather absolutely should have been disclosed because it's obvious in the photos you sent -- it's easily seen by the eye. For him to chalk it up to "buyer's remorse" is him shifting the blame. That's not OK and you have every right to demand that you get what you were promised and return it if the stone doesn't match the advertised inclusion profile. The report does say the stone includes feathers but nothing of that caliber.

The color may be a more dicey issue as the report does call it "violetish-blue" however I find it ridiculous that someone selling something worth $15K wouldn't allow refunds.

Did you buy this through eBay or another venue? Don't let this guy bully you or tell you that it's your fault because it's not at all. He should have disclosed that inclusion. You need and deserve to return it. For any price, and especially THAT price, you should LOVE it. No questions, no hesitations.
 

lucida

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
134
Hello and thank you for your input. I agree with you. I will write via Ebay for the last time so that it's official, however I purchased it directly from him via Paypal (I had to pay via 3 installments). I have his contact info (address and phone number) and I already located him on social media too, so I'll wait another day before I start my collection activity. I am so mad at this situation that he's trying to pin this on me.
 

GregS

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
717
lucida|1473711277|4075613 said:
Hello and thank you for your input. I agree with you. I will write via Ebay for the last time so that it's official, however I purchased it directly from him via Paypal (I had to pay via 3 installments). I have his contact info (address and phone number) and I already located him on social media too, so I'll wait another day before I start my collection activity. I am so mad at this situation that he's trying to pin this on me.
That's good that you paid via Paypal, they will lock up his account tighter than a squirrels ear.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
10,477
lucida|1473711277|4075613 said:
Hello and thank you for your input. I agree with you. I will write via Ebay for the last time so that it's official, however I purchased it directly from him via Paypal (I had to pay via 3 installments). I have his contact info (address and phone number) and I already located him on social media too, so I'll wait another day before I start my collection activity. I am so mad at this situation that he's trying to pin this on me.
I am so glad you paid with paypal--that will make it much easier for you to file a dispute. It is completely unacceptable for him to just ignore you this way, especially given the issues with the stone. I really hope he does the right thing and responds to you before you need to officially file a complaint, but if he doesnt then at least you'll be covered with paypal. So sorry this is happening to you though! Please keep us updated.
 

GregS

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
717
He was rude in his initial reply and has now had plenty of time to reply, but chose not to. I think it is awful that he hasn't responded to your emails. I would file the complaint immediately, the longer you wait the longer it'll take to get this resolved. Letting Paypal handle it is the best route to take at this point.
 
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