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Opinion on Blue Sapphire

Discussion in 'Colored Gemstones' started by mcmsinger, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. mcmsinger
    Rough_Rock

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    by mcmsinger » Oct 20, 2013
    Hi,

    Give me a opinion on this 2.22 carat blue sapphire.

    They claim that it is natural, untreated in any way and unenhanced in anyway.

    It is an oval cut blue sapphire from Sri Lanka. It is medium cornflower blue with some very slight violet. The clarity is VVS1.

    How much do you think is a fair price per carat for such a stone?

    Picture below attached.

    Thanks for your help!

    bs2-22ov.jpg
     
    


    


  2. corundum_conundrum
    Shiny_Rock

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    by corundum_conundrum » Oct 20, 2013
    Is there a reputable lab memo that corroborates this claim? The vast majority of sapphires on the market have been treated with heat (I've heard gemologists estimate anything from 90%-99% of sapphires on the market are heated).

    I see just maybe a hint of teal modifying it as well. You would of course want to verify that in person. The inclusion or whatever in the top-left corner isn't eye-visible?

    I think its a pretty lighter blue, and if that's your preference, and it comes with a price less than a medium-dark or medium blue, than it could be a good buy. I strongly prefer unheated sapphires (but not everybody does.)

    Here's a site for you to peruse with a good number of sapphires if you want to try to compare prices. Most of these stones are precision cut, so they should generally be more expensive than your oval (although I think the cutting on your stone looks nicely done).

    http://www.gemfix.com/sapphire_blue.html

    Can you post some of your own pictures and thoughts once you receive it? The picture looks a little weird to me. I'm assuming you've bought it but are still within a return period?
     
  3. mcmsinger
    Rough_Rock

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    by mcmsinger » Oct 20, 2013
    Perhaps the camera with the above photo picture is giving a illusion of a inclusion because I've looked at it very clearly when I first go it recently and didn't see any inclusion.

    Completely clear and a bit too clear honestly.

    I'll check again more carefully though.

    There isn't any lab memo or testing done. I just received an in-house appraisal from their gemologist which I know can be highly biased.

    I bought it for $1600 per carat from a wholesaler. It's more expensive than the majority of the stones from the link you posted and significantly.

    The jeweler is in Larkfield, Iowa from where I bought.

    The owner is a gemologist with thirty years of experience. His name is Jay Boyle.

    I went to a jewelry store for setting the stone recently as well and she assumed it was inexpensive. She was not a gemologist though and she even said that she doesn't know much about blue sapphire.

    When I told her it is natural and unheated... she kind of gave a facial subtle expression of disbelief. Maybe it was too good on the 4Cs and such a natural unheated stone is very rare and expensive? Such stones are mostly synthetic or even something else?

    I've heard that even for qualified professionals it is very very difficult to accurately determine if a blue sapphire is natural, real, synthetic and treatments done. I heard you need lab equipment for accurate confirmation of a blue sapphire.

    Does a stone get accused of being fake (synthetic or another material) if it is natural without any enhancements and the clarity is VVS1? Because it looks very clear with decent color/brightness considering it's unheated?

    Some of their other sapphire gemstones are below from where I bought.

    http://www.astrologicalgem.com/jyotish-blue-sapphire.php

    I'm still within the refund period. Which is 14 days.

    Some of Jay Boyle's Videos Below... (He seems like a honest guy in my best judgment but you can't judge someone too quickly.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAqVAQkRzfU&list=PL94438145389193B6

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JsN1Rw9Ug4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gk5j-szlwvs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX_jarTDmKo&list=PLAF3C25C162FF462A

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTvWJtRqj6A

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTZseu_t-QI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3s-GqLMUNQ&list=PLVRC4YH0T-1iA7aRrGWR-3F8lcVVlS1kb

    He's been on Jewelry Television for many years.

    I also checked out stones somewhat close to mine from your link. They are VERY significantly cheaper than mine but are heat-treated and 1 carat smaller. But those are also light in color than mine too.

    Did I maybe get a real stone that's natural and untreated but perhaps overpriced? I did buy from a wholesaler though and their gemologist claimed it's retail value to be $5,300. Obviously that can be biased and if it's not... No retail store will pay retail ever anyway.

    So maybe I get a fair ok deal? or perhaps it is slightly a rip-off? (200-400 bucks per carat)

    Should I do a refund otherwise?

    By the way... The stone also looks a bit more darker in color in person than in photo. Photos can sometimes do injustice to certain stones.

    It actually looks in color almost exactly in shade with Jay Z's blue sapphire. (Not that my stone is on the same value with this millionaire's stone.)

    http://www.inflexwetrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/jay-z-blue-ivy-ring.png

    I had a natural citrine and white topaz. After comparing it with those cheap stones. I honestly feel the cheapness in those stones on all 4c's. Whereas before I thought my citrine and topaz looked extremely expensive...just by touching it and not even looking at it, I feel they are very cheap gemstones now after comparing it to the blue sapphire as objectively as I could.

    The blue sapphire honestly showed me the cheapness in those two stones I had that I didn't notice before. I noticed now the lack of color purity in the citrine and the cheap sparkle it has plus the very significant difference in the quality feeling when you hold it. Hard to describe when you hold the blue sapphire vs the citrine. But the citrine honestly also feels almost like it's cheap plastic to me now.

    And I thought those two stones were very good. I now actually laugh at them but it also proved to me that only professionals cannot be fooled and how much a lack of knowledge I truly have concerning gemstones and how to assess them accurately. Heck even a professional can be fooled and therefore lab equipment is the only true professional. I've heard this is especially the case with blue sapphire and sometimes it may look fake or synthetic but the lab results prove that it is just a rare real natural blue sapphire that looks synthetic when it is not.

    I was stunned when I first carefully examined the blue sapphire stone. But again... I'm not an expert. That's why I'm here asking for advice and opinions.

    I'll see If I can post some better photos of the blue sapphire.

    I think I'm going to consider have it lab-certified.

    I also tried to see if I could find negative review or complaints on the jeweler or Jay Boyle... but NONE! I couldn't find any dirt on them. I also tried the best to judge if they are trustworthy. In the end, they came out to seem trustworthy so far to me... but you guys tell me what you feel.

    Jay Boyle travels abroad to mines and get's his gemstones with as few middlemen as possible. He claims that he gives you the best prices possible but you guys tell me if you think I got at least a decent fair price.

    Thanks a lot for all your help.
     
  4. LD
    Ideal_Rock

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    by LD » Oct 20, 2013
    I don't know how far you're into the refund period but as you are considering a lab report (which honestly is going to be the only way of knowing AND then you can judge if it's a fair price you paid), you might want to get the refund period extended so it covers the time the stone will be at the lab.

    It's impossible to tell from photos whether your stone is heated or not but it is very pretty. As you want to find out more, a lab is the way to go. Unfortunately the internet is full of people who appear trustworthy and the amount of misinformation that's around is horrid (even with in-house gemmologist who, you're right, can be biased and may not have the necessary testing equipment). So for peace of mind, get a third party independent lab verification. That way, when it comes back as untreated/unheated you can sit back and relax and worst case scenario you get your money back if it's not.
     
    


    


  5. pregcurious
    Ideal_Rock

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    by pregcurious » Oct 20, 2013
    There's a thread here where someone bought a padparadsha sapphire from Richard Wise, who is a very reputable vendor, and it ended up being synthetic. Richard gave a full refund, of course. Even the best can be duped. I would get a lab report.
     
  6. slksapphire
    Shiny_Rock

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    by slksapphire » Oct 20, 2013
    to echo what others have said: get a gem brief from agl.

    http://aglgemlab.com/gembrief/

    it only costs $60 but you will know definitively whether the stone has been heated or treated in any other way. it is impossible for even a jeweler/gemologist to know whether a sapphire has been treated without expensive testing equipment. this is not to say that your jeweler is being dishonest but it is possible that he was duped by HIS supplier of the stone, who in turn could have been duped by someone else.

    as for pricing/value, hopefully someone who is currently in the market for medium sapphires can chime in. it is difficult to discern color on a computer screen and VERY subtle differences in color can have a huge impact on pricing. to give you a sense of the upper limits, pricing for unheated, "trade ideal" sapphire without provence (burma, kashmir) (which means medium-dark in color) can be $10,000+ per carat. heated sapphire starts around half that, or $5,000/ct+. all bets are off with other treatments.

    medium color (and the one you show is very pretty) will bring the cost down considerably, i just don't know how much.

    good luck.
     
  7. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Oct 20, 2013
    They charge an extra $100 last I checked to run the test necessary to test for diffusion, if the gemologist cannot conclude it with regular gemological analysis. If I remember correction, with S&H to and from the lab, the $60 report fee, and testing for diffusion, I paid around $200 for a comprehensive AGL lab brief. The problem was that my stone was heated, but Chris Smith couldn't definitively say it was not diffused without the LA-ICP-MS (the most recommended equipment for diffusion testing).

    If the stone is truly unheated, and there is gemological evidence that shows it, then the gem brief will only be around $60.
     
  8. slksapphire
    Shiny_Rock

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    by slksapphire » Oct 21, 2013
    i stand corrected ... thank you, TL. i was thinking that your stone would come back unheated in which case you don't need additional testing. since the stone was sold as unheated/untreated, you may not want to proceed with other testing since the stone is not as advertised. and if the vendor is on the up and up, i would ask for, and expect to receive, compensation for the gem brief stating the stone is heated (and possibly otherwise treated).

    ETA: best to get the stone tested before you set it as there is an additional charge for testing if the stone is mounted.
     
  9. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Oct 21, 2013
    Can you please elaborate on what you mean?

    A qualified and skilled gemmologist will be able to tell you if the stone is natural, synthetic or a simulant. He or she will also be able to tell you whether it has been heated or is untreated. The key word here is skilled and qualified because most gemmologists tend to be familiar with only diamonds. My concern is that you have only 14 days to get the sapphire tested but it will take more time than that. My preference is definitely either AGL or GIA but I think the AGL brief is more than sufficient. Given that you only need to know whether it is untreated, the $60 brief is a good price since you won't need further diffusion testing.

    You cannot compare a citrine to a sapphire because of their different visual properties. With a low refractive index, a citine will not look as sparkly, which some more consider it as "cheap looking". A sapphire must be compared to other sapphires.

    There are both clean and not so clean natural and synthetic sapphires. Brightness is a function of cut and not an indicator of a natural or synthetic stone. There are both very nice and not so nicely coloured synthetics. In short, what I am trying to say is that you cannot tell the difference by eye alone. You need special tools, the skill to use it and the skill to inteprete the results correctly.

    If you really like the sapphire and think the price is reasonable for the colouration and being untreated, how about doing this:
    1. Return the stone BUT....
    2. Tell the vendor that you will keep the stone if he sends it to AGL and it comes back as unheated.

    Why go the complicated route?
    1. If the stone gets damaged or lost, it will be the vendor's responsibility.
    2. No more worry about being within the return window.
    3. If the stone is treated, the vendor takes the stone back. If it isn't, you still get to keep / buy it.
     
  10. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Oct 21, 2013
    Thanks Slk Sapphire,
    And I apologize for my poor grammar above. I was rather tired when I wrote that, and my eyes are going buggy on me.
     
    


    


  11. mcmsinger
    Rough_Rock

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    by mcmsinger » Oct 21, 2013
    I sent them this email....

    "Do you have AGL lab certificates which show the stone to be natural unheated and untreated? Or some other independent lab certificate?

    Will I be also compensated for any lab independent lab testing I do and independent appraising?

    If you do have independent lab testing of this stone confirming it as natural unheated untreated along with the clarity and color rating; could I please have a copy of the certificate for my records?

    Suppose If I get independent lab testing showing the stone to be synthetic, heated, inaccurate clarity and/or enhanced in some way... Will I get a full refund even if it is out of the return period due to the time it took for lab testing to be done?

    Thanks"


    This is their response...

    "This is not a stone that we sent to a laboratory for testing. We
    absolutely guarantee the authenticity of the stone and you are welcome
    to get it tested at AGL. If for any reason the stone did not come back
    as unheated/untreated we would absolutely reimburse you for the stone
    and the cost of the certificate. In the 30 years we have been doing
    business we have never had a stone come back because of false
    representation. Jay Boyle has been working with untreated gemstones for
    decades and inspects every stone we have carefully before it is ever
    sold by our company.
    Let me know if you have any other questions.
    Thanks,

    Tarah Sands G.G., A.J.P.

    Jay Boyle Company
    508 N 2nd Street, Suite 108
    Fairfield, IA 52556
    800-559-5090 or 641-472-1866
    Fax: 641-472-7947
    http://www.AstrologicalGem.com""

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    What do you guys think? I think it seems like a legit company. But I will be getting testing done anyway just for record keeping and insurance reasons.

    Any comments on this response?
     
  12. dk168
    Ideal_Rock

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    by dk168 » Oct 21, 2013
    Newbie here, so please bear with me!

    For a stone of that size and colour intensity as seen on the pic on their website, I am wary of the price being low when compared with this stone from Wild Fish Gems, which I consider as a good like-for-like comparison:

    http://www.wildfishgems.com/inc/sdetail/10883/12912

    Not sure I would be happy to spend that much money on a stone to be informed I can have a full refund if I pay for it to be tested myself and it turns out to be treated. :shock:

    DK :))
     
  13. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Oct 21, 2013
    In their correspondence, they said they would reimburse the OP for the cost of the stone AND the lab report. However, that doesn't mean that S&H to and from the lab will be reimbursed. That can be pricey too.

     
  14. dk168
    Ideal_Rock

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    by dk168 » Oct 21, 2013
    Indeed, plus the time and efforts involved in packaging and arranging the stone to be shipped, and worrying time waiting for the results to come through etc...

    DK :???:
     
  15. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » Oct 21, 2013
    Sometimes its worth it though if you find the gemstone of your dreams, or something that meets your specifications.

    Unfortunately, not all dealers or vendors ship their gems to the lab of your choice, but I think it's nice that they will stand by their gemstones if you are able to ship it off to a lab.
     
    


    


  16. minousbijoux
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    by minousbijoux » Oct 22, 2013
    OP, please let us know what you decide to do. If you do go forward with the purchase, can you let us know what the results are? I really hope that turns out to be bona fide because I love the look of that stone.
     
  17. mcmsinger
    Rough_Rock

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    by mcmsinger » Oct 22, 2013
    You are comparing my Sri Lankan sapphire to a sapphire from Kashmir.

    It's fine to compare them both as I think they are somewhat similar but not based upon price. And here is why...

    Kashmir sapphire mines are close to extinction and therefore are sold for a premium despite the fact you can find very similar sapphires from other mines in Sri Lanka and Burma along with other mines locations without the premium.

    That gemstone you posted with the higher price than mine is because of it's more rarity not due to be untreated, unheated or it's cut, clarity or carat size but rather because it was simply mined from Kashmir.

    I have sent out the gemstone to a independent certified lab and a independent certified appraiser.... Let's say it comes back as natural unheated and untreated with VVS1 clarity levels....

    Do you guys think I got a good price?
     
  18. mcmsinger
    Rough_Rock

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    by mcmsinger » Oct 22, 2013

    Sure.

    I hope it turns out to be bona fide too. I love the look as well. Thanks!
     
  19. minousbijoux
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by minousbijoux » Oct 22, 2013
    As to whether you got a good price, I would say these days, all things considered and all the caveats you mentioned in place, yes you will have gotten a good price. But the important thing will be to see it in hand to make certain that the photos are representative of true color and have not been tweaked too much by photoshop. :praise:
     
  20. mcmsinger
    Rough_Rock

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    by mcmsinger » Oct 28, 2013
    Results came back and have confirmed Jay Boyle Company's claims to be true.

    It's lab certified as unheated, untreated and natural blue sapphire with VVS1 clarity rating. The color is confirmed as cornflower blue medium with slightly violet.

    They commented that this stone is very rare and most blue sapphire stones which such physical attributes are either treated in someway or synthetics.

    So given this... Did I get a decent fair price at least? Did I get a steal, a good deal or a fair deal?
     
  21. minousbijoux
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by minousbijoux » Oct 29, 2013
    Congratulations! That must feel good knowing that you bought what you thought you were buying. Yes, the price appears to be a good price. Its really hard to say anything more than that without seeing unposed, non-studio shots of the stone. The first thing I would want to check for is how it looks in hand, and whether it has the saturation as portrayed in their photo, or whether there is any grey as well.

    As you've already learned, it is very hard to compare stones you like to other stones, because they are never identical - a different origin, slightly different dimensions, disparate cutting - these and many other factors can make a big difference.

    What lab did you finally go with to get your report?

    Enjoy it!
     
  22. chrono
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by chrono » Oct 29, 2013
    What lab did you send the stone to? AGL or GIA do not issue lab memos using terms such as cornflower blue.
     
  23. mcmsinger
    Rough_Rock

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    by mcmsinger » Oct 29, 2013
    http://thejewelryappraiser.com/
     
  24. mcmsinger
    Rough_Rock

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    by mcmsinger » Oct 29, 2013
    Thanks!

    Let me take pictures right now since you asked and since I just picked up my gemstone from the lab.

    Than perhaps you guys can give a better opinion.

    I'll take multiple shots in my hand and around the sun light so you guys can get a good idea.

    I'll be taking pictures right now with a very high quality professional-grade canon camera so you guys can really get a good picture.

    Stay tuned... Pictures should be posted soon!
     
  25. smitcompton
    Ideal_Rock

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    by smitcompton » Oct 29, 2013
    Hi,

    You had it tested in 4 days? Here's my experience with Jay Boyle and Ass. (JTV). I purchased some untreated rubies, and emeralds from them. Jay Boyle always swears that they are the best color, no treatment ect and every other exaggeration that he can.
    Both the rubies and the emeralds came back treated.

    Jay Boyle did have a business having to do with astrological signs relating to gemstones, crystals. Frankly, on anther forum, we used to laugh at him.

    One of the founders of JTV, Jerry Fisk died earlier this year. Did they let Jay Boyle go? Its quite a conflict of interest to buy stones for JTV and your own side business at the same time.

    I clearly feel you have not told the whole story. Jay Boyle is not a wholesaler. Definitely, not someone I would buy from.

    Annette
     
  26. minousbijoux
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by minousbijoux » Oct 29, 2013
    Okay, now I'm not as comfortable as I was a few minutes ago. You said you sent it to a lab and I assumed you would send it out to one of the reputable labs like GIA or AGL. Instead, it looks like you sent it to an appraiser. There is a big difference between the two, with only the labs having all the equipment to do the verification correctly. I would be very leery, particularly if this appraiser was one recommended by the seller of the stone... :(sad
     
  27. mcmsinger
    Rough_Rock

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    by mcmsinger » Oct 29, 2013
    Sorry to hear about that.

    Did they give you your money back? What happened?
     
  28. mcmsinger
    Rough_Rock

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    by mcmsinger » Oct 29, 2013
    I'll get lab report from GIA or AGL too than and post the scanned reported results.

    But for now... Take a look at the pictures I'm about to post and let me know what you guys think.

    Thanks for all your help! This forum can really help buyers from being taken advantage of.

    PS. I see jay boyle's company listed in the American Gem Trade Associate website as a trusted source: http://agta.org/info/agta-source-directory-member-1001193.html

    By the way... Ruby's & Emerald's are stated as being okay heat treated and minor treated for astrological purposes.. So maybe that's why you got treated stones? Did they tell you it was not treated? If they did; than that's wrong and I hope you got all your money back.

    If they didn't tell you whether it was treated or not; I think as a business practice they should still disclose all details about a stone.

    Blue sapphires they state must not be treated in anyway shape or form.
     
  29. mcmsinger
    Rough_Rock

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  30. mcmsinger
    Rough_Rock

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