Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Opinions on my new tourmaline ring...

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
I bought this today secondhand, I haven't yet seen it in person.

It's sold as tourmaline in a platinum and gold setting.

Is it what I think it might be????

ETA: It's approx 2.5 ct

0ac9_1_b.jpg
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Another view...

It looks a bit grubby in the pics, will take more when it arrives.

Am I right to be potentially very excited?

0b6a_1.jpg
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
I wonder if it''s apatite - but this is supposedly quite old - certainly the setting shows quite a lot of wear. Apatite is only 5 on the mohs, so I would have thought there would be a lot more damage on the edges.
 

diamondsrock

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
970
actually I was going to say it looked like apatite but I know they are not very durable stones.
 

widget

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 12, 2004
Messages
4,255
Are you thinking it might be Paraiba?

I doubt it, but wouldn''t it be something if it was?


widget
 

Kaleigh

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
29,570
Date: 2/18/2007 8:51:38 PM
Author: widget
Are you thinking it might be Paraiba?

I doubt it, but wouldn''t it be something if it was?


widget
I doubt it too, but can''t wait to find out what it is!!!!
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Date: 2/18/2007 8:51:38 PM
Author: widget
Are you thinking it might be Paraiba?

I doubt it, but wouldn''t it be something if it was?


widget
Lets just say it was not very expensive so I don''t mind what it is.

I doubt it too, but had to risk it, and if it is Paraiba - I''ll be doing a happy dance all over London.

I think a trip to Hatton Garden may be in order for testing once it arrives.

How can I find out what it is myself? Ie what home tests can I do before I head for a GG?
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Date: 2/18/2007 10:41:45 PM
Author: elliette
Looks green in the picture. Possibly emerald? WOW!
It''s a bright neon blue - is your screen an odd colour?

I suppose it might be aquamarine, but I would say def. not emerald.
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
Paraiba tourmaline was first discovered in 1989 (Brazil), and this ring looks like it''s probably older than that.

It has the look of indicolite (bluish green) tourmaline, which is a classy stone in its own right.

My first guess would be indicolite tourmaline in a platinum setting (head), while my second guess would be synthetic spinel in a silver setting.

You might try playing around with the Visual Optics technique listed in the FAQ section to see if you can tell whether it is doubly refractive or singly refractive. Double would further point to indicolite, while single would further point to spinel. Neither result would be conclusive though because there are other possibilities within each category.

Pretty stone.
 

anne_h

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
1,004
Could it be blue zircon? Although I would have expected more facet wear. And also, I usually see zircon in the round shape (not cushion like yours).

Anne
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Date: 2/19/2007 10:48:25 AM
Author: Richard Sherwood
Paraiba tourmaline was first discovered in 1989 (Brazil), and this ring looks like it''s probably older than that.

It has the look of indicolite (bluish green) tourmaline, which is a classy stone in its own right.

My first guess would be indicolite tourmaline in a platinum setting (head), while my second guess would be synthetic spinel in a silver setting.

You might try playing around with the Visual Optics technique listed in the FAQ section to see if you can tell whether it is doubly refractive or singly refractive. Double would further point to indicolite, while single would further point to spinel. Neither result would be conclusive though because there are other possibilities within each category.

Pretty stone.
Thanks Richard

That''s what threw me a bit - the seller listed it as c.1900 - but there are no date hallmarks so can''t be sure. Head is platinum. I thought that probably meant too early for paraiba.

I''d be very happy with indicolite too - I''ve been oggling a couple over on palagems. They looked a bit bluer than this though.

I''m going to have a play around when it comes in - if it''s a natural stone and as pretty as the picture it might be worth a recut - maybe a Richard Homer concave
, at 2.5ct there''s plenty to play with!

Off to research the FAQ''s!
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
Date: 2/19/2007 10:49:33 AM
Author: anne_h
Could it be blue zircon? Although I would have expected more facet wear. And also, I usually see zircon in the round shape (not cushion like yours).

Anne
I posted my blue zircon ring recently in this forum.... it is not green at all though like this stone. Of course I have no idea what constitutes blue zircon LOL I think this stone of yours is pretty - needs to be spiffed up a bit but it''s really a pretty color. I definitely see the aqua in the highlight color but it does have some green in the lowlight areas... could be a dark aqua...
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
Too many possibilities to tell from the photos.


Could be : Glass (glass was very popular in old rings especially ones that are foil backed) ( Glass can be a "fooler" depending on the lead content.
Tourmaline- Incolite as Richard wrote
Topaz
Synthetic or Natural spinel
Fluorite
Sapphire - Synth or Natual
Coud be a doublet - too

Least Likely ( but remotely possible)

Kyanite
Apatite


ID would generally require polariscope, refractometer, SG liquids 9 and the stone unset with those) UV and good loupe of microscope, so DIY at home yourself without the proper conclusive testing is not generally something you could do accurately ( unless its foil backed then its glass.


Rockdoc
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Well, the ring arrived and...

I don''t know how the vendor got such a good photograph.

First the stone is warm to the touch, the facets all look kind of rounded and there are lots of little nicks. On the left hand long side in the photograph under the prongs there is a huge chip - it''s kind of like a shell shape chip, curved and layered if you understand what I mean rather than just broken off. The edges have all been smoothed which makes me think they tried to cover it up in manufacture. I can also see a lot of striations if I look through a loupe. I presume this means it''s glass.

Setting is very poor quality and hollow.

I bought from ebay via paypal. Vendor advertised as "excellent condition with no damage". He also has buyer protection. I wrote asking for address details to return for a refund, however he has replied saying that I am wrong and that the stone is tourmaline. I have written back saying that whatever he thinks the stone is or isn''t, he advertised no damage and I am happy to send photos of the damage to him and that makes it substantially different to his advertisment.

Grrr, I hope this won''t turn into a nightmare. I paid around $220, so I am not prepared to let it go at all.

Am I right in my thinking the stone shouldn''t be warm. Is there a definitive test for glass? Simulated tourmaline should still feel like the real thing, right?
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
why would it be *warm*? I mean... wouldn''t even glass be cool unless there was a reason for it to be warm like being in your hand or in the sun or something?

I''m sorry you''re so disappointed in it... would it be possible to get a confirmation on what it is before you return it? That way he really can''t argue and just in case it is salvagable, you''d know...
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
It feels almost plasticy if that makes sense.

It's singularly refractive, tourmaline is double. Hmm, I see what other tests I can do - I don't want to end up spending a fortune getting it ID'd and it's also quite horrible to look at in real life - no sparkle at all.

The facets look odd too - almost like a dimpled texture. I have a very beautiful old synthetic ruby that is totally perfect, the facets are all super smooth and it sparkles like mad, it was sold as garnet - I bougt it hoping it was a synthetic and was very pleased as it's beautiful to look at. This is just nasty. In the photo it looks turquoise in colour in real life it's dark teal.
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
Hi Pandora. All the characteristics you''re describing sound like glass characteristics:

Warm to the touch (crystals fee cool or even cold when you touch them to your cheek, glass & plastic feel distinctly different, "warmer").
Rounded facet edges
Striations (swirls?) in the stone
Single refraction
Dimpled surface texture on facets
Shell shaped chip

Bummer. You''re probably going to need something in writing from a gemologist to attempt to get your money back, and even then you might have trouble with this seller. It sounds like he''s not too consumer friendly.

Maybe a local gemologist would write something up for you without charging a lot of money. Sounds like an easy ID.
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
Pandora

I think you need to get a professional to authenticate the identity of the stone, as well as the setting.


It would be interesting to see WHAT the actual representation was that they posted.

Unfortnately, ebay is in a coma when it comes to consumer protection, as they side with the sellers.

But............ you did have a contract with the seller, which by virtue of paying them you completed and accepted, making it legally binding. They should live up to their part of the bargain here. In simple language they OWE you precisely what they described.

I would surmise that the next step is to get someone with credentials to issue a report about the stone and the ring and then to post here what they "promised" you in the description. You''re entitled to the "benefit of your bargain".

Then we can make further suggestions on getting this right for you.


Rockdoc
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=017&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWN%3AIT&viewitem=&item=270089665349&rd=1&rd=1

Hope that link works!

Thanks for the comments and help guys.

Hopefully I should be covered due to the vendors: "Condition: Excellent with no damage"

I have written to him saying that the stone is damaged and asking for his details in order to return the ring for a refund. If he doesn''t reply soon I''ll start a reclaim. I''m a little wary of sending the item back until I have some communication from him. I''m going to try and take some photos of the damage over the weekend, and if necessary pop along to Hatton Garden and see if they want to have a look.

He''s not a GG or anything and I think probably just mentioning that he has sold me the first ever singly refractive tourmaline will do the job. the damage means I''m covered from ebay and Paypals point of view. So far I have just had an email saying: "It''s not glass." - that was it...


To be honest if the stone had been sparkly and undamaged I would probably have considered keeping it.
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
RE:: Not a GG or anything

Well I wouldn''t recommend you use anyone who doesn''t have the correct education, equipment and knowledge of how to do this.


There are plenty of recongized experts there, that will do the job factually. Guessing will only make this worse.

Even Richard''s and my conclusions aren''t based on fact, and you NEED FACT in this matter. If it costs something pay it willingly, don''t be frugal about this.... Find an FGA there, if you''re in the UK.

There may be other issues that are important, that could affect the outcome. A report to the seller from someone who isn''t a real expert will not help your case, and will provide some basis for the seller to question what was written.

Ask the expert what the value would be for the article that would comply with the representation the seller made, as well as the value for what you received. That is a rather important part of this.

Here is where taking any shortcuts will do more harm than good.

Just my opinion.... you can decide what you wish.

Rockdoc
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
I'm about to sign up for the FGA's Gemmology foundation course, so I thought a trip to their HQ to pay my fees would be a good move and see if they'd ID it while I'm there. If not - I'm prepared to pay as long as they are qualified.

I've now had a nice email from the vendor saying he's happy to refund, but wanting to know if I can get a 3rd party to confirm so he can go back to the person who sold it to him as 100% tourmaline. The single refraction should confirm that surely?

Just realised RockDoc - the "not a GG or anything" referered to the vendor. I wouldn't ask anyone who wasn't a GG to ID it for these purposes.

Thanks for all your help everyone - it's an educational experience if nothing else!
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
Date: 2/23/2007 4:39:03 PM
Author: Pandora II
I''m about to sign up for the FGA''s Gemmology foundation course, so I thought a trip to their HQ to pay my fees would be a good move and see if they''d ID it while I''m there. If not - I''m prepared to pay as long as they are qualified.

I''ve now had a nice email from the vendor saying he''s happy to refund, but wanting to know if I can get a 3rd party to confirm so he can go back to the person who sold it to him as 100% tourmaline. The single refraction should confirm that surely?

Just realised RockDoc - the ''not a GG or anything'' referered to the vendor. I wouldn''t ask anyone who wasn''t a GG to ID it for these purposes.

Thanks for all your help everyone - it''s an educational experience if nothing else!
Sorry, Imisunderstood what you wrote. Thought you were going to get it tested and dispute the ID with someone who wasn''t a gemologist.


The confirmation of Single Refraction, would indicate that it was not tourmaline. It would not tell you for sure that it was glass, as there are other gemstones that are SR.

The ID would be based on several results of testing to ID it was glass. Glass can be a PITA becuase its charcteristics can vary, as I wrote above in my initial response to the posting.

The conchoidal fracture you describe
The temp of the stone
Rounded facet juntions ( which MAY indicate the stone was not polished, but molded) that would be a key to this
The "roiled" appearance of the body of the stone is another.

Inclusions may also be indicitive

Many glass "stones" differ based on some of the ingredients used in the "mixture". Lead affects the carat weight, sg, and refractive index readings. So while "glass" is probably the most valueless of what it could be it could require the most amount of testing to reach a conclusive ID result.

The suspiciousness of a stone being glass is sort of easy, confirmation of a conclusive result can be a bit of a challenge.

Sorry about misinterpreting what you wrote.

Rockdoc bows humbly.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
No need to apologise, it''s great to get your advice on this!

You''ve taught me some fab words there too - conchoidal - perfect! I really struggled on how to explain what it was like, but that word sounds exactly right!

Luckily the vendor is not asking me to prove that it is glass - just to prove that it isn''t tourmaline, so that makes life easier! Especially as I don''t want to remove the stone from the setting in case I''m accused of causing the damage...
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
Dear Pandora

Thanks. BTW I think it is great that you''re going to take the FGA course there. It is a very tough course with even more tough exams.

But you''ll meet and get exposed to some very intense gemology, minerology and crystallography studies.

I may have mis-spelled concoidal/conchoidal - I don''t use the word that often. It appears like a shell like break ( fracture ) in some stones. There are many different types of fracture which sometimes can help with ID of a stone. (prounonced
kon koy dal ).

Although 9 karat gold and platinum in the 1900 date, was inexpensive at the time, I am curious as to the "reason" that a glass stone was originally set in "precious metal". You may learn that the metals are not 9k and plat. Then there is the possibility that when the ring was made it contained a "genuine stone", which was later replaced with a glass one. Sometimes this might happen by a jeweler wanting the stone that was in the ring and switched it, or could be the owner needed money, sold the original stone and replaced it with the glass one.

I think the representation of excellent condition is a bit of a "stretch" as well as the prongs of the ring look very worn in the sellers photos. The damage to the stone ( both the fracture and the abrasion along the facet junctions are not "excellent either).

It seems rather apparent that the seller, is not gemologically "smart" at all even at a very elementary level. That is pretty common though, as a lot of people selling jewelry don''t know themselves, and rely on who they bought it from to tell them. One thing for an ameteur to do this, more serious though, from someone who consistently sells jewelry conducts business without the proper education. Getting the education in order to be selling I believe should be a requirement. So even though your interest at the moment is consumer based, I do commend you for seeking the education and knowledge to learn. Kudos for signing up.

Rockdoc
 

C Smith

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2006
Messages
176
As Rockdoc stated, it was/is not uncommon for vintage or antique rings to contain synthetics from the outset, and many that once contained precious gems are now adorned with glass, synthetics or other simulants. This is done for many reason. Sometimes it''s done to restore a piece to it''s original look whenever an old, original stone is lost or damaged and funds are low. Sometimes it''s done so that the precious stone can be set aside in the safe while the paste,glass or synthetic takes the daily knocks. In these cases, the original owner may pass away and their stuff hits the estate sale advertised as what the survivors "think" it is with no ill-will involved. In the worst case, it''s done for frauds sake alone.

I hope you get this ironed out an double quick. Attempting to sell me a fractured piece of glass as an "excellent" gemstone would make me furious unless I was 100% sure the seller knew no better and that does happen on occasion.
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Handmade diamond studs
    Handmade diamond studs
    5 Diamond Misconceptions: Part 1
    5 Diamond Misconceptions: Part 1
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade
    Three-stone engagement ring upgrade

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top