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Questions about sapphire engagement rings (again!)

gemsarecomplicated

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
6
Hello,

I know these threads come up a lot, and forgive me - I've pored over them and read all the FAQs but I'm still having trouble identifying quality sapphires. My boyfriend has told me to pick out a sapphire for my engagement ring (yay! I'd, truthfully, rather pick it out then be surprised, since I'll be wearing it every day). The variance in prices is frankly confounding to me. I should state firstly that I don't wan't him to spend more than about $1,700 on a gem, which I know limits us greatly. I'd like something that's well cut and 1-2 carats (north of 1.5 if possible, and willing to sacrifice on color and clarity of course). I know that this budget is rather small and he could afford to go above it, but I'm not really a jewelry person and I wouldn't feel very comfortable with that.

Anyways, I've found stones that seem to fit what I want, but I'm still at a total loss. I have a lot of room in the color I'm looking for (I'd like a shade of blue, and not too dark, but otherwise I'm flexible). Likewise, my heart isn't set on any cut, although I have come across some cool geometric/hexagonal cuts that have caught my fancy. Here are some gems that I like:

http://www.customgemstones.com/SAPPHIRE/sa1711.html 1.98 carats, $396. I see that it's listed as being silky and maybe not the most desirable color, but it looks beautiful to me and I can't understand why it's so cheap. What am I missing?

https://www.mastercutgems.com/Products-251-Ruby_and_Sapphire/8355-SAPPHIRE_-_1_74_ct-Gem.php?FromPage=2 1.74 carats, $420 same question as above

https://www.etsy.com/listing/205640319/cornflower-blue-sapphire-165-ct-natural?ref=pr_faveitems I absolutely love this color and it's a great size; are the inclusions bringing down the cost? I'm not really bothered by inclusions unless they're highly distracting to the naked eye.

http://gemfix.com/gems/sapphire-blue-1250-oval-portuguese-cut-2-30cts Possibly my favorite that I've found, but I'm also concerned by why a gem this large and lovely is so relatively cheap - is it the light blue color (I like it, but I know it's not the same as that classic rich sapphire blue).

Some other favorites that are slightly more expensive, per carat, but still seem pretty cheap to me compared to some of the stones I've seen posted:

https://mastercutgems.com/Products-301-ANAGEE_Sri_Lanka_Gems/7726-Sri_Lanka_Fine_Color_Shift_Sapphire_1_81_carat-Gem.php?FromPage=1

http://gemfix.com/gems/sapphire-blue-1264

http://www.finewatergems.com/store/p44/1.61_ct_Blue_Sapphire.html

http://www.earthstreasury.com/product/1-51-carat-hexagonal-blue-green-montana-sapphire/

http://gemfix.com/gems/sapphire-blue-1047-round-roulette-style-1-49-cts

I have about 40 more on my shortlist, but will spare you all! I know it may be hard to help me as I know hardly anything and also don't have any set criteria re: shape or color; I really just want a beautiful looking stone that's a nice size. Do any of the gems I posted above strike you as significantly higher or lower quality than the others? What questions should I ask? Unfortunately, I don't think we'll get the chance to check gems out in person before buying. Thank you in advance, and my apologies for how all over the map I am.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
10,421
Hi there. First of all, congrats on the upcoming engagement! :appl:
You've found some really beautiful stones, and you are definitely on the right track :) Here's what I'd say about your favorites thus far.

The custom gemstones one is very pretty, and often the stones cut by Dan look better IRL vs. in his photos or videos. He is one of the nicest guys I've ever met, and will definitely answer any questions you have.

The mastercut gems one also looks nice, and I think likely the reason it's priced reasonably (this also applies to the first stone, BTW) is because it isn't the "ideal" cornflower blue (ideal = trade ideal, obviously whatever colors you love is the most important factor), and also because Dana of Mastercut and Dan of custom cut price their stones very fairly.

The Etsy one is sold by a nice vendor who I've spoken to a few times. He's happy to answer questions, but I'd make sure there isn't a window in that stone (e.g. a place in the middle where you can "see through" it). I would ask him for other pictures of the stone straight on his hand.

The gemfix one is great as well, and if it's your favorite and in budget I'd say go for it! I think it's beautiful, but you are correct that it's less pricey than it would be if it was the "cornflower" color. Periwinkle is a beautiful color though, so I'd seriously consider that one :)

I personally prefer all of these stones to the others you posted under "some other favorites", with ONE EXCEPTION! I really really like the mastercut one you posted in that section (https://mastercutgems.com/Products-301-ANAGEE_Sri_Lanka_Gems/7726-Sri_Lanka_Fine_Color_Shift_Sapphire_1_81_carat-GemMedia.php?FromPage=1&ProductMediaID=29745). That is much closer to the trade ideal in terms of color, just FYI. But it's a color-change stone, so keep that in mind in case it bothers you (I think color shift stones are lovely, but it's a personal preference).


Overall, my advice would be to order your top 3-4 stones (maybe gemfix, mastercut ones, and custom one) and see what you like best IRL. Especially since all have good return policies and you are within your budget (so losing some money on shipping is worth it to be SURE you are getting something you are happy with). Sorry for writing so much, I'm excited to see what you decide!
 

katharath

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
2,833
Great post from Lovedogs!!


I'll echo some of her words and try to add a few new ones. First of all, I was very pleasantly surprised at your picks! A lot of times when people are newer to this and asking about "cheaper" sapphires (not that these are cheap stones!) they have examples of pretty bad stones :(. You have good taste! I can tell you've been doing your research :) I agree with Lovedogs in her assessments, and I like the five she specifically mentioned. You're lucky - because it seems that your personal ideal is a lighter shade of sapphire, which is not "trade ideal", but still lovely - and that's good, because lighter blues are going to cost less!!

So taking that into effect, plus factoring in that some of them, like the first one you posted, aren't coming from the more prized locations for sapphires - means that you'll see lower pricing. And that's great. You've chosen beautifully cut gems. And as long as you like the lighter blue color, you'll be able to get something you like for a reasonable price. So no, there's nothing wrong with them, and the vendors (I'm familiar with most of them) are good people.

Also, you're looking in the right places - these are the vendors we recommend not just bc they're trustworthy and sell nice gems, but also bc their pricing is good and generally fair. You can always find overpriced, not great sapphires - they're everywhere - and the huge pricing variations can make you feel doubtful until you become more familiar with buying gems. With that said, I think you're definitely on the right track.

Going by what you're showing us and based on your comments, I think you should go for the Gemfix oval too, it's a good size and Andrew cut it so it should be a perfect cut. I'm very partial to this one for you. It seems like the color you like, it's a great size, perfect cut, and within budget!

If you're still searching though, you might also try Yvonne Raley; within the last couple of years she has started carrying great sapphires.

I guess that's it for now, not sure if any of it was helpful, but I wanted to offer some encouragement at least!! Good luck on your hunt.
 

katharath

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
2,833
I also like the finewater oval; it looks similar to the Gemfix oval, just slightly smaller, but perhaps a bit more blue, which you might prefer. And that's another excellent vendor.
 

swissmiss

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 4, 2013
Messages
234
If you are able to swing it, order a few of the recommended stones and evaluate them together. Based on prior experience, I would expect the Gemfix stone to be a bit less saturated than the pictures. Do you know if you like silk in your stones? Some people don't like the hazy look and other people like the "glow".
 

gemsarecomplicated

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
6
Thank you all so much for all the help! He ended up getting me the 2.3 carat gemfix stone; based on your responses, I sent him a few suggestions, and he liked that one best. It arrived super fast! It's very very beautiful and a gorgeous periwinkle shade in real life. I'll post a picture once it's set in a ring :) Of course, now I'm feeling a bit guilty because I'm sure the cheaper ones are probably also very lovely, but I don't think he would have felt right about ordering the cheapest stone I suggested!
 

gemsarecomplicated

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
6
I was hoping for a bit more assistance since you've all been so helpful! I contacted jewelers in my city about setting the stone in a thin gold 18k band (both of my siblings had rashes with 14k but wear 18k without issue, so I want to play it safe). I'm looking for something with a similar aesthetic to this: http://static1.squarespace.com/static/52605135e4b01eed04df4e26/5260a1eee4b090ca00080972/575a4c53b654f9b902f41b47/1465535574365/Silver+Emerald+Step+Cut+Diamond+Ring-9.jpg?format=1500w or perhaps in hammered gold, which I love very much (the handmade look, I guess? You can tell I don't wear jewelry because I'm not actually sure what any of the terms are ;))

Both of the jewelers I contacted in my city quoted me at around $1100 to set my stone in a band such as that one. Does that seem about par for the course? Are there any other suggestions for places we might look for a bit less? Thank you!
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
10,421
gemsarecomplicated|1465664934|4042979 said:
I was hoping for a bit more assistance since you've all been so helpful! I contacted jewelers in my city about setting the stone in a thin gold 18k band (both of my siblings had rashes with 14k but wear 18k without issue, so I want to play it safe). I'm looking for something with a similar aesthetic to this: http://static1.squarespace.com/static/52605135e4b01eed04df4e26/5260a1eee4b090ca00080972/575a4c53b654f9b902f41b47/1465535574365/Silver+Emerald+Step+Cut+Diamond+Ring-9.jpg?format=1500w or perhaps in hammered gold, which I love very much (the handmade look, I guess? You can tell I don't wear jewelry because I'm not actually sure what any of the terms are ;))

Both of the jewelers I contacted in my city quoted me at around $1100 to set my stone in a band such as that one. Does that seem about par for the course? Are there any other suggestions for places we might look for a bit less? Thank you!
I would contact David Klass. He does custom work for a very reasonable price, and is very nice. I'm not entirely sure about what the price "should" be, but $1100 seems a little high to me, especially for a plain gold setting. But then again I typically use 14K not 18, so I guess I'm not familiar with the price difference between the two.

Here's a link to his Facebook, his contact info is on there. He's usually pretty swamped, so if you don't hear back via email I'd give him a call. https://www.facebook.com/david.klas...1231593959649/994665467282924/?type=3&theater
 

katharath

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
2,833
Yay!!!! I'm so glad you got that stone and that you're happy with it.


Again - Lovedogs is right, lol. Get in touch with David Klass, $1100 seems quite high to me for what is a very simple style (I also prefer that type of style, so I think I'll love your ring!)
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,114
Congratulations and its stunning. I really really like the "east west" setting and the gold setting. Very striking and very beautiful.
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
12,337
Congratulations! I love that color blue with the rich gold - it looks regal.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
10,421
Congrats, it's gorgeous!! I love the 18K gold and how it contrasts with the blue of the stone, and think the hammered metal makes the entire ring look organic and lovely. HOORAY!
 

Acinom

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
10,033
Congrats!!
Your ring is stunning. I love the combination of warm gold and the amazing blue of the sapphire. Will you pair it with a band?
 

gemsarecomplicated

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
6
I plan to! I have no idea what I want it to look like though - I'm not really a "jewelry" person so this is all new to me (but so fun!) Do you have any suggestions on what might pair nice with it?

My fiancé(!) prefers white metals but I love the look of yellow gold. We were trying to think of ways to still "match" a bit (maybe both having hammered bands?) but I can't decide if I'd like some more gems to add a bit of bling :)
 
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