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Sapphire choice for a Canera halo setting

DorotheaBrooke

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Mar 6, 2014
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After countless hours of searching and reading PS forums, I'm finally ready to post my own topic.

My lovely husband has agreed to buy me a ten year anniversary ring, once I choose every detail myself. ;)) Aside from my wedding rings, this will be the only ring I wear. At first, I fell for the sapphire Tiffany Soleste, but thanks to PS I discovered that there are much better and less expensive options. After contacting the usual suspects for halo settings, I've tentatively decided to get an Emilya with filigree basket from Victor Canera.

emilya_filigree.jpg :love:

The hard part is finding the perfect sapphire. I knew approximately nothing about sapphires before PS, but I have some solid ideas of what I want now. My ideal: 2+ ct, round, vibrant med - med dark blue, clear enough to be sparkly. I'm not picky about heat treatment or minor inclusions. I've been able to see many in real life by visiting Chicago's Jewelers Row. Most were unimpressive and/or overpriced, but I found two contenders that are currently on hold.

#1 - a bit over 2 ct, heated, excellent color, saturated blue, nice sparkle, two tiny inclusions that are barely visible. ~$2500 (I forgot the exact ct and $)

photo1_10.jpg

photo2_2.jpg

#2 - 2.78 ct (!), unheated, blue with lower saturation, the sparkle on this one knocked my socks off in real life (here's a video: http://youtu.be/tmZKAvT_5BY). Visible inclusion on the bottom left, but I'm not too bothered by it. The cut is a bit odd: very small table and the bottom is lopsided, though I'm told that will not affect the setting. My worry is the color quality. $3130.

photo3.jpg

photo4.jpg

The perfect sapphire for me would be the color of #1 with the sparkle and size of #2. The helpful jeweler who found these two is going to keep searching and may have something for me next week. Fingers crossed.

The other option is a precision cut stone, hoping for great color and sparkle. I've been in contact with one well-recommended here, and he has rough that could cut a med-dark sapphire at 1.6-2.1 ct, one or two inclusions that should not be noticeable. Cost is a bit more than stone #2 above. I would hope for a super sparkly, 2 ct stone that's also vibrant and saturated, but while I trust that he would cut a beautiful stone, the unknowns make me a bit nervous.

I prefer to go with a sapphire I've seen in person, since I have good contenders, or a custom precision cut. Thoughts on these options?
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Happy Anniversary.

#1 is much nicer to me. As far as sapphires are concerned, they're probably a gem I wouldn't buy for sparkle factor. Sapphire to me is all about color. While it's nice to have a sparkly stone, that deep velvety saturated blue is hypnotic to me. Some very fine colored sapphires also have silk inclusions, which enhance the color, although leave less brilliance/sparkle. #1 looks a bit silky. Even if you're all about sparkle, I'm afraid #2 is too dark and extinct to me, and may go darker in some lighting.

JMO.

Good luck on whatever choice you decide, and remember to buy from a highly reputable dealer, and pay a fair price for what the treatment is deemed to be. ;))

Hopefully, for what you're spending, you will get an AGL gem brief at the very least.
 

athenaworth

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I agree with TL. Color is king in my book. That first one looks like it has a nice velvety blue color. My personal ideal color.
 

LoversKites

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athenaworth|1394259458|3629855 said:
I agree with TL. Color is king in my book. That first one looks like it has a nice velvety blue color. My personal ideal color.
+1
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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First one for me too, as I find the second one too dark and a tad dull for my liking.

DK :))
 

JewelFreak

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No. 1. The 2nd one is dark, as stated above, and I suspect it will go nearly black in some lighting. If the culet is wonky, the facet angles will not be right to reflect color back to the eye & your description of a small table doesn't sound ideal to me either. It seems like you're paying more for the weight & not getting performance. TL is right that sparkle, though appealing, is less important than color in a sapphire & the 1st one is a nice velvety blue. If your jeweler can come up with others, you may see something you like even better.

Welcome, btw, and happy anniversary!

--- Laurie

ETA -- That's a really beautiful setting!
 

DorotheaBrooke

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Thanks so much, everyone! Your assistance is priceless - or at the very least worth thousand of dollars that we're saving by avoiding Tiffany. I'm happy to hear that there's a consensus for #1. You're right that color should come before sparkle for sapphires. I'll have plenty of sparkle from my setting diamonds, and the contrast against a somewhat silky, saturated blue sapphire would be :lickout: . I was temporarily seduced by the in-person sparkle of #2, but now that I see them up here next to each other, the superiority of #1 seems obvious.

To show what I mean about other overpriced sapphires, below are three offered by a different jeweler, Ethan Lord. Every time I asked the price of a stone, she had to retreat to her office to "look it up." I made the mistake of telling her the top of my budget for the ring, and all their sapphire prices were conveniently at that number, when added to one of their cast/CAD halo settings. :rolleyes:

$5330 - 1.77 ct

photo1_7.jpg

$5800 - 1.96 ct

photo5_0.jpg

$5280 - 1.71 ct

photo6_0.jpg

She also told me they were unheated when I asked, but then when I saw their certificates, they all said H, heating! Luckily, I'd already found the helpful, honest woman who found me the previous sapphires, so I moved on.

If I don't find anything better my next round on Tuesday (when I'll also stop by one more jewelers), then I'll probably purchase #1. No one mentioned the precision cutter. Would that route be ill-advised when there are so many unknowns and I already found a great stone? I've never seen a precision cut in person, so I'm not sure how much difference the cut would make to a sapphire.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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23,268
If you do want a blue/violet stone with sparkle factor that is untreated, I would highly recommend blue spinel. The second stone above does look like blue spinel, and they're usually far less money for a sapphire the same size without treatment. They're also a very durable stone. They're typically not as saturated as fine sapphires either, but each stone has to be judged on an individual level.

Just some food for thought. I really like the first stone though. I would just check to make sure it doesn't shift to a color you are not as fond of in other lighting.
 

athenaworth

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Just noticed something that I couldn't see on my iPad last night, but the first stone looks to have a bit of a window. It might close up in a setting, but would that be something that would bother you in the future? Some folks don't mind that sort of thing, but other folks can be driven up the wall by it.
 

DorotheaBrooke

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TL, good tip on spinel. I did look at some blue spinel, but did not see any with the type of saturated, vibrant blue I prefer. I would look again before buying #2, but I'm pretty committed now to the color of #1.

athenaworth, looking at the top photo now, I see what you're talking about. I did not see a window looking at the stone in person, but I will give it a closer look next time. A noticeable window would bother me over time.
 

DorotheaBrooke

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indigoblue|1394397415|3630611 said:
Wow :love:

I emailed the seller. That stone is indeed above what I anticipated spending. I wonder if the size would be too big for me. My hands are not small (size 6.25 right ring finger), but my style is feminine, classic and a bit reserved. Huge bling would be out of character. But the difference between a 1.7 ct and 2.7 ct did not seem that big on my finger, so maybe a 3.5 wouldn't look like too much?
 

JewelFreak

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That stone is soooo beautiful, it would not look out of place on any size hands. It may be bigger than you are used to wearing but believe me, it would soon look normal to you -- and you'd have the incredible gift of being able to look at it all day long! I wear a 6.5 - 7 ring & have some w/stones that size; they aren't out of proportion.

In other words, buy it pleeeeze!!! I'd consider re-mortgaging my house but DH won't go along. :sun:

--- Laurie
 

DorotheaBrooke

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Mar 6, 2014
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346
Perhaps I could go with the larger stone in a non-halo setting, like one of these VC beauties.

canera_brymera.jpg

canera_crown.jpg

canera_baguettes.jpg

I've been considering only halos since I fell in love with the Soleste, but I could be flexible. The options are a bit overwhelming.
 

DorotheaBrooke

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Mar 6, 2014
Messages
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JewelFreak|1394405329|3630662 said:
That stone is soooo beautiful, it would not look out of place on any size hands. It may be bigger than you are used to wearing but believe me, it would soon look normal to you -- and you'd have the incredible gift of being able to look at it all day long! I wear a 6.5 - 7 ring & have some w/stones that size; they aren't out of proportion.

In other words, buy it pleeeeze!!! I'd consider re-mortgaging my house but DH won't go along. :sun:

--- Laurie
This is good to hear! I think you're right that I would get used to the size. :)

I think my husband would be very wary of purchasing from an individual online. Loupe Troup has no part in the transaction and no buyer protections that I see. Seems risky for such an expensive purchase. Has anyone used Loupe Troup before?
 

tara3056

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Plenty of us have used LoupeTroupe to either buy or sell, but you're right that LT is just a marketplace and has no part in the actual sales and offers no protections. That said, I've had nothing but good experiences as both a buyer and seller ... Pricescopers are generally more informed than average consumers and I am MUCH more comfortable buying from a fellow PSer than I would be buying from a marketplace like eBay. As for protecting yourself, you have 2 forms of protection when purchasing from a private seller: paying with Paypal offers you their protections (you can file a dispute with Paypal if something goes wrong, and they will fight on your behalf), and if you use a credit card (still through Paypal), then you can always file a dispute with your credit card company if the stone either doesn't arrive safely or has been misrepresented. Credit cards are usually *wonderful* about helping when a purchase goes wrong. Use your "best" card ... all credit cards have protection policies, but I know I have one or two in my wallet that are particularly well-known for excellent customer service.
 

DorotheaBrooke

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tara3056|1394407975|3630686 said:
As for protecting yourself, you have 2 forms of protection when purchasing from a private seller: paying with Paypal offers you their protections (you can file a dispute with Paypal if something goes wrong, and they will fight on your behalf), and if you use a credit card (still through Paypal), then you can always file a dispute with your credit card company if the stone either doesn't arrive safely or has been misrepresented. Credit cards are usually *wonderful* about helping when a purchase goes wrong. Use your "best" card ... all credit cards have protection policies, but I know I have one or two in my wallet that are particularly well-known for excellent customer service.
Great - thanks so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to explain this to me, and I now feel much more confident. I hope to hear from the seller soon.
 

sonyachancs

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I just thought to say that stone really is beautiful, and I hope it becomes yours! also - my style is pretty reserved too, but i have a pretty large decent stone going on, and I think the unsparkliness of the sapphire really helps to tone down what might otherwise overwhelm (in a flashier stone, that is).

also, this first setting is utterly gorgeous!! I could so see the stone in it! and it'll let your big stone pop without the additional coverage of the halo, and the detail is beautiful.

DorotheaBrooke said:
 

chrono

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Do you also have a video of the first sapphire? Have you checked it out under different lights? Sapphires look their best under natural light (diffused sunlight) and look their worst under fluorescent. You might want to consider what type of lighting you will wear this under the most often and shop for sapphires that look good under the same lighting condition.
 

indigoblue

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Sorry to sidetrack you from the two you were considering, but neither of them turns me on. As for being too big, my sapphire is 4.88 cts (about 10X9mm) and the setting is like that last non-halo VC setting you posted. Surely you've heard of the condition called DSS (diamond shrinkage syndrome)?? There's probably a SSS too, so your 2 ct stone won't look too big after a while. :naughty:

You go into projects like this thinking you know what you want, and then you realize that there are SO many options out there that you didn't know existed. It's overwhelming.

Any stone from Gary at Finewater Gems will be a quality stone. You could contact him and ask about that sapphire. He's a nice guy. Seems like he's out of the country until the 15th and may not respond right away. I recently bought two amethysts from him, and they are gorgeous. Here's the thread.

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/amethysts-finally-set.199156/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/amethysts-finally-set.199156/[/URL]
 

JewelFreak

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I love the 1st setting too. Or the 2nd one, which you could also do without the diamonds on the gallery if you wanted -- just those on the shank. A stone as beautiful as that sapphire doesn't need extra help. I know from experience: planned to halo the blue spinel in my avatar. Once I lived with it for a bit & got to know it, I felt strongly that it should be allowed to strut its stuff on its own. Have never regretted it. Before you commit to a setting, play with whatever sapphire you get in different lights for a little while.

Fingers crossed you'll buy that!! Gary's stones are top drawer.

--- Laurie
 

DorotheaBrooke

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Thanks so much for all the advice and thoughts! I'm still waiting to hear from the seller, and after over 24 hours with no response, I'm getting a bit worried that it won't work out. Of course, now I've lost interest in my previous contenders after seeing this beauty.

Please let me know of any other excellent sapphires you see for sale. I would also consider a pink sapphire if of excellent quality.
 

DorotheaBrooke

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Messages
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Chrono|1394453934|3630935 said:
Do you also have a video of the first sapphire? Have you checked it out under different lights?
I don't have a video of the first sapphire; I'll try to do that tomorrow. I'll be seeing my ring mostly in crappy office lighting and natural lighting.

indigoblue|1394470739|3631071 said:
Sorry to sidetrack you from the two you were considering, but neither of them turns me on. As for being too big, my sapphire is 4.88 cts (about 10X9mm) and the setting is like that last non-halo VC setting you posted. Surely you've heard of the condition called DSS (diamond shrinkage syndrome)?? There's probably a SSS too, so your 2 ct stone won't look too big after a while.
Beautiful amethysts! How sweet of you to gift your daughters those necklaces.

I could see SSS happening to me, so I'm open to larger stones now. :) What is it about the first stone that you don't like, the cut/clarity?


JewelFreak|1394475739|3631128 said:
Before you commit to a setting, play with whatever sapphire you get in different lights for a little while.
That's a good idea! I'd like to have my ring by my anniversary in mid-May, but then again I don't want to rush into anything.

I still haven't heard back from the seller, so now I'm trawling the internet for other sapphires. Here are some that look lovely on the website, but the second two are quite high-priced. I wonder if they look as good IRL…

2.1 ct, 7mm, $2920

sapphire_blue_1156-2.jpg

sapphire_blue_1156_a-2.jpg

2.7 ct, 8.5mm, $5300

sapphire_blue_11572.jpg

sapphire_blue_1157_a-2.jpg

2.03 ct, 8mm, $4900

sapphire_blue_1162-2.jpg

sapphire_blue_1162_a-2.jpg
 

chrono

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I would email the LT seller again, just in case your email went into his/her spam box. I would also give her a shout-out in her Pre-Loved thread.
[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/forum/preloved-ps-jewels/3-59-ct-round-ceylon-sapphire-from-sri-lanka-t195951.html']https://www.pricescope.com/forum/preloved-ps-jewels/3-59-ct-round-ceylon-sapphire-from-sri-lanka-t195951.html[/URL]

When it comes to coloured stones, carat sizes does not tell much in terms of physical measurements since it can vary depending on the cut. Look at the mm size to know how large or small it will look on you. In the case above, the sapphire is 8.3 mm.

Gemfix
The consensus is that his sapphires are darker and less intense than pictured so adjust your expectations accordingly.
 

DorotheaBrooke

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I visited sapphire #1 again today. The color and saturation are beautiful to me, and work well in different lighting. The clarity and cut are not great so there's an overall hazy/silky look. There are two tiny but visible inclusions (air bubbles) but I'm not bothered by them. 2 ct, $2100. I'm still unsure. Considering going with the precision cutter as I mentioned at the start but the cost would be >$1k more.

Here are some more photos of #1 and I can upload a video I made later.
 

athenaworth

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I personally love a little silk in a sapphire. Gives it a bit of a "Kashmir" glow. $2100 doesn't seem bad for 2 cts either, but if it doesn't sing to you, then move on to something that does. In the end you'll be happier even if you spend a bit more money.
 

LoversKites

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I agree with the above poster. Don't 'settle' for anything - get exactly what you want =)
 

sonyachancs

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athenaworth said:
I personally love a little silk in a sapphire. Gives it a bit of a "Kashmir" glow. $2100 doesn't seem bad for 2 cts either, but if it doesn't sing to you, then move on to something that does. In the end you'll be happier even if you spend a bit more money.
I agree you should move on if you don't like it - you'll find yourself staring at your ring getting more annoyed about that thing that seemed like a small niggle before.

I do agree with the silk part, actually. I don't have any silk in my sapphire, but I find sapphires get foggy/dirty so easily that it looks a bit like that sometimes. but each to her own!
 
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