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Sapphire develops window after cleaning???

caseyb

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
3
Hi!
A little background: My husband bought me a sapphire ring while we were on vacation in Jamaica in Sept '10. He was told it was a genuine, natural sapphire. It is a pretty ring and I've enjoyed wearing it these past 8 months. Earlier this month, I noticed that the ring looked dirty - there was a lighter, grey area on the bottom third of the stone. I cleaned under the sapphire with a soft bristled brush and warm water. As I was cleaning, I noticed that I could clearly see the white bristles of the brush through one side of the stone, but not the other. I held the ring up to the light and could see a clear spot that took up almost 1/3 of the stone. It was completely clear! In the 8 months I had owned the ring, I had never seen this clear area until now. I contacted the jeweler who put me in touch with their service department in the U.S. After sending them pics of the ring, I was told this was a "window" which may occur in any colored stone. Does this look like a window to you? How can one just appear after 8 months?? I cleaned the ring again, and the window got a little larger in my opinion. What are your thoughts? My next step is to take the ring to an appraiser to have them remove and examine the stone.

I've attached a few pictures of the ring. It's hard to get a good, clear shot because the autofocus on my camera keeps focusing on the background.

Thanks!
Casey

Jewel%20Palace%20Ring3[1].JPG

Jewel%20palace%20ring2[1].JPG
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
To see a window you need to look straight down through the table of the stone - is there an area there where you could read a newspaper through it for example? Otherwise, your photos show the stone at an angle. All gemstones will have a tilt window - the point at when it will appear depends on the species as they have different physical properties.

A window (not a tilt window) is due to poor cutting - normally a stone that is too shallow, this often happens when a piece of rough will cut a large but shallow stone. A bigger heavier stone can be sold for more and many people don't realise that a window is a bad fault so there is not a huge incentive to cut for beauty and performance rather than cutting for the more profitable weight.

Can a stone change colour? Yes - if it's incredibly dirty to start with. Every christmas I take my ultrasonic, my baby toothbrush and my various jewellery cleaners to my parents house. Then I confiscate everyone's engagement rings and spend a couple of hours scrubbing and washing and checking prongs etc. Some of the rings are unrecognisable afterwards - the stones look a completely different colour because they're not coated in crap anymore.

How often have you cleaned the ring? If that was the first time in months then I would guess that that is why the stone seems to have changed.

ETA: Corundum also often has colour zoning - if you look sideways through many sapphires you will see bands of different shades of blue and often clear areas - so it may be that the stone is blue on one side and colourless on the other. The skill of the cutter is to take that material and cut it in such a way as the stone will look completely blue from face-up. If you start looking at it sideways, or table down then you may well find that the zoning becomes more obvious.

I'm afraid that you wouldn't have any come-back in either of these situations. Natural sapphires are exactly that and come with all the quirks that nature imparts.

To be perfectly honest you would be far better to spend the money it would cost to unset and reset the stone and to get an appraisal on buying another piece of jewellery and to continue to enjoy this as a reminder of your vacation.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,517
Your pictures are taken at an angle, which shows a tilt window. That is normal in all gemstones. A true window can only be seen when the stone is viewed straight down the table. It is a cut issue and will not grow or diminish in size over time. The link below will illustrate this better:
http://www.palagems.com/quality_4cs.htm#cut
 

Michael_E

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
1,290
caseyb|1306312354|2929753 said:
I held the ring up to the light and could see a clear spot that took up almost 1/3 of the stone. It was completely clear! In the 8 months I had owned the ring, I had never seen this clear area until now. I contacted the jeweler who put me in touch with their service department in the U.S. After sending them pics of the ring, I was told this was a "window" which may occur in any colored stone. Does this look like a window to you? How can one just appear after 8 months?? I cleaned the ring again, and the window got a little larger in my opinion. What are your thoughts?
Your tilt window had curtains over it and you just took the curtains down. :loopy: I think that some stones which are badly windowed, (yours isn't), from being too shallow may be better off if they are dirty or the pavilion left in a frosted state as it at least lightens the stone and provides for some muted light coming back through it.
 

kelpie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
2,362
Stones go glassy when wet...even my precision cut stones get a window which disappears once dry. I think water affects the refractive index.
 

caseyb

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
3
Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate that so many of you are willing to share your expertise! I had the ring professionally cleaned by my regular jeweler in January and did not notice the tilt window then. I wondered if the jeweler in Jamaica could have put some kind of coating on the stone to disguise the clear portion, or make the whole stone look "bluer." When my husband gave me the ring, I thought there was no way it could be a natural sapphire because it was such a vibrant, consistent blue. But since I scrubbed it, you can see a huge difference in color from one half of the sapphire to the other. I am confident now that this is a genuine stone because of the color variation, so I feel good about that. But ... Something just seems hinky about the change. It looks like a different sapphire.

Thanks!
Casey
 

ooo~Shiney!

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
1,501
Hi Casey: Re: tilt window, but isn't it a tilt window if you "tilt" it and get a window from "every" direction ?
Like, if you turn the ring 180 degrees and still see a tilt window in that exact same place???
So if you turn your ring 180 degrees is the whitish area on top now?

If so, then to me that's no tilt window, it's a spot.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
ooo~Shiney!|1306412560|2930702 said:
Hi Casey: Re: tilt window, but isn't it a tilt window if you "tilt" it and get a window from "every" direction ?
Like, if you turn the ring 180 degrees and still see a tilt window in that exact same place???
So if you turn your ring 180 degrees is the whitish area on top now?

If so, then to me that's no tilt window, it's a spot.
It's most likely to be colour zoning where part of the stone is in fact colourless but this is hidden by the way the stone is cut.

There's no crime in doing this, all stones are cut to hide their flaws and bring out their best (unless cut merely for weight). However it is something that you should look for when buying a stone. It's a bit like buying an eye-clean SI1 diamond and then wondering why you can see inclusions sideways on... yes, but you're not going to be looking at your stone from that angle so why worry?

For that reason, the real question is whether you are going to be seeing your stone from that angle when you are wearing it?

If you had your jeweller clean the stone in January and you didn't notice it then, then I would very much doubt that your stone had been painted.
 

caseyb

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
3
ooo~Shiney!|1306412560|2930702 said:
Hi Casey: Re: tilt window, but isn't it a tilt window if you "tilt" it and get a window from "every" direction ?
Like, if you turn the ring 180 degrees and still see a tilt window in that exact same place???
So if you turn your ring 180 degrees is the whitish area on top now?

If so, then to me that's no tilt window, it's a spot.
If I turn the ring 180 degrees, then the clear area moves from the bottom to the top. Looking straight down on the stone, it is lighter blue on one half with a tiny clear spot. So, I'm assuming that's just the variations in color found in natural sapphires then? I guess that's also proof that I have a natural sapphire.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
caseyb|1306423627|2930833 said:
ooo~Shiney!|1306412560|2930702 said:
Hi Casey: Re: tilt window, but isn't it a tilt window if you "tilt" it and get a window from "every" direction ?
Like, if you turn the ring 180 degrees and still see a tilt window in that exact same place???
So if you turn your ring 180 degrees is the whitish area on top now?

If so, then to me that's no tilt window, it's a spot.
If I turn the ring 180 degrees, then the clear area moves from the bottom to the top. Looking straight down on the stone, it is lighter blue on one half with a tiny clear spot. So, I'm assuming that's just the variations in color found in natural sapphires then? I guess that's also proof that I have a natural sapphire.
Sounds like that to me. I've never seen a synthetic that has that kind of colour-zoning (they have very, very fine curved bands that you need a loupe or microscope to seen and even then it can be tricky if you don't know what you are looking for) so I think you can safely say that you have a genuine natural sapphire!
 
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