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Sapphire inclusion

Beautiful-disaster

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
274
While I’m waiting for contact from the expert - I have been studying this inclusion. I finally managed to actually get reasonable photographs of it.
I was hoping it was just a very large feather - but I fear what I’m seeing is what may be classed as a *halo* - which would mean get treatment (insert sad face).
Almost scared to ask the experts - but if this is a large crack I’m concerned it would stop me being able to have it repolished at all.
I would appreciate your *educated guess’s* based on the pics. (Sorry there are so many - lol)
The last pic tries to show how it breaks the surface.

PS I actually feel bad taking pics of the sapphire showing it’s worst - like I’m doing it a disservice and should always be presenting it in its best possible light - lol
 

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Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
4,591
Sapphires can have quite a few types of inclusions.
i think what you are looking at is a “fingerprint” that is a fissure that healed during the sapphires crystal growth. A feather or “fracture” is often surface reaching and can be part of a fingerprint inclusion or by itself. A Small surface reaching feather isn’t the “end of the world”. It’s not uncommon and a cutter can work with / around it. It won’t affect a simple repolishing of existing facets but it might rule out a significant recut to shape to improve shape/ dispersion/tone. But I don’t think you were after a full recut anyway, you’d be loosing a lot of carat weight with a full recut.
Detecting heat treatment in sapphires is done by examination of the inclusions under a microscope as high heat processes alter the appearance of the inclusions. Rutile needles get broken into smaller pieces and certain Micro mineral inclusions will “explode” leaving a halo.
 

Beautiful-disaster

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
274
Sapphires can have quite a few types of inclusions.
i think what you are looking at is a “fingerprint” that is a fissure that healed during the sapphires crystal growth. A feather or “fracture” is often surface reaching and can be part of a fingerprint inclusion or by itself. A Small surface reaching feather isn’t the “end of the world”. It’s not uncommon and a cutter can work with / around it. It won’t affect a simple repolishing of existing facets but it might rule out a significant recut to shape to improve shape/ dispersion/tone. But I don’t think you were after a full recut anyway, you’d be loosing a lot of carat weight with a full recut.
Detecting heat treatment in sapphires is done by examination of the inclusions under a microscope as high heat processes alter the appearance of the inclusions. Rutile needles get broken into smaller pieces and certain Micro mineral inclusions will “explode” leaving a halo.
Thanks Bron. Has me worried - I’m not going to lie.
I just sent Doug another email (super politely) hoping for an appointment. After looking into the costing involved with re-polishing etc (it was cheaper then expected - so are cutting costs) it may not be worth his time to reply to me? As I’m not inquiring about buying a stone from him.

I had a dream where I was told it was basically worthless so now I’m telling myself to expect the worst and not get my hopes up.
 

LilAlex

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
563
Lotta pictures but it's hard to get oriented so I really can't tell what I'm looking at or what the plane of focus (where there is good focus) is.
 

Beautiful-disaster

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
274
Lotta pictures but it's hard to get oriented so I really can't tell what I'm looking at or what the plane of focus (where there is good focus) is.
Oh - i didn’t think about that - they are all taken face down at one end of the stone. The stone is oval. 12x9x9

I did just hear back from Doug (Yay!) - and I’m taking it into him tomorrow afternoon so I’m sure he will be able to tell me.
 

Beautiful-disaster

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
274
Any good news?
Well ..... I guess so? Its natural and weighs in at 8.62cts. he said he really liked it but as the colour is considered weak it would only be worth $1000 - $1500 per ct to a person in the trade.
He did keep repeating what a pretty stone it was and how much he really liked it’s scintillation.
Said there were too many facets to get a full repolish. Wants over $300 just to polish the table as it’s a *split table* so there are double the facets there would normally be. Said it would be a good candidate for a recut but doesn’t need it as it’s well cut to begin with and it may not actually improve the stone.
He said if it was his he would just repolish the top and send it off for its cert.
I felt the whole time that he was undervaluing it so he could buy it from me? Can’t be sure. But he said prices don’t increase above 5cts even though I know they do and he quoted me the 3-5ct price.

I have brought It home with me - I dint have hundreds to throw at it and more hundreds for the cert - then more to have a new setting made (he doesn’t do that) - pay for a valuation etc

So I guess it’s not a staggering amount of money and would be worth keeping in the family. At $3000 a ct I would of considered selling.

He didn’t seem to want to give it back to me - lmao
I told him I will bring it back in a few weeks for him to work on it.
He just kept saying *dont LOSE it* which freaked me out and had me thinking I was going to lose it. Like what the hell - he said it ten times.
I must look really flakey or that it didn’t matter to much to me even though I told him I love it - hahahahaha.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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Doug is pretty conservative, your sapphire is large and the $$$ per carat goes up quite a bit once you go over 5 carats.
I think his price for a repolish is fair, it doesn’t take like 5 minutes! I’m interested in learning facetting myself and apart from the machine outlay (thousands) each facet has to be set and done in sequence so it’s a time consuming fiddly process. It also takes experience.
Bill is the one who can give you a more accurate idea of value. He is a certified gemologist and sees a lot of gemstones. I think a full report is around $165? The gem summary report is cheaper I think but there might be a carat weight “limit”. If you were considering selling you should get the full report.
 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
819
@Beautiful-disaster glad you were able to get more info.

Did he also say it’s unheated?

Hoping more knowledgeable trade folks will chime in re market (not auction or replacement) value, but to me an unheated 8+ carat blue sapphire albeit not trade ideal color will still be worth quite a bit more than what Doug is counting it at $1500 x 5 carat mark = $7500. I agree with @Bron357 that his estimate is too, too conservative. An 8ct is VERY different from a 5ct! He may be a very nice man but I would not part with your beautiful stone for under $10,000!

Now I don’t know if Doug is quoting you a wholesale trade price or not however, as that would indeed be lower than market non-trade price.

I think if you are still considering selling it, your best bet may be 1) get a report first with Bill as @Bron357 said. Report needs to clarify “no treatment”, not just “natural” sapphire as Doug said, if such is the case. 2) think about if you prefer to sell with or without mounting. This stone if sold in a proper mounting would be worth much more (ie then the antique factor would also play into value, not just the stone itself) and would appeal to a much wider audience outside of trade folks. 3)hold on to it for now, and do the above options when more funds are available. A stone like this is certainly worth sitting on, as it will not depreciate but likely become more valuable as time goes on.

Personally I would not risk a dramatic recut. I’ve seen stones lose their personality after a recut sometimes, and also change in color (lighten or darken). Most importantly, a modern recut to an antique stone in many antique collectors’ eyes may destroy its value as an antique. If you wanted to preserve the antique “look” you may need someone very experienced to cut it. I would leave it be or slightly polish up the facets only.

Keep us posted on your incredible journey! I’m sure we all want to help as much as we can. It’s not everyday that one of us inherits a family treasure like yours!
 
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JackTrick

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
257
I do still encourage you to get an origin report on it if you can! Granted, you’re in Australia IIRC, so I’m afraid I don’t know the most economical way of getting a good lab report. GIA in the US would be around $160ish USD
 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
819
Here’s an example of act non trade ideal color almost 8ct sapphire (unheated when I inquired, although I don’t see report), and diamond ring that sold for $7500 CHF (about $8000 USD) via auction (compared to similar items on Sotheby’s and Christie’s this seems in line with their average at this time).


Based on that I think you may be hard pressed to get $3000/carat (or around $24k for your stone, even if unheated, without setting or diamonds/side stones) if selling independently. Perhaps would be better to hold on to it for now and enjoy its beauty.

PS Sotheby and Christie’s offer free estimate of items if you want to send them an inquiry with photos. Not sure if they are available in Australia? Would it be unscrupulous to use their free estimation service and simply, um, “fail to mention” that you are in Australia? (Hint, hint). I’m on the fence re that one. On one hand I hate the thought of “freeloading” someone’s time on Sotheby, but I also understand that one may have a burning desire to find out something that may make a big difference in their finances and possibly dramatically improve their happiness during unprecedented times (oh I don’t know, such as a worldwide pandemic...).
 
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Beautiful-disaster

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
274
Unfortunately he couldn’t tell me if it had been heated and said that even the lab isn’t always 100% sure. He seemed to think I would be lucky to find out if it was un-heated and even luckier if they could guess the origin.
He was pretty sure it was Ceylon due to the hue.
My partner wants me to just take it to the lab and leave it as it is as polishing it will drop it below the 8.5ct mark.
He thinks if someone wanted to buy it they could clean up before setting.

I honestly haven’t decided - but for $10,000 - I will most likely hang on to it and just have it reset. Doug told me 3 to new not to put it back in that setting and said the setting was crap and it deserved a better setting.
I couldn’t make him understand that I liked the antique setting - but he isn’t a Jeweller - he referred me to the guy who makes all his pieces up.
I do feel it was possible he was leaning on the cheaper ct price so his customers don’t feel bad about the recuts and polishes taking the weight away.

He is a super nice person and showed me his machine for measuring all the facets and all his notes so I could see it’s a lot of work just to do the table.
I had some questions he straight out didn’t want to answer - maybe trade secrets - lol
Now I jut have to decide if I want to leave it with him for three weeks (that’s how long he said he needs) or if I just head to the lab and leave it a little scruffy. He did say it was fine and he had seen much worse so I could just leave it as it is. Actually said it was in good condition for its age.

Decisions decisions.
There is a BUG part of me that just wants to wear it again.
ok ALL of me wants to be able to wear it again. (That left of me isn’t very frugal or reasonable) - lol
 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
819
@Beautiful-disaster Sorry, we must have posted at the same time just now!

I would perhaps send it to the lab first, especially if you are leaning more towards keeping it, simply for insurance value and so you know once and for all what you have. If it came back as heated it may dramatically affect value and may persuade one to hold on to it rather than resell it, and in that case may not make repolishing worth the money, since I know I would enjoy it just as it is!

Agree that repolishing can be at the discretion of any future buyer if you decides to sell. That way you don’t assume the risk of something “gone awry” during repolishing.
 

Beautiful-disaster

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
274
I agree - I think the lab is the best course of action.
At least until I’m back working and have my own money to throw around.
I’m happy to have the setting remade in white gold - I have a lot of scrap gold to trade in.
I love it too but Doug didn’t have the same appreciation shall we say?

I would like to think it’s not heated as I would expect the saturation of blue to be heavier if it was - but seriously I know nothing.
He did compare it to another Ceylon he had there for a recut and mine was MUCH nicer (May have just been the deep cut).
I’m concerned with how attached I seem to be becoming to this stone.
 

Arcadian

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,602
If you go the route of getting a report before you decide to cut, you will also want to get a report after the recut if only to validate the size.

My thinking is to decide on the recut first....thats IF you do it at all. If you don't, then just get the report with origin, put it back in the setting afterwards.
 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
819
Well, I think what YOU think re the stone and setting matters most, so good thing it’s not Doug’s, but yours! I have a feeling you will treat it like the treasure it is!

I’m gonna go out on my tentative newbie branch here and respectfully disagree with Doug re heat treatment being hard to tell. Maybe low heat, but high heat will produce characteristic telltale marks. Most reputable labs will be able to do this easily. Origin on the other hand is a bit harder to look for specific inclusions of a particular geographical area, but again, still very doable for most labs.
I’m leaning towards Ceylon also based on the color since many Ceylons I’ve seen look like this but color can often fool us in terms of geography.

I’ve seen a handful of antique pieces with lighter colored unheated sapphires. The darker ones tend to be heated more IMHO to get them closer to the trade ideal. So definitely worth a report to put the mind at ease!

Not sure re inclusion (graphite? A blind guess lol). This is a fun site to look at for inclusions: http://www.lotusgemology.com/index.php/library/inclusion-gallery?filter[gemtype]=Natural+Sapphire&filter[origin]=&filter[enhancement]=&filter[search]=&start=0&layout=gallery
 

Beautiful-disaster

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
274
Also he was talking Aussie dollars - so $1000 per ct Aus defiantly isn’t the same as $1000 per ct US - when I google search all the prices are in US dollars - so it’s a little confusing on that end too. Do we really only get $650 US a ct here?
second opinion time for sure.
Also I was hoping he could tell me if the price of sapphires had dramaticly increased since I was given the piece in the early 90’s and/or value in the 1940’s compared to now.... but I couldn’t get any sapphire prices out of him at all - he wasn’t sharing trade prices and would only tell me what he would try and sell it for in the trade. He said if he were selling to a client he would just try and get as much as humanly possible - whatever that means - lol
 

Beautiful-disaster

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
274
If you go the route of getting a report before you decide to cut, you will also want to get a report after the recut if only to validate the size.

My thinking is to decide on the recut first....thats IF you do it at all. If you don't, then just get the report with origin, put it back in the setting afterwards.
I’m not recutting.
I am considering the repolish of the table only and would lose .3 or .4 of the stone which would put it at about 8.3cts.

I realise I would have to get anothet report if I did this.
 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
819
$650 per carat USD in the setting of a 8ct+ Unheated sapphire (keeping in mind per carat price increase a great deal for larger stones) for unheated sounds quite low to me as a non trade person.

I would happily buy at that price lol.

I will say I have no idea what trade prices are. Likely you and I non trade folks aren’t privy to that info...
 

Beautiful-disaster

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
274
I definitely think if I had said *oh wow $10,000!!!!* he would have tried to buy it from me on the spot.
He didn’t get the reaction he expected.
To me $10,000 isn’t a lot of money (not life changing or anything) - I respect that to a lot of people this IS a lot of money.
But I can pull that from my super now if I want $10,000 to throw around. (thanks Aussie gov).
I felt the whole time he was attempting to buy it from me - kind of like when you know the guy in the p store is undervaluing something so he can buy it and resell for top price.
I definitely got that feeling.
Kept asking me what I was going to do with it and I kept saying it depends on condition and value so he kept guessing at value which really I wasn’t there for.
He also REALLY wanted me to leave it there (for the work I assume) - I had to ask for it back. Hahahaha
He was pretty sure I was going to lose it for some reason. May have been the little clear box I used to fit it into my handbag that bothered him so much.
lol
He also said there is NO regulation in the trade which was disturbing.


pps omg - edited because I wrote p*rn instead of Pawn (omg):oops2:
 

Pinkmartini87

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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@Beautiful-disaster

I think you should trust your gut feeling re this. Again, I’m sure Doug is probably a nice man, but business is business. We are his customers, not friends. Buyers and sellers alike must educate/protect themselves, and decide what constitutes as a “good/acceptable” deal.

I’ll share a similar experience too. I took an antique ring once to a reputable local jeweler (100% + yelp reviews, recommended by a family member), and no judgment on his person, but I felt that even though I knew very little about jewelry at the time, I felt the $1000 he was offering me was low based on his mannerism: tentative, almost testing my reaction to see how much he should offer me. Body language can be more revealing than words themselves sometimes.

Anyway, to make a long story short I decided not to sell to him that day even though to be honest I had no clue what the ring was worth. Family thought I was crazy for passing up on 1k on something I had no idea what it was worth.

Fast forward a few months later, I took the same ring to an antiques jewelry shop (where I should have gone all along) and was offered $8000. Ring later sold on their website for just over $15k.Yikes.

Lessons I learned:
1. Antique jewelry may be worth more than the summary of its simple parts (stone, setting, etc) and one needs a seller who caters to a specific clientele to give you the best value.
2. Don’t ever sell to someone if your gut tells you otherwise.
3. As independent sellers we can’t hope to command a market value as well as a storefront/establishment
 

Beautiful-disaster

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
274
@Pinkmartini87 - thanks for your story - I would have been happy with the long long version of it - lmao
I agree with everything you said.
it wasn’t what he said so much as it was what he *wasn’t saying* that stood out to me. That and him obviously pausing waiting for my reaction - good luck I play poker (lmao).
I always have to trust my gut. My intuition has steered me well throughout life and I have learnt not to question it or overthink it.
I really appreciate your advice (and interest in my predicament).
I couldn’t agree with you more.... it’s definitely up to the client/customer to do their homework and not expect a salesperson or business man to be forthright with them. Each has their own best interests to look out for.
I’m glad I did as much homework as I did before I went there - he wasn’t as impressed with my knowledge - lmao.

I’m like - sorry correct me if I’m wrong but don’t the sapphire Per ct prices increase at the 3ct 5ct 8ct and 10ct mark?
he’s all - NO no that’s only for diamonds....... no not for sapphires - I mean sure for the really really high quality ones but no not really.

I’m like - o - kaaaaaay. I must be wrong.

I did tell him I got refered to him from here at PS so he must have known I’m talking to people who know their stuff.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
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4,591
Doug is a magic cutter but he isnt a gemologist. He wouldn’t want to give an opinion re treatments without the appropriate qualifications.
It is likely the sapphire is heat treated as its seen as a common practice to improve clarity and enhance blue and it will be obvious, under a microscope, if that has occurred.
High heat treatment with pressure and high heat with beryllium requires more specific testing. I’m not sure if a Bill has the equipment for these tests.
I did learn of the story of a family, with an inherited sapphire, who were directed towards Bill and he recognized it as a Kashmir sapphire. Realising it’s value could pay off mortgages, and following Bills advice, the sapphire was sent by Bonhams (auction house) to SSEF for a full report and was then auctioned by Bonhams. Overseas, not sold here in Australia as our market is too small.
Origin is much more difficult, it can’t be given with a 100% guarantee. There are three broad types of sapphire formation, classic metamorphic, classic magmatic and non classic metamorphic or magmatic. While there are some types of inclusions attributed to x location that isn’t definitive. With Kashmir sapphires, for eg, there can be a specific type of fine cloud inclusion (what causes the glow) and there are mineral inclusions more specific to certain origins than others. The big labs use chemical and spectral analysis against their database of known origin sapphires and together with inclusions can usually attribute an origin.
But not always.
In my opinion that’s why you shouldn’t buy “orIgin” you should buy beauty and assessment of treatments.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
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4,591
Fun! How far along are you on your journey?
I have a book so far and about 100 hours of You Tube watching ha ha,
Unfortunately, due to COVID, the gem club I can join and learn/ use their machines is closed. its very expensive to buy a facetting machine and there are different styles. so you need to be sure before you buy! There is also an annual series of classes I can attend once I have bought a machine.
The overall plan, for retirement, is moving to the sapphire belt here in NSW Australia, finding sapphires (DH is doing his geology degree) and I’ll cut them.
 
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