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Sapphire ring but was told it’s a Tanzanite

Discussion in 'Colored Gemstones' started by Stardustglow, May 25, 2019.

  1. Stardustglow
    Rough_Rock

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    by Stardustglow » May 25, 2019
    D0E285C2-2B45-4960-8B54-7A1FC0F5065C.jpeg I have a sapphire ring that was purchased from a jewelry store a couple years ago. It’s a 1.42 ct sapphire set in a micro pave halo setting. I took it in to another jewelry store recently to see how much I could get for the ring. The person doing the evaluation told me the stone was a tanzanite and the entire ring wasn’t worth any more than $75 which is less than 1% of the price initially paid for the ring. Suggestions on next steps? Is it worth getting it appraised by someone else to determine if it is a sapphire or tanzanite?
     
    


    


  2. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 25, 2019
    Just because it’s a sapphire doesn’t mean it will be worth much, especially if you don’t know all the treatments on the sapphire (do you?). I’m not sure of the quality of the sapphire, and a tanzanite that size isn’t valuable, but I would think that diamond and at least 14k gold setting (metal?), is worth more than $75, but nowhere near $7500.

    Unfortunately, if you bought it from a jewelry store, there’s an enormous markup.
     
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  3. qubitasaurus
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    by qubitasaurus » May 25, 2019
    Err yes, what was the basis for that evaluation? Did they just eyeball it and pronounce it was tanzanite? Should be some pretty simple tests you can get done to verify. Unless you have a pre-existing relarionship with the jeweler, I would be wary of anyone offering to buy the stone off you and simulteneously telling you it is not worth very much.

    I bleieve tanzanite often shows different colours when viewed along different axes. Does it shift from blue to purple depending on what angle you view the stone from?

    Edit I pulled this at random, and only read the first two paragraphs but it talks about the different refractive indicies along different planes of the crystal structure

    https://www.tanzanitejewelrydesigns.com/pages/natural-lab-created-synthetic-simulated-tanzanite-html
     
  4. chroman
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    by chroman » May 25, 2019
    Did they know you were thinking of selling it? Sounds like they just threw out a total lowball number hoping they could get it on the cheap.

    Tanzanite and sapphire have fairly different refractive indices, so anyone with a refractometer *shouldn’t* confuse them. Did they just eyeball the identification, or give you any reasoning why they called it as tanzanite?
     
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  5. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 25, 2019
    Tanzanite also gets lots of facet abrasions and microchips unlike corundum, so a loupe or a good magnified photo could tell the difference.
     
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  6. Stardustglow
    Rough_Rock

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    by Stardustglow » May 25, 2019
    I knew going in I wasn’t going to be getting anything near the amount it was purchased for, but I was taken aback that they felt it was $75. The ring is a 14k gold setting.
     
  7. Stardustglow
    Rough_Rock

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    by Stardustglow » May 25, 2019
    I felt that is what they basically did. The evaluator picked up said right away it was a Tanzanite. I have only worn the ring a handful of times and haven’t noticed that it changes color.
     
  8. Stardustglow
    Rough_Rock

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    by Stardustglow » May 25, 2019
    They did know that I was thinking about selling it. I think the person only used a dichroscope and took about 10 seconds to look at the ring...but I’m not too familiar with the tools they would typically use. He didn’t give a reason other than it was a tanzanite and when I referred to it as a sapphire, he kept saying it’s not a sapphire and I wouldn’t get more than maybe $100 for the ring.
     
  9. chroman
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by chroman » May 25, 2019
    For a random data point, I just weighted a plain 2mm band and computed the melt value at 14k - $65.
     
  10. Stardustglow
    Rough_Rock

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    by Stardustglow » May 25, 2019
    That’s helpful to know! Thanks for the info.
     
    


    


  11. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 25, 2019
    That’s the price if they bought it from you, They would give you nothing for the workmanship or the diamonds. If you were to sell it secondhand, you would get much more, especially if you had an appraisal that provided the diamond grades, carat weight and a reputable lab report for the sapphire. It would probably be easier to sell the stone and the mount separately though.
     
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  12. strawrose
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    by strawrose » May 25, 2019
    Ditto on what TL said. Loupetroop is also a good place to sell for more than $75.
     
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  13. qubitasaurus
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by qubitasaurus » May 25, 2019
    From the perspective of intellectual curiosity I would take it elsewhere and get someone else to double check it.

    Unfortunatley like TL said, even if it is a sapphire it does not tell us much about the value. As it may be heavily treated and in that case it will not be worth very much. You would need a lab report from a reputable lab to establish it was heat only or untreated.

    But you should get more than $200 just for the setting alone, so the estimate of $75 is really low.
     
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  14. qubitasaurus
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    by qubitasaurus » May 25, 2019
    I forgot to say -- when you take it elsewhere get the jeweler to advise you on whether it can be put in an ultrasonic cleaning device. I think you have a lot of residue on those daimonds -- if they clean up well the setting will be worth a lot more. Ofcourse this will be highly detrimental if the main stone is heavily treated with some kind of infilling (unlikely but it is better to ask the jeweler whether they think it is ok before wacking it in the machine).
     
  15. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 25, 2019
    If it’s a tanzanite, it will shatter in an ultrasonic cleaner. Many jewelers have no clue and put anything and everything in an ultrasonic cleaner.
     
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  16. arkieb1
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    by arkieb1 » May 25, 2019
    My thoughts were can you go somewhere else to check if it is or isn't a sapphire and is the store you bought it from still around because if they sold you a tanzanite as a sapphire that is really a deceitful thing to do, I'd be taking it back and complaining.
     
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  17. Bron357
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    by Bron357 » May 26, 2019
    While a heat only sapphire is worth more than a Tanzanite, that is not a $75 ring.
    With a Presidum gem tester you can differentiate between sapphire and Tanzanite (but not lab grown sapphire from natural sapphire but that’s a separate issue).
    Did the jeweller test it in any way or just look at it with a Loupe? The colour is Tanzanite like but you never assess a gemstone just on colour.
    If you paid $7,500 you unfortunately paid way too much. A sapphire around 1.5 carats is maybe up to $2,500 and a diamond ring mount maybe $1,000. That’s new, selling secondhand you can usually expect half that or less.
    If you get an appraisal that confirms the sapphire (or Tanzanite) and give a diamond weight estimate you can sell it yourself on free sites like Loupe Troop or even on eBay (fees will be about 13%) but any jeweller or pawn broker is only going to offer a ridiculous (insulting even) low amount so don’t think about selling to them.
     
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  18. qubitasaurus
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    by qubitasaurus » May 26, 2019
    Thanks I think I learned something out of that.
     
  19. Stardustglow
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    by Stardustglow » May 26, 2019
    No other test was done other than looking through it with a loupe. I think the initial ring was purchased for about $3000 and I wasn’t expecting to get more than half that $75 sounded too low. Thanks for the feedback!
     
  20. tkyasx78
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    by tkyasx78 » May 26, 2019
    I think the jeweler you spoke to is probably an incompetent one or a liar - or possibly both.

    I assume you don’t have the papers from the original purchase showing the details of the ring.
    I would recommend contacting the store you bought it from and getting the paperwork. Once you have verified the stones authenticity you can list the ring for a fair selling price. I would not go back to the incompetent jeweler who can’t tell a sapphire from a tanzanite though . That is wild that they would mistake one for the other.
     
  21. Stardustglow
    Rough_Rock

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    by Stardustglow » May 26, 2019
    I do have the original paperwork from the original jeweler. It says the stone is a sapphire. I was just really surprised this jeweler said it was a tanzanite which made me question whether the original sold a tanzanite under the disguise of a sapphire.

    Is it worth going to taking the ring to another jeweler for a fair market appraisal and to get confirmation on the type of stone or bring it back to the original jeweler for the confirmation?
     
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  22. T L
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by T L » May 26, 2019
    A lot of jewelers have no clue. I knew a jeweler that worked in the trade for 30+ years, and he thought citrine snd topaz were the same thing. I’ve actually overheard conversations jewelers had with clients that made my skin crawl, they were so inaccurate. I’ve had conversations with some jewelers who had no clue what a spinel was or other gem.

    It’s like buying a car from a dealer who doesn’t know much about cars. Even some graduate gemologists are clueless. You really have to be a rockhound and love gemstones as much as some of the people on this forum, to provide decent information.

    The worst was when I was at a very expensive higher end store, and they had a bubblegum pink cz ring for sale. They insisted it was real, and told me the buyer purchased it because she thought it was a tourmaline. It was thousands!
     
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  23. LD
    Ideal_Rock

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    by LD » May 26, 2019
    My first thought when looking at your photo is that it's more likely to be a sapphire than a tanzanite. I have a sneaky feeling if you take it elsewhere and get it tested you may get a more coherent valuation. If it's 14k gold then it'd be worth more than $75 whether it's a tanzanite or sapphire.

    I've had similar experiences to TL regarding so called "experts" not having a clue what they were selling.
     
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  24. GeauxGirl
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    by GeauxGirl » May 29, 2019
    My engagement ring is nearly identical in color & style, and it is definitely a sapphire.

    As others have said, I wouldn’t put so much stock in one jeweler who evaluated the ring for a few seconds. Get another opinion if it will put your mind at ease, but ask them to explain how they determine the stone type. Good luck!

    5E77D6EE-0A1C-4C18-AC0D-6554FF0611F9.jpeg
     
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  25. Barbra Voltaire
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    by Barbra Voltaire » May 29, 2019
    Remember when selling to a vendor who buys from private parties, the price offered is what it is worth to THEM, and can have little or nothing to do with the actual intrinsic "value".

    I would go back to the store where it was originally purchased, both to reaffirm the identity of the center stone and to ask them what they feel a fair price for the ring might be in a secondary market....and perhaps a referral to an appropriate secondary market.
     
  26. partgypsy
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    by partgypsy » May 29, 2019
    Instead of taking to another jeweler I would take it to a professional appraiser and get it evaluated. Get an appraiser who has knowledge about gemstones. You can then use that appraisal when selling https://www.pricescope.com/appraisers

    eta I see that you only bought it a couple years ago. I would get it appraised and take it back to the store if it is not as described.
     
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  27. pokerface
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    by pokerface » May 29, 2019
    I would not spend more than the $85 to get an AGL GemBrief. Under best circumstances, I don't think this ring would resell for over $1000, and if it turns out it is a tanzanite, you'd be looking at substantially less than that.
     
  28. Ceilimom
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    by Ceilimom » May 29, 2019
    Go to an Independent Appraiser for an appraisal and evaluation of the center Stone and basis for evaluation.
     
  29. Stardustglow
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    by Stardustglow » Jun 4, 2019
    I took the ring to a certified appraiser. They determined that it is a genuine sapphire that has possibly been treated with beryllium but I would need a lab report for confirmation.
     
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  30. Mrs_Strizzle
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    by Mrs_Strizzle » Jun 6, 2019
    Ohhh, bittersweet. Good luck.
     
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