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Spinel Help!

missyminx

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
174
I purchased a loose pink spinel and took it to my jeweller to set.

I collected it yesterday and this morning I noticed some lazy facets that looked lighter colour on the side. To my horror I saw that it was a fracture!

I am pretty sure when I purchased it, there were no visible inclusions and that all the facets of the stone were lively. I also louped the stone when I got home. I append a photo here.
FF40D10F-B766-47B7-B774-FDFA5D4F9BB4.jpeg

Then I brought it to the jeweller and now it looks like this.
2FDCB27D-4E86-483B-AAE2-4CD1CC421501.jpeg
You can see the fracture just where the rose gold border starts
DC789717-EAA3-4F43-BFE9-BD2F0EF40FC2.jpeg
Fracture is in the top right

AD68F58E-E0D4-4B64-B02E-CBC882F995A3.jpeg
Inclusion is in the bottom left of the stone.


I’ve spoken to the jeweller and she said she told me about the inclusion when I gave the stone to her. I now recall she said that it was a small white dot. She had to give me a loupe to see it. Not a fracture that is visible at 6 inches.

She’s asked me to put olive oil on the stone. She said it would help, as the stone is like emerald.

I’m new to gemstones so I don’t know if I should apply the olive oil.

Is it possible for spinel to fracture like this during setting?

Thanks in advance!
 

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lovedogs

Ideal_Rock
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WtF is the jeweler talking about with olive oil?! WHAT?! Spinels are not like emeralds and that just sounds insane to me (but of course Ive been wrong before). I really don't think there's a way to tell from your "before" picture if it was there or not. I definitely see inclusions, but no clue if it's a fracture or not.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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The problem is that it could have been caused by setting the stone, there’s just no way to prove it that I can think of. The jeweler certainly isn’t going to admit to wrong doing (they rarely ever do). The olive oil remark is ludicrous. Even if you could fill the fracture with olive oil, it doesn’t take away the fracture. Spinels are sometimes fracture filled, but it’s often done with natural or synthetic resins.

I wish I could tell you what to do. I had a similar situation happen to me, and I knew for a fact the jeweler caused the damage to the stone upon setting it, but I could not prove it because I took the ring home without carefully inspecting it first. In that time, the jeweler said that I caused the damage, and I don’t think you want to know what happened next. I just hope someone can give you better advice than I can.
 

AV_

Ideal_Rock
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What a beautiful stone! It looks well worth keeping as is. ,(

I have heard of fracture filling in spinel, but not with olive oil. I would expect to have the stone in vacuum to fill such a small fault & would rather leave it to someone who knows (eg. fracture filling emeralds is one serious business www).

The subject of liability is beyond me.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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3,469
What!?! Olive Oil !?!
Never heard anything more ridiculous in my life and from a Jeweller.
Beggars belief!
Yes, Emeralds are “oiled” traditionally to help soften / conceal crystalline imperfections BUT it’s pure Cedar oil and it’s done under pressure in a vacuum by a professional.
Not by you “at home” in the kitchen with whatever cooking oils you have handy.
Unless the jeweller fesses up to the damage, all you can do is consider it an awful and upsetting situation and never ever go there again.
And if they made that setting for the ring, or suggested it was appropriate for your Spinel, I’d disagree. The Spinel is too large for that setting. It’s sitting up far too high in the setting. At that elevation and with just 4 prongs it’s just waiting to be inadvertently whacked against something
And I suspect that the pressure applied to bend the claws down securely has lead to the fracture. There may have been a fingerprint or cleavage plane there and by adding pressure, it’s caused a crack.
I’m so sorry for you, it’s a beautiful ring. It’s not a total disaster, the ring is still wearable (I’d stick to just special Occassions) but I’m sure you spent a lot of money on it and having it now less than perfect is awful.
 

missyminx

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
174
I posted the above in haste, and am now recalling more details.
After I purchased the stone, I took it home and louped it. It was definitely clean with a 10x loupe.

This fracture I can see with my eyes, since I first spotted the fracture aka the now lazy facets while I was typing on my keyboard.

I bought this deep stone because of the lustre. All the facets were very lively. And yet now the side is dull.

Thank you all for your advice. I won't try to use olive oil on the stone. She even offered that if I didn't know how to oil it, I could take it to her shop to for her craftsmen to oil.

There's really nothing that can be done to help the stone since the fracture is irreversible. I guess the it's just painful right now knowing that it's been damaged.

But as owners of gemstones, do you all not think of the inclusion with time? Do you just appreciate the colour and "glow"

Maybe I can just appreciate the colour and aesthetics of the ring? While the gemstone is set too high for my personal taste, it is still quite a sweet ring.

@Bron357 I questioned her about the high profile, she said because my stone was very deep, she had to set it very high. It's a 2.49ct stone with face up of 7.4mm. Was she giving me a load of rubbish? Also does this mean I can't wear it often, as it would risk being further damaged? I was hoping to wear it maybe once a week.
 
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T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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22,702
I agree with Bron357 that the stone is too large for the setting. The problem is that it may not be secure in there. Deep stones often require custom settings. Therefore, I would wear it carefully as a special occasion ring. It’s still a beautiful stone, so I think you should enjoy it. Never go to that jeweler again. Don’t ever let them “oil “ your gem or handle it again.
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
2,868
First of all so sorry to hear about this. I’ve have heard of such cases from jewelers, like the entire stone chipping/fracturing during the setting process. :eek2: Rare but it happens.

Which is why when I buy stones to pass to my jewelers to set, there is an element of risk which I’m expected to bear. But practices could vary and your jeweler should have explained to you...

I wouldn’t put the oil. Not sure if it will cause it to be “treated”. But sounds dodgy! Setting looks like a off the rack too? Which is fine if disclosed, not if sold as custom.

Agree with others not to go back to that jeweler.
 

missyminx

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
174
@T L @icy_jade unfortunately I had paid her to do a custom setting.

Now when I inspect the setting I think that it is because of the rose gold border that the “hole” in the center became too small for the stone.

I am expecting an emerald in the mail soon but now I can’t go back to her. It’s hard to find good reputable setters in Singapore.
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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Actually the Burmese that hoard and sell rare neon spinels store them soaked in cooking oil including olive oil. And what it does much like emeralds is it reduces the look of some inclusions just like emeralds, so your jeweller in that respect is correct. Having said that it's a dumb thing to do because then the stone would come back from a lab as being treated when currently it isn't. Please don't try and oil it.

I'd also be taking up with her if she specifically noted that it didn't have that inclusion in it before she set it that her bench has either dropped the stone (even on the bench) or put too much pressure on it while setting it.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Oh no!!! It looks like a stock setting and she told you it was custom. A true custom setting would fit the stone perfectly. Maybe you can find a jeweler that can modify it to fit the gem. I recently brought a stock setting to my jeweler to fit a stone, and he shaved down the basket sides to make the stone fit. He told me my gem would not be secure unless I got that whole pavilion in the basket of the setting. The pavilion should not be protruding out of the basket like yours is. It would also hide the fracture and protect it from further damage.

I’m very sorry this happened to you. Be very very very VERY careful who sets your emerald. Those are most prone to fractures and chips upon setting! I learned that the hard way, and I’m not the only one.

@T L @icy_jade unfortunately I had paid her to do a custom setting.

Now when I inspect the setting I think that it is because of the rose gold border that the “hole” in the center became too small for the stone.

I am expecting an emerald in the mail soon but now I can’t go back to her. It’s hard to find good reputable setters in Singapore.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 22, 2014
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3,469
Unfortunately gems can chip or fracture during setting and usually unless you have bought both the gem and the setting from the jeweller it’s “all care taken but no responsibility accepted”.
Please find another jeweller.
Personally I would not not wear that ring frequently. The Spinel is compromised by its fracture and there is just too much “side and edge” above the setting for safety’s sake.
The rose gold inner has reduced the setting “hole” and now the Spinel is sitting perched precariously very high and held with only 4 prongs. Clip or catch a prong on something and you’re likely to lose the Spinel. Normally a gem is set so the girdle is at or just above the setting base (where the prongs are attached). With very deep stones the gem might need to be set higher but normally the jeweller will make the setting itself deeper so the gem doesn’t sit too high and too exposed.
As for flaws, most gems have flaws it’s part and parcel of natural gemstones. It’s just unfortunate that one has been created for you by accident. And remember, just setting a gem into jewellery reduces its exposure to light and so parts will “darken” depending on the type and direction of the light source. Gems always look most sparkly when loose.
 

lovedogs

Ideal_Rock
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If you paid for custom, then that's very problematic. That setting is not custom for the stone. If it were, the stone would fit perfectly!
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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@Bron357 I questioned her about the high profile, she said because my stone was very deep, she had to set it very high. It's a 2.49ct stone with face up of 7.4mm. Was she giving me a load of rubbish? Also does this mean I can't wear it often, as it would risk being further damaged? I was hoping to wear it maybe once a week.
Of course if a stone is deeper it has to be higher off your finger, but that doesn't mean the top of the stone can't still be nearly flush with the setting. Your setting looks like it was made for no larger than a 6.5mm stone, and perhaps for a 6mm one. It does not look like a custom setting to me at all, but a stock setting, and one for a much smaller stone.

I can't see the inclusion from face up? I definitely see it on the side picture. Given how it looks like the fracture starts at the corner where the gold edge is and radiates out from there, it does look to my untrained eye like that happened during setting... otherwise any smart jeweler would have set it so that the fracture wouldn't be sitting at a place where the stone was likely to encounter stress while being set.

In the future, take high-definition macro pictures of your stone before having it set, from both top and bottom, sides as well if you wish, and have the jeweler sign off saying they agree that is the condition the stone arrived in. My local jeweler does this as his regular method. Also ask if the jeweler has the stones insured while setting, or see if you can independently insure it. Usually it will have to be the latter because most jewelers don't have them insured. I don't know if I've read a single case on PS where a stone was damaged while being set and the jeweler didn't wash his hands of it.

I am sure we have some other members in Singapore who could recommend jewelers, but I've quite forgotten who lives there.
 

qubitasaurus

Brilliant_Rock
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Dec 18, 2014
Messages
879
I am sorry but independently of whether they did fracture your stone, the jeweler did a terrible job setting it. Looks like a stock setting that was too small for your stone.

I would not reset it though. As the extra stress could cause further damage. I wouldn't ask the jeweler for compensation either, as it will be impossible to prove when the damage was done. If you would like to leave the name of the jeweler though, then you can be reasured that none of us will be using them ever again.

It may be interesting if you have the vendor photos of thr stone to post them as well. We can at least have a look to try to see whether there is anything indicative in them (as one position I can see the jeweler potentially identifying with is that the fracture was already there before setting but perhaps oil in the stone was minimizing it. You have another good question in this scenario as to whether you trust the source you are buying the stones from -- if you intend to continue repurchasing from this avenue then you will have to consider this possibility. Did you get a lab report by any chance? I should say that it seems most likely the jeweler damaged the stone so this line of questions isn't that important, but it does make sense to double check all scenarios).
 

PieAreSquared

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Messages
164
Whatever you do, don't go back to this crazy "jeweler" even if they are hard to find where you live.:naughty:

Has anyone from Singapore had success with shipping to (recommended) online jewelers for custom work?
 

qubitasaurus

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
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Dec 18, 2014
Messages
879
Whatever you do, don't go back to this crazy "jeweler" even if they are hard to find where you live.:naughty:

Has anyone from Singapore had success with shipping to (recommended) online jewelers for custom work?
You're going to have to accept that it is likely not going to be insured if you go this route. I know this is generally pro gratis when shipping internationally. But from memory singapore's shipping options are singpost, ups, fedex, brinks. The first definitely does not insure beyond a very low amount, I am pretty sure the second doesn't like transporting jewelery (you'd have to check though but I think insuring gems and jewelery via this service is impossible), the third has a disclaimer of no unset precious stones but will insure jewelery up to a certain amount (you'd have to check again as I have foegotten the small amount they insured up to. But it wont help you with insuring the stone you want set). The last specializes in stuff like high value jewelery, but is quite expensive.

So if all of that sounds ok. There are plenty of jewelers in the recomended vendor thread -- including daimondmounts, jewelerywho, sally at hearts of water which I have heard people on here send stuff too (in particular I think I have heard people inside singapore send stuff to sally to set.)
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
1,421
I purchased a loose pink spinel and took it to my jeweller to set.

I collected it yesterday and this morning I noticed some lazy facets that looked lighter colour on the side. To my horror I saw that it was a fracture!

I am pretty sure when I purchased it, there were no visible inclusions and that all the facets of the stone were lively. I also louped the stone when I got home. I append a photo here.
FF40D10F-B766-47B7-B774-FDFA5D4F9BB4.jpeg

Then I brought it to the jeweller and now it looks like this.
2FDCB27D-4E86-483B-AAE2-4CD1CC421501.jpeg
You can see the fracture just where the rose gold border starts
DC789717-EAA3-4F43-BFE9-BD2F0EF40FC2.jpeg
Fracture is in the top right

AD68F58E-E0D4-4B64-B02E-CBC882F995A3.jpeg
Inclusion is in the bottom left of the stone.


I’ve spoken to the jeweller and she said she told me about the inclusion when I gave the stone to her. I now recall she said that it was a small white dot. She had to give me a loupe to see it. Not a fracture that is visible at 6 inches.

She’s asked me to put olive oil on the stone. She said it would help, as the stone is like emerald.

I’m new to gemstones so I don’t know if I should apply the olive oil.

Is it possible for spinel to fracture like this during setting?

Thanks in advance!
this is kind of heart breaking
its such a beautiful colour
i am definatly learning from this

don't point that inclusion out to people and they won't notice
i hope you can still enjoy your ring
 

LilAlex

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
118
i am definatly learning from this
In terms of further learning, I bought an included but pretty and unheated sapphire from a PS-favorite cutter. It had been very cleverly re-cut with a Portuguese-cut pavilion that hid all of the peripheral inclusions and it was quite clean right under the table facet. It was well-priced and I loved that it looked absolutely radiant under direct light -- like a cloudy day. Sat on it for a month and took it to the jeweler to have it bezel-set. They refused because of the "crumbly" girdle -- apparently where the inclusions were. Got back in touch with this highly reputable vendor who said: a. too late; and b. never heard of such a thing. It's a thing. Maybe could prong-set but spouse likes her current one a little too much :)
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
1,421
In terms of further learning, I bought an included but pretty and unheated sapphire from a PS-favorite cutter. It had been very cleverly re-cut with a Portuguese-cut pavilion that hid all of the peripheral inclusions and it was quite clean right under the table facet. It was well-priced and I loved that it looked absolutely radiant under direct light -- like a cloudy day. Sat on it for a month and took it to the jeweler to have it bezel-set. They refused because of the "crumbly" girdle -- apparently where the inclusions were. Got back in touch with this highly reputable vendor who said: a. too late; and b. never heard of such a thing. It's a thing. Maybe could prong-set but spouse likes her current one a little too much :)
its a mind feild out there
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
2,868
@missyminx mind sharing who you went to? Curious if you got CADs etc before you got the ring back?

I’m from Singapore. I don’t set anything overseas since from a cost perspective it makes much more sense to do it locally. I’ve done custom with local jewelers but I actually love getting readymade settings via my jeweler for the cost and convenience. I’ve also seen really fine work from local jewelers so unless you must get some hand forged ring in platinum, local stores should be able to set stuff for you (just not the one that you went to...).

I do also wonder if the damage could be due to inherent weakness in the stone...
 

missyminx

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
174
I brought the ring back to the jeweller and they insisted that the fracture was already there. They said that only when the stone was set in diamonds that the inclusion became obvious.
They unset the stone to show me. When the stone was loose, I couldn't see the fracture. I only noticed it when I turned the stone upside down and saw the line.
The jeweller then ran her finger nail up and down the side of the stone. She said if it had broken during setting then side would be rough and with the finger nail you would be able to tell. She and her craftsmen said it's natural.

Upon seeing that I could not see the fracture when the stone was loose, I then believed what she said. She does a lot of settings for jewellers selling gems, and one of the jeweller clients was there setting some gems. If she was trying to cover up, she wouldn't have been so open about it in front of the client I thought.

I won't know for sure that the stone was cracked during setting, but given my novice experience with coloured gems, I believe what she said.

So I decided to keep the ring, but they shaved down the rose gold border and opened the "hole" a bit. So now the stone sits slightly lower, that it covers sthe fracture from the side. Also because it sits lower, there is less reflection from the diamonds so the white reflection of the fracture is not as obvious as before.

I came away from this experience learning that:

1. I must be more careful when buying coloured stones, maybe I really didn't pay attention to the fracture from the underside. On the certificate, I could not see the fracture also, but I now learn that you cannot see much on the certificate. I bought it from a physical vendor so there was no online photos to compare.

2. As @distracts suggested, I will take many photos of loose stone before taking them to the jeweller

3. ask for CADs next time

Thanks to everyone who took the time to give me advice. I appreciate it all! :)
 

qubitasaurus

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
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Dec 18, 2014
Messages
879
Are you sure your vendor didn't advertise the stone on their website? I have been thinking it looks like this one

https://www.instagram.com/p/BzVIAHFl-Ax/

In which case there may be more photos lying arround. But the statement about the certificate made me do a double take.

In any case I am sorry, I don't think it has much to do with being inexperienced, as you are occasionally going to hit instances where important information is not disclosed. I feel this case would have caught me out too!

It usually pays to double check, at least now you should find alternative sources for stones as probably there was an internal fracture that got worse durring the setting process. And request cads for expensive custom pieces where possible.
 

missyminx

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
174
Are you sure your vendor didn't advertise the stone on their website? I have been thinking it looks like this one

https://www.instagram.com/p/BzVIAHFl-Ax/

In which case there may be more photos lying arround. But the statement about the certificate made me do a double take.

In any case I am sorry, I don't think it has much to do with being inexperienced, as you are occasionally going to hit instances where important information is not disclosed. I feel this case would have caught me out too!

It usually pays to double check, at least now you should find alternative sources for stones as probably there was an internal fracture that got worse durring the setting process. And request cads for expensive custom pieces where possible.
I bought it at a fair from a Burmese exhibitor and I don’t think they have a website. I haven’t check to be honest.

The certificate that came with is a Burmese one as well.

I will definitely turn the stone upside down and really scrutinise the next time I get a stone! I have learned from here that it’s ok to have inclusions in a stone but I should be aware of them and the pricing should reflect that too.
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
2,868
I bought it at a fair from a Burmese exhibitor and I don’t think they have a website. I haven’t check to be honest.

The certificate that came with is a Burmese one as well.

I will definitely turn the stone upside down and really scrutinise the next time I get a stone! I have learned from here that it’s ok to have inclusions in a stone but I should be aware of them and the pricing should reflect that too.
Not sure which lab the cert came from but you may want to verify purchases at the local lab. I’ve heard from my jeweler some horror stories re: glass filled rubies etc bought by unsuspecting clients. Think spinel is usually ok but can be oiled. LINK

I usually get my loose stones checked out at the local Nanyang lab before setting to at least verify that the stone is what it’s supposed to be, especially if it’s fairly expensive (unless already accompanied by reputable cert).

Hope it’s not from the Burmese vendor who starts by asking for $10k/carat? I actually wanted to turned and walked away immediately after I heard that. Managed to smile and say no thanks and then avoided that booth like plague thereafter. :P2
 

Anne111

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 30, 2017
Messages
302
Spinel can be oiled but not fried in olive oil and not at home.
If the jeweler said it is a custom setting and then uses a readymade one, all else she or he says is to be very doubted.
Make clear who carries which risks BEFORE settings, best let the vendor do the setting so they cannot claim it was already there and not their fault.
 

LisaRN

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Messages
3,069
I took your picture of the stone unset, saved it and magnified it. I believe I can see the fracture. When purchasing stones from pictures, I always magnify the pictures, then I usually de-saturate the color about 10 to 15% to get an idea of what the stone might look like if the seller amplified the color which is very common.

I think it is a very pretty ring. For what its worth I have had my stones chipped during the setting process by recommended vendors. Some have needed to be re-cut and some were so small I decided to leave things be.
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
2,868
I took your picture of the stone unset, saved it and magnified it. I believe I can see the fracture. When purchasing stones from pictures, I always magnify the pictures, then I usually de-saturate the color about 10 to 15% to get an idea of what the stone might look like if the seller amplified the color which is very common.

I think it is a very pretty ring. For what its worth I have had my stones chipped during the setting process by recommended vendors. Some have needed to be re-cut and some were so small I decided to leave things be.
Can you pls post a pic to show us what it looks like after you do the magnification and then de-saturate? Hoping to learn as I find it so difficult to judge vendor pics. Thank you!
 

LisaRN

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Nov 1, 2007
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3,069
Can you pls post a pic to show us what it looks like after you do the magnification and then de-saturate? Hoping to learn as I find it so difficult to judge vendor pics. Thank you!
I right click the picture and hit save picture. Then use Microsoft word to edit the picture. There you can enlarge, flip the stone and de-saturate the color. I can enlarge the picture when viewing, but not when saving. I am not the most computer savvy person though.
 
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