shape
carat
color
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Taking the plunge - my first PS project - blue sapphire!

AmeliaG

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
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After looking at the pics of all the great sapphires in the CS forum and reading up on them for months and months, I finally got the urge to indulge my sapphire madness by mayerling's thread on her sapphire pendant.

Problem: I've got a $1000 budget for everything. I want to get the best cut sapphire I can and put it in a bezel-type band like Makingthegrade's ring here:

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/my-blue-tourmaline-ring-is-here.140274/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/my-blue-tourmaline-ring-is-here.140274/[/URL]

Other desired specs:

Size: 4-5 mm
Color: conflower or Camelot
Cut: round or Asscher

it seems crazy to like both rounds and Asschers but I've seen amazing cuts in both. I think either shape would look awesome in this type ring. Now, I love Jeff White's stones but I have a feeling he's going to be over my budget. I know I may need to compromise somewhere but I don't know where. Right now, I'm just at the stage, where I know what I like.

I particularly like this stone here. It is a bit larger than I am looking for but might work.

http://www.whitesgems.com/gallery/SAP015.htm

I love the cut of this round stone but it is WAY bigger than I need:

http://www.whitesgems.com/gallery/SAP023.htm

I first had the idea that I wanted untreated stones but I think that is going to be out of my budget so I'd be fine with gentle heat treatment.

So I guess I need a reality check. My big question is: Is this project doable in my budget? Are there low-priced alternatives that wouldn't sacrifice too much that could make it doable?

If I left anything out, please let me know.

Thanks! I'm really looking forward to my first project here on PS.
 

Aerix

Shiny_Rock
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Feb 11, 2011
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I think you might be able to pull off this project if you find the right sapphire for the right price. If you don't mind heat, there are these 4.5mm sapphires I found by Simply Sapphires (they're also having a 25% off sale that ends at 11:59pm tonight): http://www.simplysapphires.com/html/imagesblue2005/bluerno451-sm.html

The only problem is that they might be a little darker than what you're looking for. I also suggest you contact Dan Stair to see what he might be able to find. http://www.customgemstones.com/

Here are a couple of blue sapphires I've seen:
http://www.litnon.com/index.php?page=viewgem&id=8779
http://mastercutgems.com/index.php?page=viewgem&id=5898

The one from Master Cut Gems has a tint of green, but it has a nice glow. Gemfix also has quite a few blue sapphires. You may want to contact them and see if they can find anything within your budget:
http://www.gemfix.com/sapphire_blue.html

Good luck finding the right stone! :D For a setting, I recommend DanielM on Etsy since his prices are always good:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/danielmjewelry
 

AmeliaG

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Thanks so much Xirish!

I'm not going to try to beat the midnight deadline but Simply Sapphires seems to have some lovely stones in my price range. It's hard to guess what percent of my budget to put on the stone but I'm guessing about half. I noticed there aren't a lot of 4-5mm sapphires but a lot in the 6mm range. They don't have too many rounds but I was captivated by this cushion-set stone.

http://www.simplysapphires.com/html/imagesblue2006/bluecns115-sm.html

I love the color and the cut looks good also. What do y'all think? I don't know how a cushion would look in a bezel; I want to keep the clean, low-maintenance look of the bezel.
 

deorwine

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
346
I believe Michael E. did MTG's ring (and even if it wasn't him, I know he frequently does rings in that style; I have a similar one with an oval that I love) -- he also cuts stones and will give a better price if you get both the stone and the ring from him, I think. It can't hurt to ask, anyway!
 

AmeliaG

Brilliant_Rock
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Jan 8, 2011
Messages
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Thanks, deorwine!

Does Michael E have a website? Somehow, I can find lots of threads on his work and gemstones but not a webaddress among them. :errrr:

kt, if you do a Pricescope search on Michael E, you'll find a lot of threads of member projects for colored gemstones and rings.
 

Aerix

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Messages
495
AmeliaG|1309917267|2962417 said:
Thanks so much Xirish!

I'm not going to try to beat the midnight deadline but Simply Sapphires seems to have some lovely stones in my price range. It's hard to guess what percent of my budget to put on the stone but I'm guessing about half. I noticed there aren't a lot of 4-5mm sapphires but a lot in the 6mm range. They don't have too many rounds but I was captivated by this cushion-set stone.

http://www.simplysapphires.com/html/imagesblue2006/bluecns115-sm.html

I love the color and the cut looks good also. What do y'all think? I don't know how a cushion would look in a bezel; I want to keep the clean, low-maintenance look of the bezel.

Hmm... I'm not sure how a cushion would look in a bezel, but one thing to keep in mind is that bezels usually darken the stone a bit. To answer your other question, here is Michael E's website: http://www.gemshoppe.com/ If you look under the contact/order link you'll find his email address.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Apr 22, 2004
Messages
38,006
It is certainly doable although some serious searching is required. I purchased a 6 mm cornflower round blue sapphire (which turned out to be unheated by AIGS) for $300, which leaves you a decent amount left for the setting.
 

AmeliaG

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Jan 8, 2011
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Thanks Chrono and Xiriah!

I loved the settings on Michael E.'s site. Was disappointed not to see any stones so I went ahead and emailed Jeff White because that round stone is what I'd really like http://www.whitesgems.com/gallery/SAP015.htm Since Jeff cuts his own stones, I'm hoping he can cut something similar in a smaller size though there may be a wait. It may be too expensive but it doesn't hurt to ask.
 

deorwine

Shiny_Rock
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May 5, 2005
Messages
346
Oooops! Sorry about not including Michael E.'s website! Thanks Xiriah for remedying that :)

Yeah, I don't know why he doesn't have any stones up on his website, that's weird. (Although he did cut some of the stones from his rings, e.g., the "blue sapphire semi-light bezel" under oval rings is his cut -- I know because I have a copy of that very ring -- and it looks very much like the color you're looking for.) You can see a whole bunch of them at another place that I don't think I am allowed to name, unfortunately. I have a ring from him with a round brilliant darker sapphire he cut -- from your post it sounds like you'd definitely want a lighter one -- but the cut is very nice and the color is exactly what I asked for (medium-dark blue with a splash of green -- not "prime" color but it was what I wanted). It's a sweet stone but if I had to do it over I'd ask for a lighter one as it darkened in the bezel quite a bit (and since then I've realized I like lighter stones better anyway). I'll try to take pics tonight if I get a chance.

I do recommend contacting him -- he may be able to beat anyone else's price if you get both the stone and setting from him, and he can send you pics of stones he's cut, if nothing else.

Also, from the Jeff White picture you linked, it looks like the color you want is a little lighter and a little less super-saturated than the usual "top" color, which works out really well for you, as it will mean that it will be cheaper :)
 

AmeliaG

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Messages
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Thanks deorwine. I found a couple of his stones.

Actually I emailed Jeff about this one: http://www.whitesgems.com/gallery/SAP023.htm I'm really liking the idea of a round in the Michael e setting.

Before I start contacting more of these sites, can someone tell me more about what I should be looking for in gem quality and certification and other points in evaluating vendors?

For example, I've heard about avoiding windows in sapphires but I don't know if I could spot one in a stone I'm looking at. Jeff White is highly recommended here but he doesn't seem to deal in certified stones which I thought would have been important. Simply Sapphires seems to offer the most quality assurance with a lot of pictures and a selection of certified and certified unheated stones. Dan Stair's stones seem to come in at much lower price points than the other vendors - do his stones represent a really good deal or is there an implied tradeoff? I'd love to save money but I'm actually leaning towards Simply Sapphires simply for the peace of mind because of the certification and the number of pics they offer.

Any guidance would be much appreciated!
 

AmeliaG

Brilliant_Rock
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OK, here is another question while I'm waiting to hear from Jeff.

I'm going back and forth between rounds and cushions. Here are the big pics of the Simply Sapphire cushion:
http://www.simplysapphires.com/html/imagesblue2006/bluecns115-sm.html

I like the fact that the stone is certified and unheated. I'm not sure of what looks like dust on the stone (or are they inclusions?) and the black looking mark on the back. Please help educate me. Would they impact the look of the sapphire at normal size? It's 6x5.5x4.3mm or 1.15 carats. Do you see any windows in the stone?

simplysapphirecush1.jpg

simplysapphirecush2.jpg

simplysapphirecush3.jpg

simplysapphirecush4.jpg
 

Pandora II

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Messages
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Reports... for a stone costing $1k I wouldn't personally look at getting a report unless it's a cheapy that tells you that there are no signs of high heat. Not worth paying hundreds of dollars for a full report for a stone of that price.

It looks like a feather inclusion - a small internal fracture - these are very common in sapphires (the black mark is the same inclusion). You might see a little bit from face-up - probably like a tiny bit of a shimmer effect in one area of the stone. In a stone that size it won't be that noticeable though as it's not under the table facet or anything like that.
 

AmeliaG

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Thanks Pandora. I was expecting clarity to be harder to come by in sapphires than in diamonds. The website says its already AGTA certified but I don't see a report. The price upon checkout is $602.25 rather than $535.00. That's a $67.00 difference that I can't explain unless its sales tax. This is before shipping charges.
 

AmeliaG

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Thanks mayerling! After a lot of thought, I'm really leaning strongly towards the Jeff White asscher. Just waiting to hear back from him.
 

AmeliaG

Brilliant_Rock
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I just spoke to Jeff and he is looking for a sapphire similar to this one in my original size range 4.5-5.0

http://www.whitesgems.com/gallery/SAP015.htm

I'm so excited. He says the way the Asschers are cut, they're naturally a little lighter which I think should work beautifully in a bezel setting. And the price range he quoted me is very reasonable.

I can't wait to get it so I can start choosing a setting with the help of my PS friends!
 
T

talamasca

Guest
I'm currently looking for something similar, but with a slightly smaller budget unfortunately! Looking forward to seeing your JW asscher :D
 

AmeliaG

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Hi, JW. I'm looking forward to it too.

After looking at potential settings and getting the help of everyone here, I decided to re-contact Jeff and ask that he search for a 5mm stone. The 4 to 4.5 mm stones were too difficult to find attractive settings for.

I'll be getting the stone later than I hoped but it was my mistake.

Good luck on your project.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Pandora|1309988747|2963099 said:
Reports... for a stone costing $1k I wouldn't personally look at getting a report unless it's a cheapy that tells you that there are no signs of high heat. Not worth paying hundreds of dollars for a full report for a stone of that price.

It looks like a feather inclusion - a small internal fracture - these are very common in sapphires (the black mark is the same inclusion). You might see a little bit from face-up - probably like a tiny bit of a shimmer effect in one area of the stone. In a stone that size it won't be that noticeable though as it's not under the table facet or anything like that.

I would get a memo, and those are around $60 to $100. A memo is a scaled down report. At least it will tell you if and what treatment there is on the stone, and the fact that it's natural vs synthetic.
 

AmeliaG

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Thanks TL, that's good to know! Now I'm just impatiently waiting for my stone. I know its going to be beautiful when I get it but the waiting is killing me.
 

T L

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Justin_Cutter

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AmeliaG|1311298189|2974224 said:
That is really helpful, TL. I'm assuming you got the AGL FastTrack GemBrief report? http://www.aglgemlab.com/Services/FastTrack.aspx

I asked Jeff for an unheated stone but I didn't specify untreated. Is it common for sapphires to be treated but unheated?


As TL said the Fast Track option is a great one! I recently was in a situation that if the stone proved to be unheated and untreated I wanted to go with a full prestige report from AGL. If it was heated or treated then I only wanted the FastTrack GemBrief.

AGL was kind enough to proceed with the GemBrief report and upon finding that the stone was natural and untreated AGL called me and asked if I wanted to proceed to the Prestige report. This was great because I didn't have to dish out the money for a Prestige up front but only the GemBrief. I am currently now having a Prestige Report done with ID, Origin, and Grading on my stone here https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/5-58-ct-blue-sapphire-gemsthailand.163440/.

In my experience most heated sapphires I have seen have been treated or just heat only. I don't recall ever seeing a treated sapphire that was not heated, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. This is just my experience.

Here is a couple stones from the company that I just purchased mine from. I am currently writing a full review on my experience with them and I will post it within a few days. Once my review posts I am going to ask PS to put Gemsthailand on the Sites Selling Colored Gemstones and Jewelry list.

Most of these are heated but the cuts are nice and the size and clarity is great for the price.
Here is a few Rounds
http://cgi.ebay.com/1-53-CT-QUALITY...1502?pt=Loose_Gemstones_1&hash=item519124af6e

http://cgi.ebay.com/6MM-NO-1-ROYAL-...1185?pt=Loose_Gemstones_1&hash=item3a552a0861

http://cgi.ebay.com/1-43-CT-TOP-VVS...7364?pt=Loose_Gemstones_1&hash=item3a4cea7694

And a couple Cushions
http://cgi.ebay.com/1-55-CT-TOP-GRA...4590?pt=Loose_Gemstones_1&hash=item3ca331e7de

http://cgi.ebay.com/2-45-CT-NATURAL...6813?pt=Loose_Gemstones_1&hash=item3a567710bd

~Justin
 

AmeliaG

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Thanks Justin! It's good to hear someone else has had a good experience with AGL. I'm in New York which makes working with them easier too.

My stone will only cost around $700 or so, so I don't think a $300 report will be worth the money. It does look like a good report.
 

chrono

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Just to verify that the sapphire is unheated, the AGL brief is sufficient and cost effective. Usually, treatment for corundum is heating (plain heat or with mineral additives) and clarity enhancement (more commonly done with rubies).
 

AmeliaG

Brilliant_Rock
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Now I've got another question. I was going to post it in my setting thread but its really a stone question - not a setting question.

I'm looking at this Iolani setting by Sally (Etsy:Heart of Water) with some changes (see photo below). Her other Iolani heads have a flatter head than this which I prefer, they also have no basket which for a small stone I prefer and I'd want pear shaped sidestones rather than rounds in a marquise shape.

But I'm now having to think about sidestones for the ring. I'm leaning towards peridot because of 1. color - as long as the green is not too pale and yellowish, I think it will look good with the slightly yellowish blue in my Asscher 2. cost - I hadn't planned on sidestones and I want to keep the cost down. Peridots look really inexpensive in small sizes.

My main question though is: will the softness of peridot work against it. I'm thinking that in a sidestone, no.

My other question is how to source such small stones. The center stone will be 5mm so I'm thinking the sidestones can be no more than 3mm. I've done a Google search on small peridots and pears look hard to come by in that size. Quite frankly there's not a lot to choose from.

My gut is telling me to let Sally source the stones but I want a little control over the color - most peridots I've seen would work with the color blue I'm looking at but some peridots would be too yellowish to work.

sallyiolanipears.jpg
 

AmeliaG

Brilliant_Rock
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A little update.

After a lot of thought and a lot of help from my fellow Pricescope members and Jeff White who was amazingly patient answering all my questions, I decided to hold off this project until I can get more funds and more time and energy to spend to get what I really want.

To put it in a nutshell, to spend the money (and time) I am looking at spending, I want what I want without much work and it's looking like that is not so easy on my budget. I had this suspicion going in but I wasn't aware of how picky I'd be about color saturation and hue (or how difficult it would be to get in the size and the timeframe I'm comfortable with)

I'm in a situation where even $200-$300 for a ready-made ring is a significant expense for which I wouldn't want to settle so $1000+ is not the money I want to spend and still feel like settling.

I still have learned a lot from this experience and I look forward to using it in a future custom jewelry purchase. I think what I was most surprised at (and I shouldn't have been) was the time it takes to get the exact stone you want - that you feel is worth the money you're spending. Its not that the stones I passed up aren't beautiful - they were just not what I wanted for the money and time I would be spending on a custom project. I had had custom leather bound journals and scrapbooks made so I thought I knew about going custom but custom jewelry is a bit more time intensive.
 
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