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Tanzanite Opinion? I have a unique opportunity...

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Jerod

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Aug 30, 2016
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Hi PS! I've enjoyed the advice and expertise on this site!

I'm familiar with diamond grading and lab reports (I'm not a jeweler though!) but colored gemstones are quite foreign to me. Normally I wouldn't consider buying loose colored gemstones ever but...

I work at a small private university and there was a lady who willed her jewelry collection to the school. In her collection was a selection of loose Tanzanites, which are a very deep blue color. From my limited knowledge, these are higher grade stones than the lighter, more pale colored Tanzanites. Whether they are "investment" grade stones I'm not sure, since the only "investment grade" physical items I own are gold, silver and platinum bullion.

However, they did a fundraiser at a local jeweler in my town and these were left over after the sale, along with smaller rings and settings and such. Now the school is selling them at deep discounts. The original purchase stickers on the Tanzanites are still on the display boxes and most are 5 carats or more, ranging up to over $8,000 in price from wherever she bought them. I spoke with one of my co-workers who is helping with the sale and said they'd be willing to sell them about 90% off the ticket price since they just want to sell them off. The other factor is that all money raised goes to our scholarship fund for our students.

They do not seem to have any certificates or lab reports, however when they sold them at the local jeweler he did inspect all the gemstones and at least to him, they were genuine.

Am I crazy to think about buying one or more? I would look then to resell I think, unless my wife wants some really expensive jewelry! I realize that a resell value to a jeweler with no lab report looks pretty sketchy and wouldn't fetch $8,000 but hopefully more than I would pay for them. If I make enough I may keep a smaller one for myself, they are awful pretty.

I'd appreciate any thoughts that can be shared. I have no photos, unfortunately but they look just like the rich, deep colored photos you'd find on GIA's website.
 

shaggy1

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
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146
I'd jump on that opportunity, but I'm impulsive. Do you know where she bought them? Was the place reputable?
 

rockysalamander

Ideal_Rock
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May 20, 2016
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5,022
This is a buyer-beware moment. If you have the funds and are prepared to accept them for their beauty at the price for whatever they really are, then go for it. You post said you might keep one, but I presume you may sell them. If you will get them graded and certified, then you may have success and, if you can find a buyer, you may make some money (or not). Otherwise, you'll be in the same selling position as your buying position. So, you won't get top dollar for the stones.

https://accreditedgemologists.org/articles/TanzaniteFactsFearsFakes.pdf
 

theredspinel

Brilliant_Rock
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889
I would buy at least 1.... For that price how can you resist! If it turns out to be rubbish then I'd be prepared to accept that
. If not then :dance:
 

Jerod

Rough_Rock
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Aug 30, 2016
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Thanks for the replies. I figure at that price I will give it a shot! I think I will also try and get in touch with the jeweler that showed them at his store as well.
 

dk168

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5,638
This what I would have done if I were still at my college with friends in the right places: I would try and establish if the roughs are what they are by doing a refractive index on them.

DK :))
 

arkieb1

Ideal_Rock
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May 11, 2012
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9,526
Buy one, pick the best one, ask them to hold the others for you, organise to take it to a valuer the same day to assess what you have and if it's a deal get the rest if not then you have one you can keep or sell.
 

GregS

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
717
The market is saturated with huge beautiful tanzanite. Even if production ceased tomorrow, there'd still be a lot to spread around. $8,000 would be sky high retail for top color stones south of 10 cts.. So I would be confused by 5,6,7 ct. stones marked at $8k. If you can get them for less the $300 a carat then it might not be a bad buy especially if they're top color and over 5 carats. If you can get them for $100 a carat I would buy them all.
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
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4,088
OP, in case it is helpful, AJS Gems just posted this on Tanzanite pricing/value: http://www.ajsgem.com/articles/september-2016-newsletter.html

FWIW, if you're looking for an investment opportunity, personally I'd pass on buying any of these loose Tanzanites.

Tying up money into a commodity you're unfamiliar with and which would require your further investment in the form of grading reports from American Gem Society Laboratory (AGS) for each stone, so you as seller know what you have and can find comparables for pricing; and since you are not a gemstone dealer, you'd be selling on the secondary market which for high-ticket items can be a real waiting game. The fact the stones have remained unsold is rather telling.

Frankly, if selling them would be so easy, I'd think your private university would be smart enough to bite the bullet and send the Tanzanites to AGS for reports and then put some of them in each of their next silent auctions/fundraisers.

However, if you/your wife would like a beautiful blue gemstone, then buy just one Tanzanite and set it into a piece of jewelry (and if a ring, occasional wear only).
 

Jerod

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 30, 2016
Messages
6
GregS|1472689642|4072060 said:
The market is saturated with huge beautiful tanzanite. Even if production ceased tomorrow, there'd still be a lot to spread around. $8,000 would be sky high retail for top color stones south of 10 cts.. So I would be confused by 5,6,7 ct. stones marked at $8k. If you can get them for less the $300 a carat then it might not be a bad buy especially if they're top color and over 5 carats. If you can get them for $100 a carat I would buy them all.
There were a lot of stones, probably 30+ ct in tanzanite and 16 ct in tourmaline, but I don't have quite that much money to throw around! I ended up picking up a 10.6 ct. oval, a 3.0 ct oval (that's really stunning, great color saturation) and a 5.6 ct emerald for a total of $1,500. I want to turn one into a heirloom piece for my daughter, maybe the emerald cut as a ring, or the oval as a pendant, and possibly sell one or more to recoup my costs... not sure yet!

Yeah I don't buy into the "hurry it's almost gone!" hype with anything, much less gemstones. People were saying we were running out of silver a few years back... and then it was oil... but I realize that for $78 a ct. I can't be possibly losing any money on this! I can try and post some photos later if I remember.
 

Jerod

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 30, 2016
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6
marymm|1472738098|4072202 said:
OP, in case it is helpful, AJS Gems just posted this on Tanzanite pricing/value: http://www.ajsgem.com/articles/september-2016-newsletter.html

FWIW, if you're looking for an investment opportunity, personally I'd pass on buying any of these loose Tanzanites.

Tying up money into a commodity you're unfamiliar with and which would require your further investment in the form of grading reports from American Gem Society Laboratory (AGS) for each stone, so you as seller know what you have and can find comparables for pricing; and since you are not a gemstone dealer, you'd be selling on the secondary market which for high-ticket items can be a real waiting game. The fact the stones have remained unsold is rather telling.

Frankly, if selling them would be so easy, I'd think your private university would be smart enough to bite the bullet and send the Tanzanites to AGS for reports and then put some of them in each of their next silent auctions/fundraisers.

However, if you/your wife would like a beautiful blue gemstone, then buy just one Tanzanite and set it into a piece of jewelry (and if a ring, occasional wear only).
The last statement you made is how we felt about it. We didn't just buy from an investment point of view, since the university hasn't been able to sell. Although, they have only had them since May and 2-3 months of that was spent at the jeweler and they've been displayed for a total of only 4 days so far. If we don't end up being able to sell one to help off-set the costs neither of us will not be disappointed in the least.
 

GregS

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
717
At that price I'd say you did well, as long as the color is there.
 

quickjewelryrepairs

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2016
Messages
10
Wow what a great price for such a treasure. It seems like you have done the right thing by taking it to a jeweler and if he gives you the go I would jump on that. Although if I was in your situation I would probably take it to another jeweler just to get another opinion. Other than that I would purchase immediately because the tanzanite mine is very scarce at this point, and you would have one of the rarest stones in the world if you bought it.
 

poshmommy

Brilliant_Rock
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Jan 28, 2016
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540
I don't know much about tanzanite, but those are beautiful stones!
 

Ella

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Jan 18, 2010
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Folks, no buying or selling on PS. Posting personal contact information is also against policies. Since the OP got the information they need, the thread is going to be closed.
 
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