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The tale of the Unicorn Ruby: Now what do I do with it???

Dr_Diesel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
515
I bought a heated, 1.54 ct Mozambique ruby from a friend in early 2018 (before ruby prices went totally bonkers).

Lotus Labs gave it the Trade color designation of “Fuchsia”: Slightly Purplish Red with Vivid Saturation, Medium Tone and strong fluorescence.

Image.png

The vivid fuchsia is a unique kind of beauty. It’s neither the “trade ideal” pigeon blood color, and also decidedly different from pink sapphire. Another “Unicorn” trait IMO.

I snapped it up because of its incredible material, but the “meh” (and slightly windowed) native cut “roval” always kind of irked me. It wasn’t bad…but I just despise unintentional windows. I love open cutlets, but I hate windows….and the light return wasn’t great either.

I never really got over it.

IMG_0065.jpeg

In 2021, I sent it to a well-known cutter for “evaluation” and he confidently said “I can make this into a gorgeous round.” He then (arrogantly) proceeded to recut it into a different kind of wonky roval that was still windowed but now absolutely HIDEOUS…and 0.30cts lighter.

IMG_0066.jpeg

I felt sick. I wished I had never sent it for recutting - or at least wish that he would have had the humility to acknowledge that he couldn’t improve it and just left it alone. I was mad as hell.

Now, I couldn’t even stand to look at it anymore. I “tried” to like it…but it just made me feel sick every time I looked at it.

In 2022, I sent it to a different cutter to cut a precision round. He tried to keep it above 1ct and succeeded…1.03ct…but the sacrifices he made to do so created terrible extinction under the table: a dark center with a bright “Ring of death” around the crown facets.

IMG_0067.jpeg

It wasn’t terrible in diffuse lighting (below), but it was horrible in direct lighting (above)

IMG_0071.jpeg


I came to despise the stone and just wanted to get rid of it. I thought maybe someone else might appreciate it. Maybe it was just me? Maybe it was tainted in my mind because of the whole story. Nope. Someone else looked at it and had the same reaction.

One day, I was talking to a friend who’s been cutting stones for a couple of years and has developed rather impressive skill IMO. She is quite humble and was scared to touch it because she’d never cut a high-value stone before.

…and I gave her full authority to do ANYTHING she wanted. At this point, if it went “pop” on the wheel and disintegrated, I couldn’t have cared less.

So, we went “all in”.

It was a very bold (and arguably expensive) experiment, but there was nothing left to lose.

I had to change the narrative around this stone - even if that just meant allowing a friend to take her first crack at cutting a ruby with no liability.

She was remarkably meticulous in her approach. She developed a custom cut using GEMCAD & GEMRAY that optimized light performance in this material.

She warned me however: Design is one thing. Execution is another. I neither expected much nor did I care at that point.

…but the results were nothing less than astonishing.

It dipped a little below the (NON-) magical 1ct mark but now the combination of vivid color saturation, open tone, strong fluorescence and optimized light performance just came together in a miraculous way.

The lapidary simply said “it glows like a mythical object.”





It’s now a perfect 6.2mm round with a faceted girdle and the scale teeters between 0.94 and 0.95ct.

…and I couldn’t be happier! She transformed the stone from something I couldn’t stand to look at to one of my all-time favorites.

It never goes dark and I just can’t describe what happens in sunlight. It’s… other-worldly.

The hand shot is the most accurate representation, but IRL it’s MORE neon. Way more.

In low lighting, it has a very slightly purplish red body color and in dim, warm lighting it goes true red.




This was a crazy experiment that went shockingly well - and I’m certain I’ll never see anything like this again.

Nowadays, rubies are just waaaay too expensive to engage in such madness or risk any weight loss whatsoever.

In the end, I’m totally thrilled that we pulled out all the stops and made an unwavering commitment to quality over quantity.

The result? A bonafide Unicorn.

The question now is…what the heck do I do with it ???

Can you help???

For starters, here’s a (terrible) photo of it flanked by 5mm IRB diamonds (which I think are too big, but they were available for a photo…)

IMG_0048.jpeg
 
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Joanne10

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2023
Messages
74
That is amaziiiiiiing!!! Wow! :kiss2:

Re: setting - I’m assuming you want a ring, so you can stare at it all day? (I know I would! :)) Have you tried looking at photos of rings, to see what you’re attracted to, style-wise? I’d save several pics into a inspiration folder, and see what other ideas come out of that, if you have nothing in mind at the moment.
 

Avondale

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 31, 2021
Messages
1,142
Oh wow. If that doesn't teach you the difference a quality precision cut can make... It's a night and day difference.

Do you have photos of the in-between stages? It would be a good educational resource to have it all in the same place.
 

Dr_Diesel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
515
That is amaziiiiiiing!!! Wow! :kiss2:

Re: setting - I’m assuming you want a ring, so you can stare at it all day? (I know I would! :)) Have you tried looking at photos of rings, to see what you’re attracted to, style-wise? I’d save several pics into a inspiration folder, and see what other ideas come out of that, if you have nothing in mind at the moment.

I’ve designed and made a lot of rings in the past, but I’m quite paralyzed with this one…Part of me wants to do something really special with it, and part of me just wants to do a simple 3-stone setting…but I’m really stuck.

I’m curious about what you would do! It would really help me think this through.
 

0-0-0

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2010
Messages
1,455
I like high karat gold with red stones. Would have never guessed that they were the same stone at one point. Can you name the cutters so we know who to avoid for this kind of work? Were they trying to retain as much material as possible in their recuts?
 

Avondale

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 31, 2021
Messages
1,142
Here you go! 4F7C92FE-DAAF-45F5-9453-ED12DB545DB3.jpeg

Holy Moly, the first and second recuts are actually worse than the native cut! Honestly, the window on the original cut probably would've been closed by a clever setting, but in any case the final cut makes it all worth it.

I think this one is begging to be in a feminine setting!

In that case, slap the two 5mm diamonds next to it (no, they're not too big for it) in an elegant and timeless 3-stone. You can play a little with the basket, make it something flowy and pretty, but don't overdo it.

My reasoning: some stones are spectacular enough on their own and the best thing to do is to let them take centre stage and shine. This ruby doesn't need elaborate settings and a bajillion diamonds, and I don't see it turned into a glamorous (and maybe even a little tacky) cocktail ring.
 

Dr_Diesel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
515
I like high karat gold with red stones. Would have never guessed that they were the same stone at one point. Can you name the cutters so we know who to avoid for this kind of work? Were they trying to retain as much material as possible in their recuts?

Oooh. I definitely see the value in naming names, but I’m also reticent to badmouth anyone.

The guy who did the first recut (upper right) is quite well-known and many people are happy with his work. In this case however, it was disastrous. I just feel funny about naming him directly.

I forget the name of the second guy. I have a friend who’s a gem dealer and he sent it to his cutter.

To be fair, I think this may have been a particularly tricky stone, perhaps because of the way the microscopic silk alters the path of light. It’s quite different from planning a cut for super crystalline material.

As for the final cutter, I’ll contact her and see if she’s okay with being mentioned by name.
 
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Dr_Diesel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
515
Holy Moly, the first and second recuts are actually worse than the native cut!
Agreed! I was beside myself when I got it back from the first cutter.

In that case, slap the two 5mm diamonds next to it (no, they're not too big for it) in an elegant and timeless 3-stone.

I’m definitely leaning in that direction! Thank you! …and yes, I think playing with the basket may be all that’s needed!
 

Dr_Diesel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
515
I’ll throw in my two cents. These are a few styles I like, which might work with this stone. My aesthetic is dainty (and I also like antiques), so the examples are all over the place, I’m afraid. I’d set it in 18k yellow gold, not white metal, btw.

IMG_9793.jpeg IMG_9792.jpeg IMG_9790.jpeg

I like the first one… And I thought about using OECs for the sides, but I don’t really think it fits with the modern cut of the Ruby. I’m not really a fan of modern round brilliants, but I think that H&A rounds may be the logical choice.
 

ItsMainelyYou

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
4,983
I bought a heated, 1.54 ct Mozambique ruby from a friend in early 2018 (before ruby prices went totally bonkers).

Lotus Labs gave it the Trade color designation of “Fuchsia”: Slightly Purplish Red with Vivid Saturation, Medium Tone and strong fluorescence.

Image.png

The vivid fuchsia is a unique kind of beauty. It’s neither the “trade ideal” pigeon blood color, and also decidedly different from pink sapphire. Another “Unicorn” trait IMO.

I snapped it up because of its incredible material, but the “meh” (and slightly windowed) native cut “roval” always kind of irked me. It wasn’t bad…but I just despise unintentional windows. I love open cutlets, but I hate windows….and the light return wasn’t great either.

I never really got over it.

IMG_0065.jpeg

In 2021, I sent it to a well-known cutter for “evaluation” and he confident said “I can make this into a gorgeous round.” He then (arrogantly) proceeded to recut it into a different kind of wonky roval that was still windowed but now absolutely HIDEOUS…and 0.30cts lighter.

I felt sick. I wished I had never sent it for recutting - or at least wish that he would have had the humility to acknowledge that he couldn’t improve it and just left it alone. I was mad as hell.

Now, I couldn’t even stand to look at it anymore. I “tried” to like it…but it just made me feel sick every time I looked at it.

In 2022, I sent it to a different cutter to cut a precision round. He tried to keep it above 1ct and succeeded…1.03ct…but the sacrifices he made to do so created terrible extinction under the table: a dark center with a bright “Ring of death” around the crown facets.

I came to despise the stone and just wanted to get rid of it. I thought maybe someone else might appreciate it. Maybe it was just me? Maybe it was tainted in my mind because of the whole story. Nope. Someone else looked at it and had the same reaction.

One day, I was talking to a friend who’s been cutting stones for a couple of years and has developed rather impressive skill IMO. She is quite humble and was scared to touch it because she’d never cut a high-value stone before.

…and I gave her full authority to do ANYTHING she wanted. At this point, if it went “pop” on the wheel and disintegrated, I couldn’t have cared less.

So, we went “all in”.

It was a very bold (and arguably expensive) experiment, but there was nothing left to lose.

I had to change the narrative around this stone - even if that just meant allowing a friend to take her first crack at cutting a ruby with no liability.

She was remarkably meticulous in her approach. She developed a custom cut using GEMCAD & GEMRAY that optimized light performance in this material.

She warned me however: Design is one thing. Execution is another. I neither expected much nor did I care at that point.

…but the results were nothing less than astonishing.

It dipped a little below the (NON-) magical 1ct mark but now the combination of vivid color saturation, open tone, strong fluorescence and optimized light performance just came together in a miraculous way.

The lapidary simply said “it glows like a mythical object.”





It’s now a perfect 6.2mm round with a faceted girdle and the scale teeters between 0.94 and 0.95ct.

…and I couldn’t be happier! She transformed the stone from something I couldn’t stand to look at to one of my all-time favorites.

It never goes dark and I just can’t describe what happens in sunlight. It’s… other-worldly.

The hand shot is the most accurate representation, but IRL it’s MORE neon. Way more.

In low lighting, it has a very slightly purplish red body color and in dim, warm lighting it goes true red.




This was a crazy experiment that went shockingly well - and I’m certain I’ll never see anything like this again.

Nowadays, rubies are just waaaay too expensive to engage in such madness or risk any weight loss whatsoever.

In the end, I’m totally thrilled that we pulled out all the stops and made an unwavering commitment to quality over quantity.

The result? A bonafide Unicorn.

The question now is…what the heck do I do with it ???

Can you help???

For starters, here’s a (terrible) photo of it flanked by 5mm IRB diamonds (which I think are too big, but they were available for a photo…)

IMG_0048.jpeg

Everyone needs her name because she saved that stone. That was a name making save. I want to recut several smaller spinels and my 5ct blue spinel that is also 'ugly' but I'm terrified of sending it to someone who will do what the other cutters did.

You could really do anything with that ruby, though if you do a three stone I suggest 4-4.5mm sides if staying round.
This headlight stone can also handle any bezel or imbedded goldwork around it easily. High karat all the way. Honestly? Go nuts on the mounting.
 

Dr_Diesel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
515
Everyone needs her name because she saved that stone. That was a name making save. I want to recut several smaller spinels and my 5ct blue spinel that is also 'ugly' but I'm terrified of sending it to someone who will do what the other cutters did.
I just sent her a screenshot of this :kiss2:
You could really do anything with that ruby, though if you do a three stone I suggest 4-4.5mm sides if staying round.
This headlight stone can also handle any bezel or imbedded goldwork around it easily. High karat all the way. Honestly? Go nuts on the mounting.
Sooooo many ideas are coming to mind!!! I’ve been imagining everything from a Gypsy 3-stone to Victorian-style baskets.

I really love what Caysie did here:

IMG_0073.jpeg IMG_0074.jpeg
 

Avondale

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 31, 2021
Messages
1,142
Yep. That would work.

Anything would work, honestly. You can put it in copper wire and it's still going to look stunning.

You're like a bride with a killer figure. Any wedding dress would look stunning.

Good luck choosing! :lol:
 

ItsMainelyYou

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
4,983
I just sent her a screenshot of this :kiss2:

Sooooo many ideas are coming to mind!!! I’ve been imagining everything from a Gypsy 3-stone to Victorian-style baskets.

I really love what Caysie did here:

IMG_0073.jpeg IMG_0074.jpeg
I love the prong work and rope on this!
You tell her, she earned it. That's skill. Real skill.

I'm an old fashioned girl. I've always especially loved the Victorian three and five stones, florid goldwork, carving and intricacy and I want a version of this beetleandlark ring. I covet it.

 

Dr_Diesel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
515
I love the prong work and rope on this!
You tell her, she earned it. That's skill. Real skill.
I could not agree more!!!!

I'm an old fashioned girl. I've always especially loved the Victorian three and five stones, florid goldwork, carving and intricacy and I want a version of this beetleandlark ring. I covet it.


Ooooh!!! I love that…especially the second one!
 

empliau

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jun 9, 2022
Messages
390
I think I know the answer to this…I really want to use OMCs next to this, but I don’t think the patterning and high-crowns play well with the patterning in the ruby.

What say you? OMC or H&A?

IMG_0082.jpeg IMG_0083.jpeg

I like the contrast between the OMCs and the unicorn. The rhyming of the H&A with the ruby is a little too much of a muchness for me. But of course that's just me, and judging from a photograph - in a ring it might be completely different!
 

Dr_Diesel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 23, 2019
Messages
515
I like the contrast between the OMCs and the unicorn. The rhyming of the H&A with the ruby is a little too much of a muchness for me. But of course that's just me, and judging from a photograph - in a ring it might be completely different!

I like how you’re thinking here!
 

stepcutnut

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
2,857
Gorgeous stone transformation!!!

I envision a high karat, hand carved beauty like this one from Gary Roe… these are screen shots so not super clear!

IMG_0659.jpeg
 

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Slickk

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 3, 2013
Messages
5,084
I think I know the answer to this…I really want to use OMCs next to this, but I don’t think the patterning and high-crowns play well with the patterning in the ruby.

What say you? OMC or H&A?

IMG_0082.jpeg IMG_0083.jpeg

What an amazing recovery for this unicorn stone. Kudos to you for your perseverance. Your friend did an incredible job on the recut. Just wow!!! Thanks for sharing!!
As for setting, while I adore old cuts, I think the RBs compliment this center stone better. JMHO. I’m a math teacher and love symmetry and they just seem to work for me. Can’t wait to see it finished.
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
5,601
Lovely Ruby! :love:

Did the first cutter know you absolutely despised the huge culet /flat cut look, and required it be gone?
(I think it looks like an intentional window, not an unintentional one. Not A pristine portrait cut tho)

Did the second cutter use a diamond facet pattern for the ‘precision cut round’?

I do see where the disappointment was, for sure. Do you think greater communication from the cutter(s) would have prevented it - or is that there the arrogance comes in? ‘Better’ being subjective?

On your sidestones,
I used to say no way for OEC sides on a decidedly modern cut colored stone.
Until I paired them.
IMG_6749.jpeg

Now I think it depends on the all over look between the stones and the specific setting style.
 
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