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This ruby I purchased may be a garnet - What would you do?

JewelledEscalators

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
209
Until this experience, I've been able to confirm my gemstone purchases are what they're meant to be with just my refractometer and loupe. I mainly buy sapphires (natural and lab created) and with the colours I tend to go for, it's easy to tell if I've received a garnet or spinel instead because the RIs and/or colourways will be quite different to what I'm expecting. But this is my first time purchasing a ruby and having to do extra tests because the RI for almandine garnet is relatively close to corundum and the colours could potentially crossover. I'm still waiting for my UV torch but I'm confident I'll soon be able to distinguish between the two quite conclusively (though I hope to never have to deal with any red stones again after this project). I also have my DIY polariscope now and I'm thinking of getting a dichroscope too so I'll have my own little ID-ing kit.

If I see a really good deal on something I can't get elsewhere, I may consider purchasing from them again, but only if it's something that I feel confident about identifying myself without casting any doubt. For example, a tanzanite, doesn't have something so similar in colour and RI that I would have too much trouble identifying a switch-up. If I ordered a tanzanite and got a spinel in the same size/colour, that would actually be a better outcome. :dance:

Haha, so I guess what you were saying earlier about hawker stalls stands.

Re: telling rubies and garnets apart with UV light - I don't think Thai rubies fluoresce, and they can come in darker reds too. Just so you know.
 

Daisys and Diamonds

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
12,991
Also, as for this view that only a bluffing vendor will tell you to go and send the stone to a lab, I don't think that's necessarily true, based on my experience.

Previously I bought 3 rings at an auction (s), all of which I thought were fake stones/not the stones described.

Of these, two were obviously not what they were claimed to be. One was a lab ruby claimed to be natural, one was a plastic/glass tone claimed to be a garnet. In each case, I contacted the auction houses responsible and told them based on my own observation (and in one case based also on the observation of somebody who worked at gem seller) I didn't believe they were remotely real and that if they wished, I could send them to a lab but if so, they will have to refund me for that as well as the items I purchased, and they both told me send the rings back rather than send it to a lab and they will look at it again and refund me if they agreed with me, and they did.

The third one didn't, and insisted it was a genuine gemstone of the species described (I was suspicious as amongst others it was too good to be true), stuck by their guns and told me if I wanted I could send it to a lab but they didn't specifically promise to refund me for the cost of the lab cert if it turned out to be not what they described. However, the platform provider for the auction (a different company) told me if I believed it was not a genuine stone/the stone described, send it to a lab, and if the lab cert says so, they will get the auction house to refund me. By that point, I didn't want to get it tested as I really liked it even if might not be what it was meant to be, but in the end, not kowing got to me, and I got it tested, and yes, it was what they claimed it to be. Also, every jeweller who saw it thought it was real too (or a very realistic lab stone).

So somebody saying 'send it to a lab' wouldn't necessarily be bluffing, but could happen because they're really confident that it's real.

Mind you, the one I sent to the lab cost me the equivalent of a few thousand dollars, and of the ones I didn't, one cost about $200, another about $100, where the lab cost would have been around $200.

.....do you have pictures .... ;)2
 

JackTrick

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
467
Until this experience, I've been able to confirm my gemstone purchases are what they're meant to be with just my refractometer and loupe. I mainly buy sapphires (natural and lab created) and with the colours I tend to go for, it's easy to tell if I've received a garnet or spinel instead because the RIs and/or colourways will be quite different to what I'm expecting. But this is my first time purchasing a ruby and having to do extra tests because the RI for almandine garnet is relatively close to corundum and the colours could potentially crossover. I'm still waiting for my UV torch but I'm confident I'll soon be able to distinguish between the two quite conclusively (though I hope to never have to deal with any red stones again after this project). I also have my DIY polariscope now and I'm thinking of getting a dichroscope too so I'll have my own little ID-ing kit.

If I see a really good deal on something I can't get elsewhere, I may consider purchasing from them again, but only if it's something that I feel confident about identifying myself without casting any doubt. For example, a tanzanite, doesn't have something so similar in colour and RI that I would have too much trouble identifying a switch-up. If I ordered a tanzanite and got a spinel in the same size/colour, that would actually be a better outcome. :dance:

Dichroscopes are great. Quite inexpensive and dead simple to use.
 

roxta

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
188
Haha, so I guess what you were saying earlier about hawker stalls stands.

Re: telling rubies and garnets apart with UV light - I don't think Thai rubies fluoresce, and they can come in darker reds too. Just so you know.

Yup, I'm aware that fluorescence on it's own isn't a full picture. Mainly I would be going off single/double refraction as my biggest clue. Definitely not judging anything based on colour.

Anyway, the latest development is the vendor sent the certificate for one of the stones tested from that parcel and it came back as "orange-pink sapphire". They said: The color of these stones from the Songea deposit is always an issue at some labs because there is no standard definition of the borderline between ruby and sapphire. In Australia from the customers we have supplied, this color was always regarded as ruby. The light in Australia is also different from Thailand. At GIA we usually get a ruby designation for the same color.

Supposedly GIA will classify this red as "ruby", though no one else on this thread will.

So that stone in particular is corundum and the vendor no longer thinks the parcel is garnet (from appearance). I'm clarified that I'm still to use the funds I was sent to test my mystery stone at the lab. Though I have made it clear to them that I'm not going to wait around until we get the results because this could take a while, a couple of weeks even, and my project cannot afford any further delay from this drama. I'm powering ahead with finding a replacement and I'm not going to set the mystery stone, no matter what it turns out to be. I will happily send it back to them after testing if they would like me to.
 

kgizo

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 14, 2009
Messages
2,161
I’m a little confused. They have refunded your money and given you money for testing fees, but not covered postage fees to/from the lab, right? If you don’t want the stone why would the hassle of coordinating the testing fall on you? I would ask them to provide a return label and once they’ve done that return the stone and testing fees and be done with it.
 

roxta

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
188
I’m a little confused. They have refunded your money and given you money for testing fees, but not covered postage fees to/from the lab, right? If you don’t want the stone why would the hassle of coordinating the testing fall on you? I would ask them to provide a return label and once they’ve done that return the stone and testing fees and be done with it.

Yea, I'm not too sure about this either. I think they figured since my order has been refunded, I have a free stone and free funds to find out what it is, so no loss to me. If I were going to set the stone IF it's a ruby (as per the original plan), then it makes sense to spend time and travel/postage cost to and from the lab. But all this will take too long and I'm going in a different direction now, with a different stone.

Maybe they want me to be able to test the stone here for general confidence. If I just sent the stone back without testing, they could tell me what it is but I would have to trust that they sent my actual stone to the lab and are conveying the true results. Whereas, if I take the stone to the lab myself and look at the results with my own eyes, I will have zero doubts about what it was that I actually received. So perhaps that's why they are more focused on sending me money for testing fees than return postage.
 
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