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Top-notch ruby: how to buy it?

sffrog

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
5
Greetings to the community!

Let me thank you collectively for the fantastic content on the forum. There is nothing quite like a community of enthusiasts and I am respectfully submitting my request for some thoughtful advice in my quest for a top-notch ruby.

My budget is $50k-$100k, for which I expect a beautiful stone (perhaps "investment grade"?). Naturally, I want to give careful consideration to the purchasing process, and here is why:
- gems are only marginally a matter of taste. There is a hierarchy of values, i.e. some stones are intrinsically more beautiful than others, and it is not a matter of taste. The corollary is that for a given budget, there is a set of stones that are the "most beautiful within that budget" (let's call that "Best Value Stone"), and only within that set can one quibble about which is nicer, and this is where taste kicks in (I'm simplifying, but you get my point)
- buying a good ruby is hard, certainly relative to buying a good diamond. It seems to me it is very hard to define that subset of objectively Best Value Stones for a given budget
- I am essentially ignorant in a world of very knowledgeable people
- There is no way to tell whose intentions are pure and whose are not, so I have to assume the worst
- I don't know how to find an "advocate", i.e. someone who is on my side, whose interests are aligned with mine, and who will guide me to find the best possible stone - I'm prepared to pay for good advice, but I'm not sure how to even recognize it with certainty ;-)

My natural inclination would be to buy at auction, where at least market forces give me a (relative) comfort that I am getting what I am paying for.

Again, any thoughtful piece of advice would be very much appreciated!

Thank you.
 

Nsmike

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
89
You may want to look at this site http://www.gemsny.com/ruby/basic-search/
You should also be aware that, there is a current embargo of rubies from Burma, if your based in the USA.
Also gems are absolutly a matter of personal taste, value is a combination of scarcity and demand, which is reflective of a combination of peoples tastes and tradition. I like my sapphires and rubies in bright blue and flame red, in equivalent stones, neither would have the value of the traditional hues. I know my tastes aren't widely shared, so the shades I like aren't as expensive, but it's my taste.
 

OTL

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Messages
1,349
For your budget you may want to get a certified "pigeon blood red" ruby by labs like GRS or Gubelin. As far as I know they use this trade color name in their certificates for years. Many auctions use them for their high quality rubies. Good labs like them can test your stone's treatment & origin.
 

PerkyPolly

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
8
Hi SFFROG
May I highly recommend you go to Mr Edward Bristol of http://www.wildfishgems.com
I have purchased several gemstones from him over the years. I have always been thrilled and completely satisfied with all the gemstones I have purchased and the help I have received. Mr Edward Bristol would be able to guide and advise you in selecting your stone of choice as he is extremely knowledgeable. All his gemstones are unheated and untreated exactly as nature intended and as such are of superior quality and value. The gems are all appraised fully and all have certificates from world leading gemstone laboratories included in the purchase price. The ethos of wildfishgems cannot be faulted as they also support www.worldlandtrust.org by donating a portion of every sale to buy rainforest...... how great is that! Incidentally Edward Bristol also offers gem hunting to customers specific requirements which may help you. Good Luck with your search.
http://wildfishgems.com
 

Niel

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
18,855
PerkyPolly|1471523844|4067282 said:
Hi SFFROG
May I highly recommend you go to Mr Edward Bristol of http://www.wildfishgems.com
I have purchased several gemstones from him over the years. I have always been thrilled and completely satisfied with all the gemstones I have purchased and the help I have received. Mr Edward Bristol would be able to guide and advise you in selecting your stone of choice as he is extremely knowledgeable. All his gemstones are unheated and untreated exactly as nature intended and as such are of superior quality and value. The gems are all appraised fully and all have certificates from world leading gemstone laboratories included in the purchase price. The ethos of wildfishgems cannot be faulted as they also support www.worldlandtrust.org by donating a portion of every sale to buy rainforest...... how great is that! Incidentally Edward Bristol also offers gem hunting to customers specific requirements which may help you. Good Luck with your search.
http://wildfishgems.com
This really seems like spam, just saying .
 

bcavitt

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Messages
199
Niel|1471524875|4067285 said:
PerkyPolly|1471523844|4067282 said:
Hi SFFROG
May I highly recommend you go to Mr Edward Bristol of http://www.wildfishgems.com
I have purchased several gemstones from him over the years. I have always been thrilled and completely satisfied with all the gemstones I have purchased and the help I have received. Mr Edward Bristol would be able to guide and advise you in selecting your stone of choice as he is extremely knowledgeable. All his gemstones are unheated and untreated exactly as nature intended and as such are of superior quality and value. The gems are all appraised fully and all have certificates from world leading gemstone laboratories included in the purchase price. The ethos of wildfishgems cannot be faulted as they also support www.worldlandtrust.org by donating a portion of every sale to buy rainforest...... how great is that! Incidentally Edward Bristol also offers gem hunting to customers specific requirements which may help you. Good Luck with your search.
http://wildfishgems.com
This really seems like spam, just saying .
+1, especially for a first post.
 

PerkyPolly

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
8
Hi guys
No not a spammer just like to recommend and praise good service wherever I find it. Remember there's always a first time for everyone!
Cheers
 

OTL

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Messages
1,349
Niel|1471524875|4067285 said:
PerkyPolly|1471523844|4067282 said:
Hi SFFROG
May I highly recommend you go to Mr Edward Bristol of http://www.wildfishgems.com
I have purchased several gemstones from him over the years. I have always been thrilled and completely satisfied with all the gemstones I have purchased and the help I have received. Mr Edward Bristol would be able to guide and advise you in selecting your stone of choice as he is extremely knowledgeable. All his gemstones are unheated and untreated exactly as nature intended and as such are of superior quality and value. The gems are all appraised fully and all have certificates from world leading gemstone laboratories included in the purchase price. The ethos of wildfishgems cannot be faulted as they also support www.worldlandtrust.org by donating a portion of every sale to buy rainforest...... how great is that! Incidentally Edward Bristol also offers gem hunting to customers specific requirements which may help you. Good Luck with your search.
http://wildfishgems.com
This really seems like spam, just saying .
+1

By the way, I find stones from this store highly overpriced.
 

sffrog

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
5
Thank you all for your input. I really appreciate this.
What do you think of GemsNY? Someone recommended it, but other people in the community said they would not buy from there, especially high-value stones.
My understanding is they typically don't hold inventory for the stones sold on the internet, simply taking a margin (which I've been told is quite low) on top of the wholesaler.

For instance, what do you think of this stone:

http://www.gemsny.com/loose-ruby/3.06-Carat-Oval-Ruby-RU16026OV/

and how does it compare with this stone:

http://www.gemsny.com/loose-ruby/3.04-Carat-Oval-Ruby-RU16027OV/

Seems to me the shape of the latter is too "flat" and the bottom looks weird. But I am no specialist as I mentioned...

Any feedback very much appreciated!
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,377

sffrog

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
5
Chrono|1471543420|4067375 said:
I am sorry to say that they look like commercial quality ruby and I would not buy those at any price.
Chrono, I have seen many discerning posts from you and so I am curious to understand what you mean by that. You make it sound like the stones on GemsNY are junk?
 

GregS

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
717
I agree with Chrono, the first stone is extremely dark in tone. The second stone is dark in tone as well with an orange secondary.

Gemsny doesn't appear to have many high quality stones. I didn't go through all of them but most appear to be native cut, less than ideal color etc...
 

sffrog

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
5
GregS|1471562825|4067490 said:
I agree with Chrono, the first stone is extremely dark in tone. The second stone is dark in tone as well with an orange secondary.

Gemsny doesn't appear to have many high quality stones. I didn't go through all of them but most appear to be native cut, less than ideal color etc...
Very helpful, Thank you GregS.

I tried to call Robert Genis at National Gemstones (recommended above). This stone looks nice:
http://www.preciousgemstones.com/214burufs.html

Any thoughts?
 

GregS

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
717
It's a nice looking stone, no doubt about it. The price strikes me as being high though, even for being unheated.
 

chroman

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 18, 2015
Messages
992
Is it just me, or does it look kind of pink in that photo?
 

Nsmike

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
89
This link may be of interest to you http://www.ruby-sapphire.com/r-s-bk-quality3.htm This is where taste directly affects price, several major markets, lean towards lighter brighter rubies. the page doesn't specify Chinese tastes, but my understanding is that, it's similar to the Japanese. The availability of alternative markets, will affect price, even when stones don't exactly match your market preferences.
 

qubitasaurus

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Messages
1,118
GregS|1471562825|4067490 said:
I agree with Chrono, the first stone is extremely dark in tone. The second stone is dark in tone as well with an orange secondary.

Gemsny doesn't appear to have many high quality stones. I didn't go through all of them but most appear to be native cut, less than ideal color etc...
This is a really great post. I thought I might add a thread with pics that illustrate the seccondary colour point (since it has such a huge effect on value/price):

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/winza-vs-burma-ruby-pricing.187509/

Also the cut on that seccond stone is excruciatingly bad -- it has a flat crown/top as well as cullet/bottom (which is bad for sparkle, even if it isn't windowed -- which is honestly hard to believe). And a terribly dark tone.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,377
sffrog|1471557092|4067456 said:
Chrono, I have seen many discerning posts from you and so I am curious to understand what you mean by that. You make it sound like the stones on GemsNY are junk?
As others have noted:
Stone 1: dark tone with poor saturation
Stone 2: dark tone, may have an orange secondary, and is flat like pie. A decently cut stone should have a crown and pavilion, whereas this one seems negligible, making for a stone that is both unlively and windowed. I am not a stickler for precision cutting but this one is poorly cut by any standard.
 

smitcompton

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
2,610
Hi,

I would look into engaging Antoinette Matlins, a well respected gemologist who has private clients that she shops for. Her credentials are outstanding. I have two of her books, but they don't give me her contact information. Perhaps you can look her up, or someone on the board may know. She shops auction houses as well.

Good Luck.

Annette
 

smitcompton

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
2,610
HI,

I thought of another person. He wrote the definitive book on Rubies and Sapphires and is based in Thailand. He helped someone on this board to buy a gorgeous sapphire in Hong Kong. He is the foremost expert on Sapphires and Rubies and will undertake a commission of this sort. I think the name is John Hughes. Most on this board will correct me if any info is wrong.

Hes wonderful.


Annette
 

smitcompton

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
2,610
Hi,

Arkie, thank you for the correction. I somehow knew it was wrong, but didn't want to look it up. I knew a John Hughes many yrs ago, so again thanks.

An individual that has a budget like yours, should get the best help they can. It is worth paying someone to help you. I personally would do this. Keep us up to date, please.

Annette
 
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