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Unheated Burmese Ruby or too good to be true?

ilovegems95

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
10
I bought a 1.71 ct Burmese ruby. The stone definitely seems transparent and clean. It has a decent color, not blood red but just a bit of pink. Based on my research Mogok definitely demands a premium. I have a few questions:

1. Any rough idea of the appraisal value on a stone like this?

2. Should I go with AGS or GIA? AGS has a more solid color stone report but GIA has more international recognition. What do you guys think?

3. Do you think the color is too pink? I doubt GIA or AGS will give this a "red", but transparent pinkish-red is not bad.

4. Does the stone seem transparent to you? I know a translucent clarity can ruin a stone's value.

5. Any other thoughts.

I've been browsing PS on and off for years with various accounts. I love you guys and the amount of knowledge in this community is amazing, looking forward to see what you guys think but based on starruby.in's prices (if I can even get a 3rd, even after certification I did well).

ruby_deal.jpg

_36342.jpg
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,083
May I suggest that, before paying for either a GIA or AGL report, that you take it to a local gemologist for a preliminary assessment as to whether it's a ruby at all. Altho' he seems to be candid about disclosing which of the rubies in his inventory are glass-filled, I'm leery about other aspects of how that eBay vendor has been operating: :

* That vendor insists on making all of his auctions private listings & nearly 2/3 of his ~1300 feedbacks for the entire past year was posted in the past 4 weeks.

* One of his very recent customers left negative feedback because what he received turned out to be glass.

* If the stone truly is a ruby that is as described by the vendor, why would he start the bidding at 99 cents and not set a reserve, thereby enabling you to purchase it for a mere $66?

* The US embargo on the export & import of Burmese rubies and jade is still in place, and that's no secret in the gem dealing world. So if it's really a Burmese ruby, he was happy to violate the embargo by shipping it to you, which means to me he lacks business ethics.
AJS Gems, for example -- one of the vendors on the Vendors for Reference list pinned here on the CS forum index page -- is, like that eBay vendor, based in Thailand. But AJS will not knowingly sell Burmese rubies or jade to a US customer.

(fyi: it's also still unlawful for you, a US resident, to buy Burmese rubies and jade, even if the jade or rubies aren't sent directly to you from Burma/Myanmar, were cut elsewhere before reaching the States).

The good news, should you decide to send the stone back, is that the vendor represents his return policy is 60 days, which is unusually long for an eBay seller.
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
12,337
It is hard to tell from the photos you included as they are quite small. That said, though, based on the hand shots, I imagine the stone will be considerably darker and even less saturated in hand. Based on the color of the fingers, it appears as if the stone has been flooded with light to make it look brighter, and there may have been some post production use of photo shop as fingers are not typically that light pinkish blueish color. :(sad
 

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
21,103
I cannot see the eBay listing as it was before you bought the stone. Did you pay $75.00 for it? If so, I am inclined to think it is too good to be true, but I would love to see all the information on the vendor to which other posters have had access. How do I get to the listing?

Also: what color is "devil red"?

AGBF
 

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
21,103
AGBF|1454811830|3987902 said:
I cannot see the eBay listing​
...​
How do I get to the listing?​
Never mind. I found it. And as for the legality of buying a stone originating in Myanmar...the listing says it originated in "Buma". At least in one place. Maybe there is no restriction on importing from there. I hope the vendor isn't using that as some way of getting around the law! ;))
 

ilovegems95

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
10
I am in Canada and a Canadian citizen so the trade embargo isn't an issue. The 60 day no questions asked money back guarantee was one of the biggest factors in me going for it, along with his 99.9% rating. The points about the feedback hat you mentioned definitely raised some concerns. I'll post some more detailed pictures.
 

ilovegems95

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
10
minousbijoux|1454809176|3987891 said:
It is hard to tell from the photos you included as they are quite small. That said, though, based on the hand shots, I imagine the stone will be considerably darker and even less saturated in hand. Based on the color of the fingers, it appears as if the stone has been flooded with light to make it look brighter, and there may have been some post production use of photo shop as fingers are not typically that light pinkish blueish color. :(sad
screenshot_2016-02-06-20-57-18.png

screenshot_2016-02-06-20-57-01.png

screenshot_2016-02-06-20-56-54.png
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Messages
12,337
Thanks for the enlarged photos, ilg. The stone color looks better in these pics as they show a reddish pink with a bit of the sought after blueish/purplish modifier. The downside is that as I suspected, they have flooded the stone with light. I'm fairly confident that the stone will be darker. The stone does not appear to have strong saturation. I believe it is even less saturated than the photos indicate. Bottom line: I believe it could be an unheated Burmese ruby - just not one of very high quality. But heck, not bad at all for $75!
 

ilovegems95

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
10
minousbijoux|1454826422|3987947 said:
But heck, not bad at all for $75!
Weak color saturation is what worries, I hope it's strong. I'll post pictures in a variety of lights when it arrives. Unheated Burmese stones of down right terrible color (almost purple/pink sapphires) seem to be going for $800+/ct so I still don't think I lost out but nothing will tell me how good the stone is then seeing it in person. Now the two weekish wait for shipping begins :wall:
 

PrecisionGem

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2004
Messages
1,701
It's impossible to judge a stone from a picture, but to me, those pictures show a stone with good saturation. If the stone is indeed an unheated Burma ruby, with good clarity with it looks from the picture, then a normal wholesale price would be $5000 to $8000 per ct for that size. So now you need to ask yourself, why would someone agree to sell you a $10,000 stone for $75 ?????
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
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ilovegems95|1454869069|3988059 said:
minousbijoux|1454826422|3987947 said:
But heck, not bad at all for $75!
Weak color saturation is what worries, I hope it's strong. I'll post pictures in a variety of lights when it arrives. Unheated Burmese stones of down right terrible color (almost purple/pink sapphires) seem to be going for $800+/ct so I still don't think I lost out but nothing will tell me how good the stone is then seeing it in person. Now the two weekish wait for shipping begins :wall:
Unfortunately, the hardest part! I'll look forward to your pics. :))
 

ilovegems95

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
10
PrecisionGem|1454870049|3988060 said:
It's impossible to judge a stone from a picture, but to me, those pictures show a stone with good saturation. If the stone is indeed an unheated Burma ruby, with good clarity with it looks from the picture, then a normal wholesale price would be $5000 to $8000 per ct for that size. So now you need to ask yourself, why would someone agree to sell you a $10,000 stone for $75 ?????
Which is exactly what confuses me, I guess I'll have to shell up the $170 USD (236 CAD) for a GIA cert +postage + laser engraving :shifty:

Any idea how long it'll take? the seller has a 60 day money back guarantee and 99.9% feedback so I'm cautiously optimistic but if you look at the sold listings for rubies on ebay there are certified stones going for a fraction of wholesale price, it really does happen. Some of these sale prices will shock you:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/Ruby-/10254/i.html?_from=R40&Color=Red&Shape=Baguette%7CCushion%7CEmerald%7CHeart%7CMarquise%7COval%7CPear%7CPrincess%7CRadiant%7CRound%7CSquare%7CTrillion%7C%21&LH_Complete=1&LH_Sold=1&Transparency=Transparent&_nkw=unheat&_dcat=3827&rt=nc&_mPrRngCbx=1&_udlo=100&_udhi

well, fingers crossed
 

boerumbiddy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
529
Some of those "certification" claims on the EBay sales seem questionable to me. Certified by whom? Still, you never know.....
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,083
ilovegems95|1454813746|3987908 said:
I am in Canada and a Canadian citizen so the trade embargo isn't an issue. * * *
Oh geez, it didn't occur to me that the USD transaction screen might be of a purchaser from outside the States, but it's nice for you to have the Burmese option.

AGL typically has a shorter turn-around time (2-4 weeks) than GIA -- and would be my preference in any event. Were GIA NYC to receive a colored gem tomorrow, it would be about 5 weeks before the stone and report would be ready to leave the lab, unless you cough up twice the cost for an expedited report. Estimated turn-around times can be found here:
http://www.gia.edu/gem-lab-return-dates

A suggestion, assuming you like what you see when the stone arrives & want to immediately ship it off to the U.S. without a local examination: contact AGL while you're waiting for the stone's arrival & ask if a Gem Brief ($65) would tell you whether the stone is a lead glass-filled composite (a Gem Brief will cover whether it's a synthetic stone and/or heated, but i'm less certain about whether it would merely say "Enhanced" in the case of a composite). No need to pay GIA $170 for an Identification & origin report when AGL's Gem Brief will provide what I believe you'd consider fundamental deal-breaking information for appreciably less money.
AGL will give, if requested, US residents a phone call (ask if the same courtesy is offered to Canadians) after doing the Gem Brief level of analysis. So if that pans out, you can then decide whether you want to spend the additional money for a Prestige Origin Report.

Also find out upfront about approximate delivery times. I live in NYC so have hand-carried my stones to AGL & picked them up, but I think both AGL & GIA ordinarily return the stone w/report via US Postal Service Registered Mail, which always takes longer.

The likelihood that this $39/ct stone will prove to live up to the vendor's representation defies all odds, but maybe it is the proverbial "needle in the haystack" -- keep us posted!

ETA an eBay tip for future reference:
You can retrieve a seller's completed listings for the past 15 days via the Advance Search function. Pull that up for your seller
http://www.ebay.com/csc/Business-Industrial-/12576/m.html?LH_Complete=1&_ipg=200&_since=15&_ssn=rojnajra&_sac=1&_sop=15
& you'll see that nearly 3/4 of the 426 listed are reported as 1 cent sales of minute amounts of corundum for industrial purposes. Even if PayPal's fee structure doesn't wipe out the pennies & all of those were "for real" sales, the info puts his feedback in greater context. Trawl through his feedback & you'll see some fishy things, e.g., exact same accolade (including the typo/misspelling) from purportedly two different buyers.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,365
PrecisionGem|1454870049|3988060 said:
It's impossible to judge a stone from a picture, but to me, those pictures show a stone with good saturation. If the stone is indeed an unheated Burma ruby, with good clarity with it looks from the picture, then a normal wholesale price would be $5000 to $8000 per ct for that size. So now you need to ask yourself, why would someone agree to sell you a $10,000 stone for $75 ?????
My alarm meter is going at full force with flashing red lights and blaring horns for the same reasons as above. EBay is akin to shark infested waters - most of the vendors use stolen or manipulated photographs, sell undisclosed synthetics/simulants and/or with undisclosed treatment, and manipulate the high feedback rating. There are some honest and reputable CS vendors on eBay but they are far and few in-between.
 

AGBF

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
21,103
Chrono|1454938552|3988317 said:
PrecisionGem|1454870049|3988060 said:
It's impossible to judge a stone from a picture, but to me, those pictures show a stone with good saturation. If the stone is indeed an unheated Burma ruby, with good clarity with it looks from the picture, then a normal wholesale price would be $5000 to $8000 per ct for that size. So now you need to ask yourself, why would someone agree to sell you a $10,000 stone for $75 ?????

My alarm meter is going at full force with flashing red lights and blaring horns for the same reasons as above.
Thank you, Chrono. I am still wondering about the "Devil Red".

Deb
 

PrecisionGem

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
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Messages
1,701
I have been in this business for some time now, and have bought and sold many many stones, and made hundreds of transactions, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on gems, have traveled to mines deep in the bush of Africa. But I have yet to actually see that 'deal to good to be true'. It may exist, but I haven't seen it.

It's just like if you look on eBay for an automobile, do you think someone would really list a car worth $10,000 with no reserve and risk it being sold for $175 ?
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
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But hope springs eternal.

Look how many people buy lottery tickets.
 
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