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Vendor pictures and owner pictures of PS stones

JrJ

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
271
I had the same thing happen to me with Jeff Davies, I was very disappointed. It isn’t quite as bad as Voce’s but it gave me trust issues.
The photo I took is under very bright “hyper” lights that make all my other gems almost unbearable to look view without having to look away due to a possible migraine attack. I tried to tell myself it may just be because it is a sunstone but who knows.
Here are vendor photos and mine. The little green/yellow stone is a sapphire not from Jeff.
F3ADA15D-31F3-48B2-9594-479A438432F3.jpeg 591BEB47-8229-4A8D-B401-5C12EC8CDAF9.jpeg 0F2E9AFB-DAF0-42CD-A4EA-409481BF5128.jpeg View attachment 762541 328A5DC0-47D0-460D-AACB-CA98C9518205.jpeg
 

Cockatiel

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
678
@dk168 @LilAlex this has been the purchase that turned me off to buying from Jeff Davies. I quite like the Rose de France amethyst @Ra2nl posted above, but this Mahenge spinel he sold me looks even worse than a garnet. I understand the point that Gene at Precision Gem has made before about how the vendor's pictures are real life pictures, too, but try as I might in 7-8 lighting situations I've taken this stone to, there's no way I can make the stone appear as vibrant as the vendor pictures. I do not expect what I see to be exactly like the vendor picture, but do you think you can tell this is the same stone given the vendor picture and my pictures? I don't think the actual stone even remotely resembles the color it shows in the vendor picture. Either JD has the most magical shop lights ever, or like @LilAlex said, something has been done to doctor the photo. I think most PS members will understand why I was disappointed.

1593197505060.png
Vendor picture above.

Here's the stone in incandescent light.
1593359212467.png 1593359227178.png

The stone in diffused natural light facing a window.
1593359301021.png
1593359347809.png

Diffused natural light.
1593359404034.png

Direct natural light.
1593359468700.png
1593359502873.png
Wait that's spinel not garnet? I would have thought there was an error in the listing or something???
 

Cockatiel

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
678
I have no idea how to navigate Jeff Davies' pictures at all either. Like all of the inventory reads as mediul light-medium-medium dark with at least moderately strong saturation. That cannot be true. I don't have any pictures to show you but I did try a violet spinel 5+ years ago and it looked much darker and grayer in real life. Like "moderately strong saturation"at least in vendor pic vs at least "slightly graysh" or worse inreal life. But that's the norm for violet spinels so I 100% expected that. I can't imagine trying to pick out a mahenge garnet or something based on those styles of pictures.
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
6,201
IMHO, based on my own purchases, reds are difficult to photograph, and I have not had much much luck with red stones (Garnets and Spinels) from JD and Yvonne.

However, JD's cuttings are very good, and I do not believe his photos are phoney as claimed by @LilAlex who has yet to purchase any stones from him to be able to substantiate/validate that claim.

I do not believe his photos had/have been manipulated. Taken in studio/lightbox conditions, yes.

When photographing JD's red stones in my own home, under normal indoor lighting conditions, they ALWAYS appear to be darker.

May be I am too easily pleased, and not so critical as the others, I just take that as being normal.

DK :))
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
6,201
Below is the link to my thread back in 2015 with quite a few photos of JD's stones and photos taken by myself shortly after receiving them.

My CS Year 2015

Judge for yourselves.

DK :))
 

LilAlex

Shiny_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
414
...and I have not had much much luck with red stones (Garnets and Spinels) from JD and Yvonne.

However, JD's cuttings are very good, and I do not believe his photos are phoney as claimed by @LilAlex who has yet to purchase any stones from him to be able to substantiate/validate that claim.
You are your own best evidence. Re-read your own first sentence. So no, I am not inclined to buy a gem from him to confirm my suspicions since you have already confirmed them for me.

If you can not tell that those photos are manipulated, I suggest that you have a friend or dealer source your stones.

Nothing magic about a "lighbox" or light tent, by the way. I live in one -- horizon-to-horizon overcast skies. It's just a way to produce diffuse, shadowless, white light. It does not change the color or increase the saturation or contrast of stones -- in fact it lowers the contrast. You would never see all that extinction in a lightbox. His "photos" have black facets alternating with the most vivid hues ever seen in nature.

There is this myth on PS that when gems look crummy "at home," it's because the seller has ideal lightbox lighting "in the studio." You will not get much better than an overcast open sky for judging appearance. By the way, it's why portraiture looks so nice under those conditions (although you may need to warm up the color temperature a bit).

Look at the studio lighting for Finewater or Adamant or Lang or Berganza (or any of a hundred others) -- still looks like real life. That's the whole idea.
 

emeraldhummingbird

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
50
This discussion has come at a very opportune time for me as I have been looking at amethysts on Jeff Davies's Ebay store but am worried looking at the pictures on this thread that I have been reading the photos all wrong. He attaches videos of each stone which helps, but some of the photos here show huge differences. Thanks to everyone for posting!!!
 

Cockatiel

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
678
IMHO, based on my own purchases, reds are difficult to photograph, and I have not had much much luck with red stones (Garnets and Spinels) from JD and Yvonne.

However, JD's cuttings are very good, and I do not believe his photos are phoney as claimed by @LilAlex who has yet to purchase any stones from him to be able to substantiate/validate that claim.

I do not believe his photos had/have been manipulated. Taken in studio/lightbox conditions, yes.

When photographing JD's red stones in my own home, under normal indoor lighting conditions, they ALWAYS appear to be darker.

May be I am too easily pleased, and not so critical as the others, I just take that as being normal.

DK :))
Oops I had no idea that there was an entire discussion on this on another thread. I wouldn't go so far as to say his photos are phoney but the images can be hard to read and interpret with some colors especially reds and pinks and some varieties such as garnets and spinels. I agree with you on the cutting.
 

Cockatiel

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
678
This discussion has come at a very opportune time for me as I have been looking at amethysts on Jeff Davies's Ebay store but am worried looking at the pictures on this thread that I have been reading the photos all wrong. He attaches videos of each stone which helps, but some of the photos here show huge differences. Thanks to everyone for posting!!!
With his amethysts I think you don't have too much to worry about. Take that with a grain of a salt because I've never purchased amethysts from him or any PS vendor.

Now that I am looking at his website more closely the videos are actually helpful. You can predict better what the stone will look like from the videos. When you watch the videos, try to focus on the color of the body of the stone when he flips it over. That's the color you will be seeing in real life a lot as well, in addition to the photo which is most likely its "best" color.

I tried to take an example from one of his recent listings. It happens to be an umbalite garnet which by default shifts a lot and doesn't hold its color that well. The third and fourth pics show the color you'll be seeing at least sometimes (to put it conservatively) in real life and it's part of its "personality" and that you'll have to be OK with in order to like it. However this is just the nature of garnets and doesn't pertain to Jeff Davies' listings only. If somebody purchases the stone based on the first pic only and doesn't know to expect the third and fourth pic appearance they'll for sure be disappointed. But the vendor didn't trick you, he in fact showed you what the stone might look like a lot of times under normal viewing conditions, when he flipped the stone over. I really like that he shows you the pavillion and the upside down view in the videos because not all vendor videos are like that.

scr.jpg

scr1.jpg

scr2.jpg

scr3.jpg
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
3,719
Wait that's spinel not garnet? I would have thought there was an error in the listing or something???
Yes, spinel, and listed as Mahenge spinel at that. If the gem box hadn't had writing saying "Mahenge spinel .97ct," I'd have suspected that they mailed the wrong stone to me.

When you hear "Mahenge spinel" you would think pink, and not a muted pink, either, a bright hot pink. This stone, when any amount of sunlight is involved, looks muddy. There's nothing wrong with the cut, but it's just the material itself...it is brown with orange sparkles. I'd be less incensed if it were PINK sparkles with a mask of brown or gray, but what I see is orange, not pink. There's definitely something wrong with the vendor pictures, which shows way more pink than orange, but what I see is way more orange than pink. @dk168 I know how difficult red gems are to photograph correctly, but Mahenge spinel should've been pink, and there is no red in this gem, only brown, orange, pink.

Based on personal experience, there's times when I've been disappointed with something from Yvonne, but that's far and few in between. With Yvonne's photos, I'm always able to see the same color in SOME lighting situations as her photos, and same with what Inken has sent me. The same goes for Finewater Gems and Precision Gem. I just cannot trust JD's photos anymore after this.
 

emeraldhummingbird

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
50
With his amethysts I think you don't have too much to worry about. Take that with a grain of a salt because I've never purchased amethysts from him or any PS vendor.

Now that I am looking at his website more closely the videos are actually helpful. You can predict better what the stone will look like from the videos. When you watch the videos, try to focus on the color of the body of the stone when he flips it over. That's the color you will be seeing in real life a lot as well, in addition to the photo which is most likely its "best" color.

I tried to take an example from one of his recent listings. It happens to be an umbalite garnet which by default shifts a lot and doesn't hold its color that well. The third and fourth pics show the color you'll be seeing at least sometimes (to put it conservatively) in real life and it's part of its "personality" and that you'll have to be OK with in order to like it. However this is just the nature of garnets and doesn't pertain to Jeff Davies' listings only. If somebody purchases the stone based on the first pic only and doesn't know to expect the third and fourth pic appearance they'll for sure be disappointed. But the vendor didn't trick you, he in fact showed you what the stone might look like a lot of times under normal viewing conditions, when he flipped the stone over. I really like that he shows you the pavillion and the upside down view in the videos because not all vendor videos are like that.

scr.jpg

scr1.jpg

scr2.jpg

scr3.jpg
Thanks and great tip about paying attention to the underside of the stone! If I had purchased that umbalite you posted based on the first photo but the real life colour was more like the last 2 pics I would be really sad :(
 

JackTrick

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
184
@dk168 @LilAlex this has been the purchase that turned me off to buying from Jeff Davies. I quite like the Rose de France amethyst @Ra2nl posted above, but this Mahenge spinel he sold me looks even worse than a garnet. I understand the point that Gene at Precision Gem has made before about how the vendor's pictures are real life pictures, too, but try as I might in 7-8 lighting situations I've taken this stone to, there's no way I can make the stone appear as vibrant as the vendor pictures. I do not expect what I see to be exactly like the vendor picture, but do you think you can tell this is the same stone given the vendor picture and my pictures? I don't think the actual stone even remotely resembles the color it shows in the vendor picture. Either JD has the most magical shop lights ever, or like @LilAlex said, something has been done to doctor the photo. I think most PS members will understand why I was disappointed.

1593197505060.png
Vendor picture above.

Here's the stone in incandescent light.
1593359212467.png 1593359227178.png

The stone in diffused natural light facing a window.
1593359301021.png
1593359347809.png
I really appreciate you sharing this. I'd always found their photography to look highly optimistic.
 

autumngems

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 24, 2003
Messages
1,606
@autumngems Is there any chance you could post a real life picture of this, along with your thoughts? Peridot is one of my children’s birthstones and I’d love one for a pendant but have never found one I like - the ones I’ve seen seem to come across as a slightly yellow, almost radioactive, green colour that doesn’t appeal. This looks vibrant, fresh and lovely!
Sorry for delay I will take some tonight
 

lissyflo

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 23, 2016
Messages
1,006
Sorry for delay I will take some tonight
No rush at all! Finding a peridot as a birthstone pendant is a very passive search I’m on, so I’d really appreciate it whenever you get a chance but there’s no time pressure so don’t inconvenience yourself. Being able to reference a specific stone that someone’s cut when I enquire about options would be really helpful to describe what I’m after though, assuming what shows on screen here marries up to what you see IRL as it’s such a lovely, fresh green. Thank you!
 

elrohwen

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
5,470
Here is my 0.87ct (5.7mm) Montana sapphire from Gemfix. Listed as a silvery blue which I think is accurate. First of my pics under kitchen lighting (iphone), others in low natural light (cloudy morning north facing window; sony camera with macro lens)

D53016EB-E94F-45F0-AEC1-37CBC649CE0B.png
25ECD2E6-2228-4280-9F7B-8B92865C4BAF.jpeg
ED289E59-CA8F-4F87-A036-CC49B63EC683.jpeg
E830CFD2-C396-412B-9CF0-E43B886A66FA.jpeg
8A9F4EC2-B21B-4619-B550-E51754BD6ACC.jpeg
 
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Wgei13

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
8
Thought I’d throw this on here after making a post about it already.

Bought a 4.37 carat particolored Montana sapphire from Jeff Hapeman of Earths Treasury.

his pic:

1596195476784.jpeg

stills from the 3 videos he sent me:

“outsidelight”

9C2B8EAD-8B2D-4D7E-823A-24E682199F8A.png
Indoor LED light:

CE624D3C-A227-4E29-8951-A3FAB0046A14.png
Indoor Incandescent Light:

B1CAEDD3-2F3E-44E0-898A-BD868BDC0AF9.png
My pics:

indoor

C1AF032F-E48C-4FD5-A9D1-33510EFFB8CC.jpeg
Outdoor(overcast day)

491DD836-399B-4350-A66F-7C2BEC79E6A4.jpeg
indoors but only natural light from windows on a sunny day
1596195908136.jpeg

all-in-all I’m happy with the color, but very rarely are the conditions he presents what you see in the stone. I also just may be terrible at photography. Maybe there is one, but someone should post a tutorial on how to take pictures of stones!

Hope this helps another buyer! Jeff was very easy to work with and very responsive! Would recommend him to anyone. Definitely seems like his prices are a little inflated, but I was okay with it due to the unique coloring he offers!
 

Rfisher

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
2,518
I love it’s many personalities!
On my monitor - a few of your indoor shots look very close to ET’s glamorshot!
Hope you do create a setting post, or share the finished pictures. :)
 

Obscura

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 2, 2019
Messages
109
Looks the same to me, but I'm looking at pictures and not pictures vs in hand.

Montana's are also notorious color shifters, so it may have an array of different shades depending on lighting. Mine goes from pale green, to steel blue, to grey, to peridot-like.
 

Wgei13

Rough_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
8
I love it’s many personalities!
On my monitor - a few of your indoor shots look very close to ET’s glamorshot!
Hope you do create a setting post, or share the finished pictures. :)
Looks the same to me, but I'm looking at pictures and not pictures vs in hand.

Montana's are also notorious color shifters, so it may have an array of different shades depending on lighting. Mine goes from pale green, to steel blue, to grey, to peridot-like.
Reading my post again I should have gone into more detail and you nailed it by bringing up the color shifting of these stones. While I’ve come to love all the color shifting, it was definitely a bit of a shock at first. The stone goes from almost a deep green to a light blue when you walk from indoors to outdoors, and in other lights it’s that steely grey that seems to be common in Montana’s.

what I was trying to say is that the color Jeff posted is dead on, but it’s only that color in about 5% of light conditions. In the end I think it makes the stone even better, but it’s definitely something I just wanted to share with others so they aren’t as puzzled as I was for a bit.

Will post the finished ring once it’s done and given to the one it’s meant for!
 

Obscura

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 2, 2019
Messages
109
what I was trying to say is that the color Jeff posted is dead on, but it’s only that color in about 5% of light conditions. In the end I think it makes the stone even better, but it’s definitely something I just wanted to share with others so they aren’t as puzzled as I was for a bit.

Will post the finished ring once it’s done and given to the one it’s meant for!
Glad to hear you love the personalities! It can be shocking. Even researching Montanas before buying and knowing they had a shift, I wasn't ready. I thought "shift" was more darker, lighter, more green, more blue, little greyed out, but not such a complete and drastic shift.

Now I'll play with it and try to get it to do a certain shade of its shifts. My latest is trying to get it match colors of things. Lol.

And it doesn't get old to be like "what color is it in this light?" I still do it a year later. :lol:
 

elrohwen

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
5,470
The Montana I ended up with barely shifts at all, though I did request one that didn’t gray out totally so the vendor didn’t recommend those. Funny enough, it looks more blue in natural light and more teal indoors, but when I take pictures I get the exact opposite (more green showing up outside and more blue inside). Very tricky to take pictures of
 

etherealhav0c

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
2
I found this thread particularly useful in my search for a sapphire for my engagement ring and thought I'd contribute as a first PS post!

I worked with Gary Braun from Finewater Gems and was looking for the perfect sapphire that reminded me of my favorite flowers (hydrangeas). He was wonderful to work with and was upfront about the pros/cons of all the sapphires I was interested in and provided ample videos of each sapphire in various lighting conditions.

I think his photos are accurate (particularly the hand shot), and here is the lovely blue-purple particolored color-change sapphire I ended up with! You can see the blue and purple zoning in most lighting conditions. The only time the blue seems to disappear is under soft white/warm LED lighting where the sapphire turns more purple-red. I absolutely love all the personalities under all lighting conditions even though I feel like it's hard to capture with my camera. I truly think the sapphire is much more beautiful in person since it's quite lively to the eyes.

IMG_4745.JPG

The vendor's studio photo is the top right square. Gary's hand photo is the bottom left square. All the other photos are mine (taken on an iPhone, sorry!) under various lighting conditions to show just a few of the sapphire's personalities. The sapphire has a step-cut pavilion with a split brilliant crown. It faces up nicely at about 7x7mm.

It does have a small window that is much more noticeable in photos than in person... Some photos I took are with the gemstone wrapped in foil because I wanted to try the tin foil trick some have mentioned to see what might happen when it's set in a prong/closed gallery setting as I will be creating a custom setting for this sapphire. If anyone has any opinions on what they think a good setting would be I'd love to hear it!

I hope this helps someone else in the future! Gary was so knowledgeable and lovely to work with and I think he curates some special sapphires even if they're not all precision cut by him. :)
 
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minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
12,376
I found this thread particularly useful in my search for a sapphire for my engagement ring and thought I'd contribute as a first PS post!

I worked with Gary Braun from Finewater Gems and was looking for the perfect sapphire that reminded me of my favorite flowers (hydrangeas). He was wonderful to work with and was upfront about the pros/cons of all the sapphires I was interested in and provided ample videos of each sapphire in various lighting conditions.

I think his photos are accurate (particularly the hand shot), and here is the lovely blue-purple particolored color-change sapphire I ended up with! You can see the blue and purple zoning in most lighting conditions. The only time the blue seems to disappear is under fluorescent lighting where the sapphire turns more purple-red. I absolutely love all the personalities under all lighting conditions even though I feel like it's hard to capture with my camera. I truly think the sapphire is much more beautiful in person since it's quite lively to the eyes.

IMG_4745.JPG

The vendor's studio photo is the top right square. Gary's hand photo is the bottom left square. All the other photos are mine (taken on an iPhone, sorry!) under various lighting conditions to show just a few of the sapphire's personalities. The sapphire has a step-cut pavilion with a split brilliant crown. It faces up nicely at about 7x7mm.

It does have a small window that is much more noticeable in photos than in person... Some photos I took are with the gemstone wrapped in foil because I wanted to try the tin foil trick some have mentioned to see what might happen when it's set in a prong/closed gallery setting as I will be creating a custom setting for this sapphire. If anyone has any opinions on what they think a good setting would be I'd love to hear it!

I hope this helps someone else in the future! Gary was so knowledgeable and lovely to work with and I think he curates some special sapphires even if they're not all precision cut by him. :)
That is an absolutely gorgeous sapphire. You do not see that color often.
 

voce

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
3,719
I found this thread particularly useful in my search for a sapphire for my engagement ring and thought I'd contribute as a first PS post!

I worked with Gary Braun from Finewater Gems and was looking for the perfect sapphire that reminded me of my favorite flowers (hydrangeas). He was wonderful to work with and was upfront about the pros/cons of all the sapphires I was interested in and provided ample videos of each sapphire in various lighting conditions.

I think his photos are accurate (particularly the hand shot), and here is the lovely blue-purple particolored color-change sapphire I ended up with! You can see the blue and purple zoning in most lighting conditions. The only time the blue seems to disappear is under soft white/warm LED lighting where the sapphire turns more purple-red. I absolutely love all the personalities under all lighting conditions even though I feel like it's hard to capture with my camera. I truly think the sapphire is much more beautiful in person since it's quite lively to the eyes.

IMG_4745.JPG

The vendor's studio photo is the top right square. Gary's hand photo is the bottom left square. All the other photos are mine (taken on an iPhone, sorry!) under various lighting conditions to show just a few of the sapphire's personalities. The sapphire has a step-cut pavilion with a split brilliant crown. It faces up nicely at about 7x7mm.

It does have a small window that is much more noticeable in photos than in person... Some photos I took are with the gemstone wrapped in foil because I wanted to try the tin foil trick some have mentioned to see what might happen when it's set in a prong/closed gallery setting as I will be creating a custom setting for this sapphire. If anyone has any opinions on what they think a good setting would be I'd love to hear it!

I hope this helps someone else in the future! Gary was so knowledgeable and lovely to work with and I think he curates some special sapphires even if they're not all precision cut by him. :)
That sapphire is one gorgeous stone, and I'm thrilled that a PSer got it. :love:
 

etherealhav0c

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
2
That is an absolutely gorgeous sapphire. You do not see that color often.
That sapphire is one gorgeous stone, and I'm thrilled that a PSer got it. :love:

:kiss2: Thank you! Gary had informed me that the color combination is very rare in sapphires and that he was lucky if he saw only one sapphire with this parti-color of blue and purple that can be seen in all lighting on his buying trips to Sri Lanka. I don't know much about what is common or not (obviously haven't seen as many sapphires as Gary), but I love it regardless which is all that matters.

I'm very excited about figuring out how to set this for an engagement ring!
 
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