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Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out :(

klessa

Rough_Rock
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Dec 21, 2016
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Hello, PSers! :wavey: I'm a newbie to faceted sapphires and could use some advice.

I loooove rich purple, and while amethyst has that color nailed, I'm hard on my jewelry. I need sapphire hardness or better for my wedding ring to come. (We're sorta combining an engagement ring and wedding ring . . . long story.)

Hubs-to-be and I went to the local Shane and found a beautiful setting and stone, but . . . the stone is a little pale for my purple-loving perfectionism. (The stone is cupped by the prongs but is not set.)





When we walked into the room that's supposed to simulate outdoor lighting, the stone changed to a pale lavender blue — even farther from the intense warm purple I love. "Noooooo, don't do that..."

It's 6.13x6.05mm, 1.43ct, and $1825. I like the size — not tiny, not so large that it annoys me or hurts my finger when I'm wearing gloves (we live at a high elevation, so that's about half the year.) I didn't, unfortunately, look for inclusions. (But I'm learning fast, and would do so before final sale!) I do have a few other photos but didn't want to bombard you.

We put setting and stone on layaway to see if they pass the "sleep on it" test and let us do some comparison shopping. I came home, fired up the computer, and realized this shopping would be more difficult than I'd thought. I'm having a tough time finding a sapphire that is:

• 5.5 - 8 mm per side and square to the eye (I'd prefer it in the "kite" orientation)
• cushion cut (probably)
• under $2000, though could move that a bit for something amazing
• with that rich amethyst color that makes me drool.

I've already been through every one of the vendors listed in the Colored Stones forum's sticky note. Maybe it's just bad timing for me because it's holiday shopping season and stocks are low!

This is what I did find, in no particular order:

(1) Many good ratings for this vendor on Etsy, but no mention of them in this forum. (Has anyone here bought from them?) https://www.etsy.com/listing/288795321/a-beautiful-naturalsapphire-163-purple

(2) http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?-2066499630

(3) A little more than we'd prefer to pay, but seems lovely... http://www.gemsny.com/loose-sapphires/2.05-Carat-Cushion-Sapphire-PUSU82530ACU/

(4) https://www.etsy.com/listing/475443257/intense-natural-certified-violet-cushion?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=&ref=sr_gallery_10

(5) More like the Shane stone in color, though at least it's less expensive: http://www.gemsny.com/loose-sapphires/1.64-Carat-Cushion-Sapphire-S68020CU/

(6) Less expensive, though I can definitely see inclusions and I'm not sure the color's much better: http://www.gemselect.com/sapphire/sapphire-448501.php

(7) Also much less expensive, but seems murky. Maybe that's just unfocused pics? https://allsapphires.com/buy/1-58ct-violet-purple-sapphire/

(8) http://www.gemsny.com/loose-sapphires/1.64-Carat-Cushion-Sapphire-S68020CU/

At this point, I've decided heat treatment wouldn't bother me. Even diffusion wouldn't bother me if it leads to the right color (and bonus, it's far less expensive). Heck, I don't even need a natural sapphire but would be happy to go with a real-but-lab-created one — yet I can't seem to find the right color in those, either! Closest I got was https://betterthandiamond.com/culturedgems/custom/purplepink.php

Have I missed a stash of square purple sapphires (natural or lab-grown) somewhere? Failing that, might any of you wise ones here have recommendations on which of the above stones seem best? It's a big investment and something I'll be wearing for decades, so any help or guidance to this newbie would be much appreciated. Thank you!

_38718.jpg

_38719.jpg
 

Arcadian

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

http://www.africagems.com/violetsapphire.html


Its not that your wants are so bad, but, it will depend on the time frame you have in mind.

If you can wait it out, the stone you're looking for might appear quickly. However if you're low on patience and time, you'll need to decide whats the most important aspect of the stone.

Check africagems. You should also send email and ask if they might have some not listed on the website but fit your criteria.

FWIW, we aren't allowed to talk about lab-grown, created, etc gems here, so anything offered here would be natural.
 

klessa

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

Thanks, Arcadian! I checked AfricaGems — beautiful stones, but nothing square enough for a kite orientation, alas. Good idea to email places, though. And good to know that new stones do come through from time to time.

I'm still a bit gobsmacked about how little is available right now. I know my needs are specific, but there's a whole world out there, much of which I *thought* would be accessible by the Internet . . . D'oh, the joke's on me! :D

Sorry about the verboten mention — I read that in the rules about diamond substitutes but didn't think it through about other gemstones! I'd like to go back and delete the link, but I can't figure out how to edit that post. :oops:
 

lovedogs

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

hmmm, do these purple hues appeal to you:

https://www.facebook.com/commerce/products/1167482023366649/?rid=768954949906164&rt=6
https://www.facebook.com/commerce/products/1377173005666218/?rid=768954949906164&rt=6
http://jefferydavies.com/gemstones/spinel/mj2726-spinel-3-10ct/
https://www.etsy.com/listing/196561763/holiday-sale-purple-sapphire-engagement?ref=shop_home_active_60
https://www.etsy.com/listing/258124313/gia-certified-23-carat-untreated-purple?ref=shop_home_active_7

2 are in rings already, but just curious if that color works, or if you'd prefer something darker.

I also included a spinel since they are considered good stones for e-rings (very durable, 8 on the Moh's scale). Not quite as hard as sapphire, but close!
 

klessa

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chroman

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

How about:
http://www.pearlmansjewelers.com/gemstones/?sku=7659
Maybe too rectangular...

Or, a better shape but over budget:
http://www.pearlmansjewelers.com/gemstones/?sku=G68746

Too red?
http://www.earthstreasury.com/product/1-29-carat-reddish-purple-umba-sapphire/

Here's an couple well-cut purple spinels.. They might be lighter than your ideal, but...
http://www.pearlmansjewelers.com/gemstones/?sku=G63923
http://www.pearlmansjewelers.com/gemstones/?sku=G66351
 

klessa

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

Ooooh, they are lovely, chroman!

Oddly enough, on my monitor the first two are a gorgeous warm purple, and on my phone a medium lavender (bluish). (Ack, how does anyone buy gems online without going crazy? :D ) Anyway, sadly for me, you're so right — the one within budget is too rectangular and the one that's more square is beyond the price comfort zone. And yes, the third looks a little more red than blue (even on my phone). Also a touch smaller than ideal, but I might give up size for luscious color.

Those spinels are gorgeous. I love how you can see everything in the photos! (Well done, Pearlman's.) I do worry about spinel not being hard enough, though. I'm tough on my jewelry, and this will be daily wear for the rest of my life. I'd hate to see my ring falling apart over the years due to inadvertently whacking it around. (If only I could afford purple diamonds, or could invent a permanent air cushion for the stone. :D)

I went back through my list on the original post to pick out my favorite color from those, in case that helps anyone know what I'm looking for. Our monitors may all be different, but at least that's a point of reference. It's #1 (https://www.etsy.com/listing/288795321/a-beautiful-naturalsapphire-163-purple).

Since I'm a color nut, I suppose I'd be leaning toward this stone because (to my untutored eye) it seems to have the color, size, and cut I want. But I don't know enough about facets, tables, windows, extinction, and all those finer points to know if that's a mistake. Does anyone notice anything in the gem photo or description that should make me wary?

Also, I've never bought on Etsy before, the seller is in another country, and I can't seem to find any mentions of the seller here at PS (at least not under DiamondsMine or Diamond Mine). :-S
 

klessa

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

chroman, that's beautiful, and somehow I must have missed it when going through the vendor list here! Right color, right size, and I'll bow to your superior knowledge of cut. I love that the vendor's description of the color, too. Makes comparing very easy. Cons: Darn that those inclusions are so visible. Still, better color, and about half the price of the Shane stone... I am putting this GemFix one on my finalist list. Thank you!

BTW, if you have the time (no pressure), I'd love to learn what about the Etsy stone looks wonky so I'll know what to be looking out for.

While I'd dearly love to wrap up the search (in part for fear I'll keep spending all my time on pretty shiny shinies), I don't have an urgent deadline. We'll get hitched in a quiet way when the mood strikes. (I'd love to have the rings settled in case the mood strikes sooner rather than later, heh . . . but still.)
 

lovedogs

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

sydneyatl|1482372301|4108898 said:
Hello, fellow cushion-cut purple sapphire lover!

Not 100% square, but we considered this stone fairly seriously when we were looking for my engagement ring so I figured I'd throw it out there: https://www.etsy.com/listing/232963533/137ct-unheated-purple-sapphire-cushion?ref=shop_home_active_61.... IIRC, the seller is a PSer, too.

ooooh, I love this one! I also love the gemfix one that chroman pointed out. Obviously not Chroman, but wanted to give you some insight into what we mean by "wonky" in terms of cut. That one from the diamonds mine seller has an off center culet (the very tip of the bottom looks off-center in that picture). It also doesn't look entirely symmetrical (like one side is larger than the other). But mostly importantly (to me, anyway), there isn't really a way to verify that the seller is honest about their goods (they are relatively unknown here on PS, and not in the US which means returns might be a pain). The stone isn't certified, meaning you have to trust them to be honest, which isn't always the case. Plus, only 1 photo means it's hard to tell if it was altered in any way. This seller could be amazing and 100% trustworthy---or they could be dishonest, so buying from another country when the vendor is unknown (and the $ is high) is always a big risk, especially if you aren't 100% sure how to evaluate the stone once you get it.

Since this is an important purchase, it would probably be better to stick with well-known vendors just in case :)

Also, here's a diagram of the stone terminology I used above in case it is new :) gem_diagram_400.jpg
 

klessa

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

HI sydneyatl! *waving* Nice to know I'm not the only one in the purple sapphire club. :D

Wow, I can see why that one was in the running for you. The hints of pink, magenta, blue, and near-peach are scrumptious! I'm sad it's not a square — and it might be a wee bit pale for me — but it's just gorgeous. The lucky buyer is going to love having it sparkling on a finger. Plus, the vendor's gems on the right of the page make my color-loving heart smile. =)

BTW, everyone, I'd just like to mention how grateful I am for your thoughts and suggestions. Here I am, some random stranger on the Internet, and you're taking the time to stop in and help me make a good decision. This community is awesome! *round of hugs*
 

klessa

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

lovedogs|1482372977|4108900 said:
Obviously not Chroman, but wanted to give you some insight into what we mean by "wonky" in terms of cut. That one from the diamonds mine seller has an off center culet (the very tip of the bottom looks off-center in that picture).
OOOOH, I see it now! :D *jumps up and down* I'm learning. :read:

lovedogs|1482372977|4108900 said:
It also doesn't look entirely symmetrical (like one side is larger than the other).
I hadn't noticed that until you pointed it out. I guess my eye assumed the photo wasn't taken quite square, but it's probably best to never assume that, huh? Better to take things at face value (or as the image shows) until proven otherwise.

And your points about the out-of-country and unknown vendor are well taken. As much as the color makes me happy, it might be best to back away from that stone.
 

chroman

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

lovedogs totally covered the 'wonk' I was seeing.. And the some! What an awesome description!

Here's a couple I saw at NSC. I've never worked with them, but I get the feeling they tend to be one of the more expensive vendors. They have a lot of stock, but often many of the cuts leave a fair bit to be desired.

This one is pinker than your ideal, I think, and on the small side, but fits in budget due to their holiday sale:
http://www.thenaturalsapphirecompany.com/p-64601-cushion-unique-sapphire-u6865/

This is an asscher, and not huge but the color sure makes me think of amathyst:
http://www.thenaturalsapphirecompany.com/p-61705-asscher-unique-sapphire-u6277/
It has a small inclusion at 5-o-clock, fwiw.

If you have some time, you might try reaching out to some vendors. I think some folks try and keep their inventories low but have good networks of contacts they can tap into and possibly find something. Someone like Elle at the Gemstone Project or Yvonne Raley come to mind (I think theres another recent thread where the OP is talking with Elle about a sapphire hunt).

Another option is that the big north america trade event is in feb. Inventories might be low because folks are waiting to buy stock then. If a vendor is going, they might be able to find something that fits your needs. Higher risk at it might not involve normal return policies and require snap decisions, but if you aren't having luck through the usual channels maybe..
 

new-beginning

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

Jeff Davies has a not quite square cushion available
 

chroman

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klessa

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

chroman, the first one has a nicer color than the one from Shane, but yep, a little smaller and about the same price. Worth considering, though.

And you're exactly right about the asscher color. If only it weren't an asscher! *shakes fist at sky* I don't know why, but I love all the triangular facets on a cushion cut. I checked out an asscher at Shane and it was just so...right angled. LOL

chroman said:
It has a small inclusion at 5-o-clock, fwiw.
Ooh, I see it, I see it! It may take my eye a while to catch up, but I'm working on it. And those garnets? WOW. So full of life! I'd only looked at amethyst for previous pretties, but those definitely catch my eye. :tongue:

Contacting vendors is a good idea. I might try doing that over the next couple of days despite the holiday madness. Thanks for the names! Also, that trade event sounds very interesting. Hmm, I might be willing to take a calculated risk . . .

Helicoptergem and new-beginning, those are all sweet stones. Sadly, none of them seem square enough for the kite orientation I have in mind. D'oh! I think I read somewhere that a L/W ratio of up to 1.05 is seen as square by the eye — does that sound about right? (And am I using the right terminology with "kite" — when the four corners of the stone point to E,W,N & S?)
 

chroman

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

I totally get your frustration! Its like we can find good color, right price, but wrong shape.. Or good color and good shape but too expensive...

If you're toing to reach out to some vendors, I'd consider starting a collage of stones you like the colors of (maybe another for shapes, but thats probably easier). That will help th vendor get a better idea what you like. Thy don't have to tbe in budget or the right shape - just a yummie color! To that end, would either of these make the color cut? The big one I think would, but not sure about the pinker one:

http://www.pearlmansjewelers.com/gemstones/?sku=6251
http://www.pearlmansjewelers.com/gemstones/?sku=G64845
 

Burmesedaze

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

Just wanted to join in. I like amethysts but they don't quite sparkle enough for me (refractive index, right?) so I've been on the lookout for a decent rich medium purple (not greedy, doesn't have to be velvety dark purple) unheated sapphire in Yangon.

So far, no cigar. I've found itty bitty pieces or those that aren't clean enough/not rich purple enough.

All the best for your hunt and good luck!
 

klessa

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

chroman, a collage of stones is a brilliant idea, and d'oh, why didn't I think of that? *self-headsmack* And yes, that big one from Pearlman's would make the color cut. I'd even like mine to be a bit darker in tone (which I can approximate if I duck my head below the stone's image on my monitor, LOL).

Question: I really like the setting I've already found at Shane, and Hubs-to-Be already likes the ring he picked out for himself from there. Would it be weird / "not done" to ask a gem vendor to look for a particular stone but not use one of that vendor's own settings? Or is this a case where as long as I make my intentions clear at the beginning (that I'll probably want to use the setting I've found elsewhere), it's fine?

Burmesedaze, I hear you, fellow traveler on the Purple Road!

valeria101, I swear, some of those loose blues at Leon Megé almost make me change my mind about purple. :D There's one gorgeous purple cushion there, 013507, that is totally drool-worthy. It's rectangular, and so large it would be well above our price range, but the color on my monitor is amazeballs. (Though on the certificate, the picture gives it more of a dark violet grape color. Go figure.)
 

lovedogs

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

klessa|1482426171|4109005 said:
chroman, a collage of stones is a brilliant idea, and d'oh, why didn't I think of that? *self-headsmack* And yes, that big one from Pearlman's would make the color cut. I'd even like mine to be a bit darker in tone (which I can approximate if I duck my head below the stone's image on my monitor, LOL).

Question: I really like the setting I've already found at Shane, and Hubs-to-Be already likes the ring he picked out for himself from there. Would it be weird / "not done" to ask a gem vendor to look for a particular stone but not use one of that vendor's own settings? Or is this a case where as long as I make my intentions clear at the beginning (that I'll probably want to use the setting I've found elsewhere), it's fine?

Burmesedaze, I hear you, fellow traveler on the Purple Road!

valeria101, I swear, some of those loose blues at Leon Megé almost make me change my mind about purple. :D There's one gorgeous purple cushion there, 013507, that is totally drool-worthy. It's rectangular, and so large it would be well above our price range, but the color on my monitor is amazeballs. (Though on the certificate, the picture gives it more of a dark violet grape color. Go figure.)
Good question about the stone + setting! I think many vendors are used to people buying loose stones but having a setting purchased elsewhere. Of course if you like a stone that's already set in a ring and want the vendor to take it out it's a different story, but if you're buying a loose stone vendors generally don't "expect/require" you to use their settings. But I would caution you about the quality/price of Shane Co (just in general). Typically chain/mall store settings are overpriced and under quality--unfortunately. If you like the setting in the picture you originally posted I'd be worried about the quality of the diamonds, and how well made it is. If settings like that aren't made expertly, stones will fall out over time, which is a huge pain. I would honestly recommend contacting David Klass about making you a setting like that one, and see what his price is. It is possible his price is as good (or better) than Shane Co, and will be much higher quality. I'm not saying that the Shane Co setting is necessarily poorly made, but I haven't had good experienced with those types of stores overall (and neither have most people on the boards). Also they often use lower quality diamond melee (the tiny diamonds on the ring), so you pay for diamonds but not nice ones.

ETA: DK recently made a gorgeous twisted pave setting (but with a halo, so slightly different). You can see it on his FB page--he doesn't have a website. Here's 1 pic...I think it's really beautiful, and I'd trust his quality 100% 13221618_1018018454947625_6177920538589278916_n.jpg
 

chroman

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

+1 to what lovedogs said.

Also, I don't think Shane Co will set outside stones - only stones they sell.
 

sydneyatl

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

chroman|1482432653|4109036 said:
+1 to what lovedogs said.

Also, I don't think Shane Co will set outside stones - only stones they sell.
Ours (north ATL) did, but I'm not sure if that's unique to our local ShaneCo. (I got my stone from Jeff Davies)
 

chroman

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

Huh - I just checked their FAQ:
http://www.shaneco.com/customer-service/faq
and sure enough, they do seem to say they'll set outside stones. I thougth I'd checked their site in the past and they said otherwise.. I stand corrected!!

I think DK did a non-halo solitare with a twisted band too.. Let me see if I can find that pic

ETA:
image_1326.jpg
 

klessa

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

chroman and lovedogs, those DK rings are beautiful indeed. I may only want the pavé on the top of the ring (my palm doesn't need bling, LOL), but it sounds like he's a great guy to go to.

Good to know that Shane will set outside stones. FWIW, they said they guarantee a ring pretty much forever, asking only that the buyer brings it in every six months for a free cleaning and so they can check for loose stones or prongs. They said they will replace stones for free, including both the pavé babies and the main stone, as long as you've let them keep the ring in good repair. That long-term guarantee may be one reason prices are higher for the stones you do get.

Of course, if I bring in a stone from elsewhere, that guarantee would most likely change. :)

I subscribed to some eBay searches and found some pretties in my inbox today. A few weren't square enough (d'oh!), one was perhaps a little small (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-02-CTS-Natural-purple-sapphire-Loose-Gemstone-New-Sri-Lanka/172224748820), and on one the culet looked off (http://www.ebay.com/itm/TRUE-NATURAL-UNHEATED-1-04CT-EXCELLENT-PURPLE-SAPPHIRE-CUSHION/291972606105 — I iz learning!), but there were a couple that caught my eye.

This one is totally the wrong shape for me and so not an option, but oooooh, the color! Dirt cheap (like, is it really a sapphire? :eh: ) and it had diffusion treatment — but I might still grab a diffusion-treated one if it were the right shape/size, because color, color, color... http://www.ebay.com/itm/201756171418?ul_noapp=true

And this one seemed big and inexpensive, if a bit more blue/violet than my preference: http://www.ebay.com/itm/282299483592?ul_noapp=true
 

chroman

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

Awww, poor palm - no bling! ;-)

Another angle on the 6-month checkup is they get you back in the store at regular intervals so they can sell you more stuff :) "I'm so sorry, our jeweler is a little busy so this might take a short while. Feel free to look around in the mean time. Can I get you a coffee or a water while you look around?"

The photos on the second ebay listing look wierd to me. Like they've been heavily photoshopped. The image feels very "harsh", like its has the contrast cranked to 11. I would not be surprised if the stone didnt look like the photos..

The third one (the 5ct for $30)... Somethings strange there. Even with diffusion thats crazy cheap. Either its filled too, not sapphire, or not from the earth. Yes, its cheap, but...

The last one looks very gray to me. While it is darker (lower tone), its also paler (less saturation). Seems like its not really your ideal color, especially for that price.
 

klessa

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

Heh, good thing we like to sleep on big decisions and aren't likely to be seduced by a new shiny. But for Shane, very smart strategy. :naughty:

chroman, I see what you mean about the photos for the second eBay listing. (Again, buying on the Internet is maddening! We need Star Trek transporters so we can see stones in person before forking over for them. :D )

Gray! That's a good word for the last one, yes. The blues remind me of a blueberry. (And blueberries sometimes have a gray layer on the outside. :) )

Just before my original post, I'd sent off a few questions to the Israeli Etsy seller from stone #1, describing the color I was looking for. She said she'll send me photos in a couple of days of the ones in stock that might suit. We shall see — still nervous about a vendor with no reputation here. Still getting daily eBay notices and will keep checking the websites of vendors with handy search functions. I'm also tempted by the idea of that North American trade event, and what lovelies might come to light there. 8)
 

klessa

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

Just found: http://www.kingstonegems.com/fine-loose-coloured-gemstones/purple-sapphire-square-150216/ It's not the color I'd been thinking and it's not a cushion, but it's got an even ratio L/W and the square radiant shape is nice, and better for me than an asscher. I'm intrigued by the combo of blue and purple. Would this stone be considered more "gray"?

And how does it compare niceness-wise with this one: http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?-2066499630 ?
 

lovedogs

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Re: Want square purple sapphire, cushion cut—I'm bombing out

klessa|1482533780|4109257 said:
Just found: http://www.kingstonegems.com/fine-loose-coloured-gemstones/purple-sapphire-square-150216/ It's not the color I'd been thinking and it's not a cushion, but it's got an even ratio L/W and the square radiant shape is nice, and better for me than an asscher. I'm intrigued by the combo of blue and purple. Would this stone be considered more "gray"?

And how does it compare niceness-wise with this one: http://www.multicolour.com/detail/?-2066499630 ?

ooooh I love the kingstone one from Doug! Doug is incredible to work with, and has cut many stones for people here (myself included). I have no idea how much it would cost, but I love it and all of Doug's stones are cut to perfection. I'd definitely ask about that one. Also it helps that you are buying from the US because the USD is powerful compared to the Australian dollar, which is what his prices are listed as :)

I much prefer it to the Multicoulor one because of how even the coloring is and the good cut (the multicoulor one is pretty, but looks to have a window and have color "zoning").
 
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