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Which sapphire vendor would you recommend and why?

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zoebartlett

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My dad is thinking of getting my mom a sapphire ring or a pendant -- probably either blue, a pad., or a color change sapphire (yeah, he should narrow it down). He was going to look at a few jewelers around here or head to the Jewelers'' Building in Boston. I also mentioned a few vendors known here (Dan Stair, NSC, Richard Homer, Jeff White, and Richard Wise). Now that I''ve completely overwhemed my dad, I''d like to help him narrow down his choices of a vendor. I''m not sure what budget he has in mind. If anyone could please help a guy out, I know my dad would appreciate it. I would too! Thanks in advance!
 

MakingTheGrade

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I think it might be better to narrow down the sapphire type and budget first, and time frame as well :) For example, if he wanted a pad or color change, it might be harder to get something custom cut since it might take longer to find the rough.
 

LD

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Date: 3/25/2009 6:35:40 PM
Author:ZoeBartlett
My dad is thinking of getting my mom a sapphire ring or a pendant -- probably either blue, a pad., or a color change sapphire (yeah, he should narrow it down). He was going to look at a few jewelers around here or head to the Jewelers' Building in Boston. I also mentioned a few vendors known here (Dan Stair, NSC, Richard Homer, Jeff White, and Richard Wise). Now that I've completely overwhemed my dad, I'd like to help him narrow down his choices of a vendor. I'm not sure what budget he has in mind. If anyone could please help a guy out, I know my dad would appreciate it. I would too! Thanks in advance!
All of those mentioned would be possibilities. If you want (generally speaking) a well cut stone I'm not sure I'd go to NSC (they are also fairly pricey). There's also Simply Sapphires. Some great cuts, some not so great cuts but good prices.

A great colour change sapphire is difficult to find but not impossible.

You can't normally go wrong with a blue sapphire - most people like/appreciate a blue sapphire. A pad is much more difficult to find just the right colour to suit the person. For example I dislike the paler pads as they're the same colour as me!!!! They merge and blend with my skintone a little too much for my liking.

Things to get your Dad thinking about:-

1. What colours does your Mum wear?
2. Does she have a favourite colour?
3. Does she like strong or muted colours?
4. How big are the stones in her current rings/pendants i.e. does she like dainty or huge or inbetween?
5. Does she prefer white or yellow gold metal?
6. What's the budget?
7. Is your Dad worried about heat or treatments? This will affect price.

That should keep him busy for a while!!!!
 

DianaBanana

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In my most humble opinion, you're going to get the best bang for your buck with one of the customer cutters - Jeff White and Richard Homer seem to have wonderful eyes for color and their cutting is phenomenal. Both offer treated and untreated stones depending on your personal preference and budget.

Jeff cuts beautiful stones with more traditional faceting and Richard's style is a little more modern with his concave cuts (although he does flat facets as well).

Jeff's sapphires

Richard's sapphires

The NSC has some beauties but the stone I'm getting from Jeff will be far better cut than most of their offerings....of equal or better color, untreated and at least $2000 less than anything I find comparable on NSC's website. I'm not saying this will be the case with everyone but my experience has been excellent thus far.



ETA - the stone in my avatar is a native cut Ceylon that Jeff is going to tweak for me - didn't want you to think that was his cutting!
 

neatfreak

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Budget is a huge consideration here...can you find out a ballpark?
 

Harriet

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If you go with a custom cutter, I second Jeff. He listens and is just the nicest guy.
 

MakingTheGrade

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Well, let''s say hypothetically that the budget is 1k or under? Would that significantly change things?
I guess I''m just wondering at what budget level are custom cutters like Jeff not realistically considered for budgetary reasons?
 

chrono

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You still need to narrow down a few things:
1. First and foremost is the budget
2. Next is to decide the colour (blue, pad, colour change, etc)
3. Then it''s time to think about treatments (untreated or gentle heat)

Once that''s all out of the way, it becomes much clearer which route you should take. It''s also easier for the cutter and vendor when you know how much you want to spend, size of stone, colour and type.

 

zoebartlett

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Date: 3/25/2009 7:08:32 PM
Author: LtlFirecracker
Isn''t Richard Wise near Boston?

I''m not sure if this is quoting you correctly or not. Yep, He''s near Boston, so we could easily check out his work in person.
 

zoebartlett

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Thanks so much for your thoughts everyone! I''m sorry to be so vague. My dad mentioned that since my mom already has a few blue sapphire pieces, he was leaning more toward either a color change (blue to purple) or a pad. As far as the color of the pad, he seemed to think that my mom would like a richer color vs. a pale one (he did love TGal''s new pad when I showed it to him). We''ve heard my mom mention that she loves tanzanite, which is what made him think of going with a color change sapphire. That way, it would combine the blue and the purple she loves.

My mom has fair Irish skin, and she tends to wear greens (sage color), blues (slate is among her fav. shades), black, gray, burgandy and cream/white fairly often. Most of her clothes come from Eddie Bauer, Macy''s, etc. It''s hard to narrow her style though. She tends to wear plain clothes -- she doesn''t wear a lot of patterns. She''s a teacher like me, so she doesn''t really work with her hands as an artist would.

As far as other pieces of jewelery go, she has a few pieces that are very sentimental, but most of her things aren''t too expensive. She tends to keep it simple and is not showy at all about her jewelry. For example, she doesn''t have large cocktail rings and she sticks to just wearing her wedding set mostly. She actually has two - one platinum (a little over a ct.) with a plain band, and a yellow gold set, also a little over a ct.

I''m not sure whether my dad would prefer a stone that''s been heat treated or not. Personally, if it were me, I could go either way as long as the stone has a great cut and the color is just right. But that''s just me. I''m pretty sure my dad would agree but I''ll try to find out.

My dad doesn''t have a time line as to when he''d like to purchase something. It''s a "just because..." type of purchase, so he''s okay waiting for the right stone.

Ack -- sorry to be so wordy! Thanks again, everyone, for you help.
 

zoebartlett

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Date: 3/25/2009 9:30:27 PM
Author: MakingTheGrade
Well, let''s say hypothetically that the budget is 1k or under? Would that significantly change things?

I guess I''m just wondering at what budget level are custom cutters like Jeff not realistically considered for budgetary reasons?
Good point, MakingTheGrade. I was assuming his total budget for a stone and setting is $1000-$1500 but I''m not sure.
 

zoebartlett

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Diana -- I showed my dad both Jeff's and R. Homer's websites last night. I also showed him a few of his (Homer's) concave cuts, and he didn't seem to think they'd be what my mom would love. So it looks like he'd probably prefer to go with a stone that is traditionally faceted as opposed to a concave stone.
 

Allison D.

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Date: 3/26/2009 6:53:08 AM
Author: ZoeBartlett

My dad doesn''t have a time line as to when he''d like to purchase something. It''s a ''just because...'' type of purchase, so he''s okay waiting for the right stone.
Zoe, if that''s the case, then you may want to consider shopping in person when the gem show comes to Marlboro in early May. That''s just over a month away.

We already have a pretty big group of the Boston PS group going, so there''d be plenty of company!
 

FrekeChild

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Zoe, you might try emailing Barry Bridgestock as well. He''s about to have a drop next Wednesday, and he might have something perfect hanging around. His sapphires are beautiful. (Check out Icekid''s!!!Although her''s is on the light side....)
 

blinkydoll

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Date: 3/26/2009 8:55:13 AM
Author: Allison D.
Date: 3/26/2009 6:53:08 AM

Author: ZoeBartlett


My dad doesn''t have a time line as to when he''d like to purchase something. It''s a ''just because...'' type of purchase, so he''s okay waiting for the right stone.
Zoe, if that''s the case, then you may want to consider shopping in person when the gem show comes to Marlboro in early May. That''s just over a month away.


We already have a pretty big group of the Boston PS group going, so there''d be plenty of company!

Yesssss
 

LD

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Zoe - have a quick look at www.simplysapphires.com They have more "traditional cuts", loose gemstones and also ready made jewellery. There''s something to suit most budgets AND they''re a pleasure to work with.

You mentioned your Mum likes to wear blue slate colours? You can buy some wondering spinels in that shade and perhaps that might be a possibility?
 

zoebartlett

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Date: 3/26/2009 8:55:13 AM
Author: Allison D.
Date: 3/26/2009 6:53:08 AM

Author: ZoeBartlett


My dad doesn''t have a time line as to when he''d like to purchase something. It''s a ''just because...'' type of purchase, so he''s okay waiting for the right stone.
Zoe, if that''s the case, then you may want to consider shopping in person when the gem show comes to Marlboro in early May. That''s just over a month away.


We already have a pretty big group of the Boston PS group going, so there''d be plenty of company!
Hi Allison! I hope all is well with you. I''m looking forward to the gem show on May 9th. It will be good to see everyone again and meet a few new faces.
 

zoebartlett

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Thanks Freke and LovingDiamonds!

I''ll check out Barrry Bridgestock and Simply Sapphires.

Hmmm, more vendors to check. This may be a bigger project than choosing my engagement ring, and this gift isn''t even for me!
 

chrono

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Date: 3/26/2009 6:57:48 AM
Author: ZoeBartlett
Diana -- I showed my dad both Jeff''s and R. Homer''s websites last night. I also showed him a few of his (Homer''s) concave cuts, and he didn''t seem to think they''d be what my mom would love. So it looks like he''d probably prefer to go with a stone that is traditionally faceted as opposed to a concave stone.
Richard Homer also does excellent traditional flat faceting. I wish he would showcase those too because the cutting is superb.
 

zoebartlett

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Okay, so after spending some time with my dad recently, showing him a few sites, etc., he's narrowed it down to wanting a sapphire that has a violet hue to it. I showed him Catmom's color change sapphire, and I helped him put together this collage. He's considering cushions or possibly rounds, but I think he liked cushions a little more. My mom has a few round stones, and I think he'd like to get something a little different.

It turns out that I was very wrong about his budget. He's looking at spending up to $5-6000 for the right stone and setting. He'd like to stay under that, ideally, but he'd go up that high if the right thing came along.

I'm still learning about sapphires, and we're not in the market to buy anytime soon, so I'm still acting as the go-between for my dad. He did want me to mention that he appreciates the help he's received so far. I tried to get him to join PS but he shook his head and said he'd leave posting to me.


So, does anyone want to help a sweet gentleman out?

Here's the collage I mentioned. The pics were from a few different sources on the Internet, including Catmom's gorgeous color change sapphire.

ETA: Hmmm, should I begin a new thread with a new name, now that the title doesn't exactly match the subject? Not sure...

violet colored sapphires.jpg
 

mercoledi

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Hiya Zoe


What a fun project! I concur that waiting for the gem show might be a good move. Or, at the last GTG we went and visited the shop with the enormous pad (AlJ would remember their name) and he had a nice violet sapph cushion, though I don't recall the size or cost.

What kind of setting are you guys thinking? Mark Morrell is in Concord, or something more whimsical like this James Meyer might make it more wearable/casual if this will be a more substantial piece than she's used to.

ETA: Gene has a lavender sapph with an EC crown and radiant pavilion.
 

E B

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I know zip about sapphire quality, but this one looks beautiful to me- maybe someone who knows something about sapphires can weigh in. It's from Planetary Gems (right side, fourth sapph. down), 1.10 ct oval, blue-violet, unheated. Great price!

sapphbvzoe.jpg
 

Kismet

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ATG has a pretty color change sapphire for sale (search for baryco-96-02).

It''s a fair bit over budget, but I just wanted to point out that Leon has this for sale.

r1103_123Ww.jpg
 

mercoledi

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^^^
I saw that Leon too Kismet, what lovely piece that is. Sad that it''s so far over budget.
 

zoebartlett

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Hi Mercoldi!
I just found out that I won''t be able to go to the gem show after all. I''m hosting a baby shower for a friend that day, and for a while, I thought it was going to be postponed. That''s when I decided to go to the gem show. Well, the shower''s back on, which I''m happy about, but it means that I''ll miss this GTG. I''ve never been to a gem show before, and I was REALLY looking forward to going. Bummer. Thanks for the links! I LOVE MM and maybe I''ll suggest that my dad contact him when he''s ready. I really like the JM ring as well, but I''m not sure it''s my mom''s style.

Thanks for the link, Ebree! I''ve never heard of Planetary Gems but I''ll pass the link to my dad. Congratulations, by the way!!
Kismet -- wow, thanks! I hadn''t heard of ATG before but I really liked browsing through the site quickly. I''d love one of everything!
I kept going back to the green sapphires -- gorgeous! I''ll definitely send that link to my dad and spend some time browsing more tonight during AI. I love that Leon setting, too.



 

mercoledi

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Bummer, I''m not sure that I''m going either, but it sounds like fun.

Here are some options from Lang''s. Nothing is dead on, but some are very nice.
Completely different, but pretty
LS blueberry-esque
Really beautiful but maybe not her style
Another blueberry wannabe
Last one, oval.

I don''t recall what LS''s stone cost, but I think the violet sapphs are usually a little cheaper than a true blue and Jeff White cuts a mean cushion. He might be within your dad''s expanded budget.

Finally, Finewater has a color shifter oval that''s well within budget (have MM add some diamond half moons and you''re set).

Have fun!
 

marcy

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Zoe, what a fun project. I LOVE that first green sapphire. It''s stunning.
 
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