Best loose gemstone sites please

Discussion in 'Colored Gems (lab grown & natural)' started by deb34, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. kangaroocrazy

    kangaroocrazy
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    The Florentine Diamond

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    Awwwwwwwwwwwwww Dana,..I wannu see!!
    Do any of them sparkle??
     
  2. m76steve

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    thanks for asking-i do have alexandrite-this is the small pendent, top & bottom stones are originated as russian material at just over 4cts for the pair, the 3 catseye stones are 4+cts of indian material, the top stone is the kicker, in that it changes from green to red under the proper lights, the other stones do show well though & the pendent is really working in the proper light, a pic in flourescent & incandecent light-steve...
     

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    #42 m76steve, Jan 8, 2012
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  3. m76steve

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    a site u can check for good alexandrite,
    NileGem, another ebay seller-steve...
     
  4. VintageDime

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    Thanks Steve. It's beautiful! I have been looking forever for a nice alex but have trouble finding stones over .50 carats! Well, I have found some but they cost more than diamonds or the color change percentage is too low. I will check with NileGem. I really want to do an alexandrite project this year. Thanks for sharing. The top stone is quite lovely!
     
  5. KJMM

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    Hi Casey!

    This thread has really got me thinking about a stone that I bought (my first e-ring), it was not certed and I paid a lot for it. It has crossed my mind that I might have been ripped off. How do I go about getting it certed? What lab should I send it to and what is the process? And then how do I get a proper/accurate assessment for its value?

    For sentimental reasons I have wanted to do right by the stone and have it set into something nicer, but I'd be sort of embarassed to send it out to a designer thinking it's something it's not.
     
    #45 KJMM, Jan 10, 2012
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  6. kimicarol

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    The Centenary Diamond

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    I'm assuming because you posted in this thread, the stone is a gemstone?

    I send all of my colored gemstones to AGL labs in NY. They have a good reputation and are very helpful on the phone, especially to newbies.

    http://www.aglgemlab.com/

    They do not, however give you a value of your stone. You will need a GIA appraiser for that, but if you want an accurate value, it is important to have the certification from AGL first.

    GIA also does certifications, but I have never used them. It is my understanding that while they are #1 for diamonds, AGL is preferred for colored gemstones. I'm not even sure if GIA will do a stone that is set in a ring, but AGL will, however you do have to pay a bit more.

    The cost of the cert will vary from $55 for a simple gem brief that states what the stone is and whether it is earthmined or synthetic. Beyond that (such as verifying copper in Paraibas or no BE heating in sapphires) the price goes up and is also based on the size of the stone.

    What stone do you have, if you don't mind me asking? Any pictures?

    If the stone is say, a sapphire and the report comes back that the stone is earthmined with no treatments or only traditional heat, with no other treatments, then assuming it is well cut and a good color, you probably have yourself a valuable stone, in which case I would probably put it in the new setting before I got an appraisal, or you will end up doing it twice (if you are wanting to insure it in the new setting).

    The same with a ruby that comes back as unheated or traditional heat only, because if they are attractive stones, they are valuable.

    Other stones such as spinels, tourmalines, etc can vary greatly based on the color, size, etc. and you may (or may not) want to spend the money on an appraisal before you shell out a lot of money on an expensive setting. In the case of spinels, the only report you would probably need is the gembrief to determine that it is in fact a natural spinel. Tourmalines on the other hand can have various treatments, some of which (very low heat) can't be determined by a lab.

    Having said that, if the stone is your eRing and it has sentimental value and is pretty, you should be able to set it any way you want and they are many craftsman who will gladly set your stone, no matter what it is, but such as the case of a filled ruby, they will definitely need to know that before hand or they could ruin the stone.
     
    #46 kimicarol, Jan 10, 2012
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  7. KJMM

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    Thanks Casey! I think I'll have the stone removed from the setting and then send it to AGL to see where I stand.

    It was sold to me as a 2.15 ct red sapphire, 100% natural, earthmined, with not treatments or heat. I thought it was an emerald cut but when I learned more about cuts recently I realized it looks more like a scissor cut. I can't remember the exact clarity, I'll check what they out on the appraisal, but it is eye clean all even up close and when you hold it up to the light and let light shine through it. I don't have a loupe though so never seen it through a loupe. I do remember on the appraisal that it said the color/saturation was intense and vivid, I can't remember exactly. I really need to dig it up so I can give you specifics and I will do so tonight.

    I bought it from a local jeweler that is popular in my area for diamonds (not a mall jeweler, and they are in Newport Beach, CA) and their gemstones specialist called in some stones for me when I was looking for an emerald cut ruby. She had a bunch of different rubies for me to look at in varying carats, quality, etc. and had a spinel and red sapphire because she thought those were comparable and pretty. The red sapphire is the one that sang to me out of them all, so I bought that one. It's a deep red, but in the sun it has red orange-ish flashes. I actually liked the flashes vs. the solid red rubies and the pink spinel, it just looked so special to me at the time. Still does.

    I paid $3K for it set in a $500 platinum setting and the appraisal said its worth double, so at the time I thought that was a really good deal.

    The first time it was set it was chipped AND I was not happy with the quality of the workmanship on the setting! They fixed the setting and polished out the chip and promised no weight was lost and the cut wasn't affected, but I don't know how that really affected the cut, looks right to me...but the one thing that has really nagged at me is that I can't remember if it was originally an emerald cut and then became a scissor cut after they fixed the chip or if it always was a scissor cut because I couldn't tell the difference back then! I also was such a rookie buyer that I didn't even look up comps to see if I was paying the right price. I just loved the stone and paid cash. Since I've joined jewelry boards and educated myself, I've had it in the back of my head that maybe the stone wasn't as 100% natural or that it may have been sold to me as something it's not, etc. They have a very good reputation in our area, but I just want to find out for sure since ignorance is not bliss for me!!!!
     
    #47 KJMM, Jan 10, 2012
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  8. kimicarol

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    The Centenary Diamond

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    I think you are smart in getting the AGL report and for that kind of money (if I were you) I would talk to someone at AGL first and explain your dilemma.

    If it is in fact an unheated/untreated red sapphire, then a brief should tell you that because they can easily tell if it's been heated without a lot of difficulty.

    The more expensive part is if it comes back heated, then they will have to use much more extensive testing to see if it has been BE heated (which would probably be the big worry for a clean stone that color).

    Good luck and be sure to let us know how it goes. I have a small heated red sapphire, but I didn't pay a whole lot for it, so I suspect it is BE heated, but it's not worth enough for me to have it tested, as it was sold to me as heated.

    BTW, it sounds gorgeous!!!!

    I'd love to see pictures!
     
    #48 kimicarol, Jan 10, 2012
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  9. KJMM

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    Thanks again, Casey!

    I will post pics tonight when I get home.

    I will be mad it if comes back as something other than what I was told, but at least I will know for sure what it is.

    The thing is, we originally came in, took a look around, told them what we were looking for, she took down our info, and a week later called to follow up. In the intervening days we started to conisder synthetics, which we told her, to which she responded, "WHY?!??!! I can get you 100% natural gem in your price range! Come in Friday! I've putting together a selection for you and that's why I was calling you!"

    So, with that, we bought the stone...so if I got ripped off I'll be pretty mad considering she promised natural when I was already thinking synthetic anyway.

    She better not be like, heat is "natural" I didn't misrepesent! ERRRR!!!
     
    #49 KJMM, Jan 10, 2012
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  10. m76steve

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    Originally Posted By: KJMM.The first time it was set it was chipped AND I was not happy with the quality of the workmanship on the setting! They fixed the setting and polished out the chip and promised no weight was lost and the cut wasn't affected, but I don't know how that really affected the cut, looks right to me...but the one thing that has really nagged at me is that I can't remember if it was originally an emerald cut and then became a scissor cut after they fixed the chip or if it always was a scissor cut because I couldn't tell the difference back then! I also was such a rookie buyer that I didn't even look up comps to see if I was paying the right price. I just loved the stone and paid cash. Since I've joined jewelry boards and educated myself, I've had it in the back of my head that maybe the stone wasn't as 100% natural or that it may have been sold to me as something it's not, etc. They have a very good reputation in our area, but I just want to find out for sure since ignorance is not bliss for me!!!!
    Sorry for the intrusion, but several years ago i had a stone chipped when set by a tech who was not supposed to set colored stones, he was a backup to the main goldsmith, he chipped the stone, the shop had the stone recut/polished and returned to me. i weighed the stone and noticed a loss of about 10% of ct. weight & not a good polishing-to me the stone was never the same. As to treatment, always assume a ruby has been heated, even low heat, especially in this price range, in most cases the heat stabilizes the color & does a mild clearing up of the internals of the stone, an accepted practice in the trade, but u should be made aware if this has been done or not. from what i have read so far, a lab check is justified & should cost about $100.00 or so-sorry to see u have to do a little extra for ur peace-of-mind but it will be worth the time-my opinion-steve...
     
    #50 m76steve, Jan 10, 2012
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  11. KJMM

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    I sent an e-mail to AGL to get the process started.

    I'll send it as soon as they tell me they are ready to recieve it and I will post the results.

    As long as it doesn't come back with totally depressing results, I hope to sent it in a 3 stone micropave halo ring, since I'm obsessed with mircopave halos right now!

    Here are some pics I had on my computer, horrible pics but hopefully you get the idea. I really need a better camera.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. m76steve

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    im glad ur considering the AGL plan-i to am thinking about sending a stone i have to the same lab, kind of for peace of mind & if the results are positive, a plus for my appraisals. i have been lucky about having to deal with chipped stones since my jeweler is the only person that handles my stones & pendents & the only stone he dropped & broke was replaced by me at the stores expence-no conditions on replacement price was given to me-that says alot on backing to customers. im hoping ur satisfied with ur ring & stone when this is all done. i have a lot of pride in my pendents & from what ive read from u, u deserve a happy ending with ur ring-almost forgot the camera-if u want to take good closeup pics, most cameras have a micro setting & if not, good digital units are available & very inexpensive & very easy to use-fun to shop-steve...
     
    #52 m76steve, Jan 11, 2012
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  13. kimicarol

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    The Centenary Diamond

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    Personally, I would call them on the phone. They are very nice and I didn't get an email response the first time I tried to contact them, but once I called them, they clarified what I needed to do and answered all my questions.

    If you don't get a response in a day or so, I'd give them a call.
     
  14. KJMM

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    OK cool I'll call them tomorrow =)
     
  15. kimicarol

    kimicarol
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    The Centenary Diamond

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    Yes, tomorrow would be good - they may be closed on Fridays, but I don't remember for sure.
     
  16. flashfrenzy

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    ooooh, love the red sapphire!
     
  17. Alexgem7777

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    +1
     
    #57 Alexgem7777, Jan 14, 2012
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  18. kimicarol

    kimicarol
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    The Centenary Diamond

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    +2
     
    #58 kimicarol, Jan 15, 2012
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  19. Barbara Lipsky

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    3!
     
    #59 Barbara Lipsky, Jan 15, 2012
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  20. KJMM

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    Thanks guys! It looks so much better cleaned up, I got a response from AGL and will be sending my stone off soon after I have it unset. Sorry to threadjack, any updates I will post in another thread. But hopefully the conversations brought light to anyone considering stone that have not been certified from any of the sites/sellers listed.

    Thanks for all your help Casey, and thanks for your kind words Casey, E.Taylor, and Milady!
     

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