[appraisel] Tsavorite and diamond engagement ring

Hi all,

I have what may be a stupid question, but am hoping someone will have
an answer anyway. I have a beautiful tsavorite and diamond engagement
ring that was appraised at $1400 4 years ago. I’d like to sell it, but
the one person I took it to said that no one ‘knew what tsavorite was
or knew the value of it’ and the most he could offer me for it was
about $200. He suggested I try to sell it in a newspaper, and I may
try that if it’s the only way. But if someone has another suggestion
for making some cash from it, I’d appreciate it. It’s sitting here
collecting dust and I could use the cash.

many thanks,

Wow, I certainly know what tsavorite is and so do most of my jewelers.
Try consigning it, or list it w/ a reserve on ebay if you are in a
hurry. Ebay is only for the ones who need it NOW.


Wanda, I have am a Custom Cutter of colored Gemstones, and have been
cutting quite a bit of very nice Tsavorite Garnet lately.

Had three stones appraised recently, and in the 1 ct. range, the
full retail appraisal was $1500.00/ct. At the 2 ct. range, the retail
appraisal was $2500.00/ct.

These stones are very good green color, with inclusions in the SI-1

Hope this gives you some idea of the value of the material.

Bill Ehney

Wanda, Try going to e-bay to sell your item, they even have a service
that might tell you how much your ring is worth. Tsavorite is not a
common stone (like ruby sapphire and emerald) and they do not have
the knowledge to assess the stone. Try calling you local jewelry store
and ask when the next appraisal session will be available, these are
offered to anyone for a fee. Selling on e-bay can be a little
intimidating, but you have a bigger audience. If you need help, let me
know, I sell for estates and private individuals.

Wanda, Having a retail ‘shop’ I get this question on a weekly basis.
First, the appraisal price is an inflated dollar figure for insurance
replacment value(which you may never see the equivilent from your
insurance co.Some co’s have called me to replace a piece of jewelry
for thier client, and ask me to give them a’deal’or an at cost
price!). Rule of thumb with appraisals is you generally get 1/3
appraisal value.So if you got $500.00 would be “normal”. Tsavorites are
not the most well known stone, say,compared to sapphire. And they can
be very expensive. Why don’t you give the details of your item(carat
weight shape,etc.),perhaps one of us would be interested??? Good

Dear Wanda, You bring up a problem which we jewelers have to deal
with on a daily basis. For starters, I am suspicious of your statement
that it was appraised at fourteen hundred dollars four years ago. !.
Who did the appraisal ? If it was the seller there is an inherent
conflict of interest and the valuation may have been inflated to
rationalize the selling price. 2. Appraisals wear many hats. The most
common would be that of “replacement” value, ergo, what would it cost
to replace the goods in the event of loss assuming that you surveyed
your local market and had a precise description of what you wanted and
got bids from several or many sources. On the other hand, an appraisal
might also be effected to reflect the current market retail value of
the object, making allowances for the fact that it is used and may
have bruised stones , worn prongs or a thin shank. If you try to sell
it to a private party, he or she is going to expect to pay
substantially less than he might for like goods in a store. If you
sell it to a store, the owner is probably going to have to do some
work on it before he can sell it and he has to anticipate the
possibility that he might have to “stand good” on it if anything
becomes a problem in the future. He also has to buy it at a price
which will enable him to resell it at a profit which will be
consistent with his cost of doing business. He may then also have to
deal with the problem of the possibility of his being in the position
of dealing with stolen goods. He could easily be put out of business
if he were to be caught with “hot goods”. In reality, many jewelers
will buy gold and stone jewelry only when the value of the stones is
relatively great, the stones are in good condition and the price is a
small fraction of what he might have to pay at retail. Many jewelers
will then pop out the stones and melt the gold…for fairly obvious
reasons. As for the jewelers’ pitch about people not relating to
Tsavorite that is a reasonable statement considering the fact that too
many jewelers don’t have a good background in gemology and considering
that the public knows even less… I would recommend that you call
around and see whether there are any jewelers in your area who take on
consignments. If there are , I would then make inquiries about his
reputation. Thereafter, I would see what he might be able to sell it
for and whether his cut was reasonable. You should never make this
arrangement with someone who has not been in the area for a
substantial period of time. We do a considerable amount of consignment
trade, but we never take in mechandise that is in questionable
condition because we stand behind what we sell. Our cut is one
third…others may want half. The ad in the paper routine is risky.
You don’t know who you may be dealing with and the people who respond
to your kind of ad can be real opportunists (putting it mildly).
Ulimately, the best way for you to sell the ring is through friends.
Putting an ad on a bulletin board at work or in a club newsletter or
telling your hairdresser about it are good ways to go.
Good luck ! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.

Dear Ron, Thank you for your lengthy and indepth response to my
question. First, the appraisal was indeed for replacement value of the
ring. It was done in 1994 by Harold Finale Jewelers in Albany, NY. I
never expected to get more than about $500 for the ring, if that,
because I know a little bit about what you were saying about jewelers.
What actually stunned me when I got the appraisal was that the ring
was tsavorite. It was sold to my ex husband for me as an emerald. He
bought it in Wilmington, NC, in 1987 and paid $1100 for it. It’s a
beautiful ring, and I was very disappointed when I learned it wasn’t
an emerald. My first instinct was to call the jeweler who sold it to
him and scream about it. I didn’t, however, though I still sometimes
lean heavily in that direction… The appraisal reads: “A. One 6.55 x
5.18 x 3.40mm, oval, faceted dark green tsavorite. The tsavorite
weighs approximately .90 carat. The color saturation is very good. B.
Two, 1.85mm, round brilliant diamonds, approximately .04 carat total
weight. Both diamonds are SI1 (?) clarity and G-H in color…” I will
take your advice, if nothing else comes up to change my mind, and sell
it as you suggested.

many thanks,

Dear Wanda, Thanks for sending the details of your appraisal. If it
will make you feel any better, take heart in the fact that a
Tsavorite as large as the one you have described is, indeed, quite
un-common. It is unfortunate that it was mis-represented originally,
but it is also fortunate that it was not a low grade Emerald. You
might want to consider keeping your Tsavorite and transferring it
into something which is more practical and economical. Wearing a
nice, albeit fragile stone in the form of a ring is tantatmount to
deliberate destruction. Does your stone evidence any chipping or
abrasion ? The residual value of the remainder of your ring is
probably insignificant. The two diamonds have a wholesale value of
maybe ten dollars each. Unless the ring is extra large, it too has
little residual value. Mounting the stone on a simple pendant
shouldn’t cost you more than a hundred dollars at most and you
probably already have a gold chain for it. On the other hand, should
you decide to consign your ring, make sure that the jeweler or or
used jewelery person knows something about Tsavorite and can work up
some enthusiasm for the stone. It is, after all, much less common
than Emeralds! Good luck, Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.

Being from the Albany area I suggest that you get a SECOND
appraisal…at A&A Gem Labs, you can find them in the phone book,
…They are THE best in this area. If the ring is that much then it is
worth it to have 2 opinions… Good Luck Mary