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Vintage pink tourmaline and white sapphire ring

Dear Orchidians,

Inspired by the Colored Stone article saying that pink tourmalines
are hot, as well as by my bank balance, I am hoping to sell this
ring. But I would love some advice, if anyone feels willing…

A gemologist looked at it long enough to do an ID and determine that
he wasn’t interested, since he specializes in vintage colored
sapphires and old diamonds. I said something about how included the
center stone is and he said pink tourmaline is always highly
included, because of the “paragenesis” of the rock in which it forms
(I use quotations because it’s Greek to me. Isn’t it?)

So I thought of putting it on eBay, since a friend of mine is doing
that now. However, the pink tourmalines I see there don’t look very
included. And everybody seems to list carat weight for their stones.
I’m assuming that, to get carat weight, the (faceted, but bezel-set)
tourmaline, and one of the surrounding sapphires, would have to be
removed, and then re-set (am I right?). I’m wondering if the ring is
worth the cost of that (it’s not something I’m set up for, and I’ve
never removed stones, only set them).

On top of which, while the sapphires seem to be in excellent
condition, there’s a chip in the table of the tourmaline. I don’t
know whether it’s worth re-cutting, or worth much “as is”–especially
since the ring is only 10k, with some sterling. However, when I asked
the gemologist, a week or so after he’d looked at it, he suggested I
ask for $600-800 on eBay… I wonder if he forgot the chip, or if
he’s right.

Using my funky brass calipers, I get 8 x 10 mm for the tourmaline
and 3.5 mm each for the 10 sapphires. To my eye, it’s a very pretty
ring (a nice, strong pink) and I’d rather keep it. But…

This doesn’t seem like thread material, so please feel free to email
me off list. And forgive me if I take a while to get back to you.

Gratefully,

Lisa Orlando
Aphrodite’s Ornaments
Elk, CA

PS: I don’t have a camera, so I don’t have a picture. I could try to
get a scan, though.

Lisa,

Don’t sell your ring on Ebay. I just had a 7 carat 12 mm pink
Tourmaline appraised by a GIA certified appraiser. I paid $99.00 for
the stone and bought a setting from Stuller for $67.00. The appraisal
just came back. $1900.00. I would not even get close to even a
$1000.00 if I tried to sell it on Ebay. EBay is a good place to
unload things and maybe pick up a bargain every now and then.
However, you will never get its full value by auctioning it. Find a
GIA appraiser in your area who is NOT affiliated with a jewelry
store; just an independent appraiser. Find out what it really is
before you get in a hurry to unload it. Besides, the stone I bought;
it was sold to me as a pink topaz, and it turns out it was VVS to IF
for clarity and (duh) NOT a Topaz.

Mike Gramlich
Terra Firma Handiwork
@Mike_Gramlich

    I said something about how included the center stone is and he
said pink tourmaline is always highly included, because of the
"paragenesis" of the rock in which it forms (I use quotations
because it's Greek to me. Isn't it?) 

Paragenesis refers to minerals that form in contact with one another
(the inclusions), affecting each other’s development during growth.
Red/pink tourmaline is considered a Type III gem, meaning that it is
likely to be included with eye-visible inclusions. I suspect he was
trying to impress you with vocabulary.

     So I thought of putting it on eBay, since a friend of mine is
doing that now. However, the pink tourmalines I see there don't
look very included. And everybody seems to list carat weight for
their stones. I'm assuming that, to get carat weight, the (faceted,
but bezel-set) tourmaline, and one of the surrounding sapphires,
would have to be removed, and then re-set (am I right?). I'm
wondering if the ring is worth the cost of that (it's not something
I'm set up for, and I've never removed stones, only set them). 

If you spend much time on eBay, you will find that gemstone auction
photos are often only representative of what they are selling, and
not the actual stone. In other words, what you see is seldom what
you get. You mentioned that you were looking at stones on eBay, not
necessarily finished jewelry. Those are much easier to weigh. There
are formulae to estimate gemstone weights by measurements and
specific gravity, but there are other factors, such as estimating
girdle thickness which require some experience. You’ll also need to
measure the depth of the stones, too. That’s the reason designers
leave the little hole in the setting for faceted stones, not for
light, as many seem to believe. It is perfectly ethical to advertise
your ring by the outline measurements of the stones, i.e., 8X10 pink
tourmaline, ten 3.5mm sapphires. Carat weight is a plus, but it
wouldn’t be worth the time to remove and re-set these particular
stones, IMHO.

    However, when I asked the gemologist, a week or so after he'd
looked at it, he suggested I ask for $600-800 on eBay... I wonder
if he forgot the chip, or if he's right. 

eBay is a strange place to buy and sell. You could put it up for
auction at $0.99 with no reserve several times and never get a bite.
Then you could put it up with a starting reserve of $500 and wind up
with even more. This actually happened to me once, years ago. I only
have 24 actions on eBay over a period of six or seven years, so I’m
no expert. But I’ve always used a starting bid of the minimum amount
I wanted to get for an item, with no reserve. The trick for me is to
only offer things that are a bargain for buyers, but profitable for
me. If it’s worth 30 and I paid 10, I offer it for 20.

Whatever you decide, I hope it goes well for you.

James in SoFl

Lisa, there are very good ways to get a close estimate of the weight
of mounted stones without removing and resetting them.

There is an instrument called a Leveridge Gauge, which is basically a
micrometer which has been modified to make it easy to use on mounted
diamonds. It comes with a small booklet of conversions to figure the
weight.

One can estimate other gemstones by using a book written by my
friend, Charles Carmona, “The Complete Handbook of Gemstone Weight
Estimation.”

The Complete Handbook for Gemstone Weight Estimation
By Charles I Carmona G.G.

http://www.ganoksin.com/jewelry-books/us/product/0966637003.htm
Price: $50.96

Media: Paperback
Manufacturer: Gemania Pub
Release data: 01 December, 1998

I believe that you can buy it directly from Charlie at Guild
Laboratories, 550 S Hill St #1188, L.A., CA 90013

If it doesn’t make sense for you to buy the book right now, and if
you have a micrometer, I can explain how to get the necessary
measurements. Then I can figure out the weights for you.

David Barzilay
Lord of the Rings
607 S Hill St Ste 850
Los Angeles, CA 90014-1718
213-488-9157

  Besides, the stone I bought; it was sold to me as a pink topaz,
and it turns out it was VVS to IF for clarity and (duh) NOT a
Topaz. 

Granted I got my GG a long time ago but I have never seen anything
written by the GIA that recommends using diamond clarity grading
terms for colored stones. If the gemologist you used did in fact
use these descriptions in his appraisal I might be a little
skeptical of everything else he wrote. Also GIA does not, in fact,
certify anyone. There are other groups who do offer a certified
gemologist degree but not GIA.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
@Daniel_R_Spirer
www.spirerjewelers.com

    Don't sell your ring on Ebay. I just had a 7 carat 12 mm pink
Tourmaline appraised by a GIA certified appraiser. I paid $99.00
for the stone and bought a setting from Stuller for $67.00. The
appraisal just came back. $1900.00. 

That ‘appraiser’ didn’t know his business.

If your total cost was $166 plus labor (and even if the appraiser
didn’t know that), it could not be ‘worth’ $1900, not even at high
retail.

An appraisal only has value if the appraiser is totally professional
and is conversant with ALL current market prices. Many so-called
appraisers have NO idea of the cost of colored stones…if it ain’t
on the ‘Rap,’ they are just guessing.

David Barzilay
Lord of the Rings
607 S Hill St Ste 850
Los Angeles, CA 90014-1718
213-488-9157=