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White sapphire value


#1

I am interested in what those of you who have experience with gems
would think the value of a 3.8 CT white(colorless) round diamond cut
sapphire with a G.I.A. cert. stating that it is natural and unheated
would be. If you e-mail me offline at denverjeweler@msn.com and give
me what you think the wholesale would be. Someone is selling one,
and I think gem is grossly overpriced and I think the seller is using
the cert. in such a way that a buyer might assume that the cert.
implies that the asking price is fair. This is an online sale. I got
a approximate price from an appraiser, but I want to know what you
think. Retail asking price is $2,304.00.

Richard Hart


#2

White sapphires are on the lower end of the value spectrum with the
top grade blues going at $450.00 a ct. retail.

Contact John Heading @ Cobblestonegems.com and he will help you with
your sapphire needs.

Jim


#3

dear richard,

i was in sri lanka a few weeks ago, looking for unburned
sapphires…none of them are cheap.

unburned whites were just about non-existent. unburned rounds in any
color were hard to find…so… unburned round, white sapphires are
a seller’s market. anyone who wants one has to pay whatever the
seller is asking or go without.

a couple of thousand dollars for the stone in question might be UNDER
priced if the clarity is any good.

regarding the opinions of appraisers in canada and the united states:
most appraisers here are not in touch with the values of untreated
sapphires…i don’t like to sound negative about members of my
profession but if an appraiser is going to offer an opinion about
value, it should be an informed opinion. if the appraiser isn’t up to
date on the situation in sri lanka, he is lacking sufficient
to express on informed opinion.

best wishes,
Bill Kent
http://www.sapphires.ca


#4

Bill,

the reason there are no unburned white sapphires (burning is what
we here call heat treatment ) because there are no reason to burn
them.

Sapphire is heat treated to improve it’s colour. Sapphire gets its
blue colour from Titanium Oxide (TiO2). Often, during crystallization
phase Titanium Oxide exsolves and forms what is called silk. If there
is too much of it, we have what is called geuda sapphire. During heat
treating such a sapphire Titanium Oxide dissolves back into crystal (
plainly speaking, the actual mechanics more involved ) and that what
makes sapphire blue. If sapphire is white ( colorless ) you can heat
it until cows come home and nothing will change. That is why there is
no “unburned whites”.

As far as value of white sapphire, the only value is in labor
involve in cutting the stone. Colourless sapphire is simply an
Alumina
(Al2O3) very plentiful material and very inexpensive.

Leonid Surpin.


#5

So this is what I learned.

I jumped to a conclusion based on 30 years of experience, but not
with white sapphire that is G.I.A. certified as unheated.

I virtually shot my mouth off because I thought the “buy it now
price” was ridiculous, and I was concerned that an unsuspecting
person
might think that the G.I.A. cert would influence someone thinking
that
the cert validated the price. There was a statement of comparison of
white sapphire with diamond which I also did not think was
appropriate.

Seems that a colorless sapphire of that size, well cut, and with a
cert that it is unheated is a collector gem and it is worth about
what the person is asking for it as a retail price, a little high,
but
he said it was negotiable.

I have been a G.G. for 30 years. I have a lot of experience with
colored gems, and I could not see no way no how that a colorless
sapphire could be worth near what was being asked. I was wrong and I
owe the seller an apology.

If I could buy a gem like that at wholesale, I am sure I would have
a gem like that for the rest of my life. I could be surprised, but I
do not believe I would have a customer who would want to pay that
much for something that has esoteric value, and it might be nice, but
not nice enough to spend that many beans on

(I recently got some small white sapphires to use in jewelry, they
are mistaken for diamonds although they are kind of flat, no
dispersion even though they are diamond cut… I was counting on the
fact that they look enough like diamonds

add that little pop, and not be pricey for a small gold item.
Perception, or misperception, can add value, and with proper
disclosure no foul committed.) I have never seen a 3 or 4 CT. white
sapphire, but I do not believe a gem that size would be mistaken for
a
diamond. A nice slice of humble pie for myself!

Richard Hart


#6
As far as value of white sapphire, the only value is in labor
involve in cutting the stone. Colourless sapphire is simply an
Alumina (Al2O3) very plentiful material and very inexpensive. 

I disagree… Prices of white sapphires have been sky rocketing and
Its NOT plentifully as you say it is.

true there may be a lot of sapphires but how much of it is facet
grade ? Anybody who have prospected for gemstones will tell you.

Even out of the facet grade stones nature does not always make
perfect sapphires, In 90 % of the stones there may be natural silk,
milky, gouda, blue or yellow tints in the stone. which we have to
heat treat and send it out. this it self is a risk, the stones may
crack change color god knows what will happen.

Please see my youtube video on white sapphire processing.
http://www.crescentgems.com/wholesale.php

Any eye clean stone over 5mm is always in demand, a 7 mm stone going
for as much as $ 200 per piece, there are several reasons. one main
reason being the Thai buyers buy it in bulk to Defuse, since the
stone has no color I am told its easier to predict the out come. and
be treated to any color.

best regards
Ahmed Shareek


#7

dear leonid,

um…i’m not sure where to start in response to your post. i do not
wish to insult you or disparage your opinion but…i have to say,
based on my experience, you may be incorrect in some of your
statements.

the majority of “white” sapphires are actually somewhat tinted when
found–usually kind of a vanilla flavor or a very, very light blue.
sometimes just the faintest tint of green or pink. not enough color
to be termed fancy; just enough color to be “off-white”. somewhat
similar to “white” diamonds that are tinted enough to be off-color
but not tinted enough to be canary yellow.

“white” sapphires that show some off-color don’t have a lot of
buyers in that slightly tinted state. (except for me; i like them
and usually pick them up whenever i can.) so, if most people don’t
want “off-color” white sapphires, where do they all go? well, there
aren’t that many to begin with–when you look at mine-run gravel,
whites are often the least common.

but, according to the miners, cutters and dealers i work with in
ratnapura and colombo, these tinted whites can be burned to remove
the tint, yielding really white “white” sapphires…and that’s what
happens…they all get burned. not to enhance color but to remove
these very, very faint tints and produce “color” equivalent to d or
e or f color diamonds.

so when someone offers a white sapphire that is actually white and
not slightly tinted and that stone has a gia lab report stating “no
indications of thermal enhancement”, i have to think it’s a stone
with some value.

even burned whites aren’t cheap in sri lanka. so, i’m not sure how
you’ve formed your opinions about value of white sapphires. if you
know of a source that will supply natural white sapphires ("natural"
meaning a stone that comes out of the earth, as opposed to one that’s
made in a lab or factory), burned or unburned, at the cost of labour,
you might want to pick up a few kilos and take them to sri
lanka…you’ll make a fortune selling them to the miners there.

best wishes,
bill


#8

Ahmed,

Any eye clean stone over 5mm is always in demand, a 7 mm stone
going for as much as $ 200 per piece, there are several reasons.
one main reason being the Thai buyers buy it in bulk to Defuse,
since the stone has no color I am told its easier to predict the
out come. and be treated to any color. 

thank you for confirming my post regarding the low value of white
sapphire. You said it yourself that "Thai buyers buy it in bulk to
Defuse, since the stone has no color " So all we have to do now to
determine the intrinsic value of the white sapphire is to take a
price
of surface diffused sapphire, subtract the cost of labor,
transportation, storage, marketing, and etc. and we should arrive at
a
figure indicative of white sapphire intrinsic value.

Another mistake, you are making, is in attributing value to the
white sapphire based on size. While it is true that value of
sapphires
increases rapidly as the size increases, the relation only holds for
the gems of exceptional colour. The reason lies in the fact that
rough sapphire crystals have bipyramidal shape characteristic of
members of hexagonal group. The optic axis runs from vertex to
vertex. Since the best colour direction is perpendicular to the optic
axis, even the relatively large crystal would yield a small round or
oval gemstone. The same crystal would yield 3 times as large gemstone
if table orientation would be parallel to the optical axis. Since
white sapphire has no colour to worry about, it is cut to obtain the
maximum yield, and that is why it is incorrect to imbue value to the
white sapphire based on size.

Leonid Surpin.


#9
the majority of "white" sapphires are actually somewhat tinted
when found--usually kind of a vanilla flavor or a very, very light
blue. but, according to the miners, cutters and dealers i work with
in ratnapura and colombo, these tinted whites can be burned to
remove the tint, yielding really white "white" sapphires...and
that's what happens.. 

If light colour zones are banded, which is a very common condition
for the sapphires, the heat treatment ( burning) can disperse the
chromophore throughout the stone and create even lighter but evenly
coloured stone. But again this is not a white sapphire.

so when someone offers a white sapphire that is actually white and
not slightly tinted and that stone has a gia lab report stating
"no indications of thermal enhancement", i have to think it's a
stone with some value. 

GIA reports should never be taken as proof of value. An examiner
issuing report simply stating the fact. Just because I can produce a
document that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit does not make my
water more valuable than other water available without such
certificate.

even burned whites aren't cheap in sri lanka. so, i'm not sure how
you've formed your opinions about value of white sapphires. 

Let’s not confuse price with value. There may be a market conditions
where price of certain commodity increases, but that does not mean
that commodity is valuable, it simply means that there is a demand
for it. When I advice my customers on gemstone purchase, I base my
opinion on true rarity of the gemstone. By true rarity I mean that
geological conditions, which are required for the gemstone to form,
are rare and unusual events. Formation of the white sapphire is not
such an event.

Let me illustrate what can happen if market price is mistaken for
the value.

Among american numismatists, a holy grail of any collector was always
the pioneer gold coinage, which is coins and bars issued by private
mints during California gold rush. Whenever an item would come for an
action, the prices were astronomical. The reason been that there were
very few available, but demand was high. However, the underlying
conditions did not justify those prices, because records from that
period indicated that a large number of such coins and bars were
issued. Problem was that not many survived. But then SS Central
America was found and it was SS Central America that was carrying
the millions in California Gold. It sank in 1857 and that even
created a market conditions which commanded super high prices for the
California coinage. Next day the ship was found, the prices for the
pioneer gold collapsed. The supply is still tightly controlled,
because they do not want to flood the market, but no matter, since
any knowledgeable collector knows that at present there are
plentiful supply of these collectibles.

Leonid Surpin.


#10

Hi all;

Any eye clean stone over 5mm is always in demand, a 7 mm stone
going for as much as $ 200 per piece 

Years back I bought a pale blue sapphire (liquer or liquid blue?).
It’s a beautifully cut antique style of rectangle, perfectly clean,
a color like a good aquamarine, over 2 carats. Since this thread I’ve
been wondering what it’s worth. I bought it for around $120 U.S.
from a desperate stone dealer. Any guesses on the value?

David L. Huffman