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So who can give me some advice about gemstones? (long backstory)


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#11 sstotz

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    Posted 09 January 2009 - 02:11 PM

    Sapphires are great (I originally wanted one before I knew that it was out of the price range at the time).

    MY ring has a geniune pink tourmaline (which is more precious than a diamond, and a third of the cost). I've had it for over a year and the color looks as beautiful as it did the day I set my eyes on it. Do some research on it! I know a great tourmaline jeweler in San Diego if you need one (mine wasnt from her.. I got mine in KY, but the SD woman is amazing with her gems.
    ~Soon to be Shanny May
    June 20th, 2009
    Cabo San Lucas, MX

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    #12 FutureMrsLewis

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      Posted 09 January 2009 - 08:18 PM

      Well I got some good news today :) I went to the jewelry store where I saw these two rings and I talked to a sales woman there, and in two weeks their jeweller is coming in and bring a whole stash, including some pink tourmaline (which I never would have thought of, thanks sstotz ^_^ ). She also told me that she's not 100% sure, but she believes that the lab created stones will not fade as they are the same chemical composition as a genuine stone. Also, if I see any other rings that they carry that have a stone other than the one I want, there's a chance I may be able to make a special order and get a pink sapphire/tourmaline/whatever :) So I'm pretty excited! I still need to see about created vs. genuine, but at least it's not going to be as hard as I thought it would be :)

      The reason why I'm leaning toward created stones is because they're so bright and colourful! I saw two rings today side by side, almost identical style, one with a genuine stone and one with a created stone, and the genuine stone was like it was washed out and kinda dull, but the created stone was just gorgeous!

      And I saw both rings today, and there's a "gable" underneath the stone (that's what the saleslady called it) so I can't fit a band underneath it, I would have to get a custom-cut band. But the gable made it so pretty and detailed that I fell in love with the created ring even MORE lol Decisions, decisions... I'm definitely going to nab that jeweller on the 24th though and see what options he has and what he thinks about created stones :)

      #13 lovesandandbeaches

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        Posted 11 January 2009 - 05:10 PM

        Since it sounds like the appearance of your stone is important to you one suggestion I have is that you should also consider the hardness of your stone. Diamonds are the hardest (a 10 ), saphires follow next with a 9. Topez are 8. Tourmaline is 7-7.5 (but a diamond is really like 6 times harder than a Topez)
        The harder the stone, the less likely it is to get scratched up and dull the stone.
        I do not know how the hardness scale works with lab created stones

        I did some research on this because my ring is large princess cut Aquamarine (diamond band). I knew it was softer than some of the other gemstones. I know that in a few years there is the possibility that we will have to replace the stone due to wear. I most likely will wear just the band on a daily basis after the wedding to reduce that chance. It is also very high in the setting because it is set "kite" style.
        When they first set the stone, the cracked it and are now resetting the new stone.
        Our jeweler commented that colored gemstones are great for wedding rings but that you just really need to know all of the pro's / cons that come with them.
        My hope is that if we ever need to replace this, I will reset it as a cocktail ring with some other small gemstones and replace it in my wedding set with a blue diamond. A girl has to have some big dreams every now and than :)

        #14 FutureMrsLewis

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          Posted 13 January 2009 - 07:17 AM

          I was thinking of a pink diamond too, but I don't like the colour of those as much. And I saw some genuine pink sapphires that look really cheap and faded and turned me off of those as well. I love the look of the lab-created, and that's what's making me question the whole thing, and the jewellery stores look at me like I'm stupid when I say I don't like diamonds lol It's like they don't even want to bother with me any more. I walk in and say "I'm looking for a replacement engagement ring" and they get all giddy and when I say "But I don't want a diamond" they're almost ushering me out the door. I need to move to a bigger center lol

          #15 shellb

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            Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:02 AM

            I am not a fan of lab created, I prefer the genuine stone. For sapphires, I do find a big difference. It's also a lot about the cut and size to get the color to come out.

            I know when we had my ring made, they brought in some sapphires (we knew the carats beforehand because I chose a mount for the ring that was going to be set). That's how we chose the one for my ring.

            #16 shellb

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              Posted 13 January 2009 - 12:59 PM

              Forgot to mention mine was bought through Charm which is who I think you are going with. From my experience they are really good to work with to get what you are looking for. I was lucky enough to have the store manager as my sales person (sounds like you might be dealing with the manager as well) who knew you can get stones brought in if you are a serious buyer.

              When the Diamond / Jeweller guy comes to your store, he has tons of different color diamonds. He tried to sell us an orange one. He brings some really gorgeous stones. You are going to love it. Hope they have the stone you are looking for.

              #17 Mishi

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              Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:21 PM

              I worked in jewelry for a few years and let me tell you there is a huge difference between lab created and genuine...with one exception... moissanite. This started getting big about ten years ago because people were getting scammed by having the diamonds swapped for moissanite. You can't tell the difference... even a jeweler has a hard time. It is as hard as a diamond, will scratch glass like a diamond, and to the naked eye, touch and stand of time you will never know the difference. It is not as inexpensive as a lab created but it is way cheaper than genuine diamond.
              They have them in pink, yellow, blue, you name it.

              If this is something you are wanting to keep forever, I would either go with genuine or moissanite. There is a reason the labs are cheaper and you get what you pay for. They won't last forever and many will even scratch on the surface over time and will definitely fade.

              Good luck and we want pics when you finally do get it!!!!

              #18 NJ_bride

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                Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:59 PM

                My Hubby was a jeweler and I think the reason your stone faded was not b/c it was lab created but b/c it was treated. I have several pieces of Caribbean Topaz. When I got them they come with a card that explains that while the stone is a genuine topaz, the beautiful dark blue-green color comes from a treatment they do to the stone. Over time this color can change or fade from chemicals, ect. They said not to use jewelry cleaner on them. I have many other lab created stones and they are fine b/c like you said they are the same make up as the genuine ones. If you like the lab created be sure to ask if they are natural color or treated stones.

                As for alternative choices I highly recommend the Pink Tourmaline.

                #19 FutureMrsLewis

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                  Posted 13 January 2009 - 06:28 PM

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by shellb
                  Forgot to mention mine was bought through Charm which is who I think you are going with. From my experience they are really good to work with to get what you are looking for. I was lucky enough to have the store manager as my sales person (sounds like you might be dealing with the manager as well) who knew you can get stones brought in if you are a serious buyer.

                  When the Diamond / Jeweller guy comes to your store, he has tons of different color diamonds. He tried to sell us an orange one. He brings some really gorgeous stones. You are going to love it. Hope they have the stone you are looking for.
                  That makes me super excited, because Charm/Crescent, Peoples (who ruined my current ring) and Bogart's are the only jewelry stores here, so I'm glad to hear that Charm are great because I've had great customer service there.


                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by Mishi
                  I worked in jewelry for a few years and let me tell you there is a huge difference between lab created and genuine...with one exception... moissanite. This started getting big about ten years ago because people were getting scammed by having the diamonds swapped for moissanite. You can't tell the difference... even a jeweler has a hard time. It is as hard as a diamond, will scratch glass like a diamond, and to the naked eye, touch and stand of time you will never know the difference. It is not as inexpensive as a lab created but it is way cheaper than genuine diamond.
                  They have them in pink, yellow, blue, you name it.

                  If this is something you are wanting to keep forever, I would either go with genuine or moissanite. There is a reason the labs are cheaper and you get what you pay for. They won't last forever and many will even scratch on the surface over time and will definitely fade.

                  Good luck and we want pics when you finally do get it!!!!
                  I've never heard of moissanite, I will definitely have to look into that! All I've seen is topaz and sapphire, I haven't even seen tourmaline, I have to wait for the jeweller to even see that one, so I'm going to ask him about moissanite :) Thanks so much!!

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by NJ_bride
                  My Hubby was a jeweler and I think the reason your stone faded was not b/c it was lab created but b/c it was treated. I have several pieces of Caribbean Topaz. When I got them they come with a card that explains that while the stone is a genuine topaz, the beautiful dark blue-green color comes from a treatment they do to the stone. Over time this color can change or fade from chemicals, ect. They said not to use jewelry cleaner on them. I have many other lab created stones and they are fine b/c like you said they are the same make up as the genuine ones. If you like the lab created be sure to ask if they are natural color or treated stones.

                  As for alternative choices I highly recommend the Pink Tourmaline.
                  I bought the ring at Peoples, and only God knows what was done to those stones. It is possible that they were treated, but I know for SURE they were washed in ammonia by the staff themselves. I know nothing about jewelery, so I expected them to know when I asked if they could clean my ring, they cleaned it and ruined it I'm definitely getting some professional input on the stone I choose because I dont' want it to fade again and be in this same boat. If they can't give me something in writing that says it won't fade (or scratch easily), I'm not buying it.

                  Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice... I deserved it lol

                  #20 jamk32179

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                    Posted 15 January 2009 - 07:53 PM

                    I work for a high end jewelry store and I agree with NJ bride that it sounds as if your stones were color treated. Many times companies color treat a stone to enhance the color, hide imperfections, etc. Every company is going to have their own standards on what type of enhancements they allow. For example the process of heating a gemstone to improve its color or clarity can be acceptable depending on the company. It sounds like your stones were either dyed or infused. Infusion uses colored oils that can dry out or be removed due to ultrasonic cleaning.

                    I would recommend educating yourself on the various jewelry companies, various enhancements and whether or not they enhance their stones. I was in Mexico a few months ago looking at a Tanzanite. I asked the sales person if their stones were enhanced, he said absolutely not. Tanzanites receive their color by heat treatments, otherwise they would not be as vibrant in color. At that point I knew I could not trust what he was trying to sell to me.

                    Keep in mind the toughness of the stone as well. Although tourmalines and topaz's are higher on the hardness scale, they are considered to be fair when it comes to toughness. Probably not a great choice for something you will be wearing on a daily basis.

                    If you love pink I would look into pink sapphire. It is a hard stone (ranks a 9) and excellent when it comes to toughness as well. Sapphires should be cleaned with warm soapy water, steamer or ultrasonic cleaner. Acceptable enhancements would be heat treatment or infusion of colorless oils which is used for durability.

                    Keep in mind (and it sounds like you have some time) this will eventually turn into an investment. Stones of excellent quality are rare and will probably appreciate. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. This is something you will have forever. Hope this info helps!
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