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A Star Sapphire Stunner!


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I bought my Nox 800 from Bill.  It was one of the first ones in the country.  I've found many, many nice pieces of jewelry with it but this Star Sapphire ring is a stunner.  It was down about 12" on a sandy beach.  A jeweler told me it is worth in the $1500 range.

IMG_20210811_102145_655.jpg

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It's natural. The wobbly rays of the star are a natural and common flaw from when the crystal formed. It lowers the value some of course so it's not a feature you will find on man made sapphires. It also has fairly broad rays which indicates larger rutile inclusions, a finer star is more valuable.

The ring mount looks like it's Thai manufacture, if so the smaller stones are probably zircons.

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LA and Orange County Beaches, all up and down the coast, including Santa Monica are not just beaches, they are recreational destinations where an ostentatious display of wealth is commonplace. Fingers shrink in the cold water of the surf and rings fall off, expensive jewelry lying on a blanket on the beach slips off into the sand, drunken holiday outings amid enormous crowds of people etc. etc.

Pedersen's Metal Detector's in Orange Co used to have an impressive array of dozens of Gold and Diamond rings in their display case that were found on the beaches in the area by one of their employees.

 

 

 

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On 8/15/2021 at 8:26 AM, clay said:

Nice find! If the color is natural you've got a real winner Mitchel. Cornflower blue is the most favored color. I think you got low balled on the value.

In my experience ALL jewelers low ball and many don't tell the whole truth.  There is a difference between 'value' and what would you pay for it which would be the pawn shop price.  Let's face it we all want to acquire things for less than their value.

I went to the jeweler on a recommendation because he was there and had been in business for almost 50 years.  He is actually a watch guy and has learned the other stuff it seems.  He looked at two rings I brought him and I asked him which one he thought was more valuable.  He said the sapphire.  This was after he told me that the sapphire was man made 'because it was opaque' at the base and not like the other translucent sapphires he showed me in his shop.  It was his way of telling that all star sapphires are man made or synthetic.  I don't know and I'll ask Google.

The setting on this ring is 14k but I don't have a gun shot of it.

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Hi Mitchel,

Please don't shoot it, it is beautiful!

Passed by you on Thursday en route to Newport Beach and San Diego.  There were two guys mid day getting geared up by the big pier on Newport Peninsula on Friday.  The beach was packed and I thought I should start beach detecting.  One was using an 800.  On Saturday at La Jolla near Torrey Pines which was also crowded another guy I talked to was using an 800.  They both said they really like the machine.  

The water was clear and a nice temp, and mellow waves.  Lots of baby Leopard sharks cruising in the shallows and it was interesting to watch them swimming by my feet.  This section of water sees many Leopard sharks annually when they go to the protected shallows to give birth.

Keep up the good finding!

Jeff

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On 8/16/2021 at 9:15 AM, clay said:

It's natural. The wobbly rays of the star are a natural and common flaw from when the crystal formed. It lowers the value some of course so it's not a feature you will find on man made sapphires. It also has fairly broad rays which indicates larger rutile inclusions, a finer star is more valuable.

The ring mount looks like it's Thai manufacture, if so the smaller stones are probably zircons.

I need to take the ring to more than one jeweler to get a better idea.  My idea now is to take it to a mall 'Fast Fix' place and have them give me an opinion.  At least they will give an inflated value based upon getting some business out of it like to secure the setting which is at a bit of a tilt.  I don't think it was set that way.  I've read that this is supposed to be very, very hard but I see some surface imperfections when I look at it with a loop.  Some of them appear to be under the surface also.

I really don't know what I'm looking at.  Maybe I can send a picture to an online jeweler?  

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The problem with using expert/GIA certified type folks, in my experience, has been that they normally, (but not always), try to get paid a percentage of the value that they "certify" That's their business and one of the ways that they make money. Naturally, the value of the item can tend to be artificially increased and inflated because of the various standards associated with valuation.

Ultimately, it usually comes down to the willing seller/buyer standard at which time a GIA certificate or appraisal could be helpful.

 

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7 hours ago, BMc said:

The problem with using expert/GIA certified type folks, in my experience, has been that they normally, (but not always), try to get paid a percentage of the value that they "certify" That's their business and one of the ways that they make money. Naturally, the value of the item can tend to be artificially increased and inflated because of the various standards associated with valuation.

Ultimately, it usually comes down to the willing seller/buyer standard at which time a GIA certificate or appraisal could be helpful.

 

Not sure where your experience comes from. The GIA lab has published flat fees that are charged by the size of the stone. A sapphire of this size costs around $100 for a full assessment and insurance appraisal.

In my experience GIA trained gemologists working within an established manufacturing jeweler will often give you a quick verbal assessment of value for free. It's just good business.

I would stay far away from scammers charging for gem appraisals based on the appraised value. That's a conflict of interest and is not ethical. GIA is very clear on this point in their training.

Maybe you could try a different, more ethical, jeweler next time?

Edited by clay
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I'm sure there are many ethical jewelers out there. The Diamond/Jewelry Districts are full of them :inocent: And, I'm quite positive that there's no conflict of interest anywhere in the business . . Meanwhile, back in the real world:

Verbal "assessments" and "Freebie" appraisals may or may not be worth what you pay for them, depending on why you want the valuation of the item, certainly good PR for the establishment I would think. But seriously, (on the subject of value), what does "insurance appraisal" mean? And how is "appraised value" determined? Is it based on the training and experience behind a GIA appraisal? If you insure jewelry for the appraised amount, is that the value you will receive if it is insured and, God forbid, a claim has to be made? 

An appraisal is still an opinion and at best, may be a baseline starting point to establish "value", or "worth", whatever that means. (Yes, I know appraisals are sometimes required for insurance purposes) but that is a whole 'nuther can of worms. A long detailed dissertation can be made of the above issues involving terms like, Fair Market Value, Actual Cash Value, Replacement Value, Like, Kind and Quality and so on. You can Google this stuff for days, but knowing what it really means in practice can be a little more complicated.

Although dwelling on the obvious, staying away from scammers normally would be a good thing. Unless, of course, you get paid to deal with them, then it can be both lucrative and enlightening . . . 

 

 

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4 hours ago, clay said:

Not sure where your experience comes from. The GIA lab has published flat fees that are charged by the size of the stone. A sapphire of this size costs around $100 for a full assessment and insurance appraisal.

In my experience GIA trained gemologists working within an established manufacturing jeweler will often give you a quick verbal assessment of value for free. It's just good business.

I would stay far away from scammers charging for gem appraisals based on the appraised value. That's a conflict of interest and is not ethical. GIA is very clear on this point in their training.

Maybe you could try a different, more ethical, jeweler next time?

I would stay far away from scammers charging for gem appraisals based on the appraised value. That's a conflict of interest and is not ethical. GIA is very clear on this point in their training.

What training? 

"GIA does not do appraisals or offer appraisal courses (nor do they recommend any particular AppraiserHowever, GIA programs provide the skills needed to identify and grade gems, understand jewelry manufacturing techniques and recognize quality in jewelry pieces. Once you have these skills, you will need additional training from another organization or school to become a qualified appraiser"

 


 

 

 

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6 hours ago, clay said:

Not sure where your experience comes from.

Exactly.

:inocent:

A gemologist assesses gems. They don't put a price on it. That is the job of the buyer and seller. 

The buyer or seller may use the opinions of a gemologist to help determine value. The gemologist may offer an opinion on value. But the BUYER and SELLER determine the value. And their opinions often differ.

There are no set values for used jewelry. Or new jewelry for that matter. The market determines the value. 

It is worth exactly what you are willing to take for it regardless of what a gemologist says. And it is worth exactly as much as a buyer will pay for it when it is sold.

Just like a car or a handgun. The "value" is a range based on quality and condition in a given market. And no two "experts" are going to agree. 

As has been illustrated here.

:laught16:

I think Clay's suggestion to take the stone to a gemologist was to determine if the stone was natural or cultured. That makes sense.

For some reason it morphed into a contest about jewelry appraisals and who knows more about it.

I know NOTHING about it but I can tell you this....

The best way to find out if the stone is natural is to take it to a gemologist. They can give you an idea about the quality of the piece.

The best way to determine value is to take it to several different pawnbrokers specializing in jewelry and ask how much they would offer for the piece and how much they could expect to sell it for.

Then, based on this information the seller decides how much it is worth to him.

Just my two cents. You can ask a gemologist how much my opinion is worth if you feel his opinion is worth it.

Still, this opinion is worth two cents no matter what the gemologist says. I could have easily sold it for a nickel.

Edited by Bedrock Bob
Edited to infuriate and agitate the fragile egos among us.
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1 hour ago, BMc said:

I would stay far away from scammers charging for gem appraisals based on the appraised value. That's a conflict of interest and is not ethical. GIA is very clear on this point in their training.

What training? 

"GIA does not do appraisals or offer appraisal courses (nor do they recommend any particular AppraiserHowever, GIA programs provide the skills needed to identify and grade gems, understand jewelry manufacturing techniques and recognize quality in jewelry pieces. Once you have these skills, you will need additional training from another organization or school to become a qualified appraiser"

 

Reading is fundamental BMc. You got off on a tangent, I never wrote that the GIA does appraisals. It was you in your first post in this thread that attempted to link the GIA to appraisals.

13 hours ago, BMc said:

The problem with using expert/GIA certified type folks, in my experience, has been that they normally, (but not always), try to get paid a percentage of the value that they "certify" That's their business and one of the ways that they make money. Naturally, the value of the item can tend to be artificially increased and inflated because of the various standards associated with valuation.

Ultimately, it usually comes down to the willing seller/buyer standard at which time a GIA certificate or appraisal could be helpful.

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41 minutes ago, BMc said:

 

Interesting site dealing with rampant problems and fraud issues in the Appraisal Industry, including GIA appraisals.

https://www.gemologyonline.com/Forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2613 

Once again - the GIA doesn't do appraisals. Red herring. GIA training on gem assessment and ethics is very thorough despite what three ignorant guys on an internet forum wrote about non existent appraisals in 2005.

The reason I suggest going to a GIA certified gemologist jeweler is because they will know how to positively identify a natural sapphire, even if they did work in a Taco stand.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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Thanks for clearing that up Clay. In the fundamental reading I did of the link you posted, I didn't see any reference pertaining to your statement: "That's a conflict of interest and is not ethical. GIA is very clear on this point in their training.

So I was wondering where you got that, and what training you were referring to. Since I didn't find the reference, I realize now that you were apparently generalizing about the issue of appraisals in the abstract.

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