New Mineral Named After GIA’s John Koivula
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 Post subject: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:47 am 
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I have a large number of sapphires, rubies, rubelites, and sillimanites that were appraised in 1998. Would you expect they have gone up in value, down, or remained the same. Assuming they have changed, by about how much. 50%? 100%?

I understand it will depend on many factors that you don't know; I am looking for a very very very rough idea. Your help is much appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:38 pm 
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There has been general appreciation in many gems, but typically appraised prices are way way way higjer than a stone could ever be sold for, and that is assuming it was a reputable one. Stones are off and on sold as investments by shady companoes with fake appraisals, which makes everything more painful.
That said, sapphires rubies and rubellite of good quality are quite highly valued at the moment. Sillimanite is and probably always will be just a curiosity.

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 Post subject: Re: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:22 pm 
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Stephen Challener wrote:
There has been general appreciation in many gems, but typically appraised prices are way way way higjer than a stone could ever be sold for, and that is assuming it was a reputable one. Stones are off and on sold as investments by shady companoes with fake appraisals, which makes everything more painful.
That said, sapphires rubies and rubellite of good quality are quite highly valued at the moment. Sillimanite is and probably always will be just a curiosity.


They were appraised by a GIA gemologist at wholesale value as collateral on a loan. When I got them on default, she sold many of them at her appraised value (less commission); so I think her values were realistic 20 years ago. Sadly she went out of business soon after and I am stuck with the rest. So I was wondering how their value might have changed.

If anyone has suggestions as to how I get rid of the rest, perhaps $50,000 worth in 1998, I would be grateful. She was selling them individually to jewelry makers who needed them; I understand selling the lot would bring much less.

I can't take my loss on the loan until I get rid of the gems; I am as much interested in that as what I can get from the gems.


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 Post subject: Re: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:11 pm 
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You could send a picture of your hoard with all pertinent documentation to Bonhams Natural History and ask what they believe your stones might realize in their auction.


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 Post subject: Re: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:57 pm 
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Ignoring the validity of the appraisal numbers you were given in 1998, the stones in real absolute terms should be worth more in today's market. Still, most likely not enough more to cover your loan value.

In general terms we can have the following discussion, assuming the stones are of good and above quality. Low quality stones would be an entirely different discussion. They rarely appreciate.

Rubellite went through a huge appreciation bubble a few years ago when the Chinese market went crazy for them. That has backed off, so they are not getting the prices they did then. However, they are still in good demand. in 1998 Rubellite was priced as a desirable color of Tourmaline. That price was much lower than today's market. Clarity enhancement is often applied to Rubellite these days. A report from a major testing lab stating no treatment would add value in today's market.

Ruby and Sapphire have generally appreciated a great deal since 1998. This has followed two paths. Stones that have not been heat treated appreciated much more than heat treated stones. The public is now aware of gemstone treatment much more than they were in 1998. Gems that are not treated get a good premium. You would need to establish the treatment status of the stones with a report from an internationally recognized Testing Lab to realize maximum value.

Note that gemstone reports and valuations given by a G.G. do not carry the weight in the market like a Lab Report does. They would generally be ignored in the market. However, an examination by a well trained Gemmologist would still be valuable for you. The lab reports are expensive, and the GG can help select stones that would benefit price wise from being sent to a lab.

Over the years I have seen a good number of the "gems as collateral" deals. The stones are usually of low quality, and the value hugely inflated. The sell point is that such a huge discount is taken on the appraised value that the loan principle is safe. The loan is almost never repaid, and the collateral is in reality insufficient to cover the loan amount. So, unfortunately I am not optimistic when I hear these stories.

I hope this information was helpful for you. Please feel free to ask questions if you need further clarification.


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 Post subject: Re: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:21 pm 
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Sidebar.
An appraiser who is charging for a valuation, then selling the item with a commission would be engaging in a conflict of interest, no?


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 Post subject: Re: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:13 pm 
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Barbra Voltaire wrote:
Sidebar.
An appraiser who is charging for a valuation, then selling the item with a commission would be engaging in a conflict of interest, no?


I had a long relationship with the jeweler in question prior to this incident. She is a terrible business person, but honest.

To be more accurate, an appraisal was done in 1998. She looked it over in 2000, verified that the gems were as described, and found the values to be reasonable. She did not charge for that. She then sold about a third of them for the appraised value, less her commission. Unfortunately her business pretty much collapsed when her father died.
She did discount the appraisal by finding that $65,000 worth of labradorite were actually worthless. So I have a lot of really nice aquarium gravel.

But leaving the 1998 appraisal aside; the actual value of the gems in 1998 (whatever that might have been) has perhaps doubled by now? Or what?

I think the fact that she was able to sell 1/3 of them for the appraised value confirms the appraisal, but perhaps not.


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 Post subject: Re: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:03 pm 
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.the actual value of the gems in 1998 (whatever that might have been) has perhaps doubled by now? Or what?

What precisely are you hoping we can do for you? Gemstones, with the exception of diamonds, can not be tracked like other commodities.

Without knowing the specifics on the quality of your stones it would be irresponsible to speculate on today's value.

As I previously mentioned, Bonhams Natural History would be an excellent place to start to acquire information on the collection's liquidity.

1bwana1's post provides a lot of solid info. Re-read it then draft a letter for Bonhams.


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 Post subject: Re: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:32 am 
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Oof. $65,000 should buy an awful lot of labradorite, depending on the variety. What type were they, out of curiosity?

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 Post subject: Re: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:58 am 
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Even a few pictures of the stones and or appraisals would help us get a frame of reference on the stones we are talking about.


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 Post subject: Re: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:10 pm 
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I didn't post this before because I thought it might be pushy; but since you ask...
Ignore the "retail"; the crossed out gems were sold at the wholesale price next to it.
A jewelry maker I showed them to was amazed by the bags of tiny sapphires, as they are all fully faceted. Maybe he impresses easily.

There are two really big pink/purple stones that didn't make the photos, and a 2.89c alexandrite not pictured.


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 Post subject: Re: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:24 pm 
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Stephen Challener wrote:
Oof. $65,000 should buy an awful lot of labradorite, depending on the variety. What type were they, out of curiosity?


The photo shows a cut stone and a raw stone. There were a dozen cut stones and two large boxes of raw stone.
The jeweler said that it used to be valuable because it was rare, but when large amounts were found it became an inferior substitute for citrine and worthless.


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Last edited by Toller on Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:12 pm 
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1bwana1, Stephen, what say you?
I think it is an impressive collection.

Looks like we are talking about andesine/labradorite faceted stones, right?


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 Post subject: Re: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:32 pm 
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It does look somewhat better than many such loan deals I have seen.

It looks like Montana Sapphire, and a mixture of other stones.

There is a market for these stones, but generally these are not fast moving items. If sold as a lot to a dealer it would be at a price much less than the wholesale per carat prices. But they can be sold.


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 Post subject: Re: Have gems appreciated?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:38 pm 
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1bwana1 wrote:
It does look somewhat better than many such loan deals I have seen.

It looks like Montana Sapphire, and a mixture of other stones.

There is a market for these stones, but generally these are not fast moving items. If sold as a lot to a dealer it would be at a price much less than the wholesale per carat prices. But they can be sold.


I was figuring half of wholesale was reasonable; but I don't know what wholesale is. I know what it was 20 years ago...

Somewhat academic, as I haven't found anyone the least bit interested in 17 years of trying.


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