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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:54 pm 
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What an awesome website! I was lucky enough to be directed to this community by a client who notified me that he posted a pic here of a merelani garnet I cut for him recently. Happy to be in the company of like-minded enthusiasts. Here is my first submission (and my first post):

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4.72 ct Red Oregon Sunstone (IF, no schiller), cut in an ECED Rectangle.


Jeff
http://www.whitesgems.com


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:59 am 
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OMG! That is one blazing sunstone! Welcome Jeff! Glad to have you aboard.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:25 am 
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Welcome Jeff,

That is a great looking sunstone! Thanks for sharing.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:06 am 
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Great to have you Jeff, I have looked at your site many times, very nice site, great layout and great representation of American cutters.

Awesome sunstone, very warm color there.

Andesine? we don need no stinkin' andesine!

Very nice photography too, take those yourself? if so what kind of setup?

I'm struggling with photos recently, another thing to struggle with!

MGC

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:03 am 
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HME,

love the aqua, really nice choice of shape for that stone. The pic isn't bad at all!

I agree about gemval. Even their best cut grade which I think is "excellent" would include what I call "decent" native cutting, which of course is nowhere near what we do. They only have three grades and if the some of the insanity I have seen from native cutters is in the worst of the three, "poor," then I feel they should have a "better than excellent" category for most American cutting.

Also the site is wholesale prices and does not factor in peoples personal tastes, market conditions day to day, regional factors, etc.

For example, some people only want stones 2ct or more, so they would pay more for a very slightly included 2ct than a clean 1.3.


Or Maine tourmaline here in Maine, 99% of the time a particular stone will get more here than elsewhere from Mainers and vacationers. But, you could have a 20ct rubellite that would never sell here but sell for $4,000 in a flash at say, Tuscon. And a .73ct plain green that might fetch $40 at Tucson getting $140 here because it's Maine and in Maine.

How about the day after the "Cash and Treasures" Oregon Sunstone episode aired? Oregon sunstone jumped not only in price but demand and saleability in the days and weeks after that episode. Something Gemval would not pick up for maybe a month or more when they get their "averages" and input them into the interface.

Perfect example, The big stone John Bailey cut in the show which sold for $5,200. Same size ("over" 10ct ~ I put 10.01), clarity (VVS), color (medium orangey red, strong), shape (oval), "excellent" cutting grade, Gemval spits out:

"Value: USD 2085.39" C'MON!!! And Bonhams said the stone had "some shiller" which means it very well could have been below VVS, and I'm sure it was over 10.01ct, which would only put the Gemval "does not compute" value even more off.

There are just so many variables Gemval can't include, its a useful toy for verrry general wholesale prices, but thats all.

Also on the aqua, I think you made a perfect choice. I read an article recently that said this assumption that aqua should be 100% clean 100% of the time is antiquated and wrong. Especially in the finer dark blue and real blue-green aqua color (and I would add the finer cutting) slight inclusions should be acceptable. The demand for Aqua is as high as ever, I forgot who wrote it but the point was that aquamarine is one of the most popular gems in America and the world, and although finding a 10ct clean aqua isn't like trying to find a 10ct clean emerald or even tourmaline, it should be allowed to have very slight inclusions and not become a practically worthless stone.

As your stone proves, slight inclusions don't impact the beauty, and may even add a character that perfectly clear aquas don't have. With the low R.I. of Beryl, sometimes a little spot here or there can make the stone more beautiful IMO.

Look at emerald, it's not like tourmaline, ruby or sapphire, as you all know it very often has major major white inclusions, surface reaching inclusions, big black chunks and may average the most included stones sold in history. The stone is so included that we have come to accept treatments like oil (and worse) as normal. The GIA and others who are generally very anti-enhancement seemingly accept oiling almost with open arms. Yet is still one of the most valuable and demanded stones in the world.

Time to give aqua a break!

Rant over - MGC

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Last edited by MaineGemCutter on Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:29 pm 
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Welcome Jeff!

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 3:35 pm 
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Question about posting pics... Do they have to be at a URL, as in they can't be uploaded to the site itself? I don't see any other way of doing it.

As to values in HME's post... I'll usually leave little inclusions, but its tough with aqua, as there still seems to be an industry prejudice that they must be absolutely clean when a tourmaline can have inclusions. If its really a problem I try to cut a pair from a piece of rough and sell them as matched, but it doesn't make up for much of the waste. Bottom line for me is, its only worth what someone will pay for it! Aqua's one of my favorite stones, but it seems like it doesn't move quite as well as pink tourmaline. But then, there's always someone looking for what you've got, just a question of finding eachother - I sold a 20 ct aqua a few years ago to just such a person, and I was sooooo glad to sell it. It was a nice big sexy stone, but what the heck are you going to do with one that big? It was a 20mm square, and the lady wanted to put it in a ring!

John


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:16 pm 
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MGC,
Thanks for the kind words. For the sake of discussion, I'll tell you that many times I've looked at that stone and wished that I'd chosen a more cushion-shaped design - one with slightly rounded corners. Such a design would have taken out that tiny feather, but likely dropped yield somewhat. As it was, after taking out a couple of pits and other inclusions, the retention was 25% exactly.

I knew it would be close tolerances when I dopped the stone... I think that's just the risk one takes when chasing yield.

MaineGemCutter1 wrote:
Also on the aqua, I think you made a perfect choice.

Rant over - MGC

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:23 pm 
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John,
I don't think there's a way to do it directly. I use ImageShack. It's free to register, and you can park a lot of pictures there. They provide the html code to hot-link your pictures to this forum, all you have to do is cut and paste the code into your message. ImageShack is at http://imageshack.us/

There's also PhotoBucket, and some others which escape me at the moment. They're pretty easy to find online though.

Wow...20ct aqua in a ring ! You must be in Texas...they like 'em big over there. :P


jdowney wrote:
Question about posting pics... Do they have to be at a URL, as in they can't be uploaded to the site itself? I don't see any other way of doing it.

As to values in HME's post... I'll usually leave little inclusions, but its tough with aqua, as there still seems to be an industry prejudice that they must be absolutely clean when a tourmaline can have inclusions. If its really a problem I try to cut a pair from a piece of rough and sell them as matched, but it doesn't make up for much of the waste. Bottom line for me is, its only worth what someone will pay for it! Aqua's one of my favorite stones, but it seems like it doesn't move quite as well as pink tourmaline. But then, there's always someone looking for what you've got, just a question of finding eachother - I sold a 20 ct aqua a few years ago to just such a person, and I was sooooo glad to sell it. It was a nice big sexy stone, but what the heck are you going to do with one that big? It was a 20mm square, and the lady wanted to put it in a ring!

John

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 7:59 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:32 pm 
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oo love the purple stone!! and that cut is fabulous. what is that stone?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:06 pm 
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Shot with Nikon Coolpix L10 5MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom

Hey Kevin, that site is pretty good! Now I've just got to work on the photography a bit. This is just a real quick one I took with a cheep camera and then cropped, so the resolution isn't great. Color is a bit better than it looks, I figure I might get a couple hundred for it one of these days. I think it would photograph better in more diffuse lighting without the flash, or at least with a remote flash from the side. I've got a friend that may be interested in experimenting a bit, I'll have to get some pointers next time I'm over there.

John


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:14 pm 
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I like that one too...nice looking cut, very unusual and looks like a good one optically. I'm gonna guess its either amethyst or sapphire, just to cover both ends of the lavender spectrum.

BTW, I'm not in Texas (I'm the one a few hours north of you, who never seems to fill out his profile :roll: ), but the lady who bought the huge aqua was from Texas. She was replacing a 12ct blue topaz that just wasn't big enough! :shock:


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:31 pm 
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Welcome Jeff!

I see you are bringing more talent to our talented group of lapidary enthusiasts!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:42 pm 
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Holy Cow! I didn't realize I'd posted that! I was just playing around with photo sizes and such.

Oh well, thanks Sticky...

It's an amethyst. 14 x 14 mm, 10.5 ct. approximately. It's one of my favorite designs, even though it won't quite fit calibrated settings.


sticky11 wrote:
oo love the purple stone!! and that cut is fabulous. what is that stone?

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