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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
June 17, 2019, 01:49:32 am
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Montana Sapphire value

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Author Topic: Montana Sapphire value  (Read 610 times)
Iwannarock
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« on: April 21, 2015, 12:44:17 pm »

Just wondering what most people have for an average price for Montana Sapphires? I noticed Gem Mountain has an average $300-$400 per carat. We had our gemologist friend of the club examine our 200+ carats from last year's fun at Gem Mountain and he sent out 25 to be done for us, plus some others we had found from a couple other mines, and he's telling us he's really impressed with them, and he usually values his gems on the high side. I realize there are a lot of factors involved grading them, just looking for an idea of their worth for when I start setting them. No pictures yet as they are in transit, unfortunately they are all under a carat but good quality as it takes a lot to impress the gemologist, and no we can't afford him to grade them
cheers
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mirkaba
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2015, 12:30:16 am »

What size , color and clarity? Heat treated? I recently had a blue Missouri river cut out to 1.2 carats. Valued 600.00 to 700.00. Gem Mountain stones are usually on the smaller side.
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Bob

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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2015, 09:53:49 pm »

How do you go about finding a good and honest cutter?
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2015, 07:44:02 am »

I called jewelers all over the state, talked to cutters from my local and other clubs and finally ran into a fellow at a flea market I was set up at. The problem up here is not so much "good and honest" but available and affordable. Most of the people I talked to quoted 100.00 to 150.00 a carat for my larger stones
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Bob

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Iwannarock
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2015, 12:41:54 pm »

Most of them are under 1/2 carat but really clear and purty ha ha, we had them sent to Sri Lanka somewhere, it's the same place the gentleman has been using for quite some time and he has had no problems with them. Biggest problem with getting them cut in North America is we can not compete with the labor costs from overseas. We are happy with them. Now it's just a matter to figure out how much I can charge per carat for them, when I start making some jewelry with them.
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« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2015, 11:53:17 am »

I am sort of in the same boat. I threw in with the fellow that cut my larger stones and sent about 20 small stones to Thailand. They are not back yet. They should cut 10 to 20 points. I really don't know what the value will be yet. They are also Yogos. I am hoping they will make earrings and pendants in the 40 to 75 dollar range. we will see when they get back to America.
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Bob

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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2015, 12:21:38 pm »

I guess I'm just going to go with the pricing Gem Mountain has on their website, as some of them are from there, and just adjust it to the clarity I guess, not much else a rock hound can do when they are not a gemologist.
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2015, 02:43:30 pm »

I am sort of in the same boat. I threw in with the fellow that cut my larger stones and sent about 20 small stones to Thailand. They are not back yet. They should cut 10 to 20 points. I really don't know what the value will be yet. They are also Yogos. I am hoping they will make earrings and pendants in the 40 to 75 dollar range. we will see when they get back to America.

If they're truly from Yogo Gulch -- famous for high-quality but smaller stones --  I think they'll bring much higher prices than you mention.  They are very different from the Missouri River sapphires that, while often much larger, tend to  display weak or off-color hues.  Some can be heated successfully to improve color but they seldom reach the wonderful cornflower blue of better Yogos.  Heated stones also sell at a discount from untreated sapphires.  There seems to be a fairly strong market for larger river stones in fancy colors like green, pink, yellow etc, and of course the finer blues.

As to pricing of any faceted gem, the market decides.  All gemologists can do is provide an assessment of color, clarity, weight, dimensions and cut.  While I haven't dealt in many Missouri River stones, my impression is they're gaining in popularity among U.S. buyers and prices seem to be increasing for finer quality gems.   But the market for Montana stones vs. saphhires from established producing areas like Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Burma etc., is more "local."   
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2015, 04:13:23 pm »

I am not really much of a sapphire person but I've dug quite a few Eldorado Bar Sapphires. There isn't a lot of variance in color. Predominantly coke bottle blue but I like the darker blues (not cornflower) that I get and the size is good. My biggest so far is about 7 carats. My best 3.89 carats cut out 1.22. The Missouri River sapphires don't heat treat too well. They figure around 12 percent benefit from heat.  The Gem Mountain /Rock Creek stones are generally smaller have more colors and a higher percentage heat treat well. I have a lot of smaller Yogos and am basing my prices on what I have seen selling lately. Smaller sterling pendants and sterling earring sets. I wont really know until I get some back how they will work out size wise. I have a drawer full of Tripps snap lock settings I hope I can use.
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Bob

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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2015, 09:36:11 pm »

hi Bob,

Unless you specified "calibrated cuts only" on your cutting order you'll receive a range of sizes.  Tripp's settings are calibrated but they usually feature prongs that allow a little fine-tuning to accept slightly smaller or larger stones.  But good luck finding many earring matches!  You may be surprised at the variations in color, brightness etc.

Yes, I know the Gem Mountain/Rock Creek stones are not the same as those from the Missouri River but for the sake of convenience (and typing laziness) I mentally classified them that way.  Good luck with your project.
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« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2015, 11:59:20 am »

I did not specify sizes. Just what they will cut out. I have the burs and such to make some smaller faceted stone settings. I guess its time to give it a shot. Will see how they turn out. I have more to cut if everything is good. I did send one bi-color blue /lavender that I am looking forward to seeing. I talked to a cutter a couple weeks ago that is asking 10.00 a point for brilliant cut Missouri river stones averaging around 1 carat. Seems a little high
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Bob

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