I am looking to have some loose cut gems authenticated or certified or both. So my first question is to sell them do I need to do either or both?
Secondly, how do I find an expect that can do what I need in SW Ontario Canada?
Lastly, how is the best way to get a decent price? Doing some research I was quite surprised at some of the low prices and does that mean not authentic mined or is this a bad time to sell?
How did you obtain the loose stones? Since you titled your subject: “Alexandrite…” Do you believe the loose stones to be Alexandrite?
It is not necessary to have stones certified for sale, but it may help. Check your local listings and the Candian Gemological Association and you should be able to find a credentialed gemologist/appraiser. Don’t be afraid to ask about their credentials and training. I would assume that taking a cursory look at some stones would not necessarily cost you a lot. An actual written appraisal would cost more. This is not a particularly bad time to sell. Gemstone prices don’t fluctuate all that much normally, but there are occasional reasons they do fluctuate. Right now, the pandemic is interfering with some supplies, so it may actually be a good time to sell. You do need to be aware that not all gemstones are worth a lot and the chances that you have a cache of expensive gemstones is small. -royjohn
I believe only the Alexandrite are of any worth and the rest are semi precious though cut, received from a trade from a South American in 1982. I might get them set as gifts. I do have some fairly large raw that my father purchased in Iran and would like to know if they are what they are suppose to be.
I have a large collection of fossils and rocks that my son will get and he would do better if things were all labelled. My memory won’t be much help when I’m gone.
When confirming credentials, what should I be asking?
There are 2 that are cut and I received them as a wedding gift from my ex father in law in 1981. He bought them when he was a pilot for British Airways. He stopped working for them in 1961 when they moved to Canada. He told me info about them at the time. He flew to Asia, Europe and probably N Africa and Moscow and other E block countries. Not N or S America. All of them have since died so I don’t think the details will ever be know.
They met the criteria for Alexandrite or at least as far as I could figure out at home. Inside light, outside and UV and I also did a scratch test though was not able to complete that. I can do a gravity test but I not very clear about this compared to doing for example a copper or iron nugget. Rocks and fossils have always been my interest though I do have large crystals but I think of them in a geological way. Cut gems are just to tiny to keep out.
The person who identifies and appraises gemstones needs a gemology credential. In Canada that would be a FCGmA from the Canadian Gemological Assn, a GG from GIA, or an FGA from the UK’s Gemological Assn of GB. In addition, they would need an appraisal credential. A Master Gemologist Appraiser from the ASA is most typical, but there are other gemologist-appraiser credentials, and if someone has one of those, they will tell you about it and you can look it up. An honest appraiser would tell you what identification tests he/she used to ID gems and note those in a report. They could also discuss with you what references they used to establish the value of the gem. Valuations differ depending on whether they are insurance (replacement) appraisals, retail sales appraisals, etc., and the appraiser will ask for what purpose you are seeking an appraisal, as the actual number will be different depending on the appraisal’s purpose. Also, an ethical gemologist-appraiser will not make an offer on a gem he has been employed to appraise, for obvious reasons. Anyone who does not obey this rule is unethical and should not be trusted. Hope this helps. -royjohn
This is exactly what I need to know. I’m assuming purpose for appraisal is insurance or sale.
Thank you for your honest and detailed advice.
Happy to help…a few other ideas. It will probably be possible to get a verbal valuation cheaper than a written one, if the particular appraiser does that kind of thing. However, if you are selling, a document may be helpful. For the rough, you might want to send it to a professional cutter to evaluate. An appraiser can ID it and possibly establish a value, but a cutter would actually do better at telling you what kind of yield you are likely to get out of a particular piece of rough and whether it would be worth cutting. The guy I use for cutting is well known for getting better yield (25-50% better) than most folks would estimate. He’s a genius at designing cuts for particular pieces of rough.
Also note that an insurance replacement value is different from, and probably more than, a retail sales appraisal. If you are replacing a stone, you don’t have a lot of bargaining room and must take it at whatever price you are quoted for that exact clarity, color, cut and weight. A retail price assumes you are looking for a willing buyer at a market price. Replacement value is a buyer’s appraisal (what you have to pay to get it) and retail is a seller’s appraisal…what you might get if someone wants your stone. -royjohn
Good advice and an interesting thread… Noticed one thing that deserves and additional comment. DON’T try to do a scratch (hardness) test on any of your cut gems… glad you “couldn’t complete it”… but you need to do all non-destructive testing… much better to pick up a specific gravity balance, a cheap dichroscope, and an inexpensive refractometer… between these three tests you will certainly be able to ID your gems and most other minerals.
Thank you for that advise.
Yes you are right about the hardness test and the reason I stopped by was out of fear of causing damage.