Another Imperial Topaz?

Hello I’m new here and Gemology in general but would appreciate some opinions before I send this in for report. This is my inherited 83.75ct (supposedly) “Russian” Topaz which I have had confirmed by a local gem lab. My question (which Seth has responded to thankfully) is whether it is worth the expense to send in and then possibly re-cut/polish to close the window improve presentation. Your input would really help.

Hello Rogerg
Nice Gem, however, it appears to be fish eyeing where the main angle is cut below the critical angle.
If this is the case it should be re-cut with the right angles ie Topaz Pavilion Main 42 degrees, Mid, 52 degrees and the girdle break facet at 62 degrees. This will improve the quality and sale price of the stone.
The above cut is stepped cut (ie Emerald Cut) to enhance the colour
Hope this helps.
Regards Trevor

1 Like

What are the measurements on the stone?

Mt Micrometer isn’t the best but I got 26x22x15h. The online calculator put it at 75ct but when we took it out of the setting and weighed it, it came out 83.75ct.

Trevor is exactly right, this stone is windowing and needs recutting to show best color over the whole stone. You can see the lighter (less expensive) color in the window and the approximate color it will change to in the outside of the stone, where there is light return through the stone rather than light coming through the back to your eye. However, you have your order of work reversed. The only thing you will learn with an appraisal today is its current value. When you have it recut it will be a different stone and the appraisal you have will no longer be useful as a sales tool or documentation. Have it recut first and then look toward selling it. You will probably want an appraisal FYI on value. The difference between the calculated weight and the actual weight reflects the belly of the stone which creates the window. You might lose that eight carats of weight (probably less, maybe five carats, but that’s a guess and I haven’t seen or measured the stone, which is what the cutter can do for you to predict the weight loss before he even starts), but the stone will still be worth more, because the overall color and cut grades will increase. IDK whether you know anything about what you have…from what I can see you are looking at a value minimum of $20K and maybe a lot more. I’m just working from the IGS price guide and a few smaller stones I see for sale on the Net. Recutting should not cost that much, less than $1000, probably more like $300-$500. Use someone reputable. Recutters do not take responsibility for “acts of God” such as gems shattering on the wheel, but the possibility of this is very, very low and the good ones do not screw up. A stone such as this is not particularly risky for recutting, as they aren’t known for internal stresses or tendency to break. There is one cleavage, but it only requires a little care in orientation, which has already been done. Wayne Emery and Anthonly Lloyd-Rees are two very experienced cutters you could talk with about recutting. You might want to consider insuring this puppy and keeping it somewhere safe, like at the bank. At least not in a jewelry box or on your bureau. Good Luck!

1 Like

Did your lab say whether it’s natural or created, and do you know what tests were used to confirm? Either way, I personally wouldn’t have it re-cut and I don’t think the window is bad. If it’s natural imperial, I’d want to keep it as large as possible. Do you notice any inclusions with or without your loupe?
Looking forward to your reply,


John Caruso the gemologist who owns the lab spent a couple of hours with the stone. He tested the RI, Specific Gravity and looked under 120x to until he found at least one 2 phase inclusion. He asked me to leave it because it was late and I needed to leave. The next day he looked some more with other filters on his scope and found more 2 and 3 phase inclusions under high power. He was still baffled because the SG was a little higher than normal but when he consulted a friend who he says knows Topaz better than he that person said if everything else said Topaz than not to worry it’s Topaz. As for looking to see if created he told me that was the first thing he looked for when we removed it from the setting and he was confident it was natural. As for louping it he thought he saw something when he first looked at it under 60x but that but was unsure and then as I say spent an hour plus until he spotted the first inclusion. He said he needed that to confirm natural. I hope this explains it in a coherent manner I tend to be long winded.

Thanks for the input,

1 Like

I picked the stone up from John today to get some shots out of the setting to send to a cutter. I thought I’d post them here too along with measurements from a “real” micrometer. The exact numbers are 26.32x21,83x14.49. these pics are under CFL’s so not optimum…

I forgot to ask if you think the recut can be done with minimal percentage loss. Please let me know what you all think. Happy New Year to all!

Hello Rogerg, WOW that’s all I can say what an heirloom to inherit. That colour is amazing. On my monitor it is orange topaz, (Imperial Topaz) I agree with Trevor Hannam on that one. First step, the stone needs to be re-cut, even if you lose 10 carats in re-cutting you will still end up with a very large imperial topaz of say 70-75 carats. The IGS price guide for imperial topaz states 3 carat and above $250-$5000 per carat. This is such a broad range of pricing. In my opinion your stone is no way in the $250 price range and is more likely to be in the $2500-$5000 per carat price range if it is proven to be natural imperial topaz. Natural imperial topaz that size are extremely rare, can you imagine the stone it was cut from. So my process would be No1. recut the stone, No2. get the stone properly identified and certified (Stating natural imperial topaz from Russia) Please use a well known international gem identification laboratory such as the GIA or such. ( I myself being in Australia prefer to use Gem Studies Laboratory Bill Sechos) No3. Get the stone valued by a professional gemologist who does valuations, myself personally I would get a retail replacement valuation. This will give you an idea what you would have to pay if you bought a similar stone in a retail store and it will also give you an insurance price for your insurance company. So is this all worth the expense and time, in my opinion yes. Cost for re-cutting that’s a hard one I have heard of facetors charging anywhere from Au$20 per carat up to Au$40 per carat. I have even heard of professional facetors charging Au$200 per hour. I think you should expect to pay between Au$1500-Au$2000 to get the topaz re-cut professionally. Identification will cost around Au$200.00 and a valuation certificate anywhere between Au$35-Au$90 Let’s say Au$2000 total cost. Even at Au$1000 per carat that is Au$70000.00. Seems worth it to me!

I suggest you get a identification certification first before you recut the stone.
Also from the new pics, it looks as if this stone has been cut for weight only and not taken into account the properties of this stone.
Very nice stone - :joy:

Thanks for the responses everyone, AGGIGS funny you should mention a larger size because my mother chipped it when she tried to wear the ring my father had it originally set in. I have no idea the weight but it was a large concoidal off one corner the caused the repair cut. That is why it was re-set in a safer pendent (not to mention an 80+ct stone in a ring was cartoonish even in the 70’s).
Tourmaline thank you for the input! Do you perhaps know if any of the “major” labs will do a partial report prior to cutting for ID purposes and finish it after the cutter returns it to them after the cut?

Thanks for the detailed explanation. It sure sounds natural and it’s a fabulous color. I still wouldn’t re-cut it. Topaz is one of my favorite gemstones. I love them how they are and I keep them how they are, but it’s a personal preference.

Sorry. I hadn’t realized it was chipped, and sounds like you’ve decided to get it re- cut. Good luck to you.

I guess I wasn’t clear… The present cut is a result of a repair cut 40 years ago. I am getting it recut again because it is not nearly as bright as it was then. Thanks.

Yes, I think you were. It was me, but thank you for that. Lots of luck with this beautiful stone, and Happy New Year to you as well. I’d be interested to know how your recuttng comes out, if you would post.

Will do and happy new year to you and yours!

1 Like