Hunting Rubies and Sapphires

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SapphireOctober is here again, the time of year we send 3 members from our team of gem experts head to the orient. Thailand and Hong Kong to be exact. This year John, Cliff and Mike are the chosen ones. Our annual mission is to search out the best rubies and sapphires to be had in those markets. Their day usually begins confirming prearranged appointments with one or two gem cutters or dealers. We normally arrive slightly before 11am and look and compare gems until around 2 in the afternoon. The reason for this is that the light is at its best during those times and our viewing judgement will be most even and consistent. The real trick in looking at colored gems so near the Equator is judging them in comparison to the light level back in the USA, which is of course further from the Equator and the light is not as intense. Sometimes you can judge a stone to be excellent (especially blue sapphire), but when you arrive home it is darker than you would have liked. Mistakes like that do happen, just not very often. After viewing stones from locations all over the world and from 8-10 dealers (4 days later) , we make our final selections and begin the discussion of final price. Here there are no long term payments, however just one payment in the form of a wire transfer before the gems can be shipped. Each and every year we all look forward to see what our buyers have selected. Every year the selection seems to get better for 2 reasons: Our experience grows and what we are shown gets better due to our 31 years of proving our position at the buying table as on of strength, knowledge, consistency and the value of our word, that we will do what we say. It is amazing that in the 21st Century that the proven worth of a man’s word holds more power and strength than anything else.

Author: Shawn

Indiana University Alumni

GIA Graduate Gemologist Student

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