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The price judgment of ruby and sapphire


Two generalizations that can be made from those two surveys and from talking to other dealers are:
-    Shape can affect the price. Consequently, when you judge prices, you should compare stones with the same shape.
-    Round rubies and sapphires of a carat or more generally cost more than cushions and ovals, particularly in the higher qualities. Dealer explain that large round stones often cost more than other shapes because they have to be cut more preciously to look good. This means that normally more weight is lost from the rough during cutting.  

There are cases, however, where round stones may cost a lot less than an oval because there may not be a demand for them. According to one corundum dealer, if he had a large, oval Burmese ruby, he could ask twice as much for it as for a round one because it would be easier to find a buyer for the oval stone.

Beads, even when they are faceted, are generally priced lower than other cus because they tend to be made of inferior material. It wouldn’t make sense to decrease the weight and value of fine quality corundum by drilling holes through it. Consequently, corundum beads are normally made from nontransparent or heavily flawed a material that isn’t suitable for other cuts.

Fantasy cuts are often priced per piece instead of per carat. Their value varies according to:
-    The time spent planning and executing their design.
-    The skill and fame of the cutter.
-    The quality of the material used. In the case of corundum carvings, cutters tend to use lower-priced nontransparent material. Higher quality material may be used for faceted fantasy cuts.

It would be pointless to contrast the prices of fantasy-styles to the prices of the other cuts. Each fantasy-cut stone should be judged on its own artistic merits. When judging the other cuts, keep in mind that it’s best to compare stones of the same cutting style as well as the same shape, size, color, and clarity. This will help you judge value more accurately.

True or False questions?

1.    Rubies and sapphires tend to be cut less symmetrical than stones such as amethysts and blue topaz. True
2.    The girdle of a gem is its smaller width.  False – The girdle of a gem is the outer edge where the width, length, or diameter is the largest.
3.    Cushion-shaped rubies and sapphires have more facets and usually cost more to cut than ovals and rounds.  False – Cushion-shaped rubies and sapphire don’t usually cost more to cut and they may have fewer, more, or the same number of facets as ovals and rounds. The number of facets on rubies and sapphires is variable.
4.    The table is the large flat top surface of a gem.  True
5.    The mixed cut is the most common faceting style for rubies and sapphires.  True
6.    Diamonds are rarer than rubies.  False
7.    There is agreement among dealers as to what shape rubies and sapphires are the most valuable.  False
8.    Red corundum is a technical term for ruby.  True
9.    Sapphires have the same chemical composition and physical properties as rubies.  True

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