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  • Zircon and heating questions

    I am trying to learn about gemstones and get confused all the time. So any help is appreciated.

    At the moment Mother Earth offers 3 zircons on bidorbuy, for R 9000 (from Burma;, R 6000 (from Sri Lanka;, and R 4000 (from Sri Lanka; VS_BLINDING_LUSTER.html).
    If I assume identical quality of cut and other criteria for making the prices for these stones, then it seems that the price per carat is close to R 546, 569, and 388 respectively. Gemval seems to imply that the price per carat goes up substantially with size.

    I reckon that the R 9000 stone has that price tag mostly because of its size. The “relatively” lower price per carat for a larger stone implies to me either that zircon from Burma is considered less valuable or that greenish zircon is less valued than yellow tones. At Gemval I get the impression that greenish tones are more expensive. Unless I am missing something else, this implies that zircon from Burma is cheaper. Right?
    The 6000 and 4000 stones are similar in size, yet the price difference is quite large. Is this due to the difference in cut or because of the slight (?) difference in colour?

    Why is Mother Earth stressing that these stones are unheated? These stones formed under different conditions and I presume there is no conclusive way to detect when they were heated to whatever temperature (or is there?). Untreated stones are more expensive, but if I am right that heating by man can not be conclusively demonstrated, then why bother and pay more? In the end we all then have to take somebody’s word for it (or are gem dealers fundamentally different from used car dealers?).

    I would appreciate it very much if anybody could enlighten me.

  • #2
    Hi Roland,

    Unlike Ruby, I do not believe Zircon. that comes from Burma makes any significant difference regarding price/value. However, Burma does not produce too much of the mineral, so from a collector's viewpoint it adds greater appeal! Many people find unheated stones much more desirable that is why it is highlighted in the description. The difference in colour between the 2 yellow stones is quite big.

    The most expensive Zircon is blue(even though they have been heated), the deep neon colours are mindblowing, with luster that would rival diamonds.

    Regarding the price of my stones, I do not use Gemval or any other reference point, I but direct from the source, and add a certain percentage to my actual costs. If I get a really good deal, then I pass it on to my customers.Price is determined by size, cut and of course colour. High quality stones cost more! please remember that there is no such thing as "cheap stones", good quality gems fetch high prices, period!

    I would advise that you do not use Gemval as a reference point (though I am sure that the "used car dealer types" find it most useful in misleading their prey!), it is my opinion that it is a long way from accurate. If I could sell stones at 30-40% of what they quote, I would become a very rich man, very quickly!

    Any decent Lab can test if a gemstone has been heated or not.

    take care Jeff.
    Motherearth - Fine Jewelry and Gemstones


    • #3
      Hi Jeff
      Thanks a lot for the explanation. One more piece in the big puzzle.
      "Quality costs but price is no reliable measure of quality".
      I take your point that Gemval is not an objective way of evaluation or determination of the price of a gem. I read some previous discussions in the forum where the shortcomings where highlighted.
      However, that still leaves me in need to make sense of prices that get asked for some gems (I am sure in some cases the currencies got mixed up), or to get a feel from what level on I overpay in a ridiculous way.
      Would you agree that if a supplier that tries to be clear and detailed about the gems they sell would also be consistent in the use of Gemval and at least gives an internally consistent indication, even if the absolute numbers are out?


      • #4
        hi Roland, it is my opinion that a supplier of any merit, would not use Gemval in any form. I would advise you or anyone else to ignore valuations such as these. You could post questions here and get opinions of other dealers/buyers(bit quiet here at the moment, but I'm sure there'll be some more replies) , and also look at websites selling gemstones, just remember that they will probably be retail prices!

        cheers Jeff.
        Motherearth - Fine Jewelry and Gemstones