Use the online shopping cart to place your order.
Fill in your shipping address, and based on the country entered different options for shipping will be offered.
Type in the payment method you desire. This is just so that I know how to prefare an invoice for you. No payment will actually be processed.
Once you complete moving through all the screens in the shopping cart, you will be sent an email to confirm you order has been submitted. The same email wil be sent to me, and after I read the email, depending on the payment method you selected, I will send you a PayPal invoice, or a text for Apple Pay Cash, or email you to confirm the order and instructions on mailing a check or Wise Transfer.
You can pay for your stone with either PayPal, Apple Cash Wise Bank Transfer or a Personal Check (Established customers only). For all methods, use the new shopping cart. In the cart, at the check out you can select either PayPal, Apple Cash, Wise Transfer or Check. My preferred payment method is Apple Pay Cash.
All stones are shipped by the US postal service. They will be sent out either First Class Mail, or Priority Mail. You can make the selection in the shopping cart. Shipping rates inside the US for First Class Mail insured are:
Up to $200 value - $6.00
$201 to $300 value - $8.50
$301 to $400 value - $9.00
$401 to $500 value - $10.00
$501 to $700 value - $13.00
$701 to $900 value - $16.50
$901 to $1100 value - $18.75 (signature required)
Over $1100 value - $25 to $66 (registered mail or priority mail, signature required)
Options for shipping outside of the US will show in the check out procedure of the shopping cart and include UPS shipping.
Above all, I want you to be happy with your gemstone purchase. Buying something as difficult and unique as a gemstone online is difficult, since you are looking at a static image, rather than the real stone in motion with dispersion and changing reflections. I have a no questions asked, 100% refund of the stone price, less shipping costs and PayPal Fees, policy within the first 7 days. If you want to return a stone, send me an email letting me know you are returning the stone. Once I receive the stone back in the mail, I will arrange for a full refund less shipping, as long as the stone is returned in the same condition as it was sent out. There is a restocking fee if you paid with PayPal. This is to cover the fees PayPal now charges on returns. For sales in the USA the fee is 3.49%, sales outside the USA the fee is 5.16%. You can avoid this, buy using Apple Pay Cash or a check to make payment.
To return a stone, send me an email letting me know you are returning the stone, and then mail it back to my PO Box, and address as shown below.
PO Box 1292
Frederick, MD 21702
DO NOT mail the package with a Signature required. I have a PO box, and can pick up after hours unless a signature is required, which then forces me to the post office during their normal hours which will delay when I can pick up the stone, and make the refund. Also, try to return the stone in a similar size package it was shipped out in, as larger packages will not fit in my PO box.
If you are mailing from outside the US and fill out customs forms, it's best to call the item "CUT MINERAL" rather than gemstone. The idea is not to draw attention to the contents.
Color is the most important and complex to grade. Color is made up of three components, hue, saturation and tone. Color will be graded on a scale of 1 to 10 taking these three factors into consideration. There are 3 types of colored gems, and the clarity grade is a little different for each type.
Type I - These are gems that grow extremely clean in nature. Ex is Aquamarine, Chryoberyl, Tanzanite, Helidor.
Type II - These are gems tyat typically grow with some minor inclusions. Ex is Ruby, Garnets, Peridot, Spinel
Type III - Gems that typically grow with many inclusions in nature. Ex Emerald, Red Tourmaline
Clarity is graded on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being loop clean under a 10X loop.
10 = Loop Clean
9 = Just short of loupe clean, eye clean
8 = Eye clean in normal viewing
7 = Eye Visible inclusions but not too distracting
6 = Moderately Included but no negative effect on durability
5 = Heavily Included may effect durability
2 = Severely Included
Values between are used when the stone is either a bit cleaner or less clean. It's very rare to find any stone score a 10 for clarity. 8 and higher makes for a very nice stone. Brilliance - will be a combination of Cut, Sparkle, light return, Proportion and Crystal. Graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. Total Quality Rating - Is the combined score of these 3 with a possible best score of 10
1-5: Low end commercial
6-7: Better quality commercial
8-8.5: Fine quality
8.5-9.5: Very fine quality
9.5-10: What the trade calls "gem"
We keep a large inventory of gem rough, with almost 20 years of collecting rough from all over the world. You will see things here not often seen on retail jewelry stores such as these Lake Baringo Rubies. These stones are all natural, no heat. The are collect by the Maasai in Kenya after the rains, as they tend to wash to the surface.
Many people have never seen a properly cut stones. Once you do the difference is very apparent. Most stones commercially sold are what is known as "native cut", meaning they are cut in the land they are found in. Most often this cutting is done on Jam Peg faceting setups. While this style of cutting is very fast, it is not very accurate. In larger cutting houses, the work is done on an assembly line type process, where one worker will only dop stones, then pass them to the next that shapes them, then passed to another cutter who polishes. The workers are paid by the number of pieces they produce and the weight. To maintain the maximum weight they will cut stones with angles below the critical angle for the stone. This causes the stone to "window" (see image below). But windowing is just part of the story. Most commercially cut stones are not symmetrical, the facets don't meet correctly at sharp intersections, the girdles are not polished, and the polish used is not very fine. Usually the polish is only a 14,000 grit or less. I use 60,000 or higher on all my stones.
I use powerful software to create the complex cutting arrangements on the stones. The software can model the stone and generate how the light will travel through the stone and render the performance of the design. Here is an example of one of my cuts, with the material specified as a Tsavorite Garnet. Watch how the gem performance degrades as I change the angles on the pavilion. In the video, the pavilion angles gradually get steeper, then move back to the original design and then move more shallow. Notice how the window starts to form and the extinction in the stone begins to take over. You can see the angle in the upper right corner of the video.