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Ed Bristol

Performer of 2013:
Off-Color Unheated Sapphire

Here is a price list (US $/carat) for hand cutcertified and untreated gemstones:


Blue/Violet Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
Sapphire <150 150-400 400-2000 2000-10000 10000+
Aquamarine <80 80-400 400-900 900-1600 1600+
Indicolite 100 100-200 200-400 400-800 800+
Spinel <60 60-200 200-500 500-1000 1000+
Zircon no value <50 50-150 150-300 300+
Topaz 100 100-200 200-600 600-1000 1000+
Red/Pink Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
Padparadscha <150 150-500 500-2000 2000-10000 10000+
Ruby <300 300-1000 1k-3000 3000-10000 10000+
Pink Sapphire <100 100-500 500-1000 1000-2500 2500+
Spinel <80 80-500 500-1000 1000-2000 2000+
Topaz <100 100-400 400-800 800-1200 1200+
Tourmaline <100 100-250 250-500 500-900 900+
Zircon no value <100 100-200 200-400 400+
Hessonite no value <100 100-200 200-400 400+
Almadine no value <50 50-100 100-200 200+
Rasberry no value <100 100-200 200-300 300+
Rhodolite no value <70 70-150 150-250 250+
Pyrope no value no value <50 50-100 100+
Yellow/Brown Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
Sapphire 100 100-300 300-600 600-2000 2000+
Chrys. Cat's 100 100-300 300-700 700-1000 1000+
Chrysoberyl <50 50-100 100-500 500-1000 1000+
Hessonite no value <50 50-200 200-400 400+
Sinhalite no value <50 50-100 100-200 200+
Zircon no value <80 80-150 150-300


Grossular <50 50-100 100-200 200-500 500+
Tourmaline 50 50-100 100-200 200-300 300+
Scapolite no value <50 50-100 100-200 200+
Purple Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
Sapphire 100 100-400 400-800 800-1200 1200+
Spinel <50 50-200 200-300 300-500 500+
Tourmaline <50 50-100 100-200 200-30 300+
Rhodolite no value <50 50-100 100-300 300+
Amethyst no value 100 100-200 200-300 300+
Green Poor Fair Good Very Good


Chrys. Cat's

100 100-200 200-400 400-800 800+
Sapphire 100 100-300 300-600 600-1200 1200+
Tourmaline 100 <200 200-500 500-750 750+


no value <30 30-100 100-300 300+
Diopside no value <50 50-100 100-200 200+
Kornerupine no value <50 50-90 90-160 160+
Garnet (Tsav) <100 100-400 400-750 750-1200 1200+
White Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
Sapphire 100 100-200 200-500 500-1500 1500+
Tourmaline 50


100-200 200-300 300+
Topaz no value 50 50-100 100-150 150+
Moonstone no value <10 20-10 20-40 40+

Learn about grading

Ask about pricing

Gemstones on the Web

If you are new to buying stones on the web, you might wonder why apparently similar looking stones are marked with completely different prices.

Compared within one company, the reason will most likely be that the gem photo does not show the stone's true beauty or else hides its flaws.

An honest web dealer will set his price based on the stone and not its photo.

However, a price will also be influenced by the sellers future expectations of the stone's value, his personal taste and the current demand for a particular variety.

If you compare prices between companies, especially on an international basis, the differences might be even bigger.

Here are possible reasons:

As a rule, never buy without certificates (third-party, not self-made, mind you) and sufficient inspection time.

When you compare carat prices, make you sure you compare on the same level:

Some companies charge extra for transport, insurance, certificates, listing etc. and you might end up paying double prices per carat before the stone is finally at your door. See our "No Extra Fees" policy.


EBay is notorious for $10 offers on stones that the sellers claim have a declared market value of $1000. Why should someone sell a $1000 stone for ten dollars, unless he is really desperate - which wouldn't give him time for EBay anyway?

You might sometimes find an undervalued bargain on EBay (if you know more than the seller), but you will definitely not get a fine sapphire for $10. If that were so, nobody would be working anymore, let alone mining.

Nobody will sell significantly under value. In the gem trade as much as (or even more than) anywhere else the old rule applies: You only get what you pay for!

The $2.99 question. We are frequently asked:

"People sell gems for $2.99 on the Internet! What is wrong with them?"

Simple: Those are not gemstones.

They are synthetics, glass or industrial grade rough sold at "cutting costs". 


Gem Photos on the web:

Today there are more good gem photos than good gems on the market.

We don't color enhance or brighten or darken our photos. Our photos are made with a "normal" Nikon 5400 and every stone is shot individually. We never re-use old photos.

Three shots of the same seven carat chysoberyl.
Note the color and visibility of the table feather. We would select
the left photo and mention a stronger green in the comment.

Left untouched, photos might show inclusions to dominate, weaken or strengthen a color, make a light stone darker or vice versa. If that is so, we mention it in our comment at the end of the grading report.

If you think a photo differs from our grading, you can assume that the grading is closer to reality than the photo. In any case our stones convince best in person. 

Read an in-depth analysis of how to judge different gemstones by the photo:

Gemstones on Photo


Investing in gemstones

Gems are not an investment that can be bought and quickly resold for profit. Whoever says so is either badly informed or not honest. 

Generally untreated gemstones easily hold up with inflation and add one or two percent. Some varieties become fashionable and beat any investment fond, but you have to know which one. This is much easier than on the stock market but still you have to be on the watch.

However, gemstones are highly concentrated and mobile valuables. In accounting terms or at customs, they actually come under "cash equivalents".

This is true only in regard to a gems' portability, but in terms of cash-flow they can better be compared with real-estate. One might sell a gem at any time, but to get a good price you will have to find a buyer who wants exactly what you have.

On the other hand gems have a clear advantage over real estate because they do not to need any maintenance, they can't be confiscated by governments, and you can carry them in your pocket anywhere anytime and...

... gems are definitely the best looking of all investments. They can be a daily source of joy and you will never get tired of looking at them. (In fact it may be somewhat addictive.)

If you are not only attracted by the beauty of gems, but by their value potential, stay away from the highly fashionable and already expensive varieties like pads, pinks or rubies.

We invest in spinels, yellow sapphires and chrysoberyl. They will gain value even short- to midterm and will surely make an excellent heritage for the next generation. Untreated ones only, of course.

Edward Bristol


Natural Gemstones Only!

No Heat, No Radiation.
No Bleaching, No Oil.
No Filler, No Diffusion.
No BE, No Chemicals.

Nothing but... gems!

Made by Earth.


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Natural Gems Only - No Heat. No Radiation. No Bleaching. No Oil. No Filler. No Diffusion. No Chemicals.


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