- What is a sapphire, what color is it, how hard is it, where does it come from?
Click on our About Sapphires page.
- How do I find sapphires?
We bring the gravel from the mine, package it up in bags, and give you complete instructions on how to find your gems. All you need is a simple screen, a tub of water, tweezers, and patience ! It will generally take about 1-2 hours to go through a bag of gravel, depending on your experience and fortitude. Some people do a little at a time and spread it out over a longer period of time, enjoying the experience, and/or sharing it with others. You may purchase gravel at our Studio, order online, or by phone. You may also order it as a gift and have it sent to an alternate address. The recipient will receive all the instructions they need with the gravel bag, and can contact us with questions as well. See our order form.
- Are sapphires valuable?
Sapphires are one of the worlds’ four precious gems, making them highly valuable indeed. A ruby is also one of the four precious gems, and ruby and sapphire are the same mineral, corundum. It is estimated that sapphires are approximately 4 times more rare than diamonds.
- Is sapphire a birthstone?
Yes, it is the birthstone for the month of September, and it is the anniversary symbol for the 45th wedding anniversary. Many people are also using the different colors of sapphire to represent birth months in family jewelry, such as mothers’ rings.
- Am I guaranteed to find sapphires in my gravel?
Ask any miner of gems or precious metals, and they will tell you there are no guarantees ! However, our job is to increase the odds that you have fun and are successful in your mining. During our mining for our own inventory of gems, we set aside the same concentrated gravel for your bags. In addition, we also introduce additional sapphires to increase your odds of finding stones. We cannot give guarantees, as once the bags have left our hands, there is no way of knowing what the customer finds, or whether they have missed any in their search, but we have many happy repeat customers who tell us our gravel is the best they have come across....and they have the beautiful finished gems and jewelry to prove it !
- What do I do with my sapphires after I find them, how do I know if they are good enough?
You may bring them to our Studio, or mail them to us, to have them checked. We will sort through them and separate them into useful or not useful categories, then we will contact you with the costs to process them. You may then have them returned to you or begin the processes.
- How much does the processing cost?
The heat-treating costs $6.00 per carat, with a 5 carat minimum. We will weigh them for you and tell you the total carat weight of your useful stones. After heat-treating, the faceting ( cutting ) costs $40.00 per stone for the average stone. There are also shipping costs.
- Can sapphires be used without processing them?
Occasionally a stone is acceptable in its’ natural state, we will advise you if this is the case.
- What will my sapphires look like when they have been processed?
The first process, heat-treating, will usually intensify the color, and clear up any cloudiness. The second process, faceting ( also referred to as cutting ) will turn them into beautiful sparkling finished gems, ready to go into jewelry.
- If I send my sapphires to you, how do I know I will get the same stones back?
You are our most important business component, without you, the customer, we have no business. We want you to be happy, and we are here to give you the best services possible. And you are our best advertisement, the better the stones you show off, the better we look!
- How long does the process take?
It takes approximately 4-6 weeks for the heat treating and 2-3 weeks for the cutting. This varies somewhat due to the volume of work during the heavier tourist and holiday seasons.
- How do I get my sapphires put into jewelry?
After your stones are cut, they can be put into jewelry just like that you see on our website. We can create whatever you like, within any budget, just let us know what you have in mind. Also, we can show or e-mail pictures to you, with costs for creating that special piece, unique to you because your stone is one of a kind, and you found it yourself!
For additional information on Sapphires or Corundum, research on your favorite Search Engine!