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Sunstone Gem Retail Pricing And Evaluation Guide

 

This faceted Sunstone gem pricing guided was developed by informal research of published prices found in several different sources, with widely varying prices and differing price structures.   The depicted prices were not derived by averaging, but rather by "middle of the road" subjective weighting.  There is no intent to represent this guide as an official or established pricing reference.  The guide should be used with caution, and with the understanding that other references may differ in price significantly.   Where formal pricing is required other references, or published prices, should be consulted.   It is also important to note that Sunstone colors extend over a wider range than the table lists.  The more rare and richer hues with very high or vivid saturation are significantly more expensive than indicated by this guide.

That said, this guide has proven useful in providing the framework for first effort or preliminary pricing approximations.  As price change trends are detected this guide may be updated at anytime.  Any reader feedback or input on Sunstone pricing would be appreciated.

 

Sunstone Faceted Gem Retail Pricing Guide

(All prices are by carat, See note 4)

 

Champagne or Colorless: 

 

Clarity\Size (ct)

1-

3-

5-

10-

Medium Inclusions (III)

$30

$45

$60

$75

Light Inclusions (II)

$45

$65

$90

$105

Clean (I)

$60

$85

$105

$120

 

Schiller Color Only:

 

Saturation\Size (ct)          

1-

3-

5-

10-

Light Saturation

$60 

$105

$165

$195

Medium Saturation       

$75

$135

$210

$270

Strong Saturation

$105

$165

$270

$330

 

Schiller, Plus Orange Zonal Color:

 

Saturation\Size (ct)

1-

3-

5-

10-

Light Saturation

$90

$165

$300

$390

Medium Saturation       

$105

$225

$405

$525

Strong Saturation

$135

$285

$510

$660

 

Schiller, Plus reddish-Orange Or orangy-Red Zonal Color;

 

Saturation\Size (ct)

1-

3-

5-

10-

Light Saturation

$105

$255

$480

$675

Medium Saturation       

$120

$285

$555

$765

Strong Saturation

$150

$360

$690

$960

 

Orange Zonal Color, No Schiller:

 

Saturation\Size (ct)

1-

3-

5-

10-

Light Saturation

$120

$300

$600

$855

Medium Saturation

$150

$330

$690

$990

Strong Saturation

$180

$420

$855

$1230

 

Reddish-Orange To orangy-Red Zonal Color, No Schiller:

 

Saturation\Size (ct)

1-

3-

5-

10-

Light Saturation

$135

$300

$630

$885

Medium Saturation

$150

$345

$720

$1005

Strong Saturation

$195

$435

$870

$1260

 

Green Zonal Color Only, No Schiller:

 

Saturation\Size (ct)

1-

3-

5-

10-

Light Saturation

$135

$300

$660

$900

Medium Saturation

$150

$345

$750

$1035

Strong Saturation

$195

$435

$930

$1320

 

Multi-Color Green; Any Color or Schiller (See note 3):

 

Saturation\Size (ct)

1-

3-

5-

10-

Any Saturation, Muddy

$45

$90

$195

$270

Any Saturation, Lightly Muddy

$75

$180

$375

$540

Light Saturation, Slightly Muddy

$120

$285

$570

$810

Medium Saturation, Very Slightly Muddy

$150

$375

$750

$1080

Strong Saturation, Clean

$195

$465

$945

$1350

 

Note 1:
 
Color grades of "Strong, Moderate, and Slightly Weak" are balances between tonal value and color saturation broadly defined by standard GIA colored gem notation (hue:value/saturation) as follows:

 

Strong Color (AAA to AAAA):   GIA X:4/4 through X:6/6, (Where X is any hue)
 

Moderate Color  (AA to AAA):  GIA X:3/3, X:3/4, X:4/3
 

Slightly Weak Color (A to AA): GIA X:2/2, X:2/3, X:3/2 

 

A standard color comparative reference, with indirect sunlight or color corrected lighting, is required to accurately evaluate hue, tonal value, and color saturation.   Full GIA or Munsell color reference sets are expensive, but inexpensive GIA student or other artist color references are helpful in making approximations.   GIA and Munsell standard numeric notations are not the same, but equitable.  While using the same principles as the GIA standard, the Munsell standard has more colors, the value scale numbering is reversed, and the numeric range calibrations are different.   Most artist “Color-wheel” references have far fewer colors, and are limited in value and saturation depictions.  GIA student references are not printed in certified colors, and are generally limited to X:5/5 actual color comparisons.  The student references do provide examples of tonal values and "warm" and "cool" color saturation's to assist judgments.

 

Note 2:

 

Gems with color saturation's less than GIA standard "2" graduate rapidly toward colorless or "Champagne" in price.  Tonal values greater than "6" tend to cause "somber", and overly dark gems, with significantly lower gem price appraisals.  Intermediate or grade crossover prices are often appropriate when individual gem appearances warrant adjustments up or down (i.e.., clarity considerations, or unusual tonal values).  Normally, the most desirable grades are between X:4/4 and  X:5/5.  The most desirable basic colors are green, red, orangey-Red, reddish-orange, orange, "copper" schiller, and "Champagne" yellow, in that order.  Very rarely dominant “Blue” gems will be encountered, but they are “Exotics” with values beyond this guide.  Multicolor gems are generally more valuable than single color gems, all else being equal.  Published references to Sunstone material sometimes mention  "Pink", but these are actually just light tonal values of lower saturation "warm" red, orange, and schiller colors, and can be placed within the base color grade ranges.

 

Note 3: 

 

The term "muddy" refers to the "Olive-Green" to "Olive-Brown" color that arises when the "cool" Green colors blend nearly equally with the "warm" Orange or Red colors, or becomes mixed with schiller reflections.  Generally this will occur when the majority of the light passing through the "cool" Green color zones also passes through and is influenced by the "warm" Orange or Red color zones, or schiller reflections.  "Clean" multi-color gems occur when the majority of light passes through the Green zones, but avoids mixing with the schiller, Orange or Red colors.  Generally mixes of "cool" and "warm" color in nearly equal saturations will result in a "muddy" appearance.  A clean or attractive color results when the net saturation of the "cool" and "warm" mixes are imbalanced to the degree that one is only 30%, or less, than the other.

The degree to which a gem is "Clean" or "Muddy" can influenced by the nature of the color zoning, shape of the rough, and the cutters choices in cut design and color orientation.  Frequently the nature of the reflection paths through a given gem design, and the orientation of the crystal axis, tends to separate "cool" and "warm" color light paths.  This can reduce or cause an imbalance of color mixing, and improve the attractiveness of the gem.

 

A gem can be called "Clean" if there is no hint of "Olive" or "Brown" color;  "Very Slightly Muddy" when there is just a trace of "Olive" or "Brown", "Slightly Muddy" when the "Olive” or "Brown" is distinct but not dominating, “Moderately Muddy” when the  "Olive” or "Brown" is strong but still slightly less strong than the Green, and "Muddy" when the "Olive" or "Brown" is equal to or dominate over the Green.  It’s really a subjective judgment call to define the  degree of "Muddy", but in final analysis the beauty of a gem is the determining factor. 

 

Note 4: 

 

The listed prices are for retail application, triple keystone.  All gems are assumed to be of exceptional cut quality with polished girdles, to have good clarity, and cut with appropriate crystal axis and color zone orientation. Occasionally gems of exceptional color, clarity, cut, orientation, and generally superior appearance are encountered.  These gems, often classed as “collector” grade, are always individually and subjectively appraised, and values can be two or three times higher than those listed here.  Cuts of lesser quality, with flaws, or observable orientation errors typically will have values reduced by ten to fifty percent.  Known or named artist cut gems of exceptional quality tend to priced higher than shown in the tables, and the very best two to three times as much.  Foreign or Commercially cut gems frequently, but not always, are of lower quality, and have rounded rather than faceted  girdles.  The lower quality cuts are frequently priced at least ten percent, or even less, than shown in the tables.  Foreign or commercially cut gems of good quality should be priced as shown in the tables.

 

Caveat: 

 

This guide is intended for Lincoln Gems and Craft internal use.  Any other use is without warranty, obligation, or incurred liability.  This guide is offered to the general good use of interest parties, and may be quoted or utilized in whole or in part without permission from Lincoln Gems and Craft.  If this guide is separately published, in whole or part, courtesy credits for Lincoln Gems and Craft are requested, but are not strictly required.

 

Last updated August 11, 2009

Lincoln Gems and Craft

 

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