We are often asked about certificates with our gemstones. We provide our own certificate of authenticity with every gemstone. The certificate lists the details of the gemstone you purchase including the carat weight, treatment status (if any), faceting design used to cut the gemstone, and perhaps most importantly, the mine where the gemstone was sourced (when possible).
Unlike the vast majority of online gem dealers or even jewelry stores, we know every detail about our gemstones. This is because we carefully source our rough uncut gem material directly from the miners, or as close to that possible. We then cut the gemstones ourselves, and if there is any treatment needed–such as heating–we handle that ourselves as well. We provide complete transparency on this, something you will find almost nowhere else.
In the case of our Montana sapphires, we have the luxury of having a very close working relationship with the largest miner of Montana sapphires in North America–Potentate Mining LLC. We work so closely with them that we’ve published a book on their mining operation, and how we take the rough gems they mine and turn them into the beautiful gemstones you see here.
But What About a Lab Certificate?
We guarantee that our stones are exactly as stated with regards to gem species and treatment, and if any of the major labs state differently, we will refund your purchase and the lab fees. The major labs are the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), AGL New York, Gübelin or SSEF.
Why don’t we send all of our stones to a lab? The primary reason is that it’s an unnecessary expense, and doing so would add to the cost of every stone we sell. As noted earlier, we know exactly where our gems come from and what treatments–if any–have been applied to them. The majority of gem dealers buy second-hand in markets overseas, and as a result have no knowledge of where their gems were originally mined nor the treatments that may have been applied to them. As a result, they are often forced to get certificates on their gemstones just so they can comply with regulatory requirements on treatment disclosure.
The second reason we don’t send them to labs has to do with what a lab can and will tell you. Most people are familiar with lab certificates because of the ubiquitous nature of the GIA diamond grading system. However, colored stones do not have a standard system for grading–they are simply too varied for one simple system like GIA’s “4 C’s” to work. That means all the certificate will tell you is very basic information–what the gem species is, and whether it’s been treated or not. While some labs will offer origin identification for an additional fee, they are very explicit that their origin “determinations” are opinions only. In other words, no lab right now will guarantee that a sapphire is from a given locale. We can guarantee that, because we are buying them right at the mine, from the people that have mined them.
If you want an outside lab certificate, we will facilitate that for you after you purchase a gem, and of course that is subject to our guarantee. We only charge you the lab fee and shipping costs–it will typically range from $100-350 dollars, depending on the gem and its size. Keep in mind that it typically will add anywhere from two to four weeks to the delivery time.