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Ruby in Zoisite

Posted by DirtyOldRockhound  
DirtyOldRockhound July 18, 2012 05:01AM
I recently acquired this piece on fleabay. However the auction ended for only .99. I know it's got to be worth more than that!

The seller tried to value this piece at $2 a carat and at 314 carats I have a hard time believing this is worth $628.

It measures 54x46x15mm from point to point then deep.

There is a flaw outlined in one of the pictures, I'm not sure how this would effect value.

Thank you!

open | download - IMAG6196.jpg (103.9 KB)
open | download - IMAG6197.jpg (127.5 KB)
open | download - IMAG6199.jpg (917.5 KB)
Jolyon & Katya Ralph July 18, 2012 10:28AM
One is tempted to say that if the item sold for .99 cents at auction, that's a pretty good estimate of it's value.

Still, the work involved in creating a piece like this is certainly worth more than a dollar. The rough material, a corundum/zoisite rock (calling it ruby is a bit of a stretch as it's not really gem quality) is available in bulk at low prices so it's not especially valuable.

Owen Lewis (2) July 18, 2012 04:33PM
It's a common trade practice to value items at some multiple of value per carat. However it needs to be applied with caution and commonsense when considering common pieces of indifferent-through-to-bad quality.

In the case of that Ruby(sic) in Zoisite I think you were right to baulk at a 600+ valuation but at 0.99, you certainly got a bargain. The thing could not be mined, sawn, cleaned polished and transported thousands of miles for anywhere close to that sum. And that's before eBay's fees, financial charges etc. So someone else's loss becomes your gain :-) This of course presumes that the material was naturally formed (not clear from the photos).

I recently had discussions with someone thrilled with the two kilo 'Emerald' he had just bought (for a $xxxx price!!) He was not happy when I told him what I thought. After some weeks' silence, our discussions renewed, after he found that sweat could make the colour come off on his hands..... Beware of enormous 'gems' promoted as fantastic bargains. If you like the way they look, then buy them - as you might a cement-moulded ornament for the garden - and pay accordingly.

The piece is really too big as a study piece or reference stone and, even allowing for the poor quality of the photography, it is of poor colour and quality. It is possible to find pieces that size, of better colouration and with intriguing shapes formed by the Zoisite and Ruby; these qualities can be accentuated by sometimes very skillful carving and finishing. Though Ruby in Zoisite is considered a gem material, its qualities suit it much better to ornamental uses that to personal adornment (jewellery).
DirtyOldRockhound July 18, 2012 07:30PM
Hey guys! Thank you for your quick response! I like to scoop up .99 auctions for the novelty of it and it's a pretty cheap way to supplement my nephews rock collection, I like to make sure I know what everything might be worth before I give it to a 4yr old! (hey I like to start em young!) This one will be perfect for his collection. :) I was pretty sure this was a lunker! :) Thanks a million!
DirtyOldRockhound July 18, 2012 07:34PM
Oh and not all .99 auctions are all for naught. I once won a 30lb 3/4 round of Hampton Butte Oregon Green Jasper Replacement Petrified Wood which has great formation and is worth for lapidary material at least $10/lb locally. Just gotta have a keen eye for garbage and keepers!
Rock Currier July 18, 2012 08:37PM
Did your $.99 cent bargain include the shipping? It is often a well known scam to sell things for little or nothing and then charge such a price for shipping that is high enough to provide the profit margin the seller needs. You item could probably have been put in an envelope and sent to you for the price of a postage stamp.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
DirtyOldRockhound July 18, 2012 08:47PM
The ruby in zoisite was shipped small flat rate and I paid that exact cost and with the wood it fit in a large flat rate box so about $15 for the wood. :)
Tim Jokela Jr July 23, 2012 05:01AM
I've paid $50 a pound for very high quality rough, heavy on the nice red ruby and light on zoisite, like your piece. Memory is hazy but the pieces were under 5cm, would make about 4 or 5 cabs like yours. So there's a ballpark value. Stuff cuts nicely but I wasn't able to get a very good polish on it. A bit of searching online would provide a range of prices that you could then average, if you're looking for a more exact value.

Personally, I dunno about buying giveaway rocks on eBay.... seems illogical. Why not buy from auctions at your local club, or buy scraps from a dealer, or flats of low end stuff at a show? You'd get a lot more stuff for a lot less money, seems to me...
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