FROM MINE TO RETAILER
I decided to gain practical experience of mining and treating processes through working directly with the miners in Sri Lanka for five years. I learned all facets of the sapphire industry; from mining and rough purchasing to thermal treatment and cutting. I decided to expand my knowledge of export and distribution and move into the gem business as a merchant.
Because I buy rough directly from the miners and process all gems at my lapidary in Sri Lanka, I am able to guarantee the source and treatment of every stone. Additionally, I keep up-to-date on all political, social and economic matters in sapphire mining regions throughout the world. This, combined with my extensive practical experience from mine to market, gave me an increased knowledge and unique understanding of sapphires & sapphire pricing throughout the industry; insuring fare trade between the miners and merchants.
THE HISTORY OF EVERY STONE
Honesty and integrity in the sapphire trade are important to me. I believe in complete disclosure of all treatments, origin and cutting styles of every stone.
I travel to Sri Lanka several times a year to meet with sapphire miners directly and see the source of each stone I sell. This allows me to ensure integrity of the material and know every vital process that the sapphires have gone through.
Additionally, because ethical sourcing and giving back to the mining community is important to me, I helped establish a gemstone library and laboratory in Sri Lanka to engage student learners of gemology to further progress ethical sourcing and trade of gemstones.
ONLY THE FINEST CEYLON SAPPHIRES
Quality assurance and knowing the direct source of each stone is crucial, so I frequently inspect the mining operation in Sri Lanka. I integrate customer feedback into my decisions when making stone purchases, which allows me to provide a better product.
My natural eye and ability to evaluate the value of a stone by looking at cut quality, the types and locations of inclusions, and the weight to color ratio, allows me to offer a top quality product.
KNOWLDEGE, TRANSPARENCY AND QUALITY
When I founded Sheahan Stephen Sapphires in 2006, it was important that I understood all aspects of the gem industry. Through my experience and expertise, I am able to offer only the highest quality gems to my customers and I take pride in my ability to trace each stone from mine to retailer.
Furthermore, to promote the success of the sapphire trade, I give industry lectures ranging on subjects from treatment, processing and economic influence to pricing trends and trading within different regions. I am a frequent speaker for GIA, AGTA and AGS and currently sit on the Board of Directors for GIA San Francisco as the Vice President and AGS San Francisco as Secretary.
EXTRACTING MINERAL RICH SOIL
Once the mineral rich "grey soil" is reached, digging by hand prevents damage to any valuable crystals.
UNHEATED ROUGH TANZANIAN RUBY
Displaying a parcel of unheated rough Tanzanian ruby with an importer of African gems. These gems are brought to Sri Lanka for sale to merchants like myself.
HALVES OF A SPLIT SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL
This shows the same rough sapphire crystal after splitting, which is the first step in the cutting process.
After the crystal has been split it can be determined what shape is best to maximize the yield of the crystal (i.e. round, oval, cushion, rectangular cushion, etc.)