Oregon Sunstone Buying Guide


Oregon Sunstone Variety - Sunstone Buying
Physical variations and subjective standards of beauty and value can make Oregon sunstone buying challenging. Our pricing guide can help. © Suzanne Charlebois. Used with permission.

Buying and selling Oregon sunstone can be difficult. The beauty and diversity of this gem make it hard for people to describe and price accurately. In my research, I’ve looked for commonalities and averages in order to best describe and price individual gems. I hope this article will serve as a visual and descriptive reference for grading and pricing Oregon sunstone.

Oregon Sunstone Buying: General Advice

Multiple factors must be considered when pricing any gemstone, not the least of which are cut and overall beauty. This represents a real limitation to online pricing research. Unfortunately, most websites don’t list cut quality as part of their grading criteria in their descriptions. The price guidelines outlined below are primarily based on pricing by reputable dealers who have physical points of retail. (Web-based pricing was only used in instances where there was not enough data available otherwise. eBay was used as a last resort).

Beware of buying Oregon sunstones online. This gemstone is notoriously hard to photograph because of its strong pleochroism (its display of two or three distinct colors when viewed from different angles). Dealers often price their inventory based on beauty. Of course, beauty can be quite subjective and emotional. In this digital age, it’s also easy to manipulate photos. For these reasons, the price guidelines below represent the middle ground determined from both a physical and online sampling of at least three to six comparable pieces from reputable dealers.

Oregon Sunstone Buying: Seven Distinct Looks

Physical samples of gem-quality faceted Oregon sunstone were provided by B.S. Rocks and Gems.

Schiller

A “schiller stone” is basically any stone that is translucent to opaque due to schiller inclusions of copper and lead. Some of the finer quality schiller variety have an iridescent shimmer effect, while lower quality stones will seem dull and lifeless.

Schiller - Oregon Sunstone Buying
Oregon sunstone with schiller. © Suzanne Charlebois. Used with permission.
  • Color Intensity: Light, medium, deep
  • Color Range: Clear, gold, peach, coral, orange, red, green
  • Transparency: Translucent to Opaque

The price range is consistently between $38-$70 per carat regardless of size or color.

Clear Hues

This stone is clear or fair in color with very little to no inclusions (up to I3). The higher quality stones will be very clear with even color or have distribution of two or more distinct colors.

Light Green Blue - Oregon sunstone buying
Oregon sunstone with light green blue hue. © Suzanne Charlebois. Used with permission.

Lesser quality stones will be banded with bold inclusions.

Banded - Oregon sunstone buying
Banded transparent Oregon sunstone. © Suzanne Charlebois. Used with permission.
  • Color Intensity: Light
  • Color Range: Clear, gold, peach, coral, pink, red, green, blue
  • Transparency: Transparent
Pricing available to IGS members.
Price Per Carat Clear Peach Pink Light Blue Green
Up to 2.5 cts /ct /ct /ct
2.5-5 cts /ct /ct /ct
5-7 cts /ct /ct /ct
7 cts /ct /ct /ct
[IGS members can see pricing information here and in various parts of this website.]

Mid-Deep Tones

Any stone that is even with one dominant color in mid to deep tones. Transparent with little to no schiller (up to I3). The higher quality stones will have one dominant, distinct color.

Red - Buying Oregon Sunstones
Red Oregon sunstones. © Suzanne Charlebois. Used with permission.

Lower quality stones will look muted. For example, a gem with equal parts red and green that are even throughout the stone will make the piece appear brownish.

Blue Green - Oregon Sunstone Buying
Blue green Oregon sunstone. © Suzanne Charlebois. Used with permission.
  • Color Intensity: Medium to deep
  • Color Range: Strong Peach, orange, red, green, blue
  • Transparency: Transparent
Pricing available to IGS members.
Price Per Carat Med Red Orange Red Blue Green
Up to 2.5 cts /ct /ct /ct
2.5-5 cts /ct /ct /ct
5-7 cts /ct /ct /ct
7 cts /ct /ct /ct

Constellation, AKA Aventurescent

Even coloring, up to one or two distinct colors, in a mid to deep tone with defined copper platelets that create a distinct constellation effect. The stone appears to have an internal light source.

Constellation - Oregon sunstone buying
Oregon sunstone, medium-deep red constellation. © Suzanne Charlebois. Used with permission.

Higher end stones will have a very defined constellation pattern. Lower end stones will have too much interference or not enough light return.

  • Color Intensity: Medium to deep
  • Color Range: Strong peach, orange, red, green, blue
  • Transparency: Transparent
Pricing available to IGS members.
Price Per Carat Mid to Deep Color Constellation
Up to 2.5 cts /ct
2.5-5 cts /ct
5-7 cts /ct
7 cts /ct

Two Tone – Dichroic

Two distinct colors of equal intensity, seen from different angles, on opposite ends of the color spectrum. For example: red/green or blue, orange/green, peach/moss.

Dichroic - Oregon sunstone buying
Medium two tone/dichroic Oregon sunstone. © Suzanne Charlebois. Used with permission.

Finer stones will have a good, even representation of both colors throughout the stone. The color in lesser quality gems will be blotchy or zoned.

  • Color Intensity: Medium to deep
  • Color Range: Strong peach, orange, red, green, blue
  • Transparency: Transparent
Pricing available to IGS members.
Price Per Carat Light Dichroic Med Dichroic Deep Dichroic
Up to 2.5 cts /ct /ct /ct
2.5-5 cts /ct /ct /ct
5-7 cts /ct /ct /ct
7 cts /ct /ct /ct

Classic Sunstone

Defined color in the center of the stone, with clear or very light hues surrounding the “sun” center.

Classic - Oregon sunstone buying
Classic Oregon sunstone. © Suzanne Charlebois. Used with permission.
  • Color Intensity: Combination of light-medium or light-deep
  • Color Range: Gold, peach, coral, pink, red, green, blue
  • Transparency: Transparent

Note: There was a limited sampling of larger sized stones, which may affect pricing accuracy.

Pricing available to IGS members.
Price Per Carat Light Classic Pink/Peach Classic Mid to Deep Red Classic Blue/Green
Up to 2.5 cts /ct /ct /ct
2.5-5 cts /ct /ct /ct
5-7 cts /ct /ct /ct
7 cts /ct

Mystique

Any stone that displays three or more distinct colors and must have BLUE/green. All colors must be visible with the unaided eye. Little to no schiller (up to I3).

Mystique - Oregon sunstone buying
Deep mystique Oregon sunstone. © Suzanne Charlebois. Used with permission.
  • Color Intensity: Light, medium, deep
  • Color Range: Gold, peach, coral, pink, red, green, blue
  • Transparency: Transparent
Pricing available to IGS members.
Price Per Carat Med-Deep Mystique
Up to 2.5 cts /ct
2.5-5 cts ,226.00/ct
5-7 cts /ct
7 cts /ct

About the author
Suzanne Charlebois
Suzanne Charlebois is a Registered Gemologist and partner at Prestige Evaluation, based in Ottawa Canada.
All articles by this author