A Case for the consistent appraisal – or "What would GIA Do?"

I am getting really tired of seeing “certified” diamonds and pre-sell appraisals that don’t stack up to the long established standards of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Appraisers who advertise their Graduate Gemologists (G.G.) credentials should follow the rules they were taught, whether appraising for the manufacturer, jeweler or consumer.

Ideally, an appraisal is prepared for the owner of the jewelry, with accurate grading and a realistic value for insurance purposes. Nowadays though, jewelers – both traditional and internet, are relying more and more upon appraisals prepared in the interest of selling the item appraised.

These “pre-sale” appraisals are everywhere, even on modestly priced articles and are often supplied by the manufacturers. Don’t get me wrong, I think up-front representation is great, (we started doing similar preliminary reports twenty years ago) but what I am seeing are reports which are more “jeweler friendly” than gemologically accurate. And the values attached tend to be consistently generous (at least compared to the values we follow).

Loose diamonds, too
The sale of loose diamonds on the other hand, usually involves no value – just grading, and that is where some very blatant misrepresentations have come into play.

Unfortunately, obtaining a pre-certified diamond doesn’t guarantee you are getting what the paperwork says. We do a fair amount of appraisals involving verification of pre-existing reports where we check for authenticity and accuracy.

We have uncovered many instances of inaccurate grading if not downright fraud from world-recognized laboratories as well as look-alike “labs” offering bad reports on rice paper.

The remedy is to always have your purchase verified during the appraisal process. We examine the previous document and if discrepancies are found, point them out. In the case of GIA and AGS verification, we will reference the document on our appraisal.

In the event of significant discrepancies you do have recourse. Since the jeweler owes you the quality they represented (even if they didn’t do the lab report) they must make good on your purchase. If you like the article but find it was misrepresented, you may elect to re-negotiate the sales price.

Either way, you don’t have to live with a misinformed purchase. Jewelry is supposed to make you happy, isn’t it?

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