Every hundred bridal sets or so, we get to appraise something really different. Here are a few of the more interesting items encountered at the lab recently.
1) Opals. Lovely black opals within an Art Nouveau necklace with pique-a-jour enamel and diamonds. A magnificent piece of art. Unfortunately, some of the opals were crazed – meaning light fractures within the stones – took away nearly all of their value. While those opals did not contribute to the overall value, the piece was still worthy of significant auction interest. Apparently, long storage in a safety deposit box was the culprit.
2) Synthetic Diamonds. Occasionally, a client brings in an item without prior information. Sometimes that brings about red flags. Especiallywhen the item happens to be a green diamond. Add a yellow one and a colorless one—all small stones, and our firstthought was either a collector with new specimens, or synthetics . With the colored diamonds being flawless, we got suspicious. When the colorless diamond showed black metallic looking characteristics, we were certain. When confronted, the client confessed we are viewing synthetics. She was a business reporter doing an article on a new synthetic diamond process. Her article highly quoted G.I.A. director Bill Boyajjan and noted the lab that detected the synthetics- us.

3) Pretty Big Diamond. Yeah, I know I speak flippantly of diamonds as merely crystallized carbon, maybe because I grade so many every day. We in the Seattle area do get the occasional big diamond (that would be over ten carats) and even I get impressed. A recent entry pegged in at our largest in a while at 11.45 carats. We placed the value at about 200G’s (the resale/wholesale gap gets very narrow at this level) and it was put up for an E-trade auction. Happy bidding.

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