Certified vs Uncertified Stones

posted 3 years ago in Rings
Post # 3
Member
164 posts
Blushing bee

There was a recent thread about this, it has most of the info and opinions you’re looking for:
http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/certified-diamond-vs-non-certified#axzz2bHyLsiXs 

The OP had a jeweler who was trying to sell an uncertified diamond, and tried to justify the lower cost of their stone vs a certified one. I’ll copy/paste what I wrote there.

I would personally never buy a diamond that’s not certified by GIA/AGS, no matter if I saw the diamond in person or not. To the typical person’s eyes, the diamond may look very sparkly and nice, but aside from the fact that you’re looking at it with the store spotlighting (which could make anything look good), the fact is that they (myself included before researching heavily) just don’t know what a super-ideal cut diamond looks like. Believe me, I thought all diamonds were generally the same, but I was blown away as soon I saw certified AGS 000 and GIA Triple Ex stones.

I believe that jewelers aren’t stupid. They do it for a living and therefore need to make money. Your jeweler said that if it was certified, it would cost thousands of dollars more. Then why wouldn’t they just send it into GIA/AGS if they were that confident and sell it for more? GIA charges $105 USD to grade and provide a complete certification for a 1-1.49 ct diamond. Insured shipping maybe adds another $100. It’s the reason why many stores send their stones to the more lenient labs like EGL, they know EGL will give them higher grades than they deserve so they can sell it at those grades. If stores are completely confident they have an ideal stone, they send it to GIA/AGS to prove it. So what does that say about a store that doesn’t get a certification at all?

You couldn’t know whether the stone was cut deep/shallow, if it had an extremely thin girdle that’s suspectible to chipping, or if the jeweler was honest (or made an honest mistake) about the color without getting a certification.

Post # 4
Member
2782 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

You get a general sense of peice of mind if you get a certified diamond.  That said, they should be more than happy to show you any diamond under the scope BEFORE you buy.  They should also allow you to take the stone (supervised) out of the store and blingy lights in the store.

At one time, I  had an uncertified diamond.  It was an I1- I saw it under the scope a couple time AFTER it was purchased.  It was actually a beautiful stone, even though it had some feathering you could see with the naked eye.  The inclusions were very evenly spread across the diamond.  The reason I don’t have it anymore, I was overpaying for what I got.

It’s harder for an untrained person to determine the cut of a diamond- so for sake of ease, get a certified diamond.  There are plenty of places that sell them VERY reasonably.  My stone was purchased online.

Post # 5
Member
46 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Let me copy and paste this very important piece of information:

I would personally never buy a diamond that’s not certified by GIA/AGS, no matter if I saw the diamond in person or not. To the typical person’s eyes, the diamond may look very sparkly and nice, but aside from the fact that you’re looking at it with the store spotlighting (which could make anything look good), the fact is that they (myself included before researching heavily) just don’t know what a super-ideal cut diamond looks like. Believe me, I thought all diamonds were generally the same, but I was blown away as soon I saw certified AGS 000 and GIA Triple Ex stones.

I believe that jewelers aren’t stupid. They do it for a living and therefore need to make money. Your jeweler said that if it was certified, it would cost thousands of dollars more. Then why wouldn’t they just send it into GIA/AGS if they were that confident and sell it for more? GIA charges $105 USD to grade and provide a complete certification for a 1-1.49 ct diamond. Insured shipping maybe adds another $100. It’s the reason why many stores send their stones to the more lenient labs like EGL, they know EGL will give them higher grades than they deserve so they can sell it at those grades. If stores are completely confident they have an ideal stone, they send it to GIA/AGS to prove it. So what does that say about a store that doesn’t get a certification at all?

Read more: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/certified-vs-uncertified-stones#ixzz2bJuZuHxt

 

If there’s no cert (GIA or AGS) absolutely nothing that a jeweler says is verifiable. Nothing. They can say what they want and in my experience, jewelers are NOT out to educate you on what makes a nice diamond. They are there to sell you stones and the less you question them the better for them. Period.

Post # 6
Member
1872 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@plantobee:  Yep… certified diamonds aren’t just more expensive because they got certified, they got certified and are more expensive because they are actually better diamonds.

Post # 7
Member
225 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I actually look at this topic differently, and I’m sure someone will chastise me for it, but…I think if YOU think the diamond is pretty and YOU cant see the inclusions, or they simply dont bother you, then why not buy it?   If you go to a jeweler who will show you the diamond under a loop and you know what youre getting, it shouldnt matter if its certified or not.  If youre buying your diamond as an investment, then I could possibly see getting a certified diamond, but if your buying a diamond because its pretty and it sparkles, then who cares?  Get what you like.  Sparkle is sparkle.  😉

Post # 8
Member
46 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Well, jessandnick, visible or non visible inclusion aside, the problem is that the better cut stones are going to be sent to a relaible lab. Jewelry store lighting is specially geared to make diamonds look sparkly (even ones with a crummy cut) and so once you leave the store, that stone that looked so sparkly in the store is probably not going to be all that sparkly whereas a well cut stone will be just as sparkly. Diamonds don’t come out of the ground sparkling. The sparkle comes from the proportions they were given when they were cut, and if they were cut well, there’s a very good chance they are going to have a reliable cert along with them.

 

So, would you also buy a car that you knew was probably going to break down and be a bad car in the long run because it looked good on the showroom floor? Or would you consider that a waste of money?

 

 

 

Post # 9
Member
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

If at all possible, certify PLUS get a 30 day guarantee PLUS get an independent insurance appraisal.  A friend of mine had a ‘igi’ or ‘iga’ or ‘egl international’ or something and the ring ended up being reported as a very deep cut with a thin girdle (it chipped within two months and she got it finally independently appraised and that’s how she found out).  The cut was so wonky and deep that it faced up 40% less than it should have.  I went with her to the store they purchased it at and, of course, in their lighting it glittered, but when I pulled out the independent appraisal and the proportion % and reamed off the poor cut, they stfu so quick.  She was able to get a ‘trade’ when I threatened to take this issue to a local news outlet. My friend ‘traded’ the ‘value’ for her FI’s wedding gift and band and her FI agreed to another store to purchase a new stone/setting.  I HATE shysters.

I showed her pricescope and the bee site and she learned of the HCA and her ring proportions, and to top off all this drama, that rip off ring/stone couldn’t even register (some kind of message came up she said and no HCA number could be ‘assigned’).  Ugh.  Just get a cert AND a 30 day store guarantee folks, please.

Post # 10
Member
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@bunnycat:  Second that car analogy.  Today, everyone gets a carfax.  Same thing with a reputable home inspection or reputable jewelery appraisal.

Post # 11
Member
626 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Get Certified, Poor FI was sold a diamond not certified, took it to thier sister shop to get it appraised just to see what they’d say, and they told him the sold him a lower quality diamond. He was LIVID, got them to upgrade to certified GIA stone.

 

BE CAREFUL! Don’t Do it!

Post # 12
Member
225 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

@bunnycat:  As I guessed, chastised.  I am aware of how diamonds come out of the ground.  I am actually incredibly versed on the 4C’s, I know more about diamonds than a lot of people.   What I am saying is, there are good un-certified diamonds out there, and there are actually jewelers that arent out to get you.  Simply because its un-certified doesnt mean its a horrible diamond.  You dont HAVE to get one, nor can everyone afford one.  If someone is aware that there are certified vs un-ceritfied diamonds, then that person can also make an informed decision about what diamond they are going to buy, and if its pretty to them, thats what matters.  Just because you wouldnt buy one doesnt mean others shouldnt.  There are a lot of large jewelry stores (chain and otherwise) that sell un-certified diamonds.  

 

 

 

And for the record, no, I wouldnt buy a car because it looked good without looking under the hood first.   Just as I’m sure the OP would look at her diamond under a loop before buying it too.  Knowledge is key, but certified isnt the ONLY way to go. 

Im not in this for a debate…

 

 

Post # 13
Member
952 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

If a diamond isn’t cut well, it wont sparkle the same… it is that easy.

Plus, why not take the diamond out of the store and look at it. If they really want to make the sale, they will let you.

If it looks the same in natural lighting, then you aren’t going to randomly “find” a bigger inclussion later.

Plus, what is being said about just getting stones ceritified. It isn’t quite that easy. At least the stores I work with (I do marketing for probably 100 stores so I am not biased in one way or the other) they sell A LOT of diamonds in a day.  By the time you ship them and and insure them, it isnt worth it for them to spend the money. Most stores have a very narrow profit margin on a stone (can’t speak for all) so they would loose money. What is large to you and us (1 carat or 2 carats for a couple grand) isn’t that large to them. Most wouldnt get a stone apparaised (if it didnt already come to them appraised) unless it was a flawless or natrual 6 carat fancy etc.

But yes, you can’t just “trust” what every jeweler tells you. However, I think a lot of the girls on the website are acutally over-educated and end up picking diamonds just based on the stats. If you are are doing that to save money then that is great. BUT if a diamond calls to you, YOU love it, it sparkles like CRAZY, you have seen it in the natural light then who cares what paperwork says. (It matters if it appraises for way less obviously) but you wear the diamond and after a few months, you never look at the paperwork again.

Anyway, at this point, i own a lot of beautiful diamonds. Some are EGl, some are GIA some (like my studs, which generally DONT have certificates) have no certificates….. I LOVE THEM ALL!!!!!!

Post # 14
Member
952 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

@jessandnick:  I agree with you and I also know A LOT about diamonds. To each her own I guess 🙂

Post # 15
Member
46 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2011

While you may know enough about a diamonds cut not to get ripped off, the comment made did not come across that way and many people can not say the same thing. Even if you look at a diamond under a loupe, how did you educate yourself to know what inclusions to be wary of (type and placement and whether they were a durability risk)? Howwould someone with no training know what to look for or ask?

While it’s entirely true you shouldn’t just buy based on stats (and no, you don’t wear the cert on your hand) if you have done your homework as to what makes a well cut stone (and it’s not color and clarity) then my guess is once a person has educated themselve to that point, they may find they prefer to at least know they can trust what specs they do see, which brings you back to a cert. Or maybe not, perhaps they’ll be perfectly happy to wing it

I actually have an uncerted Old European cut, and that has been a learning experience. It took almost a year and a half of research and educating myself to find one I felt comfortable spending money on and still I have made some mistakes with it. And I had about 10 people with a LOT more experiened an eye than I do for old cuts guiding me. I could never have done it on my own, even with what I do know about stones. I amstronger on modern stones and learned a lot about modern cut stones in the interim while I research old cuts. In fact, I am still learning. Old cuts are hard. Number don’t help. Modern cuts are easy. you have parameter that take about 5 minutes to write down and if you stick within them, you *probably* won’t get a dog.

Post # 16
Member
952 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

But buying a stone is NOT like a car….

Most people are worried that they will buy a lemon, that their car will break down. right? Or cost them thousands in repairs.

Yes, a few (very very few) diamonds will crack or chip. But that isnt what people on the bee are usually worried about.

They want a valuable diamond… but why?????? For resale value? Diamonds ar enot a good “investement” and the majority of the bees on here, say they would never upgrade.

So unlike a car, your diamonds isnt going to break down., It is just not going to stop sparkling one day. Unless you come on a site like this and “learn”about your diamond to where you find something about it you don’t like…. like the OP. Sometimes (a small amount) of ignorance is bliss.

 

Does it sparkle… meaning it was cut well? yes

Is there a VISABLE inclussion that you can see with the naked eye that bothers you?

If you got your diamond independantly appraised, would it apparise for apporx. the price you paid?

Did you pick a high enough color so that the main stone matches the surrounding ones, that you are not bothered if there are “warm tones”, and that you didnt pay for a colorless diamond and then set it in yellow gold or you picked a warm diamond and set it in white gold?

Do you love you diamond? MOST IMPORTANT……. are you smiling?

 

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