Post # 1
I was visiting my parents this past weekend and my mom and I were going thru her jewelry box for fun. She was showing me her original e-ring compared to her “upgrade”, which is the same oval shape, just significantly larger. I asked her if she knew the sizes of the stones or if she ever got them appraised. She said “No, I don’t care what size they are, all I care is that your dad got them for me and that I like them”.
She never had GIA or AGL appraisals with her stones and couldn’t care less. Her rings are gorgeous solitares- the upgrade is about 1ct if I had to guess. Does anybody else feel the same way as my mom? I agree with her feelings of not caring what size it is, etc, but personally, I really like my GIA appraisal! Plus, is it possible to get rings insured w/o getting them appraised?
Post # 3
I might be wrong, but from what I understand you can’t have them insured without some sort of appraisal. 2 stones can fetch vastly different prices and why would an insurance company want to insure you for an undefined value? Yeah, she’s right, it’s not about the specs, its about the love. But she’s also wrong, it’s also about protecting your investment. God forbid something happens to her beautiful upgrade and they’re stuck cause they never bothered with an appraisal for insurance purposes.
Post # 4
Yes, it was important to us.
Post # 5
SO wants a specific diamond, he wants a hearts and arrows cut diamond and that alone requires extensive appraisals and certification.
So yes, he will only be looking at diamonds that have been appraised and he will be ensuring it is exactly what they say. He prefers GIA because they also list exactly where the occlusions are (if any) and he wants them NOT in the crown or visible, ie preferrably in the sides if there are any.
Post # 6
@Eight6Eleven: One other note: it was important to us as well because we wanted to make sure we weren’t being duped. It’s a huge purchase and I’m not going to just “take someone’s word for it” that we’re buying what they say we’re buying. If you’re gonna charge me the price of a VS1, I better be getting a VS1. But how would you know that unless you had a GIA cert. For all you know you were overcharged for an I being posed as a VS1. Or a .75 being posed as a 1.
Post # 7
Absolutely. I would not pay the expensive price of a diamond or any other gemstone without knowing exactly what we are buying.
Post # 8
I think things may have been different “back then”. My mom doesn’t know the specs of any of her rings, either.
It was important to us because like the PP said, we don’t have extensive knowledge about diamonds and didn’t want to be “duped”.
Post # 9
There is a difference between an appraisal, and a grading report. GIA, for example, does not do appraisals. They do grading reports. They also do not “certify” appraisers, though sometimes I see people claim such. However, appraisers may be Graduate Gemologists from GIA and thus hold a degree from GIA. Professional and qualified appraisers belong to organizations like ASA or NAJA. Confusing, eh?
If I was buying a new modern cut diamond, then yes, I would want a GIA report. I may accept a US EGL report, knowing that it may be a little more generous than the GIA, but there are certain areas, like colour, where I do not mind lower grades.
If I was buying an old cut, or certain fancies, I would want an EGL report (GIA is not good for old cuts!), however, depending on how I was getting the stone (ie amazing find in an antique store that does not generally sell vintage stones) I would be willing to send it for grading after purchase as long as I had some sort of return policy that protected me in case I was not happy with what came back on the report.
Then I would have both appraised for actual insurance purposes. Appraisers use grading reports to help them provide an appraisal, but they are not actually “grading” the stone.
Post # 10
^what raykay said…
we are a couple that likes to make sure every dollar we spend is going towards the best quality item we could buy not just when it comes to diamonds but when it comes to everything in life- tv’s/computers/ other expensive electronics etc. So if someone is the type to just go into a store and impulsively buy a tv without doing research than I can see the same thing happening when going to buy a diamond..
Post # 11
I think you are getting two things mixed up. GIA, AGS, and EGL grade diamonds and issue reports with their assessment of the diamond’s characteristics (i.e., the 4 C’s). They do NOT appraise diamonds, which is when a $ value is placed on the diamond.
You MUST have an appraisal in order to have your jewelry insured, so I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t get an appraisal unless the value of all their jewelry, including their rings, is expected to be below the jewelry limit in their general homeowner’s policy which is usually pretty low.
Post # 12
@RayKay: You’re awesome! Thanks for explaining the difference. I opened my GIA information and it said “appraisal” on it, so I was a bit confused. I probably should have asked if anyone would buy a diamond without some sort of Report.
I agree with everyone who said that they’d want to know exactly what they were buying, especially to avoid being duped. It was different back then, yes, but I just can’t imagine buying such a big purchase w/o knowing exactly what I was plunking down money on…but that’s just me!
Post # 13
@Eight6Eleven: Things were a bit different “back then” as in before the internet and more “consumer advocacy”. Places like Pricescope did not exist! People relied on their jeweler to tell them what was the “best” However, for many, things still also have not changed. There are still plenty of people who will walk into a mall jeweler and buy something they see as it looks pretty and not care at all about reports, or will just trust the jeweler. And if they are genuinely happy with that (and their stone) and paid a fair price for it given the stone (being an ungraded stone), I have no issue with that. Unfortunately, often people are paying way too high for an ungraded stone.
I just do not think it is very “smart shopping” for something that is likely to cost most people a significant amount. People sometimes seem more likely to put more research into their new tv than their ring! I just also think a lot of people do not realize how certain inclusions, for example, can weaken a stone, or are not told that their stone has been clarity enhanced, etc, (things that a report would tell them) and where there has been dishonesty, while I do feel that the buyer ought to have done their homework, I place more blame on those who were dishonest with their customer of course.
A report also allows you to verify your stone if it ever goes in for repair etc once it comes back! Switching DOES still happen with some unsavoury types.
On the other hand, I also see jewelers still telling people that stones below a certain colour are “undesirable” and “piss snow yellow”, or that fluorescence is always a bad thing, or “every woman wants carat”, and this rankles me too! All things that the informed consumer can realize themselves are not true, and can allow them to even save some of their hard-earned pennies.
(I am not harping on jewelers as a whole, I have some excellent local independent jewelers who are fantastic! I just think it pays to be informed, and make purchases on all the information you can have available to you, including a report!).
Post # 14
@Eight6Eleven: If you mean GIA report, then yes absolutely it was important for us. I know my FH wanted to make sure he was getting exactly what he paid for.
Post # 15
@RayKay: I agree.
I can personally attest to the importance of grading and appraisals. The e-ring I lost had an heirloom diamond for a center stone. It wasn’t all that big (IMO), .7ct, but the appraisal determined it was extremely good quality. It didn’t make much difference to me as far as wearing it. It was past the point of quality that I feel there is a visible difference in appearance, so it didn’t look any different (to me) than a diamond that is just slightly above average. However, it was very important in terms of value. I’m not sure if we could have gotten insurance without an appraisal or not (we couldn’t with our carrier), but it would have been a terrible mistake if we had. The difference in value was huge compared to an average quality range diamond. If we had it insured without an appraisal, we would have lost out on a lot when I lost it and needed it replaced. I would have never bought such a high quality diamond because the difference isn’t evident (in my eyes), but I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to get radically less that what my stone was worth. Long story short, appraisals are very important.
Edit: I think PP are right about things being different “back then” because it had never been appraised before (that I know of). My grandmother “knew” it was high quality because the jeweler told her it was, but she never questioned it. She didn’t know much about diamonds, so her jeweler must have been honest. I guess she was one of the lucky ones.
Post # 16
Fiance would never have bought a diamond without a GIA certificate. How would you know the jeweler isn’t lying to you about the specs without having the certificate? After Fiance bought the stone and had it set, he brought it to GIA himself to confirm that the stone in the setting is the same stone he purchased.