Post # 17
@London_Bride: When you’re comparing the uncerted stone to certified ones, just a few tips:
1) Don’t settle for any lab other than GIA or AGS, and make sure it’s an GIA Excellent or AGS 0 Ideal rating
2) When comparing the color, put the diamonds on a white sheet of paper (a white business card will do in a pinch) and flip the stones upside down so that the cutlet (pointy side) is facing up and then compare. It’s how GIA grades color.
Post # 18
Personally, I would not buy a stone unless it were GIA or AGS certified. There is a reason those stone cost more, and it is because you can be sure what you are buying. All those stones are graded unset, which is crucial to judging both colour and clarity.
Oftentimes, an uncertified stone will be judged several colour and/or clarity grades lower when evaluated by GIA. Therefore, when you are paying less for the uncertified stone, you have to wonder how much less you are actually paying. In other words, if you are buying an uncertified stone that’s called a G and a VS1, but GIA would grade it to be I SI1, then you aren’t getting a bargain. You are buying a lower quality stone that probably would have been a similar price if honestly graded in the first place.
However, if the stone you currently own is not certified, and you trust the jeweler, AND there is a return window during which you can have the diamond independently evaluated, then go ahead. The vast majority of people, myself included, are not buying D IF stones for investment purposes; they are buying them to make a pretty piece of jewelry. If you have seen the stone in all sorts of lighting, then trust your eyes and buy what you love. This could be a worthwhile compromise if the budget doesn’t allow for a GIA certified stone with the specs you desire.
Post # 19
@London_Bride: I echo the pp’s.
I would be afraid of getting a very low quality or clarity enhanced diamond/fracture filled diamond if there was no certification. I know you trust your jeweler but he is not infallible either.
People on the bee have posted that they’ve brought their moissanite/cz rings into jewelry stores and had them think they’re diamonds. I myself have had several jewelers tell me something about a gemstone that I absolutely knew was not true. They weren’t dishonest, just minformed.
So honest your jeweler may be but I’d still want it in writing from a reputable grading agency.
good luck, keep us up to date!
Post # 20
@plantobee: Great answer! You ‘ve said it all. OP, be careful!
Post # 21
Thank you all! Honestly, you have been so helpful and made me think about a lot of things.
I will do the colour inspection that plantobee mentioned – I never knew that!
As echomomm mentioned, I am not buying the stone for investment purposes. I am going to see if the jeweller can get any certified diamonds within our price range this week just to see what I can get – if not I might consider the uncertified stone and get ideas of the lowest specs it could be and then GIA certify it. As the jeweller knows us pretty well, I am sure he would allow us to swap the diamond or return it if we are not happy. However, at the moment we cannot afford to spend thousands and thousands of pounds just on a diamond – I am lucky Fiance is upgrading my diamond at all!!
I will keep you all posted on my progress next week. I will be careful and thanks gemgirl6 I am on the hunt for GIA prices now!
Post # 22
@plantobee: I get it, but why do reputable websites like Blue Nile state their stones are most definately conflict free?
Post # 23
@Novaimu: That’s an extra step many companies, espcially larger companies like Blue Nile, take to assure their customers, but it’s not related to any lab certification. I don’t believe the customer gets any certified paperwork (not by a Government/regulatory or independent organization at least) stating that the individual stone is conflict free. Rather, stores can ‘guarantee’ that their stones are conflict free because they have chosen suppliers (I don’t believe it’s public information on who their suppliers are) who agreed to follow the Kimberley Process when they import diamonds from overseas, or as in countries like the US, by law all retailers must use suppliers who agree to follow it (I’m unsure of Canada law)
In countries where it is not law, it’s up to the individual vendor on whether they want to vet out suppliers that take part in the Kimberley Process. I’d imagine those in accordance would have higher prices than those who do not, and suppliers who do not follow the Kimberley Process can still get their stones certified by GIA any day of the week. I’m sure if you ask most stores (whether they be mom and pop family stores or large companies), they’ll say they are conflict free because of the Kimberley Process, and leave it at that.
It’s not a perfect system by any means (just google Kimberley Process and see the various loopholes and criticisms), and a blanket law like in the US has the typical blanket problems, but it has certainly helped, and it gives stores a conclusive way to say “yes, we only sell conflict free diamonds”
Post # 24
@Novaimu: I think it depends on tracking and where the stone was sourced from. My GIA certificate has the stone origin on it. However, that may just be because we purposely bought a Canadian diamond. I seem to remember the other stone we were looking at listed the origin as Belgium. however, this was the place the stone was purchased, not mined.
Post # 25
@plantobee: thanks for the great info!
Post # 26
Have you considered buying online? There are a lot of awesome, reputable vendors that carry only certified diamonds and their prices will be well below most brick and mortar stores. Many will provide pictures and video, so you’ll be able to see the actual stone before buying. I would never buy from a jeweler.
Post # 27
Is there a return policy? For example if you purchased the diamond would you have the time to have it appraised and then decide what you want to do? DH bought my ring from Jareds and I just saw the other day that it was IGI (?) certified – however – I had it appraised and it was pretty spot on. So while non-GIA or uncertiifed is certainly less desirable, not every stone is necessarily a dud.
Post # 28
Well the update is, we have looked at loads of diamonds with the jeweller and we have seen for ourselves the goodness of this quality stone. The jeweller taught us how to look for inclusions, how to notice the cut and compared this stone with other GIA certified stones e.g. comparing colour and clarity with them.
We have checked online but still out of our budget for the size and quality we want. Plus the jeweller is doing us a deal. We are considering having it appraised or certfied independently and the jeweller said we could return it if unhappy or trade it in for an even larger upgrade in the future so I don’t think we will ever be at a loss. Plus, we are getting our wedding rings done with this jeweller soon enough so if there are any problems we can go straight to him!
We decided to go ahead with it after spending almost 2 weeks examining and reexamining this diamond and looking at others!
Post # 29
Here’s my two cents on the issue (as someone who did extensive diamond research prior to buying Engagement Ring…getting into table dept, flourescence, girdle width, etc.)
A diamond is as beautiful as you think it is. If you think a stone is gorgeous, it doesn’t matter if it’s GIA, AGL, IGI, EGS certified or not. If it’s breath-taking and in your budget, who cares if its VVS2 or I1? I say if a diamond strikes you and is the right price, go for it.
Now, here’s the caveat emptor…. I wouldn’t pay a premium for a diamond that wasn’t certified (or certified by a non GIA lab). Don’t make me pay top dollar for an E color, VVS1 from a lesser quality lab when we all know it’s more like an I/J and SI2. That being said, it could still be a beautiful diamond, but I wouldn’t pay for a certified diamond that doesn’t mean anything.
Post # 30
Well said. We definiately have not paid the premium. We have done our research and are paying a lot less for what we would have got even online for a certified diamond. However, we are basing the clarity, cut and colour on ours and the jewellers experience. And the jeweller has reassured us that he is appraising it at the lowest possibe gradings so that if we do get it appraised or certified elsewhere it will at worst meet his valuation but will probably be valued higher.
I have had my current diamond for 2 years and not once has anyone asked me any of its specs and if it was certified. I don’t think the certificate matters too much unless you actually want to sell the diamond in the future as an investment (which we don’t). So we are pretty happy!
Post # 30
I had my eye on a halo style ring and had contacted the jewellers to verify whether the centre stone was certified or not. The total diamond weight is 0.62ct but they have advised that due to the small size of the centre stone (.25ct), they will not have certified it but claimed that the colour would be approximately F and Clarity approximately VS2.
Is it comon practice for many jewellers to not certify diamonds that they consider to be too small? They have offered to provide a quote for the same ring with a certified diamond. Considering the size of the center diamond, is it worth going with a certified diamond? I’m a little weary.
Thanks in advance,