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Cost For Gia Or Ags Grading Reports?


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#1 BrianB

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 12:49 PM

I've been checking local stores for Princess cut diamonds but so far none of them have any certs or grading reports to accompany the specs they have listed for the diamonds they are selling. Also I have yet to find a local jeweler that has a cut rating for Princess cut diamonds as well as any information on the polish or symmetry.

How much does it cost to have a jewelry get a GIA or AGS grading report for a diamond. (I was told it would cost about $400)

How would the GIA/AGS grading report compare to say having the stone sent to nearby independent appraiser and what would I expect to pay to have the stone appraised?

Right now I'm stuck b/w trying to buy a loose stone online that I can't see but claims to have an "Ideal" or "Premium" cut vs stone from a local shop that I can see (but have no other stones to reference it to) with an unknown cut. I've also gotten a lot of run around when I mention wanting a Princess cut diamond with a specific range for the Table and Depth. Should I avoid these jewelers or is that pretty normal? Only 1 of 3 jewelers I've visited had GIA color grade stones and even then he only had every other stone because he said they cost a fortune.

Thanks in advance,
Brian

#2 denverappraiser

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 01:39 PM

Here’s GIA’s fee structure. I guess it depends on what you consider to be a fortune.

http://www.gia.edu/g...diamond_grading

AGS doesn’t offer services to the public so they don't publish their price list but any retailer who wants to can submit stones to them. The fees are slightly higher than GIA but are in the same general price range.

Whether a local independent appraiser is useful or not will depend entirely on the appraiser and what it is you need to know.

Depending on the size and grade of stone you are looking for, the general reason for selling stones without grading reports has less to do with the lab fees than with the grading standards. On stones over, say, a carat, a single grade variation on either clarity or color will have a considerably more significant effect on the price than the grading fees do. On smaller stones, say under half a carat, the ratio of the fees to the price of the stone can get pretty high and it becomes less of a slam dunk that you get a major lab grading or you walk. Tell us more about what you’re looking for.

Measuring table and depth is pretty easy if they've got the stone in hand but I agree that this isn't really very helpful information for a shopper although I'm a little surprised they won't provide it if asked. By all means, demand an explanation for any terms used like Ideal and Premium. Not everyone uses these in the same ways, especially with princess cuts, and it can be terribly misleading.

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser, 05 February 2007 - 04:08 PM.

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#3 diamondsbylauren

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 02:26 PM

As Neil mentioned, GIA's rates are based on stone size. THe reports are far more important as the price of the stone goes up.
When it comes to actual ttrading of high dollar diamomnds, there's no comparison between a GIA report and any other document identiying a diamond. There's a lot of great appraisers providing a valuable service- but it's completely different than GIA.

I find it to be a red flag when companies call cuts names as if they has some specific meaning.
Let's call ours "Signed Authentic Special"
Such a term has no meaning, yet it's presented as though it's accepted gemological standard.
Seems misleading.....

There are sites that show actual phtos of the diamonds- Excel diamonds is one.
Here's their website

In terms of your shopping: What size and color/clarity are you looking for?
I'd say that trying to shop based on table depth size is not really productive- Although I check table and depth sizes, I don't "shop" by those parameters. I can see that such questions might make some sellers wince.

#4 barry

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 03:07 PM

Yes, avoid these jewelers. They're selling you a bill of goods.

There is no reason for you to buy a diamond without a legit lab grading report such provided by GIA.

It is not your job, expense, or responsibility to have to get a lab grading report. This is the vendor's job.

AGS, which is a very fine diamond grading lab does offer a Cut Grade for princess cut diamonds and does have an "Ideal" designation for diamonds that meet their "Ideal" definition. GIA only offers a Cut Grade for round diamonds at this time, not Princess Cuts.

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#5 BrianB

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 08:52 AM

Tell us more about what you’re looking for.

Measuring table and depth is pretty easy if they've got the stone in hand but I agree that this isn't really very helpful information for a shopper although I'm a little surprised they won't provide it if asked. By all means, demand an explanation for any terms used like Ideal and Premium. Not everyone uses these in the same ways, especially with princess cuts, and it can be terribly misleading.

I'm looking for a Princess cut b/w .7 and .85C with a color H or better, preferrably a clarity VS2 or better but I would buy an SI1 as long as its clean to the naked the eye. The most important thing for me right now is cut/brilliance but until I see a poor cut next to a great cut I don't think I'm going to be able to tell the difference just by looking at a diamond. This is all new to me. Budget wise I'd like to keep the cost of the diamond somewhere in the $2,500 to $3,500 range but if I found something that knocked my socks off I would probably be willing to go as high as $3,750. I'd like to keep my total ring cost somewhere in the $5 to $6k range most likely with a platinum band and either a multi stone or a 3 stone (two smaller princess cut diamonds on the side) setting.

From the pricing sheet on GIA's website I would only be looking at $80 for the grading report (Does this cover everything?) plus whatever the shipping costs were from the jeweler right? How could he tell me it would cost $400 other than to discourage me from having it done and hence uncovering some shady gradings on his part?

Thanks for all the information you provided. It was a BIG help!!!

Take care,
Brian

#6 BrianB

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:01 AM

As Neil mentioned, GIA's rates are based on stone size. THe reports are far more important as the price of the stone goes up.
When it comes to actual ttrading of high dollar diamomnds, there's no comparison between a GIA report and any other document identiying a diamond. There's a lot of great appraisers providing a valuable service- but it's completely different than GIA.

I find it to be a red flag when companies call cuts names as if they has some specific meaning.
Let's call ours "Signed Authentic Special"
Such a term has no meaning, yet it's presented as though it's accepted gemological standard.
Seems misleading.....

There are sites that show actual phtos of the diamonds- Excel diamonds is one.
[url="http://www.exceldiamonds.com/"]Here's[/url] their website

In terms of your shopping: What size and color/clarity are you looking for?
I'd say that trying to shop based on table depth size is not really productive- Although I check table and depth sizes, I don't "shop" by those parameters. I can see that such questions might make some sellers wince.

How does a local appraiser differ from a GIA grading service in terms of the information provided and the cost of appraisal?

I have come across a few websites that have funky names for Princess cut diamonds like "Signature Ideal" cut or "Elite Ideal" cut, etc... So this is pretty much just a marketing trap?

When I'm looking at the pictures, what should I be looking for as to determine what's good or bad? I'm completely new to this so I'm not really sure how to "read" a diamond by looking at it.

Take care,
Brian

#7 BrianB

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:05 AM

Yes, avoid these jewelers. They're selling you a bill of goods.

There is no reason for you to buy a diamond without a legit lab grading report such provided by GIA.

It is not your job, expense, or responsibility to have to get a lab grading report. This is the vendor's job.

AGS, which is a very fine diamond grading lab does offer a Cut Grade for princess cut diamonds and does have an "Ideal" designation for diamonds that meet their "Ideal" definition. GIA only offers a Cut Grade for round diamonds at this time, not Princess Cuts.

Using the "Find Local Jeweler" button I got a hit for a jeweler in Baton Rouge, LA about 50 minutes away from where I live (Lafayette, LA) and he says he has GIA reports for most diamonds and will get them for any that he doesn't have one for. I think I'll check out a few more local jewelers just to make sure I'm fully disgusted with the local salespeople before I make the drive so I don't have any regrets over the long trip.

#8 denverappraiser

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:29 AM

GIA lab offers an inspection with a report that contains several of the important attributes of a diamond. These reports are generally recognized as an independent and unbiased statement of that information. GIA will only grade unmounted stones and they make no value conclusions.

Local appraisers offer a variety of different services that will vary considerably from appraiser to appraiser, as will the fees. In many cases they can provide quite a bit more information than what GIA does but their opinions are not as widely accepted. Most appraisers are experienced in examining mounted stones as well as the details of the mountings themselves. Appraisals will include a value conclusion.

Which services you need depends on what you are hoping to accomplish. Most new purchase customers want a GIA lab report on the major stones and an independent appraisal on the completed item. The appraisal should include the full GIA report on each stone that has one.

There is no generally agreed upon cut grading scale for princesses beyond the one included in the AGS grading reports that Barry mentioned so it leaves the dealers with little choice but to either invent their own system or buy AGS reports on everything. Yes, proprietary grading scales will always have a marketing component to them but they may have some meaningful information as well. The key is to make sure you understand what they mean by their ‘Awesome Plus’ grade or whatever it is they say. If you can’t figure it out, it means nothing. It’s up to the dealer to convince you that their scale is meaningful. Many are not.

Neil


Neil

Edited by denverappraiser, 06 February 2007 - 09:36 AM.

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#9 BrianB

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 08:21 AM

Thanks again for the information. Does anyone here know the cost of an AGS Diamond Quality Report as well as an AGS Diamond Quality Document (I believe this one grades the cut whereas the report does not). I'm curious to know what AGS charges for their services so if I request my jeweler to get an AGS Quality Report or Quality Document I can ensure I'm not being charged more than I should.

Take care,
Brian

#10 denverappraiser

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 08:49 AM

They are very similar to the GIA price structure I listed above. DQD is about 20% more than DQR and, yes, the difference is the reporting of the cut grade. Bear in mind that if you don't happen to be in Las Vegas, which is where their lab is located, there will be a shipping charge both to and from the lab. It's also entirely reasonable that the dealer make a profit if they are brokering lab services.

That said, I agree with Barry's comment above that it's not the consumers responsibility to deal with contracting for lab services on stones that they are considering buying. That's the dealer's job.

Neil
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#11 BrianB

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 10:21 AM

Assuming a diamond that is worth b/w $2,500 and $3,500 what is a normal amount for the shipping and insurance fees and what is a fair markup for the dealer to make on having the diamond graded by GIA or AGS?

I'm not trying to to be unreasonable in my dealings with the jeweler but unless I know what a fair amount is I run the risk of letting a jeweler take me for a ride and being none the wiser.

Thanks again,
Brian

P.S. Buying a new car is a breeze compared to diamond and I used to think that was a headache! :)

#12 denverappraiser

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 10:38 AM

I would charge about $175 to send a stone under a carat for grading to either lab on behalf of a customer. I would refuse to do it if there were not other services involved in the assignment.

Neil
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#13 H and A

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 12:38 AM

I'd recommend this thread for the Frequently Asked Questions board. It's very helpful and explains a few things.

#14 hermann

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 12:50 AM

Sure. What would you like to title it?
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#15 barry

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 04:34 AM

Brian;

You're right.

Buying a car is a whole lot easier.

Why?

Consumers Report
Car & Driver
Standardization in manufacturing and performance.

Diamonds are unlike any other "commodity". Two diamonds with the same exact "numbers" can look significantly different. Make it easier on yourself by shopping diamonds that already have either a GIA or AGS lab grading report. In this way you eliminate potential haggling over final costs and avoid unnecessary hassles in what is already a stressful shopping experience for you.

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#16 BrianB

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 07:26 AM

Barry,

Thanks to the helpful people on this forum I have been able to learn a massive amount of useful information which has fortunately help me avoid a lot of the mistakes that most people probably make when purchasing their first ring. If I'm able to get off from work this Thursday my soon to be fiancee and I will be driving out to White Flash in Houston so she can take part in selecting the diamond from the ones I have narrowed my search down to. (Evidently 3 to 4 weeks of seeing me with a manilla folder that got progressively thicker with information outweighed her desire to be "surprised" with the ring.) ;)

Fortuantely the diamonds we will be selecting from are all AGS DQD certs with ASET and Idealscope reports so at this point it is just a matter of which diamond she likes best. I did take a look at Excel Diamond and they have a larger selection in the range I'm looking at with better prices but I can't pass up the opportunity to see the diamond in person before making a purchase.

Thanks again everyone,
Brian

#17 barry

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 07:36 AM

Glad to be of service.

Good Luck.

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