denverappraiser

A-List Appraiser
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Everything posted by denverappraiser

  1. denverappraiser

    Looking for a ring! Help please

    The gentlemen above have answered the question but might I suggest that it will be an easier hunt to narrow down the requirements a bit. Those rings vary wildly and there are jewelers who will literally have thousands of options like at least one of them. It's like asking about a new vehicle and shopping for a car, or maybe a truck, or a skateboard, or a bicycle. I haven't decided. What do those cost?
  2. denverappraiser

    Are Graff diamonds a rip-off?

    Nearly everyone who buys from Graff, Tiffany, Cartier or any of the other ‘houses’ in the jewelry business goes home happy, even though similar merchandise is available elsewhere for less and they knew that going in. Sometimes quite a lot less. Why? Largely I see it as a matter of trust, not price. If you buy from Graff you can be confident that they are selling what they say they are selling, that’s it’s of fine quality, that they will charge your credit card once, for the correct amount, and that if you have a problem they will still be around next week to take care of you. This is all true. They make no claim that they are the ONLY places where this is true, that they are in any way the best, and they certainly don’t claim to be the cheapest, but these are very reliable companies. Homework is not required. If you buy from Graff you will get a fine piece. If you don’t like the prices, you know where the door is. In answer to your question, no I would not call that a ripoff, but I would add that I don't shop there because of the prices.
  3. denverappraiser

    Real or Fake?

    The easiest and most common way as a non-expert is to ask an expert. In most cases, a stone can be identified as diamond or non-diamond in under a minute and the service is free although the gemologist may take the opportunity to sell you other services like grading or valuation. How do you know when you're in a shop? 1) Only shop in places where you otherwise trust the merchant. 2) Only shop in places where you have a 100% return right for some reasonable amount of time (say a week). 3) Use a credit card. 4) If the price is part of the question, and it usually is, consider hiring an independent appraiser to evaluate your purchase in addition to identifying it as a diamond. How do you know when the merchant won't let you do the above? Easy. Don't buy there unless the price is so low that it doesn't matter. FWIW, I recommend the above procedure even if you ARE an expert. I"m reminded of the saying that a person who is his own attorney has a fool for a lawyer. Throwing serious money at a merchant you don't trust based on tests that you don't understand is, well, foolish.
  4. denverappraiser

    'BLACK' by Brian Gavin OR White Flash 'A CUT ABOVE'

    The fact that it has an AGS report at all means it's a 100% natural diamond. AGS doesn't issue reports on any treated or synthetic gem materials.
  5. denverappraiser

    'BLACK' by Brian Gavin OR White Flash 'A CUT ABOVE'

    As an appraiser, I don't get into discussions of recommending one jeweler over another but I wasn't aware Whiteflash would do a custom cut from rough for you at all. In any case, it's also not going to be possible to shop your stone based on an AGS report given that you'll need to buy the piece of rough and commit to the cutting FIRST which, given your specs, is no simple task and will involve a significant price premium. This is all before AGSL ever sees the stone. I'll be very surprised if anyone just happens to have a suitable stone sitting around waiting for a buyer but, I suppose, stranger things have happened. Have you asked?
  6. denverappraiser

    Is this a good deal??

    What big discount? They tried to get a lot (supposedly), couldn't sell it, and now are trying for less? So?
  7. denverappraiser

    Need advice on this diamond D color VVS1 all excellent

    Mistakes happen, even with the best of vendors. Deliberate stone switching is not the only scenario. Trust but verify is a perfectly reasonable strategy.
  8. denverappraiser

    Need advice on this diamond D color VVS1 all excellent

    Look at it. They have a generous return policy. Get it appraised by an independent appraiser during the return period. That said, I see no reason at all to expect a VVS1 with no fluorescence to have any issue with that.
  9. denverappraiser

    Need advice on this diamond D color VVS1 all excellent

    On a VVS1, or really anything above about I-1, there is no way to tell from a photograph if it's the correct stone for the report. It's not all that hard to do but it takes a microscopic inspection by someone who knows what to look for. I would start by looking for that girdle inscription.
  10. denverappraiser

    Need advice on this diamond D color VVS1 all excellent

    Most of your lab report, and most of the data, is missing. With what would you like assistance?
  11. denverappraiser

    Best stone within the given criteria, help!

    ^^^ What he said. Although I am a fan of shopping local when circumstances allow it, my reason for suggesting you look at stones in person is to calibrate your eyes, not so much to choose a particular stone. People generally have no idea what the difference is between a VVS1 and an SI1. Rather than learn, they just compromise at VS1. There's nothing particularly wrong with that but it's not really pinching your budget and that seems to be exactly what you're trying to do here. Does an E look different than a J? Yes, on a white piece of paper, under controlled lighting and with a trained observer. Is that difference important to YOU? Maybe, maybe not. Mounted, dirty, moving, and under unknown and variable lighting, even an expert can't tell. It affects the price by a factor of 2. Given the limited budget, and everyone has a limited budget by the way so this isn't a criticism, it's necessary to decide if this is where you want to spend your money or if you would you prefer to go somewhere else, like a bigger size or a snazzier mounting. There's no right answer here and there's no way for you to reasonably make this choice until you've actually seen some real diamonds in person.
  12. denverappraiser

    Best stone within the given criteria, help!

    It's not all that hard but try not to leap to the end. A lot of what you are asking are matters of taste and there’s no good way to tell you how to land on what you and she like. For example, the best sellers online are VS2/G-H. The best sellers in stores are I-1, I-J. Why? Money. People see stones in person, notice that J is a ton cheaper than G and want to put their money in size. FWIW, I did that. The opposite happens online. I-1 is seen as a terrible risk and even SI2 is counted as pushing the limit. Personally, I wear a 0.91/VVS2/K/Ideal with strong blue fluro. That's a hugely unpopular combination on the forums and I landed there because of price, pure and simple. Go to the ‘diamond finder’ at the top of the page and play with it a bit. I’m inclined to rank size, cut, color, clarity, but you may be different. Most people are. There is no correct answer. This is a fantastically useful tool for setting your own parameters and seeing how they affect the price. It’s free and anonymous. If you haven't been shopping IN PERSON and can at all arrange it, do it. You can't look at pictures online and see the differences between an SI2 and a VS2 or an I and a K. Leave your credit card at home if you want but you simply must get into a store. Most jewelers don't bite. When you finally get down to looking at particular dealers and specific stones, you'll notice that a lot of them will give you 'free' setting and sizing work if you buy both the mounting and the diamond from them. It's not the biggest issue but since we're talking about 10% of your budget, it's worth considering in the formula and, if you're considering shopping online and overseas, don't forget the taxes. They're a considerable bite.
  13. denverappraiser

    Anything will scratch or corrosive to diamond?

    No to the acid part. Diamonds are inert. For the other, it depends on your definition of scratch. Diamonds can be damaged by lots of things, and that damage can be a series of chips that look and act sort of like a scratch. In the usual 'harness test' thing, no. I suppose I should add that there are some laboratory created nanomaterials like boron nitrate that are technically harder than diamonds.
  14. denverappraiser

    Opinions On This Stone Please!

    The jeweler should give you a refund, in full and in cash, for the original purchase. That should include the GIA fee and any shipping by the way. This is completely independent of whether you want to buy a new diamond from him. He lied about the WGI thing, you caught him red-handed and the deal should be completely undone without obligation to you. OK, that said, WGI missed on some borderline calls. SI2/I1. Good/Fair. I wouldn't absolutely give up on the jeweler although I would on WGI. They're being nice about it and I would consider sticking with them as long as they don't try too hard to lock you in for THEIR mistake. The new deal needs to stand or fall on it's own merits. You still haven't told us what he's charging you for this but Davide above gave you 68 comps from price-aggressive sellers. Don't you just love the Internet? In-person sales are worth more because you can actually look at the stone(s) so they really are offering more than a box in the mail. How much more that's worth is an issue for you to decide. I"m guessing from your correct spelling of 'jewellery' that you aren't in the US. Most of those sellers are. Depending on where you're located, you may need to factor in import taxes and more expensive shipping to make sure you're comparing on a level field. I too have never heard of WGI, which means exactly bupkis, and this may also have to do with your address. GIA isn't as omnipresent everywhere as they are in the US. Is WGI local?
  15. denverappraiser

    Real or fake

    Claims made on ebay are exactly that. Claims. This doesn't make them wrong, but it doesn't make them right either. Claims about country of origin are especially questionable since none of the major labs even attempt this. Take it for what it's worth. Are they natural? Who knows? There's no way to tell from a photograph but most very low clarity diamonds ARE natural. Are they untreated? Same answer, but I would add that they don't even claim this. They call them unheated. That's not the way they treat diamonds anyway.
  16. denverappraiser

    Genuine Antique Diamond Engagement Ring?

    Age doesn't drive the price. Quality does. Whether this is 50 years old or 100 or 3 is an interesting academic question but it's just that, an academic question.
  17. denverappraiser

    Genuine Antique Diamond Engagement Ring?

    A common exchange I have with clients: Q: How old is my diamond? A: 2.5 billion years, give or take a few.
  18. denverappraiser

    Genuine Antique Diamond Engagement Ring?

    When I was an apprentice, back in the 70's, I made several of these. Some appraiser somewhere is looking at one of mine and wondering if it's an antique based on these same clues we're talking about. I wasn't as good at it as whoever made this one, but I like to think mine are good enough to pass the muster as an 'antique'.
  19. denverappraiser

    Genuine Antique Diamond Engagement Ring?

    Sorry to use a technical term without explanation. I was a bench jeweler for a long time and this is just one of those words that crept into my vocabulary. Azuring has to do with those side stones. The little ones. Those are set using a tool called a graver, which looks and operates a bit like a chisel, but the very first step is to drill a hole. Holes are round. If you look at the back of the stones in the picture, the holes are pentagonal, square and other puzzle pieces that fit in the space, but not round. That’s done with a file and elbow grease. It’s time-consuming, significantly more difficult than it looks, and not visible from the top. It makes the ring smoother on the inside, easier to clean, and it gives it a finished look from the back, but it’s not really ‘better’ in the usual use of that word. The result is that people doing modern reproductions rarely bother to do it. It doesn't mean they can't, they just usually don't (and increasingly they can't. This takes a fair amount of practice and it's becoming a lost skill).
  20. denverappraiser

    Genuine Antique Diamond Engagement Ring?

    That would not be difficult to remove and reset and I wouldn’t let that be a deal killer for sending it to GIA if you want. It takes time and a few hundred dollars, but that’s about it. That said, GIA won’t give you a date even if they see it. It’s an OEC and that’s the end of that. They’ll give a solid answer to the clarity, weight, and color, and will end any arguments on those points but that’s really the only reason to get them involved at this point. An independent evaluation is only as good as it’s author. Look into who signed it and see if you find them credible. Anyone worth listening to will have footprints on the net. That’s who is giving the circa date and, for lack of a GIA, the grading details on the stone. That style was popular around that era, and they’re not now, but there’s nothing about stone or metal that can be 100% dated. There are several positive signs for antiquity, like the azuring below the stones (google it), and the way the stones are set using a graver. This is not a CAD piece. It’s also possible that it’s an antique piece with a new(ish) stone but there’s no real way to test that. Most stones from that era aren’t that round or that white but ’most’ is an important weasel word. It sounds to me like the dealer gave you provenance to about as good a level as they can. I don’t see any red flags. You can always get it appraised by your own expert if you want. I may be biased, but that always strikes me as a good idea at this price point. It's not a second opinion if it comes from the same source as the first and an 'independent' appraiser who is working for the seller is grounds for the question.
  21. denverappraiser

    GSI engraved diamond

    Most big fancy jewelry stores don't buy from the public at all although I don't know that particular store. 'Ripoff' is a loaded word but it's correct that pawnshops are rarely the highest payers. Then again, they normally pay cash and they normally do deals fairly quickly, which is important to some clients. I've written quite a bit on this general topic and a bit of searching would save me some typing.
  22. denverappraiser

    GSI engraved diamond

    He didn't tell you what you could sell it for, he told you what HE would pay. That's a valid enough answer, but it's not the answer to the question you asked (which is why you are here). The correct answer to the wrong question is not an 'appraisal'.
  23. denverappraiser

    GSI engraved diamond

    RE: Davide's comment on GSL. That's a Canadian lab that also goes by Gemscan and a few other names. GSL is their US subsidiary. They do a lot of business with the big chain sellers like Zales and Sears. As far as I can tell, they don't do any business with the public.
  24. denverappraiser

    GSI engraved diamond

    I note in the GSL report that the diamond was estimated at 0.52cts. That turns out to be important. The margin of error is more than 0.02 and if it's under 0.50cts, or the buyers think it is based on their own estimates, it will have a significant effect on the bids.