A-List Appraiser
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by denverappraiser

  1. denverappraiser

    Looking for ruby engraved diamond ring

    When I click on the spam link, I get an ad that's nearly complete gibberish and that costs 10,000 somethings. I presume not dollars. Good luck with that.
  2. denverappraiser

    Is this the perfect one?

    I was something of an insider in the path of The Esperanza Diamond. It was a 2015 find from Arkansas’s Crater Of Diamonds State Park and is the biggest Flawless diamond ever found at the park. 'Flawless' is why I bring this up. It’s currently graded D/IF. We had them mark it and had the cutter polish out the blemish. Still IF. Back to the polisher. This happened FOUR times before we finally gave up. Was it worth it? Well, for the group that owned it, yes it was. It was a matter of pride. In some strange universe, that’s a defect. Understanding that we’re talking about a blemish that required a microscope and a trained eye to see. We were bouncing lasers off of the facets to make sure that each one was perfect. I point this out because the differences you’re looking at are super tiny. Does it matter? It does if it matters to you. There are more than 50 GIA/D/FL/xxx/0.55-0.59 stones in the database here and all but one of them are cheaper than that, a few by quite a bit. Minutia in the hearts like Davide points out are where it happens. I rather suspect that what you’re seeing has as much to do with the photography as it does the stone but there’s no real way to tell without inspecting the actual stone. At some point it’s necessary to just call it done. The H&A look fine.
  3. GCAL images are decidedly different from the AGS-ASET ones. Aside from the color scheme, they have different angles coded into it so they highlight different things. As far as I know, only GCAL uses this scheme and they keep the details secret. That's sort of a feature. The problem with that is obvious but the benefit is that every GCAL image ever taken is by the same people, using the same equipment (more or less), with the same methods and rules. Comparing one GCAL to another is much more standardized than it is with ASET, even with stones from different suppliers and even with images that were taken years apart. As mentioned above, stores can't do it, not even techy stores. To a large degree, Tiffany costs more because they're Tiffany. Their value-add comes from their history, their reputation, their quality control, etc. You may or may not value these things, but it's not a reasonable comparison to put them up against an online synthetic seller. It's like comparing a new Ferrari with a used Hyundai and noting that the Hyundai is cheaper. Yeah, it is. So?
  4. denverappraiser

    Edwin Novel

    Yes, it's up to the consumer, but it's not impossible or even that difficult. Not to sound self-serving, but I devote a great deal of effort and expense to my credentials and accreditations for exactly this reason. I definitely get clients from it. GIA and AGS, two labs that I am connected with, spend fortunes on their equipment and trying to be standardized in their grading. I wish more people took the time to care, which I why I take the time to write these things. There are tens of thousands of jewelers that I've never heard of. That's not a vote for or against any of them. They've probably never heard of me either.
  5. denverappraiser

    Looking for Help w/ Eternity Rings

    As an appraiser, I don't recommend specific jewelers but others here might. It depends a bit on where you are and what your parameters are like. Are you looking for something hand fabricated, which generally cost more, or something CAD/cast? Do you like 'designers' or do you prefer technicians? Would you be happier with a local store where you can meet in person or is the Internet more your style? Are you looking for an heirloom or a bargain? Where are you?
  6. denverappraiser

    Edwin Novel

    Anyone who wants to can call themselves a gem lab or an appraiser, and they can grade things however they want. The secret is that you don’t have to care. The onus on the lab is to convince you that their opinions have merit, and the default answer is NO. Search for the lab. Search for the principals. Look at reviews. Look at who they partner with. If you find the lab to be lacking, don't just hold it against the lab, hold it against the people asking you to rely on them. The difference is important. Play with the database here a bit, even if you have no interest in buying from the advertisers. It’s free and anonymous. Search for a set of parameters surrounding the grade you’re hunting for. I don’t remember your previous post but lest say 2.00 – 2.10/VS1/F/round/GIA. I get 172 stones advertised ranging in price from $19,995 to $36,240 with the median at about $26k. That’s roughly a factor of 2 and the differences are going to be in the things I didn’t list. Cutting, fluorescence, etc. Now change the color from F to G and the clarity from VS1 to VS2. That’s visibly identical but the list now has 202 stones ranging from $17,055 to $32,261 with the median of about $22,000. That’s a $4000 drop for ONE grade each of clarity/color! Often the question between labs is more like 4 or 5 grades. So who called the stones F or I and what do they mean by that? It turns out that it isn’t nearly as standardized as people tend to imagine. One lab will call it F and another will call it something else. Some will be at E, or even D. Some may be at I or even J. Yeah, it matters. So who hired the lab? Hint: Not you. That’s why you should care. The labs are not some independent arbiter of the truth and they may be exactly the opposite. That's why 'bad' labs have customers.
  7. denverappraiser

    Looking for Help w/ Eternity Rings

    Plan on more than a few weeks. There are quite a few steps in making a high-quality eternity band and a few of them, like finishing, can be pretty labor intensive. Some designs are handmade and can involve dozens of hours of work from some people who are otherwise pretty busy. Applying time pressure will not improve quality. I would add that a 5-carat eternity band is what I would call a pretty big ring. Far more than with a traditional solitaire with a big center stone, you're looking for a piece of art. Start by shopping for the artist, not necessarily the components.
  8. denverappraiser

    What are your thoughts on the emerging labgrown market?

    I’ve seen quite a few Lightbox stones that people have bought because of the perception of a bargain that they've wanted to reset into other things. They have all been pretty good, although not especially cheap when comparing to aggressive shopping elsewhere. They were clean, white, and decently enough cut. Just like they say. If you want a pair of forty-something rounds and you're not too picky about the details, you could definitely do worse.
  9. denverappraiser

    What are your thoughts on the emerging labgrown market?

    I am sort of the conspiracy sort, and I agree that Lightbox has some suspicious and conflicting motives. That said, customers definitely take them seriously and it’s a mistake to dismiss them. Again, they are the biggest grower on the planet with a billion dollar 'war chest'. It's like the luxury watch people 10 years ago who dismissed Apple as a toy. Rap has never claimed they have anything at all to do with synthetics (by the way, I have conspiratorial thoughts about them too). The conversion of prices in the style of a discount from Rap has no basis other than that that’s the way growers want it to be. That’s ok, each store can price their stuff however they want, but Rap discounting against naturals is not some sort of carved-in-stone pricing model. Realistically, it doesn’t even really make much sense. I have no problem at all that dealers are making a profit. Actually, the problem is with dealers who claim they aren't. That's obviously a lie, and if they're going to lie about that, how can you trust the other things they say? We agree, people are looking for a bargain. I think it needs to be WAY less than it is to get them to feel the joy. Look at the trajectory of synthetic ruby and emeralds.
  10. denverappraiser

    What are your thoughts on the emerging labgrown market?

    So your basis of ‘fair’ is in relation to the price of similar mined goods. That’s the typical way growers do it, but it’s absolutely not the way miners do it for example. It’s not the way Lightbox does it. They don’t sell the stones I’m discussing above but they sell lots of little ones. They don’t grade them AT ALL, and they’re the largest grower in the world. They consider them to be fungible. They won’t even give real weights, much less grades. 0.9-1.0cts. total weight earrings - $900. Yellow or white metal in a couple of styles, your choice. That’s all you get out of them. It seems to be a popular pitch.
  11. denverappraiser

    What are your thoughts on the emerging labgrown market?

    I hear that 40% number discussed, but I don’t see much evidence to support it. A 1.0x/G/SI1/GIA with no serious issues in a natural costs about $5000 retail. There’s 123 of them in the database here for less than that. The cheapest are under $4000. Use the 'diamond finder' tool at the top of the page if you want to look up prices yourself. Synthetics are a bit harder to search in the same general marketplace but Brilliant Earth, a large internet seller of synthetics, has 18 superficially similar stones on their site at the moment. The price from $2300-$3200 depending on other details and the median is about $2800. Diamond Foundry, another fairly large seller of lab stones, is pricing about the same. They have 4 comps and the median is slightly larger for $3027. That suggests the ‘discount’ is about 40%, not 60%, at least at the moment. This is dropping, and one of the problems in showing prices in these forums is that are locked down forever. A year from now this whole conversation may not make sense (It's May 29, 2019 today by the way). In any case, the heart of the issue is deciding what is ‘comparable’. The growers are devoting huge effort to saying that their stones are the same and therefore should be graded and sold on the same scales that miners have been using for decades, even though this is obviously not true. Just TRY and buy a synthetic I2 or a color below M. What about fluorescence? Try and find a synthetic with strong fluoro. If they don’t exist, why are these on the scales that the growers insist on using? Look at the growing market price disparity between CVD and HPHT. HPHTs cost more at the moment. Is it worth it? Who knows, but this is an issue that ONLY exists in synthetics. Look at the premium for Canadian origin, an attribute that applies ONLY to mined stones. This is not about chemistry or crystal structure, it’s about what people consider to be valuable, and they obviously consider these things to have value. Canadian stones are not ‘better’ in any technical sense, but there are sellers who charge more for it and willing and knowing buyers who happily pay it. Isn’t that the heart of value?
  12. denverappraiser

    What are your thoughts on the emerging labgrown market?

    I"m curious. What do you consider to be a 'fair price'? Based on what?
  13. denverappraiser

    What are your thoughts on the emerging labgrown market?

    I get this question often, and it’s almost always from dealers not consumers. They already get it. Consumers expect them to be a LOT cheaper. Cheaper, like the price of CZ or synthetic sapphire. I understand why this isn’t happening, but it’s a big barrier. Consumer resistance to diamonds isn’t from the environmental or social issues as much as growers wish it were. It’s the price. That’s a reasonable enough complaint, diamond prices are nuts, but selling a substitute for half the price still doesn’t fix it. $1000/ct or $2000/ct is still a lot of money. Too much for a substitute.
  14. denverappraiser

    Edwin Novel

  15. denverappraiser

    Edwin Novel

    I share your skepticism of reviews and Google but I’m even more skeptical on unknown review sites like, the one they’re using. I’m not going to comment either way on a piece I haven’t seen but I’m curious, what we’re your filter criteria that led to this?
  16. denverappraiser

    Opinions wanted on ASET and IdealScope blue Asscher images

    Yes, it matters. Fancy colored diamonds are cut to maximize color as well as light return. Normally they want to have the longest light path through the stone possible. In traditional colorless stones, they want the shortest path.
  17. denverappraiser

    Please help me pick the better ACA

    The heart of this is the balance between weight, clarity, color, and price. Not so much cutting. G/SI1s generally cost more than otherwise similar I/VS2s. Heavier stones generally cost more than lighter ones. The reason they’re recommending the G/SI1 is that all things being equal, it’s a better ‘deal’. When you shop it, which I assume you’ve done, the dealer comes out looking better in comparison to other dealers with similar goods. The missing element is YOU. Do you prefer G to I or would you prefer something slightly bigger for less money? That’s about taste, not gemology. If you haven’t seen what real diamonds look like, go shopping. Maybe even go to Houston and look at Whiteflash. They have a showroom there. (Note: If you do this, make an appointment and let them know what you expect to see. Not all or even most stones on the website are in the store). Most jewelers don't bite and there's no obligation to buy. Tell them what you're thinking, ask to see what they have, and pay attention to what they have to say.
  18. denverappraiser

    Uniqueness of diamonds

    The weakness is in the value chain. The miner knows where they found each stone. Also when, what tools and techniques they were using, which workers were involved, what part of the mine and all sorts of other details. Not tracking these things would just be bad management. The same happens at the cutter. They know what they paid, where and when they bought it, who worked on it, what results they expected and how it worked out. Anything less would just be stupid. They know who they sold it to, when, and for how much. The whole supply chain looks like this. It’s not that the data isn’t there, it’s that they don’t want to pass it along for any reason short of a court order. Why not? Money. A lot of this is proprietary information, it’s extra work and extra exposure to track it, and there’s no extra money for those who do it. Customers claim they want to know, but when it comes time to pay, they’re happy enough without it. They want it if it’s free. Yeah, right. That’s why I’m suspicious of these blockchain type claims. What the blockchain adds to the program is to protect the data from tampering. That’s interesting, and possibly even useful, but it's solving a problem that no one has.
  19. denverappraiser

    Uniqueness of diamonds is offering exactly this service for approximately that reason. They are a large and well established company in the industry. Mine to finger provenance. It’s the underlying technology for the everledger people If you want to make even a remotely scholarly paper, make you understand the concept of ‘blood diamonds’. That’s a PR term that doesn’t mean what people tend to expect. Blockchain is designed to make it difficult to alter records. It does that quite well and it’s a darling for investors. Anything with the word ‘blockchain’ in it is a topic of discussion. That doesn’t make the underlying data valid, useful, or even true. The problem, and the solution, of so-called blood diamonds mostly has to do with do with local power in the source countries. Everledger doesn’t have anything to do with that. What they do is connect the word blockchain to diamonds, and that’s an advertising opportunity in the west. That has merit, but it doesn’t sound like what you’re looking into.
  20. denverappraiser

    A diamond trapped in glass

    From their advertisement: “Working with a unique hybrid form of glass that is resistant to acid, heat, and bubble formation, Diamonds in Glass® artisans use a proprietary technology to create a perfect globe housing a single magnificent diamond in virtually unbreakable glass. The special glass magnifies the brilliance, scintillation, and sparkle of the diamond so that it appears triple its dimension." This is a little heavy on the techno-babble for my taste, but there's nothing fundamentally wrong with it. I see no reason to think it's not possible with the right glass recipe and the right tools. FWIW, it does look difficult but the key is in that 'proprietary technology', i.e. the right tools. I think most GS inspections involve a laser inscription on the stone that you should be able to see through the glass under magnification. This could be done on a fake too, but as Davide points out above, it's quite a chore to fake a stone that wouldn't be all that expensive anyway. Is there some reason you're suspecting shenanigans?
  21. denverappraiser

    Worst Experience Ever

    Maybe he meant that New York was too shady. Perhaps it's all the concrete. I must say, I have problems with that. I like the sun.
  22. denverappraiser

    Help with heart shaped ASET

    The paycheck for affiliates comes from directing you towards particular sellers. They may find the same stone, they may find one that’s better (or cheaper), or they may lead you to something else entirely. There’s nothing specifically wrong with any of that but bear in mind that we’re talking about commission sales people. Take their advice accordingly.
  23. denverappraiser

    Help with heart shaped ASET

    I rather like the black backgrounds but it does take a little bit of practice to interpret them. From my world (I’m an appraiser), the advantage is that you can replicate them with a mounted stone and you can’t with the white background ones. I do find them useful, just not for evaluating fire as you requested. In any case, I agree with Davide that it’s not for the same stone so it doesn’t matter a bit.
  24. denverappraiser

    How can i get best custom Jewelry manufacturing service in us?

    Welcome to DiamondReview. Every custom jeweler on the planet could make either of those, as I'm sure you know. Neither is especially difficult. That begs the question of what you mean by 'best', no matter how good you are. Cheapest? Fastest? Highest quality? Given that you're a jeweler, I presume the idea here is that it's you. I"ve never heard of you, which means nothing by the way, and don't even know where your store is, but it strikes me as highly unlikely that you would match most definitions of 'best'. That's not a criticism of your store, it's simply an impossible standard. What then is the point of this post? I"m going to take a guess. You're trying to promote the store. Believe it or not, I"m a big fan of that (promotion), but allow me to suggest you work a little harder at it. Sign up as a jeweler if you haven't already (it's free). Then read people's questions and provide useful and accurate answers. People will read your advice, not just the original poster, notice the link at the bottom of your page back to your store, and buy things from you. You've already established your credibility. Repeat. You'll be amazed how well it works and you'll be amazed at how much YOU learn both by knowing what people are asking and by reading the advice given by others. It WILL make you a better jeweler. By the way, read the rules. There's a link at the bottom of the page. You've already violated them by posting as a jeweler in the 'classified' section of the site. That's specifically reserved for individual sellers.
  25. denverappraiser

    Review of HRD 1.02ct F VVS2 3x VG

    I totally believe it's a nice stone. I'm criticizing the grading scale, not your diamond. The problem with the cut scale is this: Here's the whole scale: Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor That makes VG look pretty good, it’s just below the best and it's usually reflected in the price, but look from the other end. Just try and find a poor, fair, or even a good. I’ll wait. Using the diamondfinder as broadly as I can, there are 524,000 round stones listed at the moment. 18,000 are Good and 1508 are Fair. None are Poor. The bottom 3 grades combined are only 3%! VG has 346,000, a little over half, but when I limit it to VG VG(or worse) symmetry and polish it drops all the way to 21,000. 94% are better on paper than that! That’s not an entirely fair test, some VG VG VGs are pretty darned good, and sometimes the issues are more subtle than those polish and symmetry grades indicate, but seeing it as almost the top is a serious misunderstanding of the scale.