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Everything posted by denverappraiser

  1. NYC is full of competent appraisers. As Davide mentioned, this is not the same skill set as a jeweler and there's an inherent conflict of interest in your situation. It's hard to tell from photos but I would be surprised if a deal with GIA would benefit your sales on any of the items there and the fees would be considerable. I definitely wouldn't start there. The NAJA link above is a good place to start. If you don't find someone you like, and are also membership organizations for appraisers that require a certain level of competence. I've never heard of Fishmans either, which means exactly nothing. I"m 2000 miles away and there are a LOT of jewelers between here and there.
  2. denverappraiser

    Broken engagement ring

    ^^^^ What he said. If the original seller isn't available for whatever reason, pick almost any jeweler. If the metal is gold or platinum, this is a common and generally simple repair.
  3. denverappraiser

    Is "XXX" GIA Overrated?

    Most of my new purchase clients are trying to maximize bling per dollar. That, of course, is not a synonym for 'better', but it's the way things get discussed online and in most jewelry stores. The result is that I find xxx to be overrated because it's not narrow enough, not that it's too narrow.
  4. denverappraiser

    Opinion on True hearts diamond

    AGS, which is the lab that graded this stone, uses a 3d modeling system for cut grading and it doesn't exactly map to GIA's "excellent" grade. Actually, it's quite a bit narrower. It's a complicated connection. If you're interested in how an AGS stone would be expected to grade on the GIA system, you can calculate it yourself with the parameters on the report and the tool here:
  5. denverappraiser

    GIA Consistency?

    GIA has expanded drastically in the last few years. They've gone from 2 labs, both in the US, to 11 distributed about the world. They've gone from a specialty college catering jewelers with a sideline business grading diamonds to a billion-dollar behemoth that is one of the most recognized brand names in diamonds. The school isn't even 5% of their revenue these days. That brings with it some big-time logistical challenges and consistency has suffered. They're working on it. You're right that there is no way to tell which lab was used on a particular stone and although people tend to blame outliers on India, I don't think there's all that much evidence to support that. I see it as grasping at straws because the industry is VERY frustrated over this and they want to blame it on someone. India (and Botswana) are easy targets.
  6. denverappraiser

    I want to decide on the choice of a ring, help me

    Nearly everyone has this trouble. Jewelers are everywhere. Most people don't do a lot of this and therefore don't have a lot of experience at it. Not everyone has the same priorities but there are definitely some things to look for. 1) A past. You don't want to be anyone's first customer. That means look for stores that have been there for a while or websites that have a history. Google the store, the names of the owners and, if you turn up something like other stores that they've owned, Google those too. 2) Someone you 'click' with. Nearly every jeweler can get whatever stone/ring you want. Most won't have it in stock. The jeweler is more like an ally in your search than a traditional seller. It's not rocket science but there's a process. 3) Buy from someone who takes returns. No refunds = No sale. Period. Full stop. Limits are reasonable, like 30 days or 10 days, and even restocking fees are ok (sort of), but you should have the right to think about it, to show it to your appraiser, your mother, and even a competitive jeweler if you want. While you're at it, read ALL the signs in the store, especially the ones that look like 'fine print', and the terms and conditions page on the website. 4) Use a credit card. A real credit card, not Paypal, and not their in-house financing. If they won't agree, walk away. If there's a problem, the bank is your friend. 5) Use appraisers to your advantage. It's a way to decide what's made properly, if what the jeweler told you is the truth or baloney, and quite a few other things beyond the bottom line price. An 'appraisal' supplied by the seller is NOT the same thing. Be careful about appraisers who are trying to sell you competitive things. That's not an appraisal, it's an advertisement. 6) Get a 'feel' for the place. Do they take their work seriously? Is it clean and well organized? Do they spell things properly on their website? Do their terms and conditions make sense? Do all of this before you even seriously consider the price. Price matters, of course, but you'll have plenty of opportunities to dig into that later. The first issue is whether you want to be doing business with these people at all. If you get that part right you will have solved about 80% of your issues.
  7. denverappraiser

    I want to decide on the choice of a ring, help me

    It's a mistake to assume pawnshops are a cheap place to shop. There are sometimes deals in there, but it's not fundamental. Like jewelers and pretty much any other merchant, they can and charge whatever they want. If you aren't doing a loan, the difference is mostly one of decor.
  8. denverappraiser


    I don't comment on stones without looking at them but others aren't so picky. Give it a day and see who chimes in.
  9. denverappraiser


    November 2019 is not particularly old. That's right before the lockdown. Even under 'normal' times, 10 months isn't old.
  10. denverappraiser

    Can someone review my Diamond?

    GIA doesn’t have a cut grade for pears and they don’t use the word ‘ideal’ at all, even for rounds. The problem with cut grading pears is that it’s too complicated. Even with rounds, which only have a dozen or so variables, it’s hotly argued what is the ‘best’ set of parameters. Pears have far more, and the set of stones is far smaller. AGS has tried. That’s a pretty good lab and they put some real effort into cut grading fancies. They’ve been at it for decades and they STILL haven’t tackled pears. To call it harder than it looks is an understatement. The approach you’re showing above does raise an interesting question. If they’re not using GIA grading standards, what are they using (and why?)
  11. denverappraiser

    Can someone review my Diamond?

    I suspect the VG symmetry grade is because the shoulders next to the point don't look like they perfectly match. These two things are not related.
  12. denverappraiser

    Can someone review my Diamond?

    The 'bowtie'' is the dark-colored stripe across the center of the stone.
  13. denverappraiser

    The beginnings of a hustle

    I'll add to the above that the fact that you quickly sold multiple items for a profit in multiple different transactions is a really good sign. The inability to do that is exactly the problem for 90% of the people who get into the picking business. Buying is easy. Selling is hard. Selling quickly is doubly so.
  14. denverappraiser

    The beginnings of a hustle

    Great answers from Davide above. Not much to add but a little bit, mostly on things you didn't ask. Believe it or not, there’s a whole industry in this. They’re called Pickers. They go from pawn shop to pawn shop, garage sale to garage sale, and look at the things that are freshly out of hold (around here a pawnshop needs to hold everything for 30 days for the benefit of the police) and buy the ones that are mispriced. Pawnbrokers are supposed to be experts in everything and, of course, they aren’t. They make mistakes, just like everyone else. There are pickers waiting looking for tools, guns, electronics, and just about everything else where they know a little bit more than the next guy. I know people who have been doing this full time for years. It’s not as easy as it sounds and it involves something of a magic power. You need to be able to spot the ‘good stuff’ in 5 seconds or less, looking through two layers of dirty glass, all while not letting on which item(s) you are REALLY interested in. Poker skills can be very helpful here. I mention this just to point out that you have competition and some of them are really quite skilled. Good things go quickly so you have to show up often and be prepared to pay cash in the thousands. Physical auctions can be the same gig. The stores learn to recognize you and they start using YOU as a test. If you’re willing to buy it, that means it’s underpriced. If you look at it more than twice or for more than a few seconds, it’s underpriced. It's a dance. #2 is the sales, which you curiously didn’t really discuss all that much. What you’re describing is a professional jeweler or what's known in the trade as a 'vest pocket' jeweler. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, but the hard part is in the selling, not the buying. Your premise seems to be the opposite. The real skill is in the care and feeding of your buyers, not so much your sellers. Relying on them for pricing data like they do in those stupid TV shows is problematic, to say the least. As mentioned above, you are in a fiercely competitive field here and everyone in it has a vested interest in cutting you out.
  15. denverappraiser

    Help An Amateur :-)

    The biggest difference here, by far, is one of shape. Emerald cuts are neither better nor worse than rounds, that's a matter of taste, but they're most definitely different. I largely agree with Davide above (I usually do) but before you get into the cut evaluation questions on an EC, it's important to decide if that's even what you want. The right price on the wrong thing is no bargain.
  16. denverappraiser

    Big or Best

    As Davide points out, we have no clue what they mean by ‘ideal’. What you’ve got is two XXXs. That’s ALL you know about the cutting. ‘Sparkle’ comes from cutting, not from clarity. That makes your first question impossible to answer. There’s not enough information given. Reselling. That’s largely a fashion question. What will be popular in the future? How good are YOU at selling things? These are not gemological properties. JA doesn’t buy back, and no one else will apply a premium for their branding. VS’s on the secondary market CURRENTLY seems to get more interest because they’re cheaper, but your guess is as good as mine how things will work in the future and cheaper probably isn't the attribute you're looking for when you ask about resale. If reselling is your plan, avoid diamonds entirely. Nearly everyone takes a haircut on this path. Don't buy either one. Diamonds are not a sound financial instrument unless you are a dealer (and maybe even if you are). Like most purchases, buy diamonds because they're cool and you love them, not because you expect to see your money again.
  17. denverappraiser

    Found diamond in a truck stop

    GIA won't release that information without a warrant and it probably won't help much anyway. A typical diamond changes hands several times before it gets to the final customer and none of these transactions are reported to GIA. Start by making sure it's a diamond. Most pawnshops will do this for free as well as tell you if there's an inscription on the girdle. If it's a diamond, file a report with the local police where it was found and they'll tell you how to proceed. If it's not a diamond, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
  18. denverappraiser

    Inclusions below the center

    I can't imagine a correctly graded IF that has visible inclusions from the side. Make sure it's clean. Pay attention to the surrounding environment and what might be reflecting. Make sure it's the correct stone for the report.
  19. denverappraiser

    FS: Double Diamond Eternity band

    What's the metal?
  20. denverappraiser

    Which one should I pick?

    Ask Brian or his peeps? They do have a pony in this race so you need to take their advice with a grain of salt, but they're a pretty straightforward company. They might just give you good advice. Be fast, by the way, these things don't tend to stick around long.
  21. denverappraiser

    AIG labs trustworty? anyone has experience?

    There's a large company called "American International Gemologists" that produces sales documents for jewelers, mostly online, with the masthead AIG. They make them by the thousands. Your headline and URL is for "Antwerp International Gemological Laboratories". These are not the same. The heart of your question is simple enough. A seller produces a report from AIG that says something. Should you believe it? Maybe. Maybe not. The merits, or lack thereof, of AIG is on them, not the seller and not us. The fact that the seller chose them tells you that it's their guys, not yours. The fact that it includes at least some information that you know to be false is a bad sign. The fact that you are having a hard time researching them is a bad sign. I took the opportunity to look up a more-or-less random offering on that site. Like the ones you're looking at, it's being sold by an Israeli dealer. Several things came up in a brief look. They supply a clarity grade of 'transparent' on the ruby. That's not even one of their choices on the clarity scale they include right next to it. They missed some critical information, notably treatments or lack thereof on the ruby. That's a huge deal in the ruby business and it's the #1 reason people would want to see a lab inspection report. They don't even say if it's natural or synthetic. They give it a cut grade, which has no scale at all. The jewelry has an 'excellent ideal finish'. I can't even take a guess what that means and, again, no scale or context is given. Does that make them wrong or unreliable? Absolutely not, but I'm not sure what you would rely on them for. Then there are those reviews. 138 of them. I didn't read them all but it seems to be full of comments on how happy people are with the shipping speed. That's a fine thing, but it has nothing to do with the reliability of the paperwork provided. I didn't spot a single one that talks about the subject at hand here. Maybe I just missed it.
  22. denverappraiser

    AIG labs trustworty? anyone has experience?

    double post
  23. denverappraiser

    Should I be concerned

    I'm much more concerned about the setting. That ring is just asking for trouble as a daily wear piece. Did you include that as an example of what you're making? Heavily included stones are less durable, and points are fragile by their nature. Hanging freely over the edge of the piece like this is a dangerous plan. The bottom point, the one resting on the glass, is at risk just to take that picture. The top point is already broken. (the piece of glass is even more at risk here although people are generally less concerned about that)
  24. denverappraiser

    Narrowed My Search to 4 Diamonds - Thoughts Appreciated

    For a correctly graded and undamaged 3.0+/GIA/VS2/I/VG+/VG+/VG+, the median price is about double your budget at the discounty type dealers. Most B&M stores will be more than that. I, of course, understand the desire to push for a bargain but pushing for half of market value is asking for troubles that don't show up in the advertising.
  25. denverappraiser

    Narrowed My Search to 4 Diamonds - Thoughts Appreciated

    By the way, none of these stones meet your requirements., nor are you likely to find one at that price point without serious compromise.