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New Cartier ring w/ 6 year old GIA report, normal?


Vodich99
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Hi guys,

I recently purchase an engagement ring from Cartier.  Planning to propose to my gf on our upcoming trip.  I just picked up the GIA report yesterday from the store and when I got home I notice that it was from Dec 2011.  I did some research and found two related threads on here (linked below).  In both cases it seemed to say that I should get it appraised or return it.  Since I fly out tomorrow I don't have time to go get it appraise, so I tried this morning to go have it exchanged to see if I can find something with a newer GIA report.  When I got there they told me this was normal because they buy loose diamonds to set and provided me with a couple GIA reports of other rings they have in the store with old dates (of course I have my suspicion about them specifically picking reports with older dates).  I still felt a bit suspicious since they seem to be pushing very hard for me to keep the ring instead of showing me other rings like I originally wanted to do.

They told me Cartier doesn't sell used items and that they guarantee my ring is new.  So my question is this normal?  Is it common for brand name stores like Cartier to have new rings with GIA reports that are years old?  They even told me that GIA reports back then are better than the ones now so it's common for them to get diamonds that are certified back then?

Also, before someone chimes in about it I'm totally aware that I'm paying a premium for a brand name so that's not what I'm asking about.

Price: $20,700 (before tax)

Specs (Ring Style: Cartier Destinee):

20171027_154144.jpg.e4fa369d9b83b0fe2e3716da4aad7153.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by Vodich99
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Well, it’s not like diamonds are perishable but there are a few issues with older docs.

1)     GIA changed the rules in 2006.  That’s when the cut grade came in.  A round brilliant before that is missing some important information.

2)     The stone has been SOMEWHERE for 7 years. I’ll agree, with Cartier it’s unlikely that this is a ‘used’ stone but that’s often a valid concern.  Minor amounts of damage to a VVS1 is a big deal.

3)     Old documents have more opportunities to be shuffled attached to the wrong stone.

I don't think a stone being bought directly from Cartier is at particular risk for any of these. 

Edited by denverappraiser
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Hmmm... the two "similar cases" you found don't sound very similar, other than because of the (relatively) old report you are getting, but you are purchasing "new" from one of the top names in retail jewellery (even though they do live very much of past glories, in my opinion, but that's another story). In the other two cases we were dealing with unknown sellers - and possibly "used" stones - in which case an appraisal or a regrade would be a prudent thing.

The diamond - as one would expect from Cartier - seems a really great stone from all points of view (in as much as things can be judged from a report alone), and I would say that 6 years in stock for a $20k ring that can be "basically" bought minus the red box for ~ half the price is not an unbelievably long period of time. No, they do not sell "used" jewellery unless it's an antique - and it would be clearly marked as such if they did (and you'd pay even more through the nose for it).

What is clear BS is the "old reports are better". As far as I know, there haven't been even minimal changes to GIA grading standards and methods since 2011 (or in fact since 2006, when they introduced their cut grade for rounds). A really old report (pre-1994 IIRC) may grade a fluorescent stone in a stricter way for colour, since GIA changed light source then, and started using something with a greater amount of UV radiation, but a) your stone is inert, and b] it's not a mid-90s report anyway.

I wouldn't think you've got a lot to worry about, but the only ways of solving this other than keeping the ring and accepting their word are to either exchange the ring for something with a more recent report or to get the current ring appraised.

Both have their problems: how recent is recent enough? Many stones advertised for sale on the relatively "fast moving" sites have reports that are 2-3 months old or even less; I would not expect a ring by Cartier to be that "young" simply because of their likely lead times in manufacturing things (and stock turnover - one of the reasons why they charge so much: they don't sell that much...). Would a 2015 or 2016 report make any difference? I don't think so.

As to appraisals, do you have time to get one from a proper, independent expert? And to be honest the only thing for which I'd be concerned is the likelihood of microscopic damage to the stone that would make the VVS1 grade no longer valid. You are paying such a premium for it, that it frankly makes little difference again.

Edited by davidelevi
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1 hour ago, denverappraiser said:

Well, it’s not like diamonds are perishable but there are a few issues with older docs.

1)     GIA changed the rules in 2006.  That’s when the cut grade came in.  A round brilliant before that is missing some important information.

2)     The stone has been SOMEWHERE for 7 years. I’ll agree, with Cartier it’s unlikely that this is a ‘used’ stone but that’s often a valid concern.  Minor amounts of damage to a VVS1 is a big deal.

3)     Old documents have more opportunities to be shuffled attached to the wrong stone.

I don't think a stone being bought directly from Cartier is at particular risk for any of these. 

Thanks for the response denverappraiser!  Put my mind at ease quite a bit.

1 hour ago, davidelevi said:

Hmmm... the two "similar cases" you found don't sound very similar, other than because of the (relatively) old report you are getting, but you are purchasing "new" from one of the top names in retail jewellery (even though they do live very much of past glories, in my opinion, but that's another story). In the other two cases we were dealing with unknown sellers - and possibly "used" stones - in which case an appraisal or a regrade would be a prudent thing.

The diamond - as one would expect from Cartier - seems a really great stone from all points of view (in as much as things can be judged from a report alone), and I would say that 6 years in stock for a $20k ring that can be "basically" bought minus the red box for ~ half the price is not an unbelievably long period of time. No, they do not sell "used" jewellery unless it's an antique - and it would be clearly marked as such if they did (and you'd pay even more through the nose for it).

What is clear BS is the "old reports are better". As far as I know, there haven't been even minimal changes to GIA grading standards and methods since 2011 (or in fact since 2006, when they introduced their cut grade for rounds). A really old report (pre-1994 IIRC) may grade a fluorescent stone in a stricter way for colour, since GIA changed light source then, and started using something with a greater amount of UV radiation, but a) your stone is inert, and b] it's not a mid-90s report anyway.

I wouldn't think you've got a lot to worry about, but the only ways of solving this other than keeping the ring and accepting their word are to either exchange the ring for something with a more recent report or to get the current ring appraised.

Both have their problems: how recent is recent enough? Many stones advertised for sale on the relatively "fast moving" sites have reports that are 2-3 months old or even less; I would not expect a ring by Cartier to be that "young" simply because of their likely lead times in manufacturing things (and stock turnover - one of the reasons why they charge so much: they don't sell that much...). Would a 2015 or 2016 report make any difference? I don't think so.

As to appraisals, do you have time to get one from a proper, independent expert? And to be honest the only thing for which I'd be concerned is the likelihood of microscopic damage to the stone that would make the VVS1 grade no longer valid. You are paying such a premium for it, that it frankly makes little difference again.

Most of my research after seeing the GIA report said to make sure the GIA report was recent, on this site and others, there usually wasn't anything that said "except if you buy it from so and so" so I wasn't sure if I should expect differently from Cartier.  There wasn't anything I could find online related to Cartier and GIA reports so my post here is mainly trying to gain more knowledge and to put my mind at ease.  I really appreciate your response on this.

Sorry, I was unclear about what they said about older reports.  They didn't say older reports were better, they just kept bringing up the fact that 2011 was "a good year for GIA reports", something about the standards for the reports around that time are better than they are today.  However, this was the first time I've heard this and never saw it mentioned when I was doing research on engagement rings.

Thanks again guys, I really appreciate the time and response.

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33 minutes ago, Vodich99 said:

Sorry, I was unclear about what they said about older reports.  They didn't say older reports were better, they just kept bringing up the fact that 2011 was "a good year for GIA reports", something about the standards for the reports around that time are better than they are today.  However, this was the first time I've heard this and never saw it mentioned when I was doing research on engagement rings.

Hey mate - - this is just nonsense and tells me that whoever you're dealing with clearly doesn't have a clue and is just making stuff up. Big claims demand big evidence...so I'd be asking them to prove that statement.

What's more likely (as Davide touched on), is that in todays market, where astute consumers are recognising that they can get a diamond of the same quality (and often better ;)) without having to pay a 'brand premium' of double/triple, they've likely been sitting on this diamond for years without being able to sell it because it's simply been priced out of the market when people are able to now compare like-with-like.

Lots of businesses have 'old' diamonds/certs sitting in the safe - - this doesn't make them better or worse. It just means that for whatever reason they haven't been able to sell the item until now (priced too expensive/out of style/replacement costs too high/no demand/etc). And like any other retail business, I'm sure these guys want to move the older stock first where possible to clear up the money they have tied up in holding that stock. This doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with the actual diamond itself.

So for what it's worth, I'm sure the stone/cert is fine and it is what it is. But like the others have mentioned, I'd take it to a good appraiser to make sure that there hasn't been any damage which may have changed the grade (especially if it's had years of being handled by staff/customers).

Hope this helps.

 

 

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1 hour ago, ADN said:

Hey mate - - this is just nonsense and tells me that whoever you're dealing with clearly doesn't have a clue and is just making stuff up. Big claims demand big evidence...so I'd be asking them to prove that statement.

What's more likely (as Davide touched on), is that in todays market, where astute consumers are recognising that they can get a diamond of the same quality (and often better ;)) without having to pay a 'brand premium' of double/triple, they've likely been sitting on this diamond for years without being able to sell it because it's simply been priced out of the market when people are able to now compare like-with-like.

Lots of businesses have 'old' diamonds/certs sitting in the safe - - this doesn't make them better or worse. It just means that for whatever reason they haven't been able to sell the item until now (priced too expensive/out of style/replacement costs too high/no demand/etc). And like any other retail business, I'm sure these guys want to move the older stock first where possible to clear up the money they have tied up in holding that stock. This doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with the actual diamond itself.

So for what it's worth, I'm sure the stone/cert is fine and it is what it is. But like the others have mentioned, I'd take it to a good appraiser to make sure that there hasn't been any damage which may have changed the grade (especially if it's had years of being handled by staff/customers).

Hope this helps.

 

 

Yeah, I was smelling BS since I've not read anyone saying something like that online during my research.  Unfortunately, by the time I get back from my trip it would be past the 30 return period but I'll probably still get it appraise for peace of mind.

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It's not entirely too uncommon to have a diamond sitting in safe for a certain period. It could be because their purchase price point was a bit high and they couldn't move it and now it's more in line. 

About the standards - it's a believe among some people that GIA graded color and clarity more strictly like 10 years back. But if that has any truth, it would be more applicable in the lower grades. The chances of your stone receiving a G - IF (one up color and clarity) is extremely extremely slim. Let's call it impossible. 

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  • 1 month later...

This is just my thoughts, and it's purely speculative but is it possible, that in 2011 a variety of factors contributed to Cartier buying a large amount of Diamonds in that time frame.  I'm just speculating is that maybe the cost of diamonds was lower at that time. 

The reason I thought this may happen is the cost of Platinum and Gold is always rising and falling - Gold is always changing with respect to the Economy.  Though Diamonds are not the most fungible item, possibly to a company like Cartier they are fairly fungible.  An example is in the 1980s, the cost of Platinum was 10% of the cost of Gold.  In 2010 the cost of Platinum was 100% more than the cost of Gold.  Factoring in these kinds of fluctuations of raw goods, this could greatly impact the manufacturing costs of a large company. If one started to see these fluctuations, maybe they would buy up big when they knew the prices of something was low. 

I'm just speculating, but maybe the cost of Diamonds was lower at that time so they bought a large number of diamonds. Alternatively some other contributing factor going on with their company at the time such as surplus of capital, share price etc, may have contributed to this. 

gold-to-platinum-ratio-chart-historical.png

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Interesting regarding the turnover, I had hoped Cartier would have had a pretty good turnover for 1 Carat Rings. However, I do remember when I was in high school I worked in a couple jewellery stores part time.  During the time I was there, they never sold a single diamond ring! It was mostly the lower value items that were turning over, earrings, necklaces, wedding bands etc.  

I also had a friend who worked at Tiffany, I wish now I could remember the details because I can't remember the exact figure, but their turnover was pretty decent for Engagement Rings.  

Cartier maybe it's mostly their LOVE range that's popular. 

I have to admit, I am amazed at how their trinity range is popular. Certainly not bagging out Cartier, but I remember selling these "russian wedding bands" (same concept) back in the 1980s for a fraction of the price. The ceramic as well in thei trinity rings makes the rings so hard to repolish.  Their LOVE bracelets are gorgeous, but the LOVE rings, are really quite simple in my opinion.  

I appreciate Cartier, and do love the LOVE bracelets and some of their necklaces, but I think their other lines are a growing affection for me.

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