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how will I know if it was changed?


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The short answer is to use jewelers that you have reason to trust. That said, it’s always prudent to follow the old advice of Ronald Regan, ‘Trust but verify”.


A properly done appraisal done at the time of your purchase will include photographs, plotting diagrams and possibly both of your diamond. What these are for is to show you the recognizable characteristics of your diamond. If your stone is below VS1 or so, you should be able to recognize it’s own characteristics through a loupe with a little practice. At SI2 it gets pretty easy. The plotting diagram on the lab report and/or the appraisal is a mapping of these characteristics and should help you locate them. When you drop off your stone at the jeweler for repair, look for your inclusion and point it out to them. Many jewelers will draw a version of that plotting diagram right on the take-in form for exactly this reason. Don’t worry, they won’t be offended. Mind your manners so that it doesn’t come across as an accusation and they’ll be fine. They are probably more concerned than you are about helping their customers to be confident that stone is the same when they get it back. They can and should also usually measure the outside dimensions of the stone when you drop it off and again when you pick it up although sometimes the mounting will make this difficult. These can be compared with the numbers on your appraisal.


Some diamonds have serial numbers and other things written on the girdle. This serves the same purpose as the above and can be especially helpful for very high clarity stones where there isn’t much internally that you can recognize. If your stone doesn’t have a number on it and you are interested in this, most jewelers or appraisers can get it done for a fairly low fee.


Gemprint offers a unique service for recognizing individual stones. I won’t try to explain it here but you can read about it at www.gemprint.com. This will allow any gemprint center to recognize any registered stone anywhere in the world, even when it’s mounted.


People worry about stone switching far more than it actaully happens. Part of the problem is that most jewelry shops use some very powerful cleaning equipment when they work on a ring to make it look as good as possible. Dirty diamonds have very different optic properties than clean ones and diamonds, by their nature, get dirty very quickly when you wear them. Customers get used to a certain ‘look’ and this will change at the jewelry store while they have it for repair. Another thing to be aware of is that jewelry stores usually have some very specialized lighting that’s probably quite different than what you are accustomed too and this can seriously affect the look of your stone.


I hope this all helped.


Neil Beaty


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