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Conflicting information on value of diamond


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I am in the market for an engagement ring. One jeweler is asking $17,000 for a diamond with the following specs.




Depth: 57.7%

Table: 64%

Crown: 11.2%

Pavilion: 42%

Girdle: Medium to thick faceted

Culet: Small

Polish: Good

Symmetry: Good

Clarity: SI2

Color: E

Fluorescence: None


Another jeweler, having seen the EGL certificate for the above diamond, says that the proportions are bad and that the diamond is significantly overpriced.


I followed up with the first jeweler saying that I didn't like the proportions. His response was that the GIA is in the process of redefining the grading system for diamonds and that, what used to be considered as an ideal cut may no longer be. He said that the diamond in question looks great, has a lot of sparkle and life (which I agree with) and is a great value.


Is this a credible story or am I being given a sales pitch?

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You have an interesting combination of facts and stretches. There are quite a few things that contribute to a diamonds value that are not reflected on an EGL report. The most obvious is the accuracy of the information on the report but there are also quite a few details that aren’t included at all. Things like cutting and condition can have a tremendous affect on the final value.


It’s true that GIA has just redefined their grading system to include more cutting information although they don’t list it on their lab reports yet. You can read about it on their website at www.gia.edu. They never have, and still don’t, define what is ideal and don’t even use the word. They put a nifty little tool online for estimating if a stone will be graded ‘excellent’ by GIA (their top grade). www.facetware.gia.edu.


It’s always good to be careful when one person who is trying to sell you something disparages the wares of someone else who is trying to sell you something. It doesn’t make them wrong, but it does raise a suspicion. If they gave you this advice and called it an appraisal, run.. If they just said that the one they are selling is better, take it for what it is, a sales pitch.


The advice of looking at the stone is great. It helps if you have other diamonds around to compare it with in the same lighting conditions but this is the most important single test. Do you love it? If you really can't decide, hire professional assistance. Most dealers will allow you to get it appraised by an independent appraiser immediately after your purchase and allow you to return it if you're unhappy with the results (note: don't use an appraiser who's trying to sell you something other than service)


Neil Beaty


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