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Does this sound right?


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Hi, I have a diamond that has very visible black carbon in it and what appears to be a small chip on one side. I have an appraisal, I think. It says "Appraisal" and has the jeweler's name on top along with the address, yet the ink is very dark and smeared. Then at the bottom (nowhere near the dark/smeared word "description") is the typed description and it's signed by our independent dealer (who we met with in person). Here's the description (EXACTLY):


One ladies 14kt. White gold Tiffany style mounting 4-prong with a .72ct diamond measuring 5.7mm with a clarity grade of SI3 and a color grade of H clarity enhanced. It is valued at 2945.00.


The right side of the dark/smeared writing is cut off. First of all, is this a real appraisal? And secondly does the value sound about right?? Thanks.

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An appraisal is an opinion of value so, yes, I suppose this document is an appraisal. This doesn’t make it correct and it certainly doesn’t make it useful. Ask yourself this question: What have you learned by reading this document? Maybe nothing, maybe quite a lot. Here's a few things that I pick up from just your description of it.


#1. The dealer apparently has difficulty grading diamonds. He lists a single dimension and doesn't even bother to include the shape. Apparently he didn't count these as important pieces of information for choosing a value. Based on this, I suggest that you not rely on any opinions or statements that they make with regard to the grading of diamonds, this one or any other. It's not quite the same as asking just any old stranger to grade your diamonds - you're asking a stranger who is trying to sell it to you.


#2. The dealer either charges very high prices, assuming that they are charging what is listed, or they have a very skewed opinion about what other people would charge. Possibly both. Maybe they just don't understand what makes one diamond more valuable than another (I again point to what they count as the important grading attributes). This means that he (or she) is either a liar because he knows what he’s saying is untrue and he is trying to lead you to a false conclusion, or he’s a fool for not knowing his own market where he is claiming to be an expert. In either case you should probably ignore their opinions of value as being unfounded.


#3. Independent dealer? Independent of what? They’re the seller. They were the grader. They’re the appraiser. It would be difficult for them to be more involved in this unless they were also the buyer. Why did you call them independent?


#4. Did they explain to you what ‘enhanced’ means? Do a forum and Google search for ‘clarity enhanced diamonds’, 'CE diamonds' and ‘yehuda’ to read up on this. (the forum search button is at the top of the page under 'My Assistant'). If this wasn’t discussed, you shouldn’t believe ANYTHING that they told you, instead of just ignoring their grading and pricing opinions. Personally I don’t have that much of a problem with enhanced stones if they are being sold for what they are but this is a big deal and it has a tremendous affect on the prices. If this document is the first time you've seen that word, there is a huge problem with this deal.


This is plenty of information here to know that you don’t want to be doing business with this dealer even though you've learned almost nothing about the stone itself. If you still have the opportunity, return the stone and get a refund. Read the fine print of the purchase contract, find out what your return options are, and then comply with every word of the rules. Act quickly; it may already be too late. If you are stuck with it, find a independent appraiser (do a little research on this term as well so you know how to shop for one) and at least learn what you have. This can save you from paying inflated insurance premiums for the rest of your life in addition to the shellacking you may have taken on the original purchase. At least you’ll know, instead of relying on the words of a questionable dealer or anonymous advice from an internet forum.


It's not all bad. Most of these forms are printed on absorbent paper and can be useful for lining the bird cage or cleaning up after the dog.


Neil Beaty


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