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What does "modified" square mean on GIA Cert?


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I am in the market for a princess (square cut) diamond, between 1.20 and 1.50. I saw a GIA Grading Report for a diamond in which I'm interested. It stated the "Shape and Cutting Style" as "Square Modified Brilliant". I'm not quite sure what "modified" means in this context. I'm hoping it does not mean the diamond has been "enhanced". I have been attempting to educate myself via research as much as possible. I'm having trouble locating the answer to this current question.

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Denver Appraiser:

 

Thank you for your answer. I am grateful for your input. I have read some of your other postings on this website, and they have been quite helpful. If you wouldn't mind, I do have a few more questions, and I'd love to have your opinion.

 

 

PRINCESS QUESTION:

 

(1) Would "Princess" be the generic name, and "Square Modified Brilliant" the brand name?

 

(2) If you were making the purchase, would you choose one over the other: "Princess" vs. "Square Modified Brilliant"?

 

I purchased my first diamond (marquise) a couple of years ago, and now I realize how little I knew (I'm sure I'm not alone). I took a really good guess when I purchased it - I ended up with a Color: F, Clarity: SI-2, Carat: .60, Shape: Marquise, beautiful cut (per the reputable jeweler I took it to for a second opinion just recently). The problem is there is no certification on it, so I do not have the measurements of the stone, nor the Table % or Depth %, etc. I understand I could get a GIA Cert for around $300. If this information (about the cert is incorrect), please let me know.

 

I am now trying to sell the original diamond (marquise), and I realize how important it is to pay attention to the details when purchasing, if you ever intend to resell it in the future.

 

So, on my quest for the new diamond - Princess cut - I'm trying to insure that I get as informed as possible before making the acquisition.

 

 

MARQUISE QUESTION:

The original diamond purchase was from Shane's. It is a nice diamond; however, I'm now in a dilemma.

 

I can trade my original marquise diamond into Shane for 100% of the original value, but I have to then purchase another diamond from Shane's. The other option is for me to sell the original Marquise on my own, and then buy from another jeweler.

 

I have met with another jeweler - very reputable (and certified by "Find My Jeweler"). It was an amazing experience. It was as different as night is from day. I would love to purchase my new princess cut from this reputable jeweler; however, I would then have to venture down the road of selling the original marquise on my own.

 

Reading through several reviews, I see mixed opinions about Shane. They definitely did not pass the "Find My Jeweler" Certification. They have been quite helpful in the store, and are making an effort to find a GIA Certified diamond for me.

 

I am a little nervous buying from Shane (because of the reviews) and because I am now informed about what you should ask a jewelry, and I didn't like some of Shane's responses (i.e. (*a) Shane would not allow me to view the "modified square brilliant" under the Gemological Microscope, (* b)Shane kept trying to convince me that their Shane appraisal was just as good as a GIA, because it is performed by a GIA trained professional on their staff, and (*c) Shane not only would NOT let me look at a Rapaport report, but the sales person acted as though they didn't know what I was talking about.) NOTE: The reputable jewelry I visited had Rapaport reports available and also taught me how they are used.

 

If I'm relegated to buying from Shane (because I fear venturing into selling the marquise diamond on my own), I am standing my ground, and will buy only a GIA Certified diamond from Shane. However, even with the cert, I don't feel experienced enough (once you get past the scientific, objective benchmarks), to choose the right diamond - based on the most difficult "c" -- CUT (which I know can be subjective -- this is where I feel so much more comfortable buying from the reputable jeweler).

 

(3) What do you think is my best bet - trade in with Shane, and hope that I get a great diamond?, or

(4) Venture into the world of selling my original Marquise diamond, and buy my new diamond from the reputable jeweler?

 

Yes, the two are tied together, because the money from sale / trade from the original diamond will definitely help reduce the out of pocket cash for the new diamond.

 

Again, your time and opinion are greatly appreciated.

 

PS I also live in the Denver area.

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(1) Would "Princess" be the generic name, and "Square Modified Brilliant" the brand name?

Square modified brilliant is the generic name.

 

(2) If you were making the purchase, would you choose one over the other: "Princess" vs. "Square Modified Brilliant"?

 

It wouldn’t matter. Most people call them all princesses. GIA is more careful than most about their choice of words. I’m actually pleased to hear that Shane is being careful.

 

I have several general comments:

For starters, ‘find my jeweler’ is not a certification, it’s an advertisement. There are some fine firms there but there also fine firms that choose not to advertise with them. It sounds like you’ve got one that works for you but it’s the people behind the counter (and the people behind them) that make the difference between a good store and a bad one, not their choice of advertising venues.

 

GIA doesn’t certify anything or anybody. Not diamonds, not graduates, not even their own employees. They will give their opinions on stones for a fee and write this on a grading report but this doesn’t cause the stone to be certified. The fee will vary depending on the size of the stone. Prices are at www.gia.edu. Similarly, they are a college and they have graduates (I’m one of them), many of whom are associated with the diamond trade. All GIA graduates are not identical any more than all Harvard graduates are identical.

 

The Rapaport Diamond Report can regularly be more deceptive than it is helpful when it's shown to a consumer. Diamonds will trade for discounts or premiums from the Rap listed prices that can amount to more than a factor of 3 difference between superficially similar stones. There’s way more to diamonds than weight, color and clarity. Mr. Rapaport knows this. The dealer knows this. Consumers may not.

 

Selling diamonds is difficult for most people. Consumers just don’t have the right market. If you like working with this other jeweler, discuss with them the possibility of a trade in deal. Most will do it, it’s just a matter of price. They’re not going to pay you ShaneCo’s retail price for it but they may be selling the new stone for quite a bit less as well. Jewelers are going to want to you less than they would expect to pay from their regular suppliers and they’re nervous to discuss it if you overpaid in the first place. In the end, it may be a better deal anyway, even with a smaller trade in value. They should be happy to discuss it with you.

 

Pay attention to the new stone, especially the cut. At the risk of sounding self serving, have an independent appraiser involved in your shopping process.

 

Neil

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Neil

 

Thank you once again. You have cleared up the confusion I had between "Modified Square" and "Princess".

 

General Comments Response:

 

For starters, ‘find my jeweler’ is not a certification, it’s an advertisement. There are some fine firms there but there also fine firms that choose not to advertise with them. It sounds like you’ve got one that works for you but it’s the people behind the counter (and the people behind them) that make the difference between a good store and a bad one, not their choice of advertising venues.

 

I appreciate the information that not all fine firms choose to advertise with them. That's an excellent point for everyone reading this post. When I spoke of "certification", I was referring to the certification given to the jeweler by the advertiser (the jeweler gets a "FindMyJeweler" Certification, not to be confused with a diamond certification). After I read about the jeweler on the advertiser's website, I made an appointment and visited the jeweler in person, and was pleased to have a great experience.

 

 

GIA doesn’t certify anything or anybody. Not diamonds, not graduates, not even their own employees. They will give their opinions on stones for a fee and write this on a grading report but this doesn’t cause the stone to be certified. The fee will vary depending on the size of the stone. Prices are at www.gia.edu. Similarly, they are a college and they have graduates (I’m one of them), many of whom are associated with the diamond trade. All GIA graduates are not identical any more than all Harvard graduates are identical.

 

Thank you for this information. To be clear, going forward, I should refer to a diamond as having a GIA Certificate, not that it is a GIA Certified diamond?

 

 

The Rapaport Diamond Report can regularly be more deceptive than it is helpful when it's shown to a consumer. Diamonds will trade for discounts or premiums from the Rap listed prices that can amount to more than a factor of 3 difference between superficially similar stones. There’s way more to diamonds than weight, color and clarity. Mr. Rapaport knows this. The dealer knows this. Consumers may not

 

I am one of the consumers that understands this. I am glad that you wrote this additional information about the Rapaport report for those consumers not fully aware of its use. I was remiss to not include this in my original post.

 

 

Selling diamonds is difficult for most people. Consumers just don’t have the right market. If you like working with this other jeweler, discuss with them the possibility of a trade in deal. Most will do it, it’s just a matter of price. They’re not going to pay you ShaneCo’s retail price for it but they may be selling the new stone for quite a bit less as well. Jewelers are going to want to you less than they would expect to pay from their regular suppliers and they’re nervous to discuss it if you overpaid in the first place. In the end, it may be a better deal anyway, even with a smaller trade in value. They should be happy to discuss it with you.

 

I have discussed the possibility of the trade with the other jeweler. I have compared (-a-) the trade in from the other jeweler, and his price on the new stone, to (-b-) the trade in at ShaneCo and the price of their stone. At this point, with the facts I currently have, ShaneCo. wins. This is why the thought of attempting to sell it on my own came to mind.

 

 

Pay attention to the new stone, especially the cut. At the risk of sounding self serving, have an independent appraiser involved in your shopping process.

 

Absolutely! Would you mind giving more information as to what are the processes / procedures to follow to “have an independent appraiser involved in the shopping process"?

 

 

You've been a GREAT HELP!

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So far, that’s a vote for shopping at Shane co. Again, the #1 issue is the merits of the new stone, something we haven’t discussed, and really can’t without seeing the stone. That said, let's talk abut selling.

 

Most individuals have a fairly limited set of choices for selling diamonds. We’ve already discussed the trade in options where you give it back to the jeweler and it becomes their problem. This has the obvious attraction of being convenient and it sounds like you’ve already put some thought into it.

 

Direct selling to a consumer is generally the way to get the most money. Finding a consumer who is considering buying a stone like yours at retail, and offering a deal for a lower price leaves an opportunity for both of you to gain. As attractive as it may seem, this can be pretty difficult and it will depend on your own selling skills and a fair amount of luck. You’re competing with the retailers for the business and many of them have been working for generations to build up their advantage. Be aware that many will also offer ‘value added’ features that you are unable to offer and that customers find valuable. Features like the 100% trade in program that you are now considering.

 

Another option is to consign it to a reseller. They do the marketing and the work in exchange for a percentage of the money. This percentage will vary from deal to deal but it will typically be about 25%-50% of the take. The issues here will be how quickly you need the money, how patient you are with a possibly long-term relationship with the dealer, how skilled the jeweler is at selling merchandise of this type and the general creditworthiness of the jeweler involved.

 

Lastly there is the option of selling directly to a dealer. This generally has the feature of being the fastest solution but it doesn’t usually pay all that well. Most retailers don’t directly buy from the public because of PR concerns and so you will probably be selling to an intermediary. They, in turn, will want to resell it to a jeweler or ‘wholesaler’ who will then resell it to a new owner. The storefront version of this is the pawnshops but there are also smaller type operations that prefer to avoid the business of lawnmowers and stereos. They aren’t all sleezeballs like the ones on TV but it’s a business that some folks find distasteful to get involved with. There are buyers that advertise online as well as in the phone book and even newspaper.

 

Appraisers are useful for both buying and selling transactions. As a seller, it’s always best to be coming from a position of knowing what you have and what would constitute a reasonable offer. In some cases it’s actually legally required. Many people have drastically unrealistic expectations of what their property is ‘worth’ and effectively shoot themselves in the foot by declining their best offers. At the same time, selling without knowing what you have can lead to accepting an offer that would best been declined.

 

Buyers regularly find that dealers don’t give all the information that you need to make an informed decision. It is ALWAYS desirable to require that the dealer give you the option to have your new stone independently appraised and that you have the right to return it if you are unhappy for any reason. Demand this even if you have no intention of actually going through with it because it means that the dealer is willing to stand behind their merchandise. Personally, I think you should then go through with it. It gets you the opportunity to see the stone in a less ‘sales’ type environment, it provides an opportunity to get an independent opinion about the merits of what the dealer did and didn’t say in their sales presentation. Issues like cut quality, lab accuracy, durability concerns, damage that may have occurred after the lab exam and even mismatched diamonds and reports are examples of things to discuss with your appraiser that should be part of to your decision process. For obvious reasons it’s best to do this with an appraiser chosen by you, not by the dealer (and definitely NOT an employee of the dealer, no matter who trained them).

 

Dealers are usually happy to give you anywhere from 7 days to forever to do this. If you have a dealer near the short end of this, make your appointment with the appraiser quickly. Many independent appraisers are pretty busy. I work by appointment only and I’m generally about a week out in setting appointments so if you’ve only got 7 days, we’re already pushing the limit.

 

Neil

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