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Valuing Old European Cut Diamonds

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Appraising an Old European Diamond as a Current Cut Style Round Brilliant.

This for an EXPERT is a no brainer.


It HAS to be appraised for what it is, not what it could be.


Antique and period pieces have a vibrant ongoing market. That is the market in which it should be valued.


Most insurance claims are usually settled or replaced. Insurance companies however, do not pay for the custom recreation of an antique item.


If you care to read some case law about how ridiculous some appraisers are about appraising "something it isn't".... see


Dubin vs Commission a Federal Tax Court Case.. where the appraisers valued an $800.00 topaz crystal at over a million dollars, stating that would be the value in a retail jewelry store once the stone was treated, heated, turned blue from brown, and then facetted into stones for sale in rings.


The common sense analysis of this is that there is no guarantee that the stone could be successfully recut in to the smaller stone. Also ask the question, in its current form, who would buy it for what it wasn't?

The answer: No one. So that is not a valid valuation if the appraisal assumes the stone is recut.


Further, there is a chance the stone would break or open in the recutting process...

This directly relates to an early 1900's case where cows were being valued per pound as steak. As one might imagine this too was invalid, and cited in the above case, since you could slaughter the cow and it could have a disease inside, in which case the formula method ( cow weighs 2000 lb= less 30% waste equals 1300 lbs @ $xx.( the wholesale price of steak). THe Courts have continually rejected appraisals prepared for what the item isn't.


The real world here is that Old Europeans especially large ones can bring as much as their round brilliant cut "cousins". Antique and period sellers of jewelry need stones all the time for mounting where the center stones were lost or previously removed by their owners. So if it is really a finely cut old european or transition cut, its value might be equal or close to the newer cut.


GIA taught the erroneous recutting calculation method of valuing old europeans.


This is just some of the differences between having both educations ( gemologist and appraiser) and being neither or just a gemologist doing appraising ( which they should not attempt).



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I have a 3.5 carat European cut, diamond in a large gold ring setting. It was passed down to me. I may want to sell it.


I’ve gotten price estimates from 60k to 95K. Who should I talk to about getting the best price for it?



Thank you, Clint

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Hello Clint,


This thread is over 10 years old, and the author has (very unfortunately) passed away.


As to your diamond: it depends on how good you are at selling, how quickly do you want the money and how nice of a stone it really is. First of all, I think you should get a good independent appraisal done - not a "free valuation" by a jeweller. You should be clear with the appraiser that what you need is an appraisal for resale, not for insurance purposes. A range of 60-95k is way too broad and it probably is nowhere near what you could get for the stone.

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