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Should a stone be certified? Why or why not?


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As quoted by GIA: A certificate is a "blueprint" of a diamond, it tells you the diamond's exact measurements and weight, as well as the details of its cut and quality. It precisely points out all the individual characteristics of the stone. Certificates also serve as proof of the diamond's identity and value.

 

 

A certificate is not the same thing as an appraisal.

 

A certificate is not the same thing as an appraisal. A certificate describes the quality of a diamond, but it does not place a monetary value on the gem. An appraisal places a monetary value on your diamond, but does not certify the quality of the diamond.

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As quoted by GIA: A certificate is a "blueprint" of a diamond, it tells you the diamond's exact measurements and weight, as well as the details of its cut and quality. It precisely points out all the individual characteristics of the stone. Certificates also serve as proof of the diamond's identity and value.

 

 

A certificate is not the same thing as an appraisal.

 

A certificate is not the same thing as an appraisal. A certificate describes the quality of a diamond, but it does not place a monetary value on the gem. An appraisal places a monetary value on your diamond, but does not certify the quality of the diamond.

Purple,

 

Where did you find GIA saying that? They are usually quite careful not to describe their grading services as 'certificates' and they are not 'proof' of anything.

 

Neil

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Definitely have the diamond lab report.

 

GIA and AGS are best.

 

If your diamond is ever lost or stolen, a GIA or AGS lab report will save you tons of aggravation with your Insurance company.

 

Same goes if you're ever in the market to sell your diamond. A GIA or AGS lab report will set a price benchmark for you.

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Great point Neil!

Not only does GIA NEVER use the word "certificate" they actually would take legal measures to prevent prominent sellers from using the term.

 

purple's post is factually incorrect.

 

An Appraisal is different from a "Lab Report"

Of the two labs glitter asked about only GIA is accepted by dealers in the trade.

As Barry pointed out AGS also has credibility- but that's where the list ends.

A qualified appraiser- such as Neil- could look at your diamond, or ring, and tell you about the stones, and metal- also offering a monetary replacement value- an "Appraisal"

The best appraisal- such as Neil's- is still not comperable to a GIA report.

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An appraisal is not a lab report.

A lab report is not a certificate.

A certificate is not a certification.

A rose is a rose, but a lab is not a lab.

Gemologists are not all the same.

Not all gemologists are appraisers and not all appraisals are useful.

 

Yeah, I know it’s confusing.

 

Unfortunately, that’s often the point. Diamonds are a blind and expensive item for most people and they would like some assurance that they’re getting what they are paying for. This is why people want ‘independent’ corroboration of what the dealer is telling them. As with most things, the devil is in the details. I know of at least 3 dozen labs that issue grading reports (including me by the way) that report a variety of details about stones. Some contain more information than others and some are definitely more useful than others. How useful it is will depend on a variety of things.

 

#1 Credibility of the source.

Your source is the dealer, not the lab. The dealer is who told you the details about the stone and the dealer is the one who is legally standing behind that claim. The dealer is who chose the lab, either directly or through their choice of suppliers, and the dealer is the one who is telling you that the lab results are both correct relevant. Don’t trust the dealer? Then don’t buy from them. The lab is a 3rd party verification to support or refute what the dealer is telling you, not a substitute for it. If the dealer won’t stand by their claims, meaning if they point to a ‘cert’ and say that this is the end of the story, walk away.

 

If you are going to rely on a lab, any lab, the first question to ask is about the credibility of the lab and the burden of proof is on them, not you. They are giving you an opinion but that doesn’t make their opinion either correct or useful. Why should you care what they have to say? The default answer is to ignore them and it’s up to them to convince you otherwise. This is true of all lab services, not just diamonds. The fact that they call themselves a lab means nothing. Anyone with a microscope and a printer can call themselves a lab. A claim of independence means nothing. Independent of what? They need to prove it to your satisfaction or go away.

 

GIA is generally agreed to be both credible and independent, so is AGSL. This doesn’t mean that what they have to say going to be useful to you. It depends on what you are trying to decide. A report from one of these labs is usually a reliable indication if it’s an untreated natural diamond, what it weighs, and at least a few of the dimensions along with their opinion of clarity, color, and a couple of other details. Are other labs any good? Maybe, but the onus is on them to prove it before you put any stake at all in what they say. Is it enough? Maybe. It depends on what you want to know. Is it useful? Maybe. It depends .... You get the point.

 

What it won’t tell you is whether it sparkles, whether it’s eye-clean, whether it looks white from the face up position, whether it has any durability concerns, whether it’s damaged, what you ought to be paying for it, or whether there are other options that might be more suitable for you. For most shoppers these are pretty important issues and they are things you’re being told the dealer, not the lab. 3rd party corroboration of these things comes from the appraiser.

 

About appraisals

The usual reasons that people seek out appraisals on new merchandise are because they want to confirm or refute what the dealer has told them (or not told them) or because they are being required to get additional documentation for an insurance policy. Meeting the minimum requirements for most insurance policies is pretty easy and dealers will generally provide you with paperwork for free that fulfills this need. Paperwork that gives you maximum value for your insurance premiums is a considerably different requirement and most dealers DO NOT provide it with the sale. Most don’t even understand the question, much less the answer.

 

Appraisals as part of the shopping process are a different animal entirely. As with the above, if you really don’t trust your dealer, don’t shop there. If you need more information than the dealer has told you or you are engaged in a process of ‘trust but verify’ about what they have said, it’s appropriate and reasonable to seek out an independent appraisal. Obviously dealer supplied paperwork isn't going to be very useful for this.

 

Notice that neither of these is even close to the same as the lab services being offered by GIA, AGS, and others. That’s why you’re being told that appraisals aren’t the same as ‘certificates’ and why the forums and tutorials are full of warnings about this area. It’s a minefield.

 

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ISA NAJA

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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