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haa1025
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I have many questions, so please forgive me, and any answers to any of my questions are appreciated. This post may be lengthy, but I want to give as much information as I can.

 

What is the difference between EGL and GIA certification. And which are the most trustworthy?

 

 

 

Any help is very much appreciated!

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Use the link at the top of the page called 'find online jeweler' to get a few offers of similar stones from some of the dealers who advertise here. Even if you have no intention to buy online this is a useful tool for shopping prices. EGL isn't very popular with the sellers here for some good reasons but you will probably find some anyway. EGL does not enjoy the same credibility for accurate grading as GIA and AGS and this makes comparison between stones graded by different labs effectively impossible without seeing the stone so use this tool with some care. VS2 and E don't mean the same things to everyone and the differences can be pretty important. Read through prior discussions on this forum and you'll find quit a bit about the merits and demerits of the opinions of the various labs.

 

You can use the same proceedure to get a general feel for what a 1.5 would cost.

 

EGL uses their own proprietary grading scale for cut and 'Good' seems to be near the bottom of the scale. If this is from the grading report, it's a bad sign. If it's the dealers way of deflecting the question, which is likely, I suggest you pursue the cut grading issue with them. Read up on the tutorials here and at the sites of the various dealers about what makes the cutting of one stone better than another and then find out what scale your dealer is applying when they call it 'good'. That's a pretty broad statement.

 

Neil

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I think that Neil offered some good advice to you.

 

Put in slightly different words than Neil used; The EGL tends to be less consistent and more lenient than GIA or AGS. This doesn't mean that there aren't well graded, beautiful EGL graded diamonds on the market. In my experience however, they tend be more difficult to find than leniently graded stones. It is also my experience that EGL graded stones are priced slightly less than GIA graded stones with the "same" characteristics. Perhaps this is one reason your father-in-law selected the stone he did, in that it was priced less than other stones with similar characteristics. You often however, get what you pay for.

 

The cut is what is ultimately going to have the biggest impact on the overall beauty and sparkle of the stone. It is therefore an important aspect to consider. It can and often does also factor into the pricing structure. Unfortunately, many diamond dealers are not educated about specifics of cut. I suggest you do a bit of homework on this and don't be afraid to provide your father-in-law with specifics to adhere to in a search for a perfect stone for you, it is your hard earned money afterall.

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HI Everybody!

 

Listen, I have absolutely NOTHING against EGL. What I AM against is sellers that are trying to convince people EGL and GIA are comparable. They are not.

I mean EGL and GIA have more in common than say GIA and....a golden retriever. The both issue laminated paper describing a diamond

But they are NOT the same.

 

I have nothing against any diamond with an EGL report either- IF- i like the diamond and the price.

The way we work, I have to tell people what I think.

After having to make too many allowances, our company stopped using any other lab besides GIA when we submit. Up till about 2000, we used EGL and IGI. But we used to sell to jewelry stores.

 

Today, when we buy a diamond with anything but a GIA report, we toss it.

 

But it's rare that we purchase a diamond with non GIA paper.

 

Recently we bought ( and immediately sold) a 4.08 K/VS emerald cut, as graded by EGL.

I have bought many such stones without any report at all, so it was no big deal.

We made sure our client knew the differences between the labs- AND- the diamond was priced quite a bit less than a diamond with a GIA report of the same grade.

 

haa- all that being said- this is a unique situation. You probably don't want to start a life with your new Father in Law by getting into an argument about the ring, right?

 

If you did not tell me it was your FIL- I'd say that a 1.12 E/VS2 as graded by EGl would go for less than $8500.

A really well cut 1.12 with GIA report is probably about $8500, or a bit less. Figure a really well cut 1.50 E/VS2 ( graded by GIA) will run about $16,000.

In such a high color diamond the price differential between GIA, and non GIA graded diamonds is much greater than if we were talking about a J.

 

BUT- it's your future dad, so please, don't make me feel guilty for answering.....:)

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I believe it generally takes a few weeks to have a diamond graded by the GIA, the grading report and shipping also cost extra.

 

Why not take the diamond to an independent appraiser for an objective evaluation OR look for another diamond that already has a GIA grading report? This would likely save eveyone a little time and money. It would also allow you to do a little more research and provide some important guidelines to follow.

 

If you do have the diamond sent to GIA you should iron out the details before hand as to who will pay for the new grading report if it comes back different from the EGL report. Generally, you would be responsible for the charges if it came back with an equivalent grade.

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My feeling is that sending the diamond to GIA is a waste of time, and can cause more problems than it solves.

 

The reason I feel this way?

 

Usually when dealers send diamonds to EGL there a really good reason- usually a reaason that is not complimentary to the diamond.

 

AS the story unfolds, it now appears that it's a seller besides your FIL- which is s totally different story.

 

When a seller tries to convince me a $1 diamond ( or any item) is "actually worth" $3, I put on a BullSpit protector.

 

Yes, a dumb blind guy with no idea of what money is worth was willing to pay $8500- but you can have it for $4000 becasue we like you.

 

Please.

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AS the story unfolds, it now  appears that it's a seller besides your FIL- which is s totally different story.

 

When a seller tries to convince me a $1 diamond ( or any item) is "actually worth" $3, I put on a BullSpit protector.

 

Yes, a dumb blind guy with no idea of what money is worth was willing to pay $8500- but you can have it for $4000 becasue we like you.

I am not entirely sure how the FIL not being the seller is a "totally different story". The FIL is acting as a mediator, offering his advice from said experience, helped select the stone and played a large enough part to encourage a smaller stone in addition to recommending the stone he did, for whatever reason.

 

Furthermore, haa1025 has given NO indication as to the actual offering price which I highly doubt was as low as $4,000.00. For all we know he could have offered the stone for $8,000 rather than $8,500.

 

haa1025, my recommendation to you would be to follow Neil and I's initial advice and do some research to find out the fair asking price for what is offered to you and judge from there if you are getting a fair deal and/or generous 'family discount' from your FIL's friend.

 

I think you have also already learned enough here that you may want to concentrate your search on GIA or AGS graded stones. I will once more also recommend you take cut quality into consideration. It doesn't have to be a premium cut, but should at least be a well proportioned stone in order to optimize the 'sparkle'. A high color and/or clarity doesn't mean a whole lot if the diamond is a 'dud'.

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Megan- I feel it's different becasue the FIL is acting as a go-between, and not the actual seller.

It might be uncomfortable to tell one's future FIL that you don't feel comfortable with a seller he likes ( if that is, in fact, the case) as opposed to telling him you don't feel comfortable buying rom HIM!

 

Correct, we do not know what the seller is asking- maybe I jumped the gun on that one- then again, how do you know it's NOT $4000? :)

 

Haa- would you be willing to let us know the asking price of this $8500 diamond?

 

 

Megan- we also agree that focusing on quality of cut should be a primary concern- we also agree that limiting the search to diamonds identified by AGS and GIA reports is smart...

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Haa,

 

If you’ve been reading this forum for a while, you’ll notice that there are some areas where all of the pros consistently agree:

 

Buy from a dealer that you have reason to trust. They are not all the same.

Grading reports don’t certify anything, but they are helpful.

GIA and AGS reports are considerably more reliable, and consequently more useful, than the others.

There’s more to diamonds than appears on a grading report.

Cut matters.

Crappy diamonds are almost always cheaper than superficially similar good ones.

Buy the diamond, not the paper.

 

I agree with David, the difference between making or breaking a deal with your FIL vs. a deal with someone referred by your FIL is tremendously important.

 

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ISA NAJA

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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Megan- I feel it's different becasue the FIL is acting as a go-between, and not the actual seller.

It might be uncomfortable to tell one's future FIL that you don't feel comfortable with a seller he likes ( if that is, in fact, the case) as opposed to telling him you don't feel comfortable buying rom HIM!

I get it! :)

 

I can see where it would be difficult to tell your FIL that you aren't comfortable buying from him or his friend. In such a case, I think it is most important to do a bit of research and provide either the FIL or seller with guidelines to follow in selecting potential candidates for you. If they can't respect your guidelines and reasons behind them, you should find a very nice way to explain that you appreciate their help but may do better buying elsewhere in order to avoid any problems or conflicts of interest.

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Haa,

 

You’re buying the diamond based on the good council of your FIL, not on the advice of EGL-USA, which is as it should be. I don’t think you gain much by getting an additional opinion from GIA and I think you gain a lot by maintaining a trusting relationship with your FIL. The most important thing in a marriage is the people, not the rock, and for better or for worse, this guy is one of the people.

 

What’s the appraisal for? If you are looking for a big number to show people what a great deal you got, those UGL things and ones like them work pretty well. This is about all they're good for. If you are looking for something that will become part of an insurance policy, this is doing you more harm than good. Ask your insurance agent how they process claims and how they set their rates. The bottom line on the appraisal is usually used to set your premiums but it usually has little or nothing to do with the claims process.

 

Neil

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You’re buying the diamond based on the good council of your FIL, not on the advice of EGL-USA, which is as it should be. Neil

 

I want to thank all for their great posts and advice!

 

Neil thank you for your words of wisdom!! Your last words have put me at great ease. I do respect him and his advice. I have seen the work he has done in the past, and have admired it.

 

I think the whole certificate was for me, he senses that at first I was caught up in the whole size, price, more/bigger is better mentality. He said it would be best to insure for a lower price because of what you have hinted at here, the premiums that I would pay would be very high! He wanted to show me that I am getting a quality stone that is of high value. Again as I have stated in my other post, his reasoning for going smaller was a great suggestion, in my opinion, beacuse of the setting I am getting. I would like to hear your opininion on this (if you have any, since I know it's a matter of taste). This is just for curiosity.

 

Again Thank you all for your great posts!!!!

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I assumed or at least recommended an appraisal to confirm the EGL grade, but that is only valid, in my opinion, if it is done by an independent appraiser who has no affiliations with the seller or your FIL.

 

Neil is right about this: "The most important thing in a marriage is the people, not the rock, and for better or for worse, this guy is one of the people."

 

But, $6,000 still isn't pocket change to throw around.

 

I say, if you saw the stone, love it and feel you are getting a good deal then be happy about it. It sounds like your fiancee is already getting what she wants which is a thoughtful husband-to-be who was happy to work with his FIL to create the ring she will ultimately wear for many many years.

 

Congrats on your upcoming engagement, haa!

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Megan,

 

I make a living as an independent appraiser so I’m the last guy to recommend that we aren’t useful. I asked what the appraisal was for because Haa said his FIL is going to go get it for him, which means it’s not independent, and that it was expected to show a value that is much much more than the transaction price. This is a huge red flag. Seller supplied documents have their uses, even when the value conclusion is ridiculous, but insurance isn’t one of them. I also certainly agree that this sort of report would not be useful for what you were recommending.

 

Haa,

 

The size/quality question is almost always driven by the price. Big beautiful diamonds tend to grow on you and people who never thought they would like a 3 carater usually find that they love it. It’s the money thing that gets in the way. As you have no doubt discovered, an ideal cut 1.50 of similar clarity and color is going to double your price. Kick up your clarity to VS1, which is where everybody starts, and we’re talking triple or more. For most people this is not a tiny effect. I don’t know a thing about your budget and maybe this isn't your situation but it looks like your FIL has found a good compromise. Go for it.

 

Neil

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Haa,

I agree with Neil- If you are going to trust your FIL- then get off this forum and do that.

The problem here is that since you DID come and ask certain questions, it's brought up considerations.

He usually gets the stones 30% cheaper since he has dealt with the same person for a while now, and is very good friends with him.
this is also a red flag- NOT IN YOUR CASE HAA- but in general.

Someone offering a 30% discount on a fine diamond? How stupid are the "regular" customers?

 

 

Appraisal values are totally arbitrary.

If you asked Neil the "appraisal Value" of something he'd likely explain how appraisal values are determined.

 

We provide appraisals as a service for our clients. We tell folks that we can appraise their purchase anywhere from the exact cost, in some cases up to double what they paid.

There are items we sell for $1000, which can be found advertised for $2000- justifying a wide range of values which could be considered feasible.

We DON'T routinely appraise $1000 for $2000 to give the buyer peace of mind- simply because it would be false peace of mind.

I find over-apprasing by sellers to be a fairly common problem.

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Appraisal values are totally arbitrary.

I can’t speak for all appraisers but MY appraisal values are definitely not arbitrary.

 

That said, I do understand and even agree with your point. The appraisal process is often badly abused by retailers who would like it to be evidence of a bargain and appraisers who are selling documents for that purpose. For an appraisal to be useful it must be answering the correct question. “What is this worth?” is simply not sufficient. For example:

 

“What should I reasonably expect my insurance company to need to pay to replace this with a new one of like kind and quality in the case of a loss?”

 

and

 

“What should I expect to get for this if I sold it to a dealer in my town?”

 

are wildly different questions, both of which are asking for a value conclusion. The answer may be similar, or they may be as much as a factor of 10 or more apart depending on the details.

 

Other variations on the “What is it worth?” theme might be:

 

“If I saw this in a particular jewelry store, what would be a fair asking price?”

“What’s a reasonable budget to custom-make a ring like this one (at a particuar store)?”

“ What would be the available tax deduction if I donated this to a charity?

“How much would YOU charge for one like this?”

“What will YOU give me for it?”

“What would it be expected to bring at a particular type of auction?”

“What is the highest possible asking price at a hypothetical and unnamed jewelry store that is under no presure to actually make sales at this price?”

 

Every one of these questions could be answered with an 'appraised value' and they would quite likely all be different, perhaps enormously different, even when they are discussing the same item! When reading an appraisal report, you absolutely must understand what question is being answered or their conclusion is useless, even if it turns out to be correct. I’m reminded of the wisdom Douglas Adams in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The ultimate answer to life, the universe and everything is 42. Without understanding the question, do you really know more now than you did before you read that?

 

Neil

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Great point Neil, and thanks for clarifying. A replacement value with no explaination IS confusing- but a qualified appriaser- like yourself- will clarify many things about the value of a peice of jewelery.

 

 

 

We both agree that there are unscrupulous sellers who use inflated "Appraisal Values" attemping to fool buyers.

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Good question Neil!

 

It really depends on what the person is buying.

Say they just bought a 1.15 J/Vs2 oval- or a 1.52 G/VS1 Princess Cut..... let's assume a colorless diamond in the most popular size and clarity.

It's likely that we, or another seller - could provide a comparable item, at a comparable price.

Say someone did buy that 1.15 for $5K, and asks for an appraisal for $8500 ( reasonable for a full retail mark up appraisal).

We advise them that it's possible for the insurance company to charge a premium based the stated value- except, in the event of a loss, they can replace the diamond- and they know how to buy it for $5k too.

So, sometimes, over appraising can cause a waste of money.

 

A few weeks back a gentleman purchased our 1.51 Fancy Vivid Yellow Internally Flawless Diamond- for less than $30K

 

Of course, as luck would have it, within 3 days after he'd purchased it, at least 3 other potential buyers came forward.

In looking for another stone with those specs I realized, my diamond, well, HIS diamond could easily bring $40-45K- which is what I advised him to have us write the appraisal at- $45K

 

In a way, this points out how skilled someone like Neil needs to be.

When a honest knowledgeable seller writes an appraisal, they have all the info in hand.

It's quite simple to write an appraisal if you know the weight , and measurements of the diamonds-It's easy for an experienced grader to color and clarity grade the diamond when loose- prior to manufacture.

 

Neil ( and other qualified Gemologists) have to act as a detective.

It's much more difficult to grade and measure diamonds after they are set.

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