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Old Diamonds


nurse2u_82
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My mother has recently come into the possesion of a diamond ring. It was her grandmother's engagement ring, and our guess is that it originated from 1880-1900. My mother took the ring to a local upscale jeweler to have the the band replaced and the jeweler informed her that it was an Old Mine, Rose Cut Diamond 1/2 carat and insisted that she have it appraised. He stated that his store could do it for a fee of $100.00. Does this sound right? He made it sound as though she she have it done right away and insured but I encouraged her to call around first. Is this kind of a diamond rare and or worth anything? My mother is on a fixed income and doesn't have $100 bucks laying around to waste. HELP!!!!

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$100 is not an unreasonable fee for a well done appraisal but I would question whether your Mom really need one. I can’t answer whether your particular stone is likely to be especially valuable without quite a bit more information but age is not, of itself, something that drives up the price. If anything, unpopular cuts will drive it down a bit. Most insurance policies are designed to replace lost property with ‘like kind and quality’, which means that in the case of a loss the company will go into the marketplace and try to find a replacement diamond with similar specs. If she’s on a genuinely restricted income and would not be inclined to buy insurance anyway because of the need to pay premiums, it would do her no good to get this kind of documentation.

 

It’s worth mentioning that many, even most, jewelers are not qualified appraisers, especially for pre-loss insurance type work and $100 is a waste of money if all they do is write a few notes and make up a big number. The insurance premium will be based on the number the appraiser provides but the payout in the case of a loss will be based on the description and the company’s cost to replace. Often these numbers are wildly out of sync and you end up paying way more for the insurance than the coverage delivered would justify if the appraiser had just provided a sensible report. Also, most homeowners policies include a certain amount of jewelry coverage as part of the policy and if this is one of only a few valuable articles, it may not make sense to buy a special policy for it. She may already have coverage onder her homeowners or renters policy. Have her talk to her insurance agent about her requirements and what sorts of policys they have to offer to be sure she has the right policy(s) for her needs.

 

To get a feel for the company’s replacement cost on just the diamond component, click on the link at the top of the page titled ‘find online jeweler’. Fill in round, 0.5-0.55cts, G color, SI1 clarity and search for offers. These details make quite a bit of difference but this is a good place to get a thumbnail to start with. You can play with the database and change some of those answers and see what the different results are. Old Mine cuts are anywhere from 10%-30% less than otherwise comparable modern cuts.

 

Neil

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It’s worth mentioning that many, even most, jewelers are not qualified appraisers, especially for pre-loss insurance type work and $100 is a waste of money if all they do is write a few notes and make up a big number. The insurance premium will be based on the number the appraiser provides but the payout in the case of a loss will be based on the description and the company’s cost to replace. Often these numbers are wildly out of sync and you end up paying way more for the insurance than the coverage delivered would justify if the appraiser had just provided a sensible report. Also, most homeowners policies include a certain amount of jewelry coverage as part of the policy and if this is her only valuable article, it may not make sense to buy a special policy for it. She may already have coverage. Talk to your insurance agent about your requirements and what sorts of policys they have to offer.

 

Neil

 

This is so true. We do offer appraisals for diamonds we've sold but only as a convenience to our customers for the sake of insurance. It is best for a number of reasons to seek out an independent appraiser, even one that specializes in antique jewelry if possible. Neil can tell you what credentials to look for.

 

As for a rose cut, I, too, am curious why they'd make a big deal out of your getting an appraisal for this diamond. Rose cuts are not huge sellers and a half carat is hardly an unusual size. I like them because I love antique jewelry but they have no pavillion, the pointy part of the diamond. They also have more primitive faceting on top, which is charming, but less brilliant than even an OEC, old european cut. They are basically what I call pancake diamonds with faceting on top. They don't weigh much for their size since they have no "belly".

 

Perhaps there is something else special about this diamond that we've not yet found out, such as the color? I think perhaps this guy might have been trying to drum up business or found it interesting and was making a passing remark.

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thank you guys for the replys. I will let her know what your suggestions are. I do have one more question though. Regarding WebGal's comment...

"They are basically what I call pancake diamonds with faceting on top. They don't weigh much for their size since they have no "belly". You are describing this like it is a "flat" diamond. If so, maybe you misunderstood me. The top is flat, but under it there is what I think is a "belly"???? I'm no jeweler, just confused. Thanks anyways guys.
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CushionCut_1.jpgCushionCut_8.jpgCushionCut_6.jpg

 

CushionCut_18.jpg182c_small.jpgCushionCut_21.jpg

 

Okay, the ones above are modern cut diamonds, cut in the old style. They are very much like old miners. We do carry a number of cushion cuts that are cut in the old style.

 

Below is my ring. It is an old european cut diamond ring.

 

c_antique.jpgc_twohand.jpg

 

We had a pair of earrings with rose cuts around the outside and rhodolite garnets as center stones. I'll try to post but I've been having difficulty posting photos today.

 

Here goes. Okay, I could not attach but found it on the internet.

 

ro8.JPG

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thank you guys for the replys. I will let her know what your suggestions are. I do have one more question though. Regarding WebGal's comment...
"They are basically what I call pancake diamonds with faceting on top. They don't weigh much for their size since they have no "belly". You are describing this like it is a "flat" diamond. If so, maybe you misunderstood me. The top is flat, but under it there is what I think is a "belly"???? I'm no jeweler, just confused. Thanks anyways guys.

 

I'm not sure it's rose cut, then. It might be an old miner, transition cut or an old european cut.

 

d5.gif

This photo courtesy of topazery.com. I'm using it to illustrate what a rose cut looks like from the side.

 

Old European below

 

d2.gif

 

Diamond diagram below, the pointy part is the "belly" aka pavillion.

 

 

d1.gif

 

photos are all from topazery that carries antique jewelry

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