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Question About Blue Nile


vagabond
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Hi All,

 

I was looking online for buying a diamond and came accross blue nile. I read other posts about it and it seems that mostly every one is happy with it. However I have some questions (fears) about buying online:

 

1) How do I make sure they sent me what I ordered? I mean just by looking at the diamond I will not be able to tell ..

 

2) How do I make sure that it is not a conflict diamond?

 

3) How do I make sure that the diamond is not "used" .. It may be traded in by someone ..

Also what soes the GIA certification date mean? If the date is 11 Feb, 2006, does that mean the diamond was cut and polished at that time?

 

 

Thanks,

vagabond

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1. If you want simple veriication that the stone you got is the one you purchased then most jewelers and all appraisers can do this for you..

 

2. In all honesty, you can't.. There is no physical difference between diamonds so it's impossible to tell where a cut diamond came from with 100% certainty.. That said, even at it highest point, "blood diamonds" only accounted for a very small percentage of the diamonds in circulation and it's far less now.. Most stats say less than 1%..

 

3. Again, you can't.. Diamonds don't have a shelf life, they don't expire, they don't age.. The date on the lab report is just that.. When the report was written.. The diamond could have been cut that week, month, year, decade and then sent in for grading.. Agian, since diamond don't have a shelf life, no one can say with 100% certainty.. But, most diamonds that get graded get graded within a reasonable amount of time of their hitting the wholesale / retail channel..

 

Even with all the cut grades, scopes, and testing equipment, buying jewelry still comes down to trust between you and your vendor of choice..

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As to questions two and three, there's only a couple of ways I know of to be absolutely sure it's not a conflict diamond and that it's recently mined. One is to buy a Canadian diamond. They are tracked very carefully according to Canadian law and come with a certificate of authenticity guaranteeing their origins. You will pay quite a bit more for this of course, and I don't think Blue Nile offers such diamonds. The only other way is to go with a lab created diamond, Apollo Diamond is currently the only company that can make colorless synthetic ones but they've had their technical difficulties (making colorless ones above .75 carat very rare) and have their obvious downsides to buying as well.

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2) Conflict diamonds is an interesting question and what constitutes surety is different for different people. 100% is no more a choice here than it is for safety in cars or rat hair in hot dogs. It’s necessary to decide on a standard that is acceptable. There is a system that was put in place in 2001 due to abuses in Africa called ‘Kimberley Process’ for assuring that diamonds are from legitimate sources that is legally required for import or export from any of over 60 countries including the United States, Canada and every country in Europe. Every stone legally imported into the US since 2003 has been required to be part of Kimberley. Kimberley claims to be cover 99.8% of the diamonds mined in the world, their critics say it’s only 98%. Either way, it’s a fairly good assurance. If you buy a stone from any legitimate US dealer, including Blue Nile, you are reasonably assured of a conflict free diamond. Your chances of trouble go up if you buy from the discount back alley type sellers.

 

As H&A points out, the government of Canada has a certification system for certain Canadian produced stones as being sourced from Canada. That raises your assurance level to about 99.9%, which is better but still not absolute because it’s always possible for a criminal to smuggle something into Canada or somehow counterfeit the Canadian documentation. It also becomes an issue of deciding what is a conflict diamond. There are some native rights land disputes going on in Canada and the First Nations people are pretty unhappy about it. It’s not the same kind of thing that was going on in Sierra Leone in the early 90’s but it’s not all sweetness and light either.

 

By the way, one way to be assured that a stone was not used as currency in the African wars of the 90's is to buy a stone that was imported prior to that. This is directly opposed to your #3 objective but I thought I would point out for others that don't have that requirement that buying a recycled stone is the easiest way to know at least it's recent history.

 

There’s a discussion about this in the faq section of this forum that may be helpful.

 

3) This is another touchy one. Diamonds are roughly 200 million years old and they hold up pretty well. This is actually a feature, not a problem. The history between when it was mined and when you bought it is impossible to trace but here’s a good trick. Buy an AGS-0 stone with a report more recent than 2006. AGS changed their grading rules in January 2006 and it’s considerably more difficult for cutters to get the ‘0’ cut grade now. The cutters needed to change their cutting parameters slightly to get it and the vast majority of such stones you see have been recently cut using computer controlled equipment specifically with the objective of getting that grade. It doesn't just happen by luck. Some jewelers also represent specific cutting houses and can not only tell you when it was cut, they can tell you who cut it. Many of the branded stones can provide more information about particular stones because of this.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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Thank you all for replying ..

 

Neil, can you please elaborate more on finding a jeweller who represents cutting houses? How do I find one?

 

Also, I saw some AGS-0 diamonds on blue nile which have the date as recent as January 2007.

Blue Nile has a good selection, but I am worried about the setting issues, repairs, cleaning etc.. Also I was looking for some way where in the future I can keep trading in my diamond for better pieces. This is the only advantage with Shane Co.

 

1) Is there a way where I can get both? A diamond that I want at a good price and at the same time the advantages of Shane Co?

 

 

2) I am looking only at numbers and grading reports when buying online .. So If I am buying an AGS-0, I hope I can be sure that the diamond will look great and have that fire ..

 

3) Also, if a diamond has been graded once, can it be graded again? I know the graders write someting on the girdle, but can that be erased and written again or manipulated?

Edited by vagabond
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The best promoted brand of diamond, at least around here is ‘Hearts on Fire’ but they have a fair amount of competition. ‘Infinity’ comes to mind as another one. Ask the jewelers about specific brands that they represent and whether this branding is a relationship directly with the cutter or if it means something else. In general, they are very proud of their brands and are thrilled to talk about this with you.

 

Trade in programs are something that’s specific to the individual jeweler. It’s not really a property of the diamond. Some are better than others. Lots of jewelers have them. Ask around. Be sure to read the fine print of the policy. There are always rules and the rules are definitely not all the same.

 

You can be reasonably confident that a January '07 AGS-0 at blue nile has both been recently cut by one of their suppliers and is not a conflict diamond.

 

Sure, I'll grade a diamond as many times as someone is willing to pay me to do it. I suspect every other lab has the same policy. Yes, girdle inscriptions can be erased.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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I read that the GIA has a system in place to ensure people don't resubmit stones in attempt to get a better grading. They keep track of the proportions (measurements, angles, etc) and distinguishing characteristics of each stone they grade in a database and try to identify stones that have already been submitted. I don't know how well their system works though. They put a laser inscription on a lot of the diamonds they do reports on too, but as Neil pointed out this can be erased (or altered) if a person is determined enough (I would think it would leave an irregular facet or cavity in the girdle though).

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I read that the GIA has a system in place to ensure people don't resubmit stones in attempt to get a better grading. They keep track of the proportions (measurements, angles, etc) and distinguishing characteristics of each stone they grade in a database and try to identify stones that have already been submitted. I don't know how well their system works though. They put a laser inscription on a lot of the diamonds they do reports on too, but as Neil pointed out this can be erased (or altered) if a person is determined enough (I would think it would leave an irregular facet or cavity in the girdle though).

 

 

H&A,

 

Recognizing a diamond that has been submitted to your lab before isn’t generally all that difficult. Gemprint is great for this. It saves embarrassment for the lab to provide a different grade different times a stones is submitted and I’m confident that the major labs use a system like this to track every stone that gets resubmitted. This doesn’t mean that they won’t grade the same stone twice. It just means that they try to avoid changing an opinion without knowing that this is what they are doing. There was a big scandal last year where GIA got seriously embarrassed over exactly this issue, the client went nuts, and the whole thing blew up into a big bribery scandal. Google ‘certifigate’ for a pretty entertaining story if you like this sort of thing.

 

There’s no way to tell if a stone has been previously examined by another lab and there is, in fact, a fairly large traffic in sending a particular stone to several labs and then choosing the report that most suits the cause of the seller. Offending reports are mysteriously lost.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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WOW, its pretty amazing how much this business relies on trust ..

 

All business relies on trust, and it’s part of the process of being a good shopper to understand who it is that you’re relying on and to assess their reliability. Buying a steak at the supermarket involves trusting both the grocer and USDA that the meat is good, buying a car involves trusting a whole gambut of people ranging from the manufacturer and the dealer to the EPA and the autoworkers union. Houses, horses, financial services, travel, even stocks and bonds all have the same issues involving the trustworthiness of the various participants. Diamonds and jewelry are not really very different in this regard, it’s just that it’s an unfamiliar transaction to most people so it feels like you are more exposed. Choosing the dealer and the appraiser carefully will go a long way towards making this a successful and painless experience.

 

Neil

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WOW, its pretty amazing how much this business relies on trust ..

 

All business relies on trust, and it’s part of the process of being a good shopper to understand who it is that you’re relying on and to assess their reliability. Buying a steak at the supermarket involves trusting both the grocer and USDA that the meat is good, buying a car involves trusting a whole gambut of people ranging from the manufacturer and the dealer to the EPA and the autoworkers union. Houses, horses, financial services, travel, even stocks and bonds all have the same issues involving the trustworthiness of the various participants. Diamonds and jewelry are not really very different in this regard, it’s just that it’s an unfamiliar transaction to most people so it feels like you are more exposed. Choosing the dealer and the appraiser carefully will go a long way towards making this a successful and painless experience.

 

Neil

 

 

One thing i can say when you are looking for honest appraiser, Neil seems to be the right guy.

Edited by diamondsonfifth.com
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  • 2 years later...
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Hi there, any reputable diamond jewellery, whether they be high street or online, should be able to provide you with an INDEPENDENT appraisal for your diamond ring. I highlight the word independent as this is what it needs to be, NOT an in-house appraisal that they have done themselves. This appraisal will then provide you with a full written specification of your diamond, and also an estimate of the high street value. Hope that helps.

 

Simon Wiser

Managing Director

DeJoria Diamonds

www.dejoria.co.uk

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Hi there, any reputable diamond jewellery, whether they be high street or online, should be able to provide you with an INDEPENDENT appraisal for your diamond ring. I highlight the word independent as this is what it needs to be, NOT an in-house appraisal that they have done themselves. This appraisal will then provide you with a full written specification of your diamond, and also an estimate of the high street value. Hope that helps.

 

Simon Wiser

Managing Director

DeJoria Diamonds

www.dejoria.co.uk

 

Hi Simon,

 

I'm a big fan of independent appraisals and although I absolutely agree that selling jewelers should be providing full documentation for what they sell and that this is often sufficient for the client's needs, it's not INDEPENDENT if it's supplied by the selling jeweler. It makes no difference if they author the document themselves or if they contract out the work to an outside service, even if the contractor might be 'independent' under other circumstances. When people are looking for an independent appraisal, it's exactly that relationship between the appraiser and the selling jeweler and the conflicts of interest that are inherent to it that they're trying to avoid.

 

 

Neil

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