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Help! Need Advice Very Soon!


waynew
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Here is my story. My mother had a diamond ring that was given to her in about 1970 by my father. It was "big and beautiful". She had it appraised in 1981 at $8,800 by a reputable jeweler in Houston, TX. Two days ago my sister took the ring to a jeweler and sold it for $1,500. I tracked down the jeweler, and he told me that he already removed the center diamond "a 96 point round", and just by chance he had purchased another diamond just like it the same day, and "both diamonds were in the same box". I explained that my sister had done something wrong, and that I would like to purchase the ring back. He agreed, and said he would charge me the $1,500 plus an added $150 to remount the diamond. I agreed to pay him the money to buy back the ring. I then asked him how much to insure the ring for when it is mailed to me (I live in a different state). He said he would recommend to insure it for about $6,000. I told the jeweler about the 1981 appraisal at $8,800, and he said that whoever did it back then was NOT correct.

Something is not adding up from my perspective. If an appraisal was done in 1981 at $8,800, why would it now be worth only $6,000? I am concerned that the jeweler will "substitute" in a poorer quality diamond than the original. In one or two days (Sept 21 or Sept 22) my elderly mother will take my cashiers check to the jeweler and pick up the ring and send it to me, along with the 1981 appraisal. I have not seen the appraisal, but my mother describes it as "complicated". Are there any suggestions on how to make sure that I get the original diamond back with the ring? Many thanks.

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It sounds to me like the jeweler is bending over backwards to be reasonable to you. Not only is he under no obligation to sell you the stone back for $1500, I suspect that most wouldn’t have agreed to this in the first place and any that were intent on mistreating you surely wouldn’t have. This is a pretty strong vote in the integrity of the jeweler.

 

There’s no way to evaluate that 1981 appraisal out of context but bear in mind that appraising jewelry is a completely unlicensed profession and anyone who wants to can write a report, title it ‘appraisal’ and can put whatever numbers they want at the bottom. In certain cases where you rely on them to make a purchase you can sue them over this nonsense but in mostly they are pretty immune. The result is tons of appraisal reports that are worth less than the paper they’re printed on. We know nothing about this appraiser or how he/she did their research or came to their conclusions. Without this it's impossible to know if an appraisal should be relied on or not but the default answer is NO. Is it possible that a stone appraised for $8800 in 1981 that’s ‘worth’ $6000 now. You bet. It’s equally possible that a stone appraised for $8800 in 1981 that a jeweler would have sold for $2000 in 1981. Appraise the appraiser.

 

If you’re seriously concerned, send the stone along with the 1981 appraisal report to a capable professional appraiser and ask them to appraise it to a current market and see if they can determine if it’s the same stone based on the information described in that report. If you find a different value conclusion, ask for an explanation.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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I agree with Neil,

Although I do have another suggestion- rather than send the diamond off, you might be able to take it into a local jewelry store. If they are willing to look at the appraisal from 1981- if as Neil says, it was porperly prepared ( I agree a HUGE question mark)- but that might be a step to take before sending it.

 

Do you think you might remember what the diamond looked like in terms of size?

 

I am a little concerned about the jeweler's claim that they paid $1500 for a diamond, then simply "threw it in a box"- that part does sound a little fishy to me.

If a person paid $1500 ( not a small sum) for a stone- wouldn't they grade and asses the diamond? Wouldn't they have to know which was which so they could properly keep track of costs?

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