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Michael Cohen
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Diamond buying advice

 

How can you tell if a diamond certificate is reliable and not just another advertising tool

Consumers are generally not experts in diamond grading and therefore need to rely on certificates or grading reports in their purchasing decision.

That’s why more and more retailers offer certificates as proof of what they are selling. In addition, with synthetic diamonds and treated diamonds on the market it has become a vital part of the industry to maintain consumer confidence

 

 

 

However, not all diamond certificates are reliable. Some laboratories are owned or run by the same individuals selling the diamonds and some do not have the equipment, master sets, processes or expertise to grade and detect and disclose treatments, synthetics etc… Some retailers sell with valuations, some with certificates from questionable Laboratories. This has only one intention, to convince the consumer to purchase.

 

 

A reliable diamond certificate is a detailed description of the stone prepared by a respected independent laboratory. Its purpose is to verify the authenticity and quality of the diamond. The certificate is as good as the laboratory that produces it, so check the credentials. Reputable laboratories make use of advanced equipment such as the DiamondSure and DiamondView to screen diamonds and detect synthetics and treatments. These laboratories are the watchdogs of the industry and protect consumers.

 

So whether you are buying from a physical jeweller or an online retailer, be wary of those offering bogus certificates alongside international recognised certificates.

This tactic is used to lend credibility from reliable certs to “in house†certs.

Make sure your diamond comes with a reliable cert!

 

Shop safe, Shop Smart.

Edited by Michael Cohen
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Documents provided by sellers are advertising tools.

 

Always.

 

That’s why they provide them. This doesn’t make them wrong but it does mean that they have passed through the filter of the dealer. That’s who chose the lab. That’s who chose which service(s) to order from the lab. That’s who decided to include the report in the sales presentation rather than put the report in the shredder, send the stone to another lab or sell it without documentation at all.

 

The first step to protecting yourself is to choose your dealer carefully. If feel you don’t have some reason to believe you can trust them, don’t. The purpose of the lab examination is to strengthen and support the trust you are putting in your jeweler, not as a substitute for it. Documents issued by some of the finest labs in the world can and often are part of the worst deals out there.

 

The second step is to have it inspected by a qualified and independent grader who is working for you, not for the seller. Trust, but verify.

 

Neil

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Besides AGS and GIA, which are these "watchdog" labs?

 

 

That's a pretty unfriendly statement, Since there are other laboratories in other countries around the world.

 

We had one of the GIA quality controllers in Australia last year,She was very impressed with our facility.

 

We have proven to be one of the most consistent grading laboratories in the world, and importantly we have all necessary analytical equipment and references.

 

We also employ only the most qualified personal.

 

Try us some day you will be impressed.

 

Shop safe, Shop Smart.

Edited by Michael Cohen
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Michael,

 

I didn't initially realize you were actually selling your own services.....thanks for clearing that up ;)

 

Perhaps DiamondsbyLauren made the same mistake from reading your initial posting?

 

Of course it is true that GIA AND AGS labs command the highest respect in the diamond industry and amongst consumers for the stringency and quality of their grading criterion. They both have a well deserved and well established reputation, which no other diamond grading laboratory can take away from them. Indeed, it took these two labs. many many years to build their reputation.

 

Still, it is also true (as you pointed out) that there are other qualified laboratories out there and that any Independent diamond grading report is certainly better than a piece of paper report, churned out by somebody on payroll in the very same store where you purchase your diamond!! These guys will almost arbitrarily give the diamond a higher color/clarity grade than what it actually deserves. Makes perfect $ense :P

 

 

 

From the tone of your posting, I (and possibly others) quickly assumed that you were an Independent Appraiser (verifying already certifed diamonds and usually for a consumer after a purchase has been made), rather than an actual Diamond Grading Laboratory (grading diamonds for manufacturers and wholesalers before a diamond is sold).

 

 

Best of luck and thanks again for your perspective and sound advice!

Edited by DiamondMaven
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Hi All!

Michael, all due respect to your lab- but I stand by my statement- it holds true in Sydney, Tokyo, Antwerp, or New York City.

DIAMOND DEALERS WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY SUBSTITUTE ON HIGH DOLLAR DIAMONDS. Secondary labs' reports are simply not acceptable if a dealer is trying to prove his 2.00 is actually a D/VS2 ( or whatever)

On lesser dollar diamonds, secondary lab's reports are also less important- simply because the dealers themselves need to know how to evaluate what the goods are worth.

 

Can you show me where GIA is recommending your services? You did use their name to imply they do approve.

 

Judah-

Still, it is also true (as you pointed out) that there are other qualified laboratories out there and that any Independent diamond grading report is certainly better than a piece of paper report, churned out by somebody on payroll in the very same store where you purchase your diamond!! These guys will almost arbitrarily give the diamond a higher color/clarity grade than what it actually deserves. Makes perfect $ense

 

The problem with this statement is that once we fall below the threshold of GIA and AGSL, it's a loooong slippery slope. Put any three letters together on a laminated sheet of paper, and you've got your "independent lab"

UGL, EGL, IGI, DGL. ( DGL=Dave's gem lab- but who's counting)- how is the consumer to know the difference?

 

Michael: Having all the latest equipment- as I'm sure you have- does not make up for these market conditions.

I'm sure you do all that's possible to ensure correct grading- but that too , does not overcome these very real market forces.

 

 

Maybe someday others -like you- will encroach on GIA's turf. But that's along way off right now-if it will ever happen. GIA is expanding globally.

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  • 1 month later...

One thing that has always confused me about Grading Reports (AGS, GIA,etc) is the question of whether the report actually matches the diamond purchased.

 

There always seems to be so much emphasis put on its a "GIA Report" or a "AGS" report, but what I don't understand is, how do you know if the diamond you bought matches the right report?

 

Are there any standards that protect the consumer?

 

What if purely by accident, someone when putting the diamond into the safe mixed up reports from different diamonds?

 

Or another case, what if the report is actually faked? They seem simple enough to forge.

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The lab report is a reinforcement of the trust you are placing in the dealer, not a substitute for it. The way you know that the stone matches the report, that the report is genuine, unaltered and accurate, that it’s not been damaged since the date of exam, that it’s not stolen, etc. is the same way that you know that it’s a diamond at all. You’re trusting the dealer.

 

How to choose a dealer that deserves your trust is a much more difficult question. You do it by investigating them. Listen to or read what they have to say and compare it to the facts that you already know. Check their references with BBB, JVC, friends and coworkers and anyone else who may have done business with them. Google them and see what other trails they may have out there.

 

Assuming that you’re not an expert yourself, the after purchase verification process involves examining the stone microscopically and comparing it to the data on the report. Most of the labs include anti-counterfeiting elements in their reports and they're harder to fake than you might think if the person looking at them has seen a few hundred before. Yes, there are fakes out there. There’s a small industry of independent appraisers who offer this service and who can assist. These are folks who don’t buy or sell diamonds and who have the equipment and training to not only match the stone to the paperwork the dealer you get from the dealer but to tell you if those documents are reliable and complete. To quote Ronald Reagan, “Trust but verify.â€

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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One thing that has always confused me about Grading Reports (AGS, GIA,etc) is the question of whether the report actually matches the diamond purchased.

 

There always seems to be so much emphasis put on its a "GIA Report" or a "AGS" report, but what I don't understand is, how do you know if the diamond you bought matches the right report?

 

Are there any standards that protect the consumer?

 

What if purely by accident, someone when putting the diamond into the safe mixed up reports from different diamonds?

 

Or another case, what if the report is actually faked? They seem simple enough to forge.

 

 

Sometimes there are laser inscriptions on the girdle of diamonds. The reports should state the ID number (if any) on the diamond, for what it's worth. That's one easy way you could match the stone with the report.

 

However, if someone was REALLY out to get you, I guess it's always possible to laser inscribe something or another on a stone with ease.

 

 

Bernard

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However, if someone was REALLY out to get you, I guess it's always possible to laser inscribe something or another on a stone with ease.

 

 

Bernard

 

Or provide a counterfeit or altered report, or provide a report that they know to be inaccurate, or to provide a stone that has been modified or damaged since the date of the report, or choose a report format that omits important details relevant to that particular stone.

 

Neil

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