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Blemishes


carikube
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I bought 3.36 tcw round earrings, I1 clarity, F color, ideal cut, from a very reputable jeweler. The diamonds were perfect, with no obvious inclusions. One earring had a slight dent in the white gold basket setting, so they repaired it. When I received the earrings back, there were noticeable grey metallic surface marks all over one side area of the earring, and the basket setting looked charred. The jeweler stated those were inclusions in the diamond, but I know this was not there before. They polished the stone, with some slight improvement in metallic marks. They gave me new posts. This is not the same quality diamond I purchased initially. Any suggestions?

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I bought 3.36 tcw round earrings, I1 clarity, F color, ideal cut, from a very reputable jeweler. The diamonds were perfect, with no obvious inclusions. One earring had a slight dent in the white gold basket setting, so they repaired it. When I received the earrings back, there were noticeable grey metallic surface marks all over one side area of the earring, and the basket setting looked charred. The jeweler stated those were inclusions in the diamond, but I know this was not there before. They polished the stone, with some slight improvement in metallic marks. They gave me new posts. This is not the same quality diamond I purchased initially. Any suggestions?

 

It's a simple matter to verify an I1 diamond against the clarity plot on a full grading report. If the diamonds were accompanied by smaller, dossier style reports from GIA or AGS with no plots they will have laser inscriptions on the girdle (visible under magnification, depending on how they are mounted). If you have no accompanying reports it will be hard to verify them unless you had an independent appraisal done, in which case a good appraiser will have photos/documentation sufficient to ID them.

 

I would mention that it's rare to find an I1 (especially ungraded) with "no obvious inclusions." Is it possible the diamond was simply turned in the settings during the repair so that something that was covered is now visible?

Edited by JohnQuixote
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I bought 3.36 tcw round earrings, I1 clarity, F color, ideal cut, from a very reputable jeweler. The diamonds were perfect, with no obvious inclusions. One earring had a slight dent in the white gold basket setting, so they repaired it. When I received the earrings back, there were noticeable grey metallic surface marks all over one side area of the earring, and the basket setting looked charred. The jeweler stated those were inclusions in the diamond, but I know this was not there before. They polished the stone, with some slight improvement in metallic marks. They gave me new posts. This is not the same quality diamond I purchased initially. Any suggestions?

 

Thanks for your advice. TO CLARIFY, there were no obvious METALLIC inclusions when I bought the earrings. I would not have bought earrings that looked like that. I do think the diamond surface was damaged during repair of the post. When they tried to polish the stone to remove the metallic marks, some of it did come off. The marks are scattered through out one side of the diamond, so I think it's impossible that it was covered up by the basket setting when I first purchased the earrings. The other matching diamond earring in the pair is perfect in my eyes.

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HI ALl!

I disagree that if an I1 diamond has a GIA report it would be easy to identify the imperfections from the plot- many times the plot and diamond seem almost unrelated.

 

The main issue here is trust.

I do agree with John that it's possible things you did not notice the first time were more obvious due to the stone being in a different position in the setting.

 

The METALLIC things you're describing might very well have been there- and you did not notice them.

Or the diamond may have been switched- I truly hope that's NOT the case- as you probably picked a dealer you feel comfortable with.

 

What sounds least likely is that some metal from the setting got onto the diamond. It is possible to damage a diamond with heat during some jewelry work, but that does not sound like the case here.

May I ask how much the earrings cost?- that might give us the most insight into what we're dealing with- IF there are no GIA reports.

Edited by diamondsbylauren
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HI ALl!

I disagree that if an I1 diamond has a GIA report it would be easy to identify the imperfections from the plot- many times the plot and diamond seem almost unrelated.

 

The main issue here is trust.

I do agree with John that it's possible things you did not notice the first time were more obvious due to the stone being in a different position in the setting.

 

The METALLIC things you're describing might very well have been there- and you did not notice them.

Or the diamond may have been switched- I truly hope that's NOT the case- as you probably picked a dealer you feel comfortable with.

 

What sounds least likely is that some metal from the setting got onto the diamond. It is possible to damage a diamond with heat during some jewelry work, but that does not sound like the case here.

May I ask how much the earrings cost?- that might give us the most insight into what we're dealing with- IF there are no GIA reports.

 

The diamonds had a retail price of approximately $19,500. I traded in my old diamond earrings, so I ended up paying less. They appraised the diamonds for around $16,000, which is also the value I have them insured for. I do not have a GIA report, only the jeweler's appraisal. I am going to the store today to tell them that I want to exchange the earrings.

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HI ALl!

I disagree that if an I1 diamond has a GIA report it would be easy to identify the imperfections from the plot- many times the plot and diamond seem almost unrelated.

 

The main issue here is trust.

I do agree with John that it's possible things you did not notice the first time were more obvious due to the stone being in a different position in the setting.

 

The METALLIC things you're describing might very well have been there- and you did not notice them.

Or the diamond may have been switched- I truly hope that's NOT the case- as you probably picked a dealer you feel comfortable with.

 

What sounds least likely is that some metal from the setting got onto the diamond. It is possible to damage a diamond with heat during some jewelry work, but that does not sound like the case here.

May I ask how much the earrings cost?- that might give us the most insight into what we're dealing with- IF there are no GIA reports.

 

David, in each case I've done this I could ID the primary grade-setting inclusion(s) in the I range with ease, even if the rest of the plot was more ...trying to be politically correct here... :) "subjective." Admittedly, my experience with I clarities has been in my GIA coursework and subsequent workshops, since we don't deal with clarities below SI in our company.

 

Carikube, forgive me if this sounds simplistic, but have the diamonds had a good thorough steam and/or ultrasonic cleaning since they were worked on?

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HI ALl!

I disagree that if an I1 diamond has a GIA report it would be easy to identify the imperfections from the plot- many times the plot and diamond seem almost unrelated.

 

The main issue here is trust.

I do agree with John that it's possible things you did not notice the first time were more obvious due to the stone being in a different position in the setting.

 

The METALLIC things you're describing might very well have been there- and you did not notice them.

Or the diamond may have been switched- I truly hope that's NOT the case- as you probably picked a dealer you feel comfortable with.

 

What sounds least likely is that some metal from the setting got onto the diamond. It is possible to damage a diamond with heat during some jewelry work, but that does not sound like the case here.

May I ask how much the earrings cost?- that might give us the most insight into what we're dealing with- IF there are no GIA reports.

 

David, in each case I've done this I could ID the primary grade-setting inclusion(s) in the I range with ease, even if the rest of the plot was more ...trying to be politically correct here... :) "subjective." Admittedly, my experience with I clarities has been in my GIA coursework and subsequent workshops, since we don't deal with clarities below SI in our company.

 

Carikube, forgive me if this sounds simplistic, but have the diamonds had a good thorough steam and/or ultrasonic cleaning since they were worked on?

 

The earrings were cleaned (steam and ultrasonic) today. The assistant manager said a few things....The diamond has dark inclusions in it, and sometimes a great F color can make any dark inclusions look much more obvious. The lighting in the store may have made the inclusions appear less obvious when I first bought them. Over time, the inclusions may have become more obvious when exposed to hand oils and lotions. He will contact his diamond suppliers and try to bring similar diamonds for me to look at. He says I will have to basically pay to upgrade to a higher clarity diamond or downgrade the color.

 

Do all diamonds come with a GIA report that I can use to see if the diamond was switched? I only have the store appraisal. This store has been family owned and operated in Sacramento for years, so I think it would be unlikely that the diamond was switched. Although, I know their main jeweler recently retired, and now they have a new guy working in the store.

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Just wondering if these diamonds were clarity enhanced or treated in some fashion and after repeated high-steam cleaning and working the earring basket/prongs at the bench some of the enhancement dissipated resulting now in you seeing things you did not see the first time.

 

Store appraisals on merchandise they are selling are often self-serving whereas GIA will clearly indicate whether the diamond has been treated.

 

I really feel bad for you in that you've spent a considerable amount of money without receiving independent verification of the diamonds from either a reputable diamond grading lab such as the GIA or from a highly skilled and Independent Appraiser prior to making the purchase.

 

The Bummer is that now you're being asked to pony up more money for an "upgrade".

 

Good Luck in resolving this.

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I think the risk that the jeweler switched you diamonds is very low. Among other things, the payoff just isn’t there. The stones that he supposedly would have stolen are house graded I1’s. This makes no sense even if the jeweler was a crook, which most are not.

 

Diamonds are not very permeable and metallic inclusions can’t be added. My guess is that a good cleaning will restore them to their original condition. The manager is correct that fancy lights and squeaky clean diamonds can make inclusions harder to see and stores go out of there way to have selling environments that make things look good. Also, as you wear them and look at them you become more familiar and you are more inclined to notice things that initially seemed tiny.

 

GIA reports are only moderately useful for identifying stones but the trick is to inspect your stone under magnification and know what you’re looking for. Most have very distinctive birthmarks to them. They are extremely useful for enforcing correct grading by the jeweler. There are still some shenanigans that are possible but step of getting stones that have been previously graded by GIA or AGS helps enormously. Your appraiser may be able to provide you photomicrographs of exactly what to look for. If the store can’t do it, consider getting it examined by a professional appraiser who isn’t working for the store.

 

Neil

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