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Inherited Diamonds, Not Sure Where To Start


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Hi All!

I've recently inherited a claspless "string" of diamonds that was found in my aunts things. It appears to have 33 diamonds in it. We think they are a little over half carrat each. I know it isnt very old, probably 15 years since it was purchased. Personally I think its not attractive as a bracelet and I would like to either liquidate the diamonds or have it made into new things. My question is, can I walk into any retail jeweler and have it appraised? I live close enough to NYC to sell it in the diamond district, but I don't want to get snowed because my husband and I know very little about jewelry. I do know how to tell if a diamond is real or not, and it definately appears to be authentic. Any ideas where to start?


Thank you.

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Sorry about the loss of your aunt.

In terms of the inheritance, it doesn't really sound as if you're going to be able to get a lot of money for what you have.

In general, any seller who buys diamonds from the public, does so only because it's at a price which is a fraction of what he would have to pay wholesale for that diamond.

So, in terms of selling it to a jeweler on 47th St, it would only be if the thing was valuable, and you're willing to let it go for a fraction of its price.

Do I understand that you were talking about Diamond beads?

Are the diamonds set in metal, or attached by means of a string?




In terms of figuring out what it's actually worth-again, you really can't depend on a seller to do that, unless they are known to you to be honest.

There are certainly qualified independent appraisers that can help you with that task. There's a gentleman named Neil, will probably chime in with a good suggestion. If you can find someone like him locally, you'll be in great shape.


I do not believe 47th St in Manhattan, specifically, would be the place to have that done. There seems to be up the gazillion people wanting to sell you a diamond on the street, or by your diamond at a fraction of its value, yet a decided lack of qualified people who would be willing to look at the diamond and give you an honest opinion in the role of an appraiser.

Sad to say, but I know of no one that possesses Neil's qualifications and integrity, who has a shingle on 47th St as an appraiser.

Edited by diamondsbylauren
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Here’s a capable appraiser in NYC.




The real question I want to chime in on is whether you can get an appraisal done at any jewelry store.




You have a threefold question.


#1 What do you have?

#2 What can you expect to get for it on resale?

#3 Who can you sell it to and how can you make the deal?


The major problem is the conflict of interest associated with that #3 item although there are also questions about overall competence to answer the #1. A bid to buy is not an appraisal and it provides a strong incentive to provide the wrong answers to the first two questions. There are some skilled and honorable people out there but there are also some sharks and it’s wickedly difficult to tell the difference.


You mentioned that they are diamonds and that they are half caraters. How did you decide this? It’s a big deal. It’s easy enough for any qualified jeweler to tell the difference between diamonds and the popular substitutes and most will be happy to do this for you for free but the next step is more problematic. The difference between diamonds can be huge and difficult to decide on. If you decide that your evidence is credible that they are, in fact, diamonds, I would encourage you to seek out an INDEPENDENT appraiser, meaning someone who is not in the business of buying or selling diamonds. The question of what is, and what is not a diamond is a good one to ask at a jewelry store.



Edited by denverappraiser
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First, get your diamonds and jewelry appraised so that you know what you have.


Since you are here in NY, an excellent "Independent" Appraiser to visit is Just Appraisers run by David Wolfe and Toby Smart.


Based on their evaluations you will be in a better position to determine your next step.

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Hi again. Thank you for the invaluble tips about my diamonds. Today, I took two of the diamonds into a jeweler and had them made into stud earrings in remembrance of my aunt. The jeweler told me the earrings, based on the size of the diamonds ( yes they turned out to be real and of excellent clarity! I was dumbfounded!) will appraise for about 2100 dollars when they are all set and ready to go. But the other 30 diamonds? The guy says I wont get more than 20 bucks a diamond for them if I try to sell them!!!! While I am totally flabbergasted that I have 32 (over) half carat diamonds of high quality (this guy has owned the jewelry store reccomended to me for 20 years and he knew his stuff) in my posession, I have no idea what to do with them. Im not about to hock these gorgeous diamonds for a fraction of their value in NYC, but at the same time, I don't want to have them all made into new jewelry either. So now that I know they are real, what do I do with the other 30 diamonds? Ideas welcome! ( Im even willing to make them into jewelry, sell it, and put it away for my kids education!)

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