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Appraisals Different On Same Piece Of Jewelry


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Recently, I bought a pair of diamond studs at St. Thomas. The jeweler provided me with the EGL certificate. When I got home, I had the earrings appraised by an accredited appraiser. To my surprise, the grading report turned out to be quite off from the EGL certificate.


This means that I paid for the higher quality but the actual quality was much lower. Am I able to go back to the jeweler (receipt and EGL certificate available) to get some money back? Please suggest.


Once I purchased a ring with the GIA grading report. I had the ring appraised by the same appraiser. The 2 reports turned out almost identical. I believe the GIA reports are more accurate and trustworthy.

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Hi Diamondsss,


Several mixed questions here. GIA’s opinion IS more reliable than EGL’s, especially EGL International but, as far as I can tell, you don't have one and aren't planning on getting it. You’re correct that seller supplied documents tend to describe things generously. That’s what they were prepared for and why they were included as part of your sales presentation.


St. Thomas is an expensive place to be buying things and you probably did pay a premium for the privilege of shopping there. That said, the individual jewelers set their own return policies. By all means ask them if they will take a return on the earrings because you are unhappy. If you were there as part of a cruise, sometimes the cruise lines can be helpful in negotiating a refund. Since St. Thomas is part of the US, you have a bit more recourse than if you had bought overseas but it’s still going to be an uphill battle. Does the receipt or any of the other paperwork they gave you discuss their refund policy? Did you pay with a credit card?



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Each jeweler sets their own prices as well and the location isn’t what makes the good stores good. I hate to blanketly disparage everyone with an address in St. Thomas. That said, the cruise ports are among the most expensive rents on the planet and many of the stores there enter into expensive cooperative advertising deals with the cruise lines that drive up the prices even further. A cruise port is no more a place to look for a bargain than an airport. It’s true that shopping malls across the US have similar problems and some of the chain stores can get pretty pricey for these sorts of reasons but these stores haven’t been the typical shopping experience in the US for quite a while and I would not count them as particularly representative of the category you are calling ‘brick and mortar’ jewelers. One of the major trends in US retailing is for stores to get OUT of the shopping malls for these sorts of reasons. The majority of US jewelers are now either individual or family owned affairs or parts of the ‘big box’ type sellers like Macy’s and Walmart, and those that choose to sell this sort of merchandise can easily compete with the folks in the islands on price.



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I disagree Neil, and I'll tell you why: the sheer volume of shoppers walking down Main Street on St. Thomas means that the stores there can do a lot more business than the typical brick and mortar in the United States. I don't care if they're in a mall or freestanding. They don't get 25,000 passengers walking down the street every day from December to April.

What this means, is that the best stores in the St. Thomas do a volume that allows them to sell for less than any but the most high-volume/ low margin brick and mortar sellers in the United States.


That said, not every store in St. Thomas has this sort of volume. That said, we also need to realize that there's a lot of sellers down there, such as the one that sold the diamonds that are the subject of this thread, that are not that interested honest representation.


Years ago, when I used to sell diamonds wholesale in the Caribbean, it the jewelers I sold to in the Caribbean recognized the value in top silver diamonds.

US mainland jewelers would not handle diamonds of K-L-M color, whilst the Indians of St. Thomas would ( most of the jewelers in St Thomas are of Indian descent) sold the heck of of them.


Today, this has changed soemwhat.

And, overall the market has changed a lot- for one thing, smart shoppers can look on the Internet and really get an education today. But that does not change the fact that a lot of drunken tourists walk down the street and let the romance of a tropical island seduce them into a purchase they'd not planned......

Edited by diamondsbylauren
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