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Dick
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Has anyone had any experience doing business with BuyDiamondDirect.com? One of my concerns is the short porch with respect to their return policy. It states: All returns of Diamond (s) or Piece (s) of Jewelry less than $15,000.00 Dollars must be made within 10 Days of receipt of the Original purchase.

 

I am learning quite a bit by reading the tutorials. One thing that stood out is something that was written about being cautious about stores that are discounting 25% to the marketplace. There is one stone in particular listed on BuyDiamondDirect that falls in my price point (@ $1800) but is much less than on other sites. Here is a link to this particular stone. http://www.buydiamonddirect.com/details/de...p?ITEM=14145437

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

 

Dick

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Sorry, can't help with BuyDiamondDirect.

 

However, since you can get a GIA-graded stone for slightly more than that amount and be confident that you are getting an E-SI2, then why go for the uncertainty of EGL?

 

By the way, particularly in a 0.75-0.85 diamond you won't be able to see much difference between an E and a G - probably even when the stone is loose, but definitely once it's set. And since you have taken the decision to go down in clarity to SI2 (sensibly in my view), you MUST see the diamond and have a good opportunity to return it before it's set.

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'davidelevi' date='Saturday, Jan 24 2009, 03:24 PM' post='19982']

Sorry, can't help with BuyDiamondDirect.

However, since you can get a GIA-graded stone for slightly more than that amount and be confident that you are getting an E-SI2, then why go for the uncertainty of EGL?

 

I sort of understand that a GIA-graded stone is the gold standard. However, wherein lies the uncertainty associated with an EGL-graded stone? Just curious..

 

By the way, particularly in a 0.75-0.85 diamond you won't be able to see much difference between an E and a G - probably even when the stone is loose, but definitely once it's set. And since you have taken the decision to go down in clarity to SI2 (sensibly in my view), you MUST see the diamond and have a good opportunity to return it before it's set.

 

Good advice. This is what I needed to hear. Maybe what I should do is loosen up my search a bit. Perhaps do a sort from E through G with a GIA rating. If I do decide to purchase something sight unseen, would a logical followup involve taking it somewhere for an appraisal before the time frame in which I have to send it back runs out?

 

Thanks.

 

Dick

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Stick with either GIA or AGs grading reports. These labs are the gold standard and you can be assured of their accuracy in color, clarity, polish and symmetry grading.

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To elaborate a bit on Barry's answer - GIA defined the grading scales to which most other labs conform. The issue is that the grading process is still judgmental, involving an assessment by one or more persons coming to conclusions which are by definition subjective. GIA and AGSL have done an excellent job in defining very tight standards and enforcing them throughout so that this element of subjectivity is reduced to the minimum.

 

Other labs are less strict in this, with the result that a stone that GIA would call G/SI1, another lab could call E/VS2. Now, if there were a fixed recipe for this (i.e. take off one clarity grade and one colour gade), it would be more or less OK. The real problem is in the unreliability of the evaluation - lab x could grade another G/SI1 stone exactly as GIA would. Therefore, when stones with a non-GIA or AGSL grade are traded, they are sold largely on the assessment that the trader makes (and it is generally a discount) on the stated grade.

 

Again, this would be (relatively) fine, except that in the first place it defeats the purpose of grading by an indipendent lab, and secondly - but not less important - it gives rise to inappropriate comparisons, since buyers may assume (or worse get told) that any stone graded E/VS2 is the same colour and clarity as any other.

 

To answer your second question: yes, unless you have a very high level of trust in the dealer you are working with, based either on prior personal experience or feedback from others.

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To elaborate a bit on Barry's answer - GIA defined the grading scales to which most other labs conform. The issue is that the grading process is still judgmental, involving an assessment by one or more persons coming to conclusions which are by definition subjective. GIA and AGSL have done an excellent job in defining very tight standards and enforcing them throughout so that this element of subjectivity is reduced to the minimum.

 

Understood.

 

Other labs are less strict in this, with the result that a stone that GIA would call G/SI1, another lab could call E/VS2. Now, if there were a fixed recipe for this (i.e. take off one clarity grade and one colour gade), it would be more or less OK. The real problem is in the unreliability of the evaluation - lab x could grade another G/SI1 stone exactly as GIA would. Therefore, when stones with a non-GIA or AGSL grade are traded, they are sold largely on the assessment that the trader makes (and it is generally a discount) on the stated grade. Again, this would be (relatively) fine, except that in the first place it defeats the purpose of grading by an indipendent lab, and secondly - but not less important - it gives rise to inappropriate comparisons, since buyers may assume (or worse get told) that any stone graded E/VS2 is the same colour and clarity as any other.

 

If I understand you, someone stamps the stone with a GIA report. The trader privately renders a different opinion. The sale price to the trader is somewhat mitigated by off the books assessment. The trader then sells the stone based on the 'official' GIA evaluation? Or, is there a piece in this scenario that I am leaving out?

 

 

To answer your second question: yes, unless you have a very high level of trust in the dealer you are working with, based either on prior personal experience or feedback from others.

 

Okay thanks. All of this is very helpful. I have very limited resources right about now. This girl deserves much more, but I just want to do the best that I can by her until things improve. I emailed Buy Diamonds Direct about the particular diamond I referenced in a previous post (http://www.buydiamonddirect.com/details/detailEGL.asp?ITEM=14145437). I dunno how far I'll get with this, but I asked them if they would be willing to get this item evaluated by someone who can do a GIA. I offered to pay for the evaluation. I come up with some pretty nutty ideas sometimes.

 

Dick

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No, sorry, I think I only managed to confuse you. GIA is an organisation which provides (among many other things) diamond grading services, but they aren't the only ones. AGS, EGL, IGI, HRD, ... do too. It is the seller's choice who - if anyone - they get to grade the stone. If a stone has been graded by GIA, that grade stands in wholesale and retail transactions, unless the seller chooses not to disclose that there is a GIA report.

 

The scenario I was describing is a little different: let's say that you are a dealer with an ungraded stone that you think may fall between F and G and VS2 and SI1 - let's assume that by objective, measurable standards it's a very good G/SI1. Both grade differences represent significant boundaries in terms of market value and customer perception (whether that's "true" in terms of eye-noticeable differences is another kettle of fish). If you send the stone to GIA it's likely it will be graded as G/SI1; if you send it to another lab, it may come up as F/VS2.

 

The market value for a fairly (GIA/AGS) graded F/VS2 is about 30% higher than for a G/SI1. The temptation to have the stone graded by someone as F/VS2 and then sell it at a "discount" of 20% compared to fairly graded F/VS2s may be a strong one... and it can happen at many points in the chain. The cutter may do it, the wholesaler may do it, the retailer may do it. This is not a theoretical scenario - if you click on the "Find online jeweler" button above and search for a 0.75 ct F VS2 stone, and calculate average prices, the price for a GIA/AGS-graded F/VS2 comes to $3,337; the price for a non-GIA graded stone comes to $2,714 - a 22% "discount". Let's look at it another way: the average price for a GIA G/VS2 is $2,802; for an F/SI1 it is $2624; the mean of these - uncannily - is $2,713. The "market" is betting that the other labs are "wrong" by a grade in either clarity or colour.

 

[please do not take this as a serious piece of statistical analysis - among other things, it ignores the effect of other significant variables such as cut and finish, but it makes the point]

 

Couple of notes on the assessment/grading/evaluation: if you haven't an established trusted dealer you should definitely find an indipendent expert (appraiser) to take a look at the stone; bear in mind that only GIA can "do a GIA". If you want GIA to grade the stone, they will happily do so, given $54 (or $79) plus shipping and insurance; I doubt however you'll be able to return the stone within the 10 days you need. Moreover, a report by GIA won't tell you crucial information about whether the stone is truly well cut (which in the case of the stone you are looking at I doubt) and whether it's eye-clean (which it might).

 

On the other hand, don't be misled in thinking that an "appraisal by a GIA Graduate Gemologist" is the same as a GIA-issued Grading Report - in fact, discard any appraiser or dealer who tells you this as either incompetent or dishonest. If you want a GIA-graded stone - because you don't trust someone else's assessment, and you are right in this - get one that already comes with a GIA report, and spend some "expert" money on finding out about cut and eye-cleanness (not being able to see the inclusions with your naked eye).

 

Personally, I think you could start from a better diamond for your budget, even though it may mean reviewing some of your parameters in terms of colour and size (and - why not - of stone...)

Edited by davidelevi
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David wrote..

No, sorry, I think I only managed to confuse you. GIA is an organisation which provides (among many other things) diamond grading services, but they aren't the only ones. AGS, EGL, IGI, HRD, ... do too. It is the seller's choice who - if anyone - they get to grade the stone. If a stone has been graded by GIA, that grade stands in wholesale and retail transactions, unless the seller chooses not to disclose that there is a GIA report.

 

It takes no special talent to confuse me. B)

 

Snip and...

 

Personally, I think you could start from a better diamond for your budget, even though it may mean reviewing some of your parameters in terms of colour and size (and - why not - of stone...)

 

I want to thank you for the trouble of spending this much time addressing some of my concerns. I am basically convinced that there are no 'deals' out there. My priorities will be - at least with respect to Online sellers, to make sure that there has been a GIA evaluation (realizing of course that these are not infallible); emphasize cut and symmetry over color. I am looking at several other Online sites - including White Flash and Gold Old Gold. Now I see that the prices for stones of commensurate weight and claims related to attributions are at least 20% higher on some of these sites. I need to process this information.

 

Thanks.

 

Dick

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