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Clarity Enhanced Diamonds


tigerlilly619
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I was looking at some clarity enhanced diamonds and was wowed by the price and was wondering what negatives there were in purchasing a Clarity Enhanced Diamond. I am honestly more concerned about the aesthetics of the diamond more than anything else. So I welcome all comments especially from you experts out there :)

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1. Durability of the enhancement will depend on what "clarity enhancement" method has been used. Glass/silicone filling (Yehuda) is not permanent and may need to be redone. Laser drilling (which some don't call CE, but simply laser drilled) / laser skimming is permanent

 

2. With Yehuda enhanced diamonds, it can be difficult to assess whether the durability of the stone itself is compromised by the inclusions. By the time you know, your diamond may have been shattered during setting.

 

3. It's practically impossible to resell a CE diamond

 

4. Reliability of the seller may be on the dubious side. Read http://www.diamond.info/forum/index.php?showtopic=4835

 

5. Related to the point above - be wary of photoshopped / altered images. In general, CE stones aren't nice stones with just one little inclusion or feather that can be "magicked away". They tend to be heavily included with one or two particularly nasty and easily visible inclusions that are suitable for treatment.

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“Wowed by the price.â€

 

Really? What were you comparing to? I ask this because they are graded in a completely different way than untreated natural diamonds. An SI-1/CE is not directly comparable to an untreated SI-1. In fact the GIA scale specifically doesn’t apply to them. This is complicated even further by the fact that the graders who DO grade them aren’t all using the same scales so one guys SI-2 may be someone else’s VS-2. The result is that, even more than on untreated goods you must first assess the credibility of the grader and you basically can’t compare two stones graded by two different graders without regrading both. To be sure you can do this and it’s even more-or-less reasonable if you’re shopping at a store that has the stones in stock and a qualified grader who can both look at them and tell you what they’re doing but this is far from the typical environment where CE stones are sold. Buying them blind online is a minefield.

 

Don’t even try to compare in terms of price with untreated stones, they simply aren’t the same product. It’s like shopping for a Hyundai and having the dealer point out that they’re cheaper than Ferrari. Indeed they are, and there’s nothing wrong with Hyundai products, but the only way to sensibly shop for one is to visit other Hyundai dealers and compare apples to apples.

 

Neil

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  • 1 month later...

Wow! I am new to this forum and already find it a great source of information (& entertainment :rolleyes: )...I logged on to get some professional insights on CE diamonds...get a gage as to what the diamond pros REALLY think about CE stones re: buying and resale. It is very apparent that depending on the source & motivation opinions vary.

Additionally perhaps my story/ experience will be of help to someone as well:):

My past husband purchased a very handsome CE diamond for me maybe 15 years back..it is a round brilliant and 3.97 carats. I was thrilled with this stone. (BTW -Never ever had a question about it's durability, it was mounted in a custom setting and steam & pressure cleaned all the time). I constantly received compliments on this dazzling diamond...even down right strangers would go so far as to grab my hand to check out the "blinding rock".

I am remarried so I do not wear this piece anymore and should probably sell it. I recently had the diamond ring appraised by a very reputable appraiser for $16,100. I know that appraisals are RETAIL and not what one might expect to ever receive when selling. (I myself am a fine art dealer and have a retail art gallery and appraise works of art). I would appreciate any help or ideas or feedback from experts or fellow members. 3.97-4.10 carats round brilliant color: M-N, and I believe the appraisal stated it was SI2 (previously an SI3 before fracture filled). There was a note about blue fluorescence-however this stone sparkles and has lots of luster in natural light & otherwise. The appraisal came in at $16100 for band setting & stone, of which the setting (18K yellow gold & very thick ) being probably worth $1200 for the metal. I have been told about eBay etc but that just seems like a giant pawn shop on line. Any thoughts anyone? Thanks in advance for any insights!

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Fluorescence is a non-issue. The clarity enhancement is, since it decreases the potential market into which you can sell, as well as the "peace of mind" of any other buyers: GIA and AGSL will not grade fracture filled diamonds, so you are stuck with second tier labs, even for colour and cut grading. Since you are a private seller, you are unlikely to provide believable guarantees beyond a grading report, and as a potential buyer I'd be afraid of a lot of things.

 

The appraisal was probably done for insurance purposes, and as such it is not much use to assess resale value; if it was done really recently, it may be worthwhile asking the appraiser for his/her opinion. However the question - for you as well as for the appraiser - is where are you planning to sell.

 

Even though you don't like them, eBay and Craigslist are marketplaces where lots of CE stones are sold, and they may well be the best bet. Resale to a jeweller is probably the surest way to lose out financially, particularly in this moment, and consignment may take a very long time, plus some jewellers won't take CE stones in.

 

Incidentally, the fact that the stone weight and the colour are given as ranges may cause considerable concern to me as a buyer: there is a significant difference in price/value between a 3.97/N and a 4.10/M although when set in a ring they are impossible to tell apart with a casual glance - or even an in-depth professional inspection. Unfortunately, the way it looks is secondary to what it is - a 5 ct CZ will look as good, but it's $20 or so.

Edited by davidelevi
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Good advice from Davide. Since you recently hired the appraiser, call them up and explain that you didn’t ask the question you really wanted to know. ‘Value’ is a function of marketplace and the usual insurance type appraisal isn't the correct market. What he/she is telling you is a estimate of what it would be expected to cost to replace the item with another new one at retail in a particular venue, usually a local retail specialty jewelry store. Although this is possibly interesting, it’s simply not relevant to your situation. It’s like asking what your 10 year old Toyota is worth and being told that a new one with the same name costs $35,000 at the dealership. It’s possibly true but so what?

 

I think you’ll find this a difficult item to sell but the 4 carat range is a good one to be in. You NEED credible data and a lab inspection of the unmounted stone is the only way to get it. Start by having your jeweler carefully remove the stone from the setting and get a real weight. Then send it in. I think EGL-USA will still grade them and if they will it would be worth the trouble and the fees. If EGL won’t touch it, ask your appraiser for a recommendation or just shop around for a lab. Most don't do CE diamonds for a variety of good reasons but you really do need to have something you can point to to defend the grading claim, even if it's weak.

 

Then there’s the question of the market.

 

Ebay is, by a lot, the place where the most of these things change hands although there are stores out there who also deal in them who might be willing to buy from you if the price is right (meaning cheap :rolleyes: ). If you’re not willing or unable to do the ebay dance, you might benefit by hiring someone else who is. There are consignment type merchants who will do the ebay work and logistics for you for a fee in the neighborhood of 10-20%. If you’re not a skilled ebayer they will probably even be able to get higher prices that you will because buyers are justifiably nervous about buying this sort of thing from new and unproven sellers. Successful ebay selling is definitely a talent. Go shopping on ebay for completed auctions of similar items and you'll get a feel for who is actually making sales and how much they're getting as opposed to how much people are asking. These are decidedly different things. If you can't find any that have sold, you can at least learn a bit by noticing how much they were asking that they didn't get.

 

How to price it? That’s what the appraiser is for although your ebay reseller may be able to give you some advice on this front as well. If you can’t get the appraiser you chose to answer the right question, get one who will. So far you’ve received a disservice although it might be your own fault because they can’t answer the right question if you ask the wrong one.

 

 

If it's really true that it's an SI3/I-1 without the filling, you would probably benefit to have the filling removed and then get a real GIA pedigree. "Clarity enhanced' and grading by an unreliable lab are serious handicaps in the marketplace and the usual reason to put up with it is for a significant increase in apparent clarity. One grade is usually not enough to offset it. This is another question for your appraiser.

 

Assuming you're not really hurting for the money and the stone doesn't come with serious emotional baggage for you and your new husband, you might consider having it remounted into something else that you would wear and enjoy. You're ability to sell for anything like as much as your ex paid is highly unlikely even 15 years later and a 4 carat pendant might be just the ticket.

 

Neil

Edited by denverappraiser
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post-117965-1245106420_thumb.jpgpost-117965-1245106405_thumb.jpgpost-117965-1245106388_thumb.jpgpost-117965-1245106366_thumb.jpg

Good advice from Davide. Since you recently hired the appraiser, call them up and explain that you didn’t ask the question you really wanted to know. ‘Value’ is a function of marketplace and the usual insurance type appraisal isn't the correct market. What he/she is telling you is a estimate of what it would be expected to cost to replace the item with another new one at retail in a particular venue, usually a local retail specialty jewelry store. Although this is possibly interesting, it’s simply not relevant to your situation. It’s like asking what your 10 year old Toyota is worth and being told that a new one with the same name costs $35,000 at the dealership. It’s possibly true but so what?

 

I think you’ll find this a difficult item to sell but the 4 carat range is a good one to be in. You NEED credible data and a lab inspection of the unmounted stone is the only way to get it. Start by having your jeweler carefully remove the stone from the setting and get a real weight. Then send it in. I think EGL-USA will still grade them and if they will it would be worth the trouble and the fees. If EGL won’t touch it, ask your appraiser for a recommendation or just shop around for a lab. Most don't do CE diamonds for a variety of good reasons but you really do need to have something you can point to to defend the grading claim, even if it's weak.

 

Then there’s the question of the market.

 

Ebay is, by a lot, the place where the most of these things change hands although there are stores out there who also deal in them who might be willing to buy from you if the price is right (meaning cheap :) ). If you’re not willing or unable to do the ebay dance, you might benefit by hiring someone else who is. There are consignment type merchants who will do the ebay work and logistics for you for a fee in the neighborhood of 10-20%. If you’re not a skilled ebayer they will probably even be able to get higher prices that you will because buyers are justifiably nervous about buying this sort of thing from new and unproven sellers. Successful ebay selling is definitely a talent. Go shopping on ebay for completed auctions of similar items and you'll get a feel for who is actually making sales and how much they're getting as opposed to how much people are asking. These are decidedly different things. If you can't find any that have sold, you can at least learn a bit by noticing how much they were asking that they didn't get.

 

How to price it? That’s what the appraiser is for although your ebay reseller may be able to give you some advice on this front as well. If you can’t get the appraiser you chose to answer the right question, get one who will. So far you’ve received a disservice although it might be your own fault because they can’t answer the right question if you ask the wrong one.

 

 

If it's really true that it's an SI3/I-1 without the filling, you would probably benefit to have the filling removed and then get a real GIA pedigree. "Clarity enhanced' and grading by an unreliable lab are serious handicaps in the marketplace and the usual reason to put up with it is for a significant increase in apparent clarity. One grade is usually not enough to offset it. This is another question for your appraiser.

 

Assuming you're not really hurting for the money and the stone doesn't come with serious emotional baggage for you and your new husband, you might consider having it remounted into something else that you would wear and enjoy. You're ability to sell for anything like as much as your ex paid is highly unlikely even 15 years later and a 4 carat pendant might be just the ticket.

 

Neil

 

Thank you Neil and Davide for all your insights and obvious expertise!!! I double checked my appraisal from the GIA certified Gemologist and have attached a jpeg of it as well as a few of the diamond ring. I did get some of the info incorrect in my earlier post as it was mostly from memory. Forgive me as I know how the difference in value can range so much depending on these details. Here are the attachments- any further input from your "brilliant" minds would be most appreciated. :rolleyes:

 

Thank you in advance-

 

Andrea

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Thanks for the kind words.

 

My advice is unchanged:

1) Talk to the appraiser about what you <i>really</i> want to know. What you have is the answer to the wrong question…..

2) Surf for comparable sales.

3) Search for a lab.

4) Consider keeping it for yourself.

 

 

Even at I-2 I would consider having the filling taken out in order to facilitate a sale but the difference between I-2 and I-3 is huge. I-3 is basically unsaleable, I-2 just needs a discount so it’s important to know where you stand before you embark on this. Get a feel for whether your appraiser understands the issue before you rely on her answer. Not all do, in fact most don't. I don't know her but the ASA-MGA credential is a good one so I'll take her grading at face value but the subject we're discussing is NOT on the GIA curriculum. (note: GIA does not 'certify' Gemologists).

 

I’m curious. You mentioned that you do fine art appraisals at your store. Can you please tell me your methodology?

 

 

Neil

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Thanks, Andrea. I can only agree with Neil - perhaps a "resale" path may go through removal of the enhancement and grading at a highly reputable lab, but do talk to the appraiser first; she's only written the report a month ago, and she should be able to answer - even if approximately - your most pressing questions.

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