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Need Help Getting Lab Report


sean
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Hi.

 

Great site; looking forward to your input.

 

I have a ring that I would like to sell. It has what I believe to be a lab report. I say that because the report has no valuation so I don't believe it to be an appraisal. But it's not a GIA or AGS report. Or EGL or IGI or any of the usual suspects that I see referenced on this site. It says, TPYJ Chu Ying Gem Consultant Co, LTD. It is from Taiwan as is the ring itself. I have attached a scan of the report.

 

As I mentioned, I intend to sell this ring. Whether that be to a jeweler or on consignment or even private sale through ebay, I haven't decided yet. I'm vaguely aware of the challenges with each. I'm inclined to either confirm or dispel the findings of this report with a GIA or AGS report. What are your thoughts? If you were a private individual, would you invest the time and money to get the more reputable lab report?

 

Assuming I do decide to pursue a GIA or AGS report, Neither of those labs make that process very consumer friendly. I found some information at gia.edu but the process was a little confusing. I'm confident I can figure it out but I thought I would get some pointers. Anybody have some advice for submitting to these labs? One challenge is that GIA seems to not accept mounted stones. So I presume, I need to get the diamond removed from the ring. But then what if I decide I want to sell it on ebay? I imagine it would be easier to sell mounted. Would I need to get it unmounted, graded by the lab and then have it remounted?

 

Last questions on this post: the ring has three stones - one large (well, relatively) and two small. I suppose the carat weight is referencing all three stones together? How about the color and clarity grade? What do they do if one of the three stones has a lower clarity?

 

Really appreciate any input you have. Thanks in advance.

Sean

 

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Hi.

 

Great site; looking forward to your input.

 

I have a ring that I would like to sell. It has what I believe to be a lab report. I say that because the report has no valuation so I don't believe it to be an appraisal. But it's not a GIA or AGS report. Or EGL or IGI or any of the usual suspects that I see referenced on this site. It says, TPYJ Chu Ying Gem Consultant Co, LTD. It is from Taiwan as is the ring itself. I have attached a scan of the report.

 

As I mentioned, I intend to sell this ring. Whether that be to a jeweler or on consignment or even private sale through ebay, I haven't decided yet. I'm vaguely aware of the challenges with each. I'm inclined to either confirm or dispel the findings of this report with a GIA or AGS report. What are your thoughts? If you were a private individual, would you invest the time and money to get the more reputable lab report?

Hi Sean, welcome to DiamondReview.

 

 

A report from an unknown person does nothing at all to protect me (seen from a buyer's perspective). TPYJ Chu Ying may be the best and most honest grader in the world, but he/she has no reputation in my book - as far as I know, this may have been issued by the seller... and you may be selling a piece of glass. If you are planning to sell in the Taiwanese market, perhaps TPYJ do have a local reputation, and this is worth checking.

 

If I were wanting to buy a stone called "E/IF" by anyone, never mind a private seller on eBay, I would either demand that the grade has some backing with a recent GIA or AGS or HRD report (or one from another trusted lab or professional), or that the stone is sold at such a discount that it covers me from the risk that it is an I/VS2.

 

There are plenty of people selling on eBay or other sites (physical or online) that routinely sell without such documents, misrepresent things and generally monkey about, yet seem to have success. However, as a one-time seller (which I assume is what you are), I'd say the chances of being successful at that are pretty low.

 

Assuming I do decide to pursue a GIA or AGS report, Neither of those labs make that process very consumer friendly. I found some information at gia.edu but the process was a little confusing. I'm confident I can figure it out but I thought I would get some pointers. Anybody have some advice for submitting to these labs?
AGS and most other major labs will not accept submissions from consumers. However an appraiser or a friendly jeweller should be able to help you. The process for getting GIA to grade an item is pretty straightforward. Fill in a form, add a memo telling them what they need to do, package the stone properly and ship it together with instructions for return shipping. There is a GIA campus in Taipei, and I'm sure they will be willing to help you get the stone graded. The nearest lab is in Bangkok, but I have no idea what is easier from a customs clearance point of view - perhaps shipping to NY or Carlsbad is still easier.

 

 

GIA Campus

3F, 270 Nanjing East Road, Sec. 3

Taipei, 105

Taiwan, ROC

T: 886 2 2771 9391 - F: 886 2 2771 9921

gia.taiwan@msa.hinet.net - www.giataiwan.com.tw

 

One challenge is that GIA seems to not accept mounted stones. So I presume, I need to get the diamond removed from the ring. But then what if I decide I want to sell it on ebay? I imagine it would be easier to sell mounted. Would I need to get it unmounted, graded by the lab and then have it remounted?
GIA will offer a "mounted jewelry report", but it will do little other than verifying that the stones are diamonds (and in some cases not even that). FWIW, AGS won't grade set stones either. The issue is that precise grading requires the stone to be loose, particularly for a high colour and supposedly flawless stone.

 

I would mistrust someone that says it can grade precisely a stone while set, though I would understand it if the setting has value on its own and is of such a type (e.g. bezel) that cannot be easily reset once the stone has been extracted. In this case, it is normal for the grader to issue ranges on colour and clarity (and possibly on size too), but the implications for selling are that the buyer will price based on the lowest end of the range.

 

Last questions on this post: the ring has three stones - one large (well, relatively) and two small. I suppose the carat weight is referencing all three stones together? How about the color and clarity grade? What do they do if one of the three stones has a lower clarity?

 

Really appreciate any input you have. Thanks in advance.

Sean

The report you have refers to one stone. Presumably the larger one. Side stones are not normally graded through labs, unless they are of a considerable size and/or value themselves.
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Lab reports serve two purposes in the diamond world. The first is so that you know what you have so that you then have a basis for your marketing and setting your price. The second is to convince your potential buyer of what they’re getting and, hopefully, to convince them to be willing to pay your price. These things are related but they are NOT the same.

In both cases the credibility of the lab is paramount for it to be useful but in the first case they need to convince YOU and in the second case they need to convince your buyer. As with Davide, I’ve never heard of these people and I gather from the post that you haven’t either. That’s a failure on at least the first and possibly the second. The burden of proof is on the lab to convince you that their opinions have merit and the default answer is no. As far as buyers go, in the US that report would be worth less than none at all. The fact that it claims IF clarity just makes it worse. Unless they enjoy a fabulous reputation in Taiwan I would ignore it entirely as a buyer and I would hold it against you the seller if you tried to pass it off as ‘certified’.

GIA will take work from anyone in the world and although I certainly wouldn’t describe them as particularly friendly, they’re straightforward enough. AGS will only accept work from jewelry pros but there’s plenty out there who can help you out. The usual reason to get AGSL grading is because of the cut grade and the usual reason sellers want to do this is that they hope the cut grade will come out high. This seems unlikely in your case anyway if the proportion data provided is correct.

Design your marketing strategy first. Your lab plans may change. In the US, selling a stone like that (IF clarity, 1.00, marginal cutting, unknown color) is remarkably difficult and it’s likely you would benefit by involving a dealer. IF a dealer is going to be involved, especially on a consignment sort of program, let THEM deal with the lab. This is doubly true if a recut is going to be part of the plan. Cutting is not a job for amateurs. All of that takes time and costs money and if you’re looking to raise cash quickly you may choose a completely different path. I also know nothing about the state of appraisers in Taiwan but if there's a professional available, I would start there and specifically consult on the issue of what you have an how to market it.

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Sounds good, thanks for providing some context for me to make some decisions.

 

Davide, thanks for taking the time to source the GIA campus in Taipei for me - obviously I should have been more clear: the ring and report are from Taiwan. They were inherited by my wife. We're in the US - Washington state. It appears California is the closest GIA lab to me if I decide to have it graded myself.

 

Which brings me to your point Neil - rather than getting it graded myself, I can work with a dealer to take care of that. I hadn't considered that. As I think about it, I'm not sure the consignment option makes the most sense in my case. We live in a pretty small town (around 25,000). Would a small town jeweler get enough foot traffic to sell this older ring instead of his own inventory? I could take it to the nearest medium sized city but then I can't really keep an eye on it - make sure it's being displayed, make sure it's still in fact there, etc. Any feelings one way or the other on consignment with a smaller dealer?

 

Let's say I rule out consignment and attempt to make a direct sale - either to a dealer (for a fraction of retail of course) or to a private individual. Clearly for the private sale, a reputable report is a requirement. How about for the dealer? My perception is that whether this is H/IF or I/VS2, I'm going to be able to negotiate a better price if I have a GIA report. Would you agree?

 

One more question tonight - let's say I unmount the stone and get the report in an effort to sell it privately. In your experience is it easier to sell the stone unmounted or should I pay to have it reset?

 

Thanks again, really enjoying learning so much on this site.

 

Sean

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Hi Sean - you know what they say about ass-u-me, right? You did say they are "from Taiwan", and I assumed... (it took 3 clicks, so as they go it's not too bad a blunder).

 

Consignment with a smaller dealer: it depends on the clientele they have (and on what you really have and how aggressive you want to be in pricing it). It may go surprisingly quickly, particularly in a recession, but it may stick around for months and years. I think you should take a look at the window of the dealer(s) you are considering and see how quickly the stock changes. There are people that will take things under consignment on a national basis, and sometimes can offer better conditions and faster sales than smaller outlets because they can drive the volume/speed much more easily. The trade off is that they are often more selective on what they take on.

 

I think that having a report that tells you what you have puts you in a significantly safer - if not stronger - position: at least you can find comparables and prices. It makes you far less reliant on the honesty (and grading ability) of whoever you are dealing with in setting a price and negotiation strategy. That is valid for a private sale, a direct trade sale or a private sale.

 

Unmounted vs. mounted: it depends on the desirability of the mount and of the stone itself, plus whatever is going in the market you are selling in. Ask the jeweller that you want to work with what sells best and what value would the mount and side stones have as scrap - you may be surprised (not in a positive sense, unfortunately).

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There are 3 basic paths for private resale:

 

You can retail it yourself directly to an end consumer.

You can sell it to a dealer.

You can hire a dealer or broker to do some of the work for a fee.

 

They all have their benefits and problems. The first generally pays the most. That’s the benefit. The downside is that it takes some work, it takes investment in things like lab fees and advertising, it takes an unspecified amount of time and it’s contingent on some non-gemological properties like YOUR skills at selling things. Some folks are a lot better at this than others.

 

The second generally pays the least. That’s the downside. The benefit is that it’s fast, it’s easy, it doesn’t usually cost much, and it doesn’t require much talent on your part. Balancing these sorts of thing is the whole of the problem.

 

The last lands in between. It doesn’t take much skill and generally doesn’t cost much in terms of cash flow to do but it can sometimes take a while and it effectively makes you partners with the jeweler. As you correctly observe, you have to care if they are displaying things in a reasonable way, if they’re paying their bills, if they’re still in business, etc. That is to say, you’re now vested in THEIR skill at selling things. As with individuals, some are a lot better than others. There’s nothing about being a small town jeweler that’s a risk factor any more than being from the big city makes them good. There are fools and crooks as well as excellent merchants in both places. I have no basis for recommending for or against the one in your town but being in a small town is not, of itself, a deal killer. Talk to them and see what they say. There are quite a few internet type dealers but do be careful in choosing your partners. It's not hard to find dealers interested in this sort of thing but there are traps here.

 

Lets talk about #1 and #2 above.

If you’re selling in the US, that report is useless. No consumer is going to rely on it. No professional buyer is going to rely on it. A dealer is going to grade it themselves and round down. That is to say, they’re going to call it VS1/G good cut and bid according. Less if they see something. The difference between that and the E/IF that you’re report claims is more than a factor of 2. It’s a BIG deal. Consumers are usually even harsher. Put that on craigslist as it is and you’re going to get pounded. To get bids on higher grades than that you need a credible lab. This can only be done unmounted and if you’re not a jeweler you’re going to need to pay someone to unmount it anyway. It’s easy to damage a stone pulling it out of a mounting and the difference between a 1.00/ IF and a damaged 0.99/IF is huge. Hire your local jeweler or hire an out of towner if you wish but you’re going to be using professional services here. You need to pull it out of the mounting, send it to GIA via registered mail, pay a few hundred dollars and wait a month or so. The only real exception to this is if it’s damaged already. Then it’s going to need repair, which is a whole different discussion. That’s one of the reasons why you want to start with a professional appraisal. If there’s not one in your town, find one through the Internet (note of disclaimer: I’m in this business. I do this quite a bit both for local customers here and people I've met through these forums).

 

If a dealer buys it, the above will be the FIRST things they do. They're going to have the same issues when they sell it and they need that report. Probably most consumers will too. Put another way, the only reason a dealer wouldn’t send that stone to GIA on day 1 is if you already did it or if there is something seriously wrong (in which case it'll go to GIA after they fix the probem).

 

Consigning is basically the same issue and it’s going to go to the lab as well. The difference is that it’s possible that the dealer will pay for it. Make no mistake, in the end it’s going to come out of your money but the logistics may be different. There’s no savings in this but if you’re going to be splitting the money with a pro anyway then you might as well let them do the work. An option to consider if the labs come out right is auction (physical auction, not ebay). That's a consignment deal but it locks down the date rather than the open ended arrangement where it sits in a stores showcase waiting for a buyer.

 

95% of the time, consumers don’t buy used engagement rings. Styles change, fashion changes, things wear out, and people don’t like the symbolism of it. Certain designer and antique kinds of things do ok if the condition is there and certain things like celebrity ownership will change this but basically, you can usually count the mounting as scrap metal. Gold is gold. It’s a world commodity and it’s easy enough to sell but it’s not where your money is.

Edited by denverappraiser
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I would pull the stones, send them to GIA for lab reports and sell the mounting as scrap which you can do directly by going to any refiner.

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I would pull the stones, send them to GIA for lab reports and sell the mounting as scrap which you can do directly by going to any refiner.

Most refineries don't accept work directly from the public. Actually, I can't tnink of any that do. I think it has to do with the regulations they are working under but I'm not sure. Can you give an example of a 'real' refinery who will buy things in small quantities from an individual?

Edited by denverappraiser
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Here on 47th Street in the Manhattan Jewlery District, there are several companys that accept directly from the Public with proper ID and pay the days spot precious metals prices. I'm assuming the same holds true for other cities with jewelry districts.

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How do they do the assay? What percentage of the days spot price do they pay?

 

Around here in Colorado the real refineries have a minumum to establish an account and there's a fair amount of paperwork and regulatory hooplah required to set one up. It's a decidedly regulated business. Buying from the public is regulated by a DIFFERENT set of rules that involve individual records for each item, holding periods while the Sheriff deciides if it's stolen, etc. These vary from city to city. The refineries out here are mostly set up to deal with the mines and buying jewelry from the public is a very different sort of activity. It's hard to imagine what I'm calling a refinery existing in Manhattan but there are all kinds of things going on there that are hard to imagine.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Whether they are refineries (i.e. they melt and refine) or simply brokers for refineries, I don't know, but on 47th I have been able to sell at 95-98% of spot for the main metal. Cursory assay (stone + acid) with some more attention if the item is not marked or looks a bit odd, but on "genuine" scrap (e.g. broken chains) and small amounts of metal (up to 3 troy oz) they were quite happy to pay cash on the spot.

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We've got lots of 'WE BUY GOLD!!!' type of operations here, just like any city. They typically pay about 70% and the cheap ones are more like 55% or less. The highest I can think of is at 77% and it's basically a loss leader. They're fishing for diamonds. The guys who advertise on the TV or who blow into town and set up at a hotel somewhere are often under 40%. They usually use the same acid test or one of the electrical resistance devices. They are accumulating a kilo or so and then selling to the folks who separate the metals. I have quite a few clients in this business. My observation is that the typical thing marked '14k' really assays out at more like 54-55%, not the 58.3% that it should be. Maybe it's the manufacturer who lied and maybe it's the solder and other ingredients involved but a broker paying 98% on scrap based on a scratch test and then selling to a refinery who uses a real assay is going to take a bath unless they're fudging somewhere else. They stay in business and are obviously successful so this tells me there's something else going on.

 

A note for other readers following this. Watch out for this acid test. It involves filing a knotch in your piece. This isn't a big deal if you're dead set on selling it but if you're deciding whether to keep it or not, you end up with a damaged item as a result of the test.

Edited by denverappraiser
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I would pull the stones, send them to GIA for lab reports

In many cases I agree with you but decidedly less than all.

 

As mentioned above, 'pulling' the stones can sometimes be problematic and is an area that requires professional assistance. Especially with a claimed E/IF. It's not usually all that difficult but amateurs should not do this at home.

 

GIA can be a bit slow and they're not without cost. Depending on the requirements of the client, these can be important concerns.

 

The side stones may very well bring less on resale than the lab fees/shipping/insurance. It's highly dependent both on what they are and what the marketing path is planned to be. The ROI on lab grading is far from guaranteed.

 

*IF* it's going to a sold through a consignment sort of arrangement, dealing with pulling, evaluating and repairing as needed, lab logistics, et.al. is exactly the sort of thing the jeweler is being paid to do. Make 'em earn their money.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Interesting stuff guys. Wasn't aware of refineries as they're being described here, just pawn shop gold buyers similar to what Neil described.

 

Clearly I will have no use for the ring if I sell the stone. But where would I want to sell the ring for scrap in my area? What should I look for or avoid? In the absence of a good local option, are there online options that you would trust with your scrap gold? For reference, we can call my zip code 99205. It's not where I'm at but it's the nearest medium sized metro area.

 

Let me know if this should be a new thread...

 

Thanks,

Sean

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So now the question seems to be, are the side stones worth the cost of getting them graded or am I better off going with scrap prices along with the gold.

 

I'm attaching two photos. If you care to offer your opinion, I'll take it as just that.

 

Thanks,

Sean

post-130590-0-66768100-1337544140_thumb.jpg

post-130590-0-76027300-1337544165_thumb.jpg

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There are lots of national dealers who are credible. I suspect all 3 of the people who have posted advice in this thread are in that business for example. Again, hire a pro to remove the stone and talk with them about the scrap metal issue while they have it. Given that the center stone is a 1.00, I'm going to guess teh sides are 1/4 each. No, that's not worth getting a lab grading on but this too is one to discuss with your appraiser at the beginning. You may choose to keep them for later. Resale value on this sort of thing ls low and you may just decide to make a pair of earrings for your daughter or some such thing. Don't have a daughter? It's not like diamonds are perishable. They'll wait if you can.

 

The whole refining discussion was a bit of a threadjack and I'm glad to see you didn't give up on us. A hundred years ago in Colorado, mining was the major industry and the refineries had thousands of workers. That's changed a bit with automation and Colorado isn't all that big a mining center any more but it's still a BIG business. A booth on 47th street or a pawn shop in Tacoma is the tip of the proverbial iceburg.

 

In your case it's not really all that big a deal. The difference between a good price and a great price is on the order of $3/gram. I'm going to guess that ring is 8 grams. That's not nothing, but I wouldn't lose much sleep over it either. ($20/gram is about where 14k scrap is right now).

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