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Looking At An Emerald Cut 2.87Ct - Need Advice Please


MJ Diamond
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First time post but I have done a lot of homework on this site, it's been a great reference during this time of my life.

 

I'm currently looking at a 2.87ct Emerald cut stone, VS1, I Color, Completely eye clean (I can't even find any imperfections with a loupe), 69.2 Depth, 62 table, Excellent symetry, VG Polish, L/W ratio-1.34, no flouresence, no culet. $15,600 for the stone only. What should I be wary of before pulling the trigger, what should I ask/know? How much mark up do you suspect there is, can I get a better deal? This is from a Jeweler in downtown Chicago. Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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Usual question - who has graded the stone "I VS1"? It is an unreasonably low price for something correctly graded...

 

The other issue to consider is whether it is well cut or not; however, since you can see it, as long as you are happy that it looks good - particularly in comparison to other emerald cuts - you are largely OK.

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Symmetry is not the same as cut quality, though it is an aspect of it. The issue on comparable prices is that with an EGL report you have no idea what colour and clarity the stone actually is. It doesn't mean it is not a beautiful stone - it simply means that comparisons on the basis of colour and clarity are off.

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My first red flag when I read your post was 'downtown Chicago'. I guess that shows up some of my biases but there are a lot of sharks there and they all say they're the best that ever was. Wabash street has more jewelers than my whole state. There are a pile where I wouldn't accept a 'free' watch battery and others where you can safely spend tens of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately it's wickedly difficult to tell the difference. If you want to compare prices, use the database here to look for GIA VS2, and SI1 and colors J,K and L. Yeah, it's a big range. THAT'S the problem. Notice that I didn't include VS1/I as even being one of the options.

 

Can you get a better deal? Maybe. It depends on the details of the stone. I'm confident you could find a stone that someone called bigger/better for a lower price, but I'm among the last people to call that a standard of what is 'better' than what. I guess it depends on your objectives.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Very insightful info. I feel comfortable with the jeweler as she has a great reputation and I'm trying to stay under an $18k budget. The problem seems to be that because I'm looking for an emerald cut over 2.5cts, it feels like its a needle in a haystack. No jeweler has them on site, they need to have them brought it, then there are visible inclusions, etc, etc. although I agree th color might not be a GIA I, the clarity seems as advertised. Am I better off finding a GIA J,K & VS2, SI1 in that size for that price? I don't care what the cert reads as she doesn't have to wear the cert on her finger forever.

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Jewelers with brains don't stock this sort of thing. They don't sell quickly, they're terribly expensive and there's a huge variation in terms of l:w ratios, cutting details, etc. Stocking a selection would be crazy. The solution is to order things from suppliers as a customer shows up who wants one. It's normal and it's reasonable. Don't hold it against them. Actually, this is what the online guys are doing too. They usually don't have ANY of the stones advertised. Someone gave them the data and they offered it for sale. If no one bites there is no further contact and if someone wants it they snap it up and sell it. This is an academic issue as a shopper but it does make a slight change in your relationship with the jeweler. View them as an ally in your hunt, not your opponent. If you dont' trust them as your ally, even when using an independent appraiser to 'trust but verify', find a different jeweler.

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The issue with GIA vs. EGL (or anything else for that matter) is not whether you are better off with one rather than the other. The diamond is what it is, and no amount of paper is going to change that, no matter who prints it, and as you point out she isn't going around wearing the report. However - and it's a pretty big however - if you are seeking reassurance on what you are buying or are hoping to compare prices, with a GIA report you can, with an EGL one you cannot. And if I were spending $20k of my money, I'd want to know what I'm spending it on.

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