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New Ring...need Insurance Advice


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Hi all and thanks so much for advice in advance,


I have been lucky enough to acquire two new diamonds that I have had set together in one ring and I have an insurance question.


The large diamond is an Old Mine Cut 1.79 ct. H vs2. The small diamond is a .10 Old European Cut diamond I Vs2. Appraisal ( replacement value of the ring is $26,500) It is a new appraisal done by a GIA graduate gemologist.


Now the problem... My insurance company, USAA with whom I have my engagement ring and other jewelry insured with refuses to ensure the ring without a plot of the large stone done either with a digital computer index card ( their term) or a european lab certificate. My jeweler tells me these options will require removing the stone from the setting and sending it away in addition to a 250.00 charge.


My options as I see them are a) have the stone sent away for plot as recommended by usaa or B) shop around for a new insurer. What would the recommendation of the experts here be? I appreciate any advice as this is a quandary for me. Also advice for which insurance company to look at would be helpful.


Thanks so much,



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I have no idea what USAA is talking of: "digital computer index card" sounds like complete gobbledegook; analogue computers are effectively no longer used, and digital ones do not use index cards any more (if they ever did). They should perhaps move out of the time warp they seem to have been stuck in for the last 50 years, and approach the 21st century with a new dictionary. As to the requirement that the stone is seen by a "European" laboratory, this is rather unusual since the leading labs are American (GIA/AGS), unless they insist they want a report by Gübelin (which will be way more than $250, BTW).


Other than that, their requirement is not unreasonable, and it's in your as well as their interest: OMCs are very variable; if anything happens and you/they have no documentation beyond a generic 4C description you may well end up with something that is substantially different in looks (and possibly value) from what you are insuring. The jeweller is also correct that to get this done with any level of reliability, the stone will have to be removed from the setting.


Have you tried speaking with Jewelers' Mutual? They seem to understand the jewellery business a lot better than other "general purpose" insurers, and they may be able to help.

Edited by davidelevi
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Plotting diamonds while they're in the setting is no problem. I do it all the time and have never had the slightest problem with USAA. I work with them regularly.


I always get a little taken aback when someone uses a GG as an appraisal credential when it's nothing of the kind. The program doesn't even teach a single course in appraising! On the other hand, they *DO* teach plotting, I've no idea what the computer index card thing is either but I would start buy going back to the 'appraiser' and ask him/her to do a plot. Your problem here isn't with your insurance company, it's with your appraiser.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Thanks so much for the advice.. So I called the appraiser and he said he could do a plot of the diamond ( yes while in the setting) for me. He said that he could do a sketch describing extra facets etc. I then called back USAA and they said that that is not acceptable to them ( they even put me on hold and asked the underwriters.) They required it be sent away to a lab for a plot..ugh.


I did also speak with Jewelers mutual and they would insure the ring based on the appraisal without the plot for 330/year.

I am thinking that this may be the best route to go but will still take the appraiser up on his offer to plot the diamond for me.

Also have heard of Chubb after doing some research and may look into them as well. Any thoughts on this?


As an FYI the lady I spoke with at Jewelers mutual said that she has heard lately that insurance companies are beginning to refuse to insure jewelry items on homeowner rider policies. Thought that was interesting as I had no problem insuring my engagement ring with USAA ( appraisal and no lab plot) several years ago. Granted that ring appraised at less than the one in question (9,000)


Thanks again for the help,



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Hmm. USAA can refuse whatever they want but this is odd and I still suspect there are other issues at play. Lab grading is not generally one of their underwriting requirements. Again, I have appraisals that go to them regularly and have never had a problem.


I'm not sure a salesperson at JM is a good source of information about what USAA and other homeowners companies will and won't do.


It's likely to be difficult to find a Chubb agent who will write a standalone jewelry policy but it wouldn't hurt to call one and ask.


By the way, your value conclusion seems high as well and it drives up your premiums without having any affect on the way they resolve claims. Even if the grading is correct I think replacement could easilly be done for quite a bit less than that. Was this a new purchase?

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Thanks again,


This was not a new purchase ( unless you count the new setting.) It is a family heirloom that my father recently gave me as a gift. The larger of the two stones in the new ring, came from his side of the family and the smaller stone from my mother's side. My engagement ring also was a gift from my father and came from his family as well and is the previously mentioned ring appraised for 9000. My mother wore them both until she passed away and they went into the safe deposit box until I was older.


Not that it matters to the value but as the family story goes one of the diamonds ( not sure which) was purchased by a great great uncle in Cuba for his bride back in the US. Sorry if this is boring or much more information than you were interested in.

As you can see they do have a nice sentimental value for me that couldn't be replaced even if I do manage to get the new ring insured.


Regardless I thought the appraisal sounded high as well... but what do I know about diamonds? The appraiser said that he was surprised also when he looked at the current market value of old cut stones. Again I have no way of knowing if this is true as I am not in the business of buying and selling diamonds.


Finally... USAA did also tell me that now anytime a diamond comes in at over 1.5 ct they are requiring a lab plot. There is no way for me to know if that is BS or not. I have a call out to a Chubb agent and will let you know what they say and will decide from there what to do.


Thanks and I hope my long post didn't bore you:)



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