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Deucer

Should I Have The Stone Set By The Online Vendor?

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Question: I'm planning on purchasing a stone and setting online. Once I get it I'm going to get an independant appraisal here in San Francisco. Should I have the stone shipped loose so it can be appraised out of the setting, or should I have the online vendor set the stone?

 

Thanks!

Edited by Deucer
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Erm... both? Or neither. It depends on what you want the appraisal for, how far you trust the vendor and how expensive it all ends up being, not least because if you have actually already purchased the stone, insuring it for shipment to the appraiser (and back) can become a bit of a hassle.

 

I would consider an appraisal before and after setting if you have questions about the stone that the vendor cannot (or does not want to) answer, such as a detailed evaluation of cut qualities, or whether the price you are being asked for is fair.

 

Generally most people require an appraisal as a condition of their insurance, which is bound on the completed ring, not the loose stone, and getting an expert to see the complete item provides you with the opportunity to know if the metalwork and setting work are of good quality, and whether there has been any damage to the stone in the setting process (unlikely, but it does happen).


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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Erm... both? Or neither. It depends on what you want the appraisal for, how far you trust the vendor and how expensive it all ends up being, not least because if you have actually already purchased the stone, insuring it for shipment to the appraiser (and back) can become a bit of a hassle.

 

I would consider an appraisal before and after setting if you have questions about the stone that the vendor cannot (or does not want to) answer, such as a detailed evaluation of cut qualities, or whether the price you are being asked for is fair.

 

Generally most people require an appraisal as a condition of their insurance, which is bound on the completed ring, not the loose stone, and getting an expert to see the complete item provides you with the opportunity to know if the metalwork and setting work are of good quality, and whether there has been any damage to the stone in the setting process (unlikely, but it does happen).

 

I don't have the stone yet.

 

The budget for the stone is between $8,000 and $10,000.

 

My plan is to buy the stone then have it set in the least expensive 6 prong solitare setting I can find for the proposal, then let my GF choose her own setting afterwards.

 

I'm planning on getting the stone appraised locally, so shipping is not an issue.

 

I could either buy the stone online and have it set in a setting then shipped to me (this would be least expensive) or I could have the stone and setting shipped apart then get an appraisal to verify the sone's condition and whether or not I paid a reasonble price, then get it set locally in the solitaire setting...

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Back to square one... what do you need the appraisal for?

 

If it is to verify the vendor's statements about the stone (the budget in isolation is largely meaningless; you can buy a diamond for $100 or for $3,000,000 and both may be fair prices), it makes everybody's life easier if it is loose, and it may still be cheaper to have the stone set locally (especially if you end up buying the final setting from the local jeweller) than paying someone to unset and reset if - for example - you have questions about clarity.

 

If it is to verify the overall work and provide you with an appraisal for insurance purposes, then get the complete item seen once.

 

Have you asked the appraiser what s/he would prefer in order to answer your questions?


Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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The apparaisal would be to verify the stone's value, so looks like unset is the way to go.

 

 

Have you asked the appraiser what s/he would prefer in order to answer your questions?

 

That's a great idea... should have figured that one out on my own. I'll do that.

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FWIW - a competent appraiser can provide a reliable valuation for a set stone as well.

 

The reason why I keep sitting on the fence is that I don't know to what extent you have questions on the stone that can only be answered by seeing the stone loose (e.g. "to what extent does the stone show a Hearts & Arrows pattern?")

Edited by davidelevi

Davide - Specialised Consumer Information and Assistance,
Diamonds by Lauren (http://www.diamondsbylauren.com)
davide@diamondsbylauren.com

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Question: I'm planning on purchasing a stone and setting online. Once I get it I'm going to get an independant appraisal here in San Francisco. Should I have the stone shipped loose so it can be appraised out of the setting, or should I have the online vendor set the stone?

 

Thanks!

 

If the stone has a GIA or AGS lab report, you should be o.k. to have it appraised after it is set. Check and see if it also has a laser inscription on the diamond girdle area as well.


Jan

For those that want to know the truth about diamonds, just ask.

 

dbof.com

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Question: I'm planning on purchasing a stone and setting online. Once I get it I'm going to get an independant appraisal here in San Francisco. Should I have the stone shipped loose so it can be appraised out of the setting, or should I have the online vendor set the stone?

 

Thanks!

 

To add to davide's excellent advice, I can tell you what I'm doing which may help.

 

1. I purchased a loose stone from a reputable on-line company that is GIA certified (in this case I went with jamesallen.com) that has an excellent loose stone search engine and allows you to put 3 stones on hold, and have the gemologist comment on which is the best and if it faces up clean, etc. Obtaining ideal scope images is important so that you have a rough idea of what is being sent. Jamesallen does this, whereas a place like blue nile does not. Shipping with this company was free, and shipping it back to them for setting is also free and insured by them. The last thing I need to deal with when shopping on-line is a non GIA certified stone that has poor symmetry or doesn't face up despite the GIA report being a triple excellent cut.

 

2. I'm getting the stone appraised loose for $42, and I will look at it myself to access the hearts and arrows and compare it to other similarly priced stones at local jeweler's to ensure that I'm getting a great deal. (else why even buy on-line?) Hearts and arrows viewing cannot be effectively done without the stone being loose. In my case, with the help of others on this site I was able to locate an appraiser who is: a graduate Gemologist (GIA), Independent Certified Gemology Appraiser, American Gem Society, and a certified member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers.

 

3. If everything checks out, I will send the stone back to where I purchased it for the setting and mounting. I have a 60 day return policy if I am unsatisfied with the loose stone. Now I could have it mounted locally, but the settings are cheaper on-line and why not have the same place assume full responsibility for mounting an warranty.

 

4. Once mounted, the appraiser will charge me the other half of the $84, which will be another $42 to have it appraised with the setting.

 

5. I will then have it insured using the appraisal for theft, loss, or damage by my insurance company and on top of that, jamesallen offers a lifetime warranty.

 

So in my case, other than additional time required to ship it back after the initial appraisal, it is the most effective way to assure me that I'm getting a good deal and that the diamond meets my expectations. Perhaps others can comment on what I am giving up by not purchasing the stone and setting locally, but unless I'm missing something, you can't go wrong with a 60 day money back guarantee and 2 appraisals (1 loose and 1 mounted) for $84. I've checked the same exact specs (less slight differences in table, depth, and angles) against local big name retailers and smaller less overhead guys and they can't beat the price I'm paying.

Edited by primetime

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There are several reasons people get new purchases appraised:

 

 

 

1) The seller said or failed to say something for which you want independent corroboration. Most people go into the diamond purchasing process pretty blind. They’re expensive so they embark on a research project that involved talking to friends and cooworkers, Googling up sites like this one, reading tutorials on dealers websites, visiting stores and reading advertising on specific stones. There is conflicting information here and EVERYBODY says theirs is the best deal. It’s good to get a second opinion on details that are important to you before you commit to the deal.

 

2) Insurance companies often require it.

 

3) It serves as a final quality control step by a trained and uninvolved observer.

 

4) It provides documentation about what you have including photographs, photomicrographs, serial numbers, dimensions, brand names, etc.

 

5) It gives a feel for pricing.

 

 

 

All of this, in my opinion, makes for a good reason to have an independent appraisal done on the completed item, and by this I mean having it done by someone OTHER than the person who made it, the person who sold it to you or someone working for them. Even that depends on how confident you are that they have done their own job well. I’m generally in the ‘trust but verify’ camp but not everyone is.

 

 

 

The reason for the inspection before it’s set is if you’re using the appraisal process as part of the shopping procedure. None of the above really is unless it uncovers a defect like a damaged stone. The interim inspection is to look at things like h&a images, sarin scans, analysis of the lab docs, detailed inspection of the inclusions for durability concerns, etc. The goal is to collect MORE information from the appraiser so you can make a decision to accept or reject a particular stone. It’s worth noting that, in most cases, setting the stone significantly limits that sorts of tests that the appraiser can do and it often limits your ability to return the stone for an alternative. Removing the stone from the setting and replacing it can damage the setting (in fact it usually does) so it’s good to be certain you have the right stone before you set it.

 

 

 

So, is it necessary to get it appraised twice as part of a sensible purchase? Is it necessary to do it even once? That’s up to you. If you’re 100% confident in your dealer, and if your dealer provides sufficient documentation that your insurer can replace the piece properly in the case of a loss, you may not need it at all. If you’re buying from a dealer that can’t or won’t provide you with the info you need or you have questions that they can’t or won’t answer, you may very well want to do it twice. I’m not exactly an unbiased observer here but if I were shopping with a significant budget, I’d be one who would go for two.

 

 

 

It’s worth noting that ALL of this applies whether you’re buying online or on the street and it applies doubly if you’re buying the diamond from one source and the setting from another. There’s nothing about local merchants that make them fundamentally more reliable than folks who are far away. It also makes little difference if the jeweler gives you a ‘free’ appraisal as part of the purchase. It’s not a second opinion if it comes from the same source as the first.

Edited by denverappraiser

Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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We've digressed a bit from the original question. In general, it's a good idea to get the stone, the setting and the assembly labor from the same source. It avoids fingerpointing if something comes up later (the mounting was defective; the setter was a butcher; the diamond didn't fit, etc.). If you're going to have 2 or more parties involved, that's another reason to be documenting between steps, ie. appraise the loose stone before you take it to the setter and then appraise the final piece when it complete.


Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

 

There's never a crowd when you go that extra mile.

Professional Appraisals in Denver

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