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The Headlight (New Gia Report?)


jginnane
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I've made reference in a couple posts to this rock we got ~15 years ago, that we call "the Headlight" because of its ridiculously large size on my wife's finger.

 

post-134047-0-77711300-1396163566_thumb.jpg

 

Turns out the rock is in another safe deposit box than the paperwork.  Oh well, another day... hopefully I can put up photos next week or so.

 

This stone is an example of a round brilliant with large table, shallow depth.  IOW, it looks even bigger than it weighs in at.  And in its 6-prong platinum "Tiffany" setting, it sits a lot higher above the finger than you'd expect than from the stone's measured depth.

 

Question --  is it worth it to us to have the stone regraded by GIA, with all the facet angles measured?  They didn't normally do this 15 years ago.  Also, should we have the girdle laser-inscribed with the GIA report number? (Separate, small fee.)

 

Normally we wouldn't think of fussing with the rock, since we'd have to have someone take it out of the setting to send to GIA, and then have it put back in.  We're not contemplating any other activity with it -- such as selling, use as collateral, etc.  It would be nice to have a better sense of what it's "worth" (but I expect this to vary over a $40K range).

 

That's really the only reason I know of to get the new-improved GIA grading report.  (Obviously, it's also a triple-check on what we were told by the initial vendor.)

 

 

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Value isn't one of the things listed on a GIA report anyway.  Although it's true that things with new reports are a bit easier to sell and they're more useful for buyers (which is WHY they're easier to sell), if you're not buying and not selling, I see very little value to you in sending it in.  IF you ever decide to sell it you can do it at that time.   Actually it'll be better because the report will be 'new' at that time and they may have changed the rules yet again by then.  They've done it several times in the last few decades after all.

The same applies for the inscription.  You can certainly get it if you want but, for most people, it's a bit of a pain for not very much gain.  Why do you want it?

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Value isn't one of the things listed on a GIA report anyway.  Although it's true that things with new reports are a bit easier to sell and they're more useful for buyers (which is WHY they're easier to sell), if you're not buying and not selling, I see very little value to you in sending it in.

 

That's (kind of) my thinking ... having an official document describing the cut could be a help.  From the HCA Tool on this website, just entering the table and depth percentages gives me a 2.0+ score, which is a little lower than I'd hope for.  Still, it would be nice to know.

 

 

 

IF you ever decide to sell it you can do it at that time.   Actually it'll be better because the report will be 'new' at that time and they may have changed the rules yet again by then.  They've done it several times in the last few decades after all.

 

I see now that Russians have developed an alternate marking system using femtolasers, creating what may seem more like embedded "barcoding" than Arabic numerals on the girdle.  This might be a future enhancement to GIA.


 

 

The same applies for the inscription.  You can certainly get it if you want but, for most people, it's a bit of a pain for not very much gain.  Why do you want it?

 

Not for very good reasons, I'll admit.  Mostly... just to have something to do with the stone. Fifteen years ago, we were offered the GIA laser inscription treatment, and thought it akin to defacing (or tattooing) the diamond.

 

But when we lost the two pairs of diamond earrings in December 2013, we realized that lasering is the only indisputable proof of ownership, should the stones ever be discovered.

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Actually lasering isn't indisputable proof.  Gemprint is the only current court tested way to do that.  The labs are pretty good at recognizing stones internally when they get resubmitted but it has nothing to do with the inscription or lack thereof.  For insurance purposes it generally doesn't matter.  'Indisputable' isn't the standard that applies and whether or not the insurance company can pursue a conviction against the thief is mostly an academic concern.  

 

FWIW, Gemprinting your stone also results in a discount from a fair number of insurance companies for exactly this reason.  There's more info at www.gemprint.com.

Edited by denverappraiser
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Actually lasering isn't indisputable proof.  Gemprint is the only current court tested way to do that. (...) Gemprinting your stone also results in a discount from a fair number of insurance companies for exactly this reason.  There's more info at www.gemprint.com.

 

This is very useful information -- thank you!  I hadn't heard of this.

 

Reading through the gemprint website, though ... although the gemprint signature is undetectable from the stone, it seems the unique signature they record can be eradicated by a repolishing of the stone.  So gemprint could be useful in court against amateur thieves, but not professionals (who realize they need to physically alter the stones in their possession).

 

In contrast, femtolaser technology leaves an indelible mark on the inside of the diamond.  ("Femto" follows the metric scale: meter, deci, centi, milli-, micro-, nano-, pico- ... and femto-.  Femto is one-quadrillionth or a thousand-billionth, referring to the wavelenght of light output.)

 

The problem with femtolasering?  It's just a demonstration application, so far.  Femtolasers Inc. is finding "mo' money mo' faster" in cataract surgery applications.  it might be a while until they get back around to commercially marking diamonds.  Another issue is what to measure, where, how to encode the results ... and where to put them. Femtolasers in theory are so efficient you could write the whole Bible inside a diamond, in a way undetectable to a 10x loupe.  But they haven't gotten going with actually using the app, yet.  (Might be worth a strategic investment. ;-)

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FWIW 1: no matter what the inscription is, it can be easily erased if it is on the girdle. Access to a diamond lathe (or even just a diamond file) is all it takes. The smaller the inscription, the easier it is to erase - though the smaller it is the more difficult it is to spot (and for the inscription to act as a deterrent it has to be visible - with difficulty, but visible). Unless someone figures out a way of focusing the laser on the inside of the diamond.

 

FWIW 2: I have no idea which numbers you have put into the HCA (which BTW does not reside on this forum), but an old-style GIA report does not have enough information even for the HCA to guess. Leaving the default crown and pavilion angles comes up with total nonsense, since your diamond is very likely to have different angles (or pavilion/crown heights).

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Stand pat. No gain and possible pain/aggravation going through this process. You're not selling this diamond and the information you currently have is more than adequate.

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FWIW 1: no matter what the inscription is, it can be easily erased if it is on the girdle. Access to a diamond lathe (or even just a diamond file) is all it takes. The smaller the inscription, the easier it is to erase - though the smaller it is the more difficult it is to spot (and for the inscription to act as a deterrent it has to be visible - with difficulty, but visible). Unless someone figures out a way of focusing the laser on the inside of the diamond.

 

Hi David,

 

That's the intriguing part about femtolaser technology -- it is inscribed inside the stone.  The short sample you can find via Google shows a dot-dash pattern, so in theory any sort of information can be written (by a descendant of UUencoding technology -- that's how BBSes used to transmit 8-bit binary files, like games or Jpegs,  on 7-bit ASCII systems). The patterns are written at what's essentially an atomic level.

 

As a deterrent, a simple window sticker, akin to "This House Protected by ADP Security", notifies a thief that the property is marked, and marked in such a way that you'd have to destroy the stone to remove evidence of ownership.  The encoding doesn't have to be visible on the diamond, just accessible with proper tools.

 

I could see this potentially as a future GIA enhancement.  Unlike gemprint, the marking is made in such a way that you can't rub it off.  If femtolasers followed a universal burning system, like "1 mm inside each of the top three crown angles, encoded and burned 1mm deep", the only way to eradicate the coding is by crudely laser-drilling a hole through each of the encoding points.

 

 

(Barry) Stand pat. No gain and possible pain/aggravation going through this process. You're not selling this diamond and the information you currently have is more than adequate.

 

I'm going to listen to the voices of reason on this -- I don't know how long it takes GIA to turn things around, but even if I carry the ring to a jeweler in the same building at 47th & Fifth, it's still a PITA and involves at least a second visit.

 

The one thing I'd probably gain is a better appreciation of angles and these advanced metrics being used to evaluate stones.  (OTOH, courses offered by the GIA itself are relatively affordable.)

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Inscription inside the stone, properly "advertised", is definitely interesting. There is - as always - a dilemma between "ease of verification" and "difficulty of duplication". If the inscription cannot be verified quickly and easily, its value to Joe Public is considerably less.

 

Gemprinting, by the way, involves no marking at all. It simply exploits optics and geometry and is safe (as in: cannot be easily duplicated). I suspect that the reason why it's not more widespread is precisely that verification still requires equipment (basically a laser beam and a scanner, plus software) and it does not present Joe Public with an easily readable "this is my diamond" sticker.

 

GIA turnaround times are available on the GIA site at http://www.gia.edu/gem-lab-turnaround-time - they are generally slight underestimates in my experience (add a week - except to very fast services). Not that it matters for "the Headlight", but still handy to have.

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