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Getting Inclusions Removed From Diamond


nicolasunkel
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Hello everyone :)

 

I am new to this site and hopefully someone is able to assist me! My boyfriend (now fiance!) recently proposed while we were on holiday in America and we went ring shopping and purchased a beautiful ring in LA. We noticed once we got back to London that there are two small dark inclusions in the diamond which are quite visible from certain angles (didnt notice it the whole time we were on holiday which is really strange as it is quite big!) Anyway I hear these can be removed by laser and Im wondering if anyone could recommend a jeweller who could do this, and also let me know approximately how much this usually costs? When we were shopping for the ring we tried on numerous settings that did not have diamonds already in them and the jeweller used his own diamonds for us to test each size with each setting, so we are a bit disappointed that he did not mention that the diamond he actually put into our ring (while we waited!) had inclusions that were so visible in the right light. I have attached some pics, hard to get a clear pic but this is the best I can do! I would appreciate it if someone could point me in the right direction. It is 18k white gold with 1.02ct. I have all the appraisal documents etc at home if more info is needed.

 

Thank you in advance :)

Nicki

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post-134500-0-60668900-1410189773_thumb.jpg

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HI Nicki,

I must say this is an unusual way of shopping. Normally people select the centre stone first (sometimes agonizing over whether it's eye clean or not), then they go hunting for a setting they like.

 

I would not recommend you to go around looking for someone to remove the inclusions (which BTW cannot really be removed: they can be bleached or at best dissolved (leaving a "negative inclusion" in the form of a cavity). This is going to be complicated, possibly relatively expensive and it can damage at least the ease with which you will see the stone, if not the value of the stone itself, assuming it can be done at all (not all inclusions are suitable for laser treatment). If you are unhappy with the diamond, return the ring, and pick another centre stone.

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Thank you very much for your quick reply! We are obviously not very good at buying diamonds haha!! we kind of did both at the same time I guess, we knew what size diamond he could afford and then it was a matter of checking what each diamond looked like with the setting we liked and then chose the final one. Like I said we never even noticed the inclusion until we got back to London (where we live!) so now we're in a difficult position to be able to return and ask questions because we would have to fly back to LA! I am slightly worried now too that he sold us a diamond which is not as valuable as he says it is. We have the appraisal documents so I assume those cant be forged, but who knows! to be honest it sounds like it will ruin my ring rather than make it look better from your advice, so thank you for letting me know. Maybe I should rather go and get it appraised here? I just wish we had noticed the inclusion while were were in LA and we could have taken it back and asked him. We bought it in the jewellery district from a large jeweller, Jacob's Jewellery, so we assume its all legit!! So worried that my fiance has paid a fortune for a ring that isnt as valuable as he told us it is :(

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Appraisal documents can’t be forged?  Huh?  This is a report by his employees or contractors.  It's possibly even written by him himself.  That doesn’t necessarily make him wrong but it most definitely is NOT a second opinion to be used in supporting his statements.  What's to forge?  It’s not a second opinion if it comes from the same source as the first.
 

That said, start by contacting the jeweler with your concerns.  FedEx offers fine international service if it’s necessary to send it back to him for either return or modification.  Most jewelers are familiar with how it works.  It should be entirely possible for him to switch out the center stone for a different one that’s more acceptable to you.  The issue at hand is the price and what he can/will do to accommodate you.  Ask.

 

I agree with Davide, do not go the laser route.  Assuming this is a reasonably recent transaction, the fact that you are less than thrilled with it when you got home is grounds enough for the jeweler to try and work with you.  

Edited by denverappraiser
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"Legit" as in it's a diamond of about 1 carat set in 18 kt gold, I have little doubt. 

"Legit" as is "a respectable lab would describe it in the same terms (colour, clarity, absence of treatment, weight, cut quality)", I have many more doubts.

"Legit" as in you paid a reasonable price, I have no elements to judge (and what's missing info is not the price, but all the stats about the diamond).

"Legit" as in you have no reason whatsoever for not wanting it, and you should be left with a ring you don't particularly like, no, that isn't "legit".

Edited by davidelevi
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Morning :)

I had a look at the Diamond Analysis Report and Appraisal this morning. i tried to upload the pic but it wont let me, but Clarity Grade is SI3 so Our ignorance and hurry to buy my ring probably led to us not spending enough time studying the diamond and checking for inclusions and asking more questions!! The value in the appraisal is $8920, he sold us the diamond & setting for $6500.

 

I am going to email him today and find out if there is anyhting he can do.

 

Thank you for all your advice, as mentioned this is the very first diamond I have worn and the first diamond my partner has bought, so maybe we should have taken a bit more time before rushing but we just got caught up in such an exciting moment I guess! I absolutely adore my ring and take such pride in wearing it, it is just th disappointment of spending a lot of money and feeling like the jeweller knew we wouldnt notice or didnt have the experience to even know what to look for!!

 

Thanks again :)

Edited by nicolasunkel
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I'll type out the exact information on the laminated appraisal summary

 

Report: US 910462502D - February 25, 2014

Measurement: 6.43 - 6.37 x 4.02mm

Depth: 62.8%

Shape/Style: ROUND BRILLIANT

Weight: 1.02 ct

Clarity: SI3

Colour: H

Cut Grade: EGL IDEAL

TOTAL ESTIMATED RETAIL

REPLACEMENT VALUE $8,920.00

Description of Item: One natural diamond described in detail above.

 

So this is the appraisal of the diamond only, not the whole ring including the 8 diamonds on each side (16 in total). So he told us the price he was giving us was really good (again, our ignorance!) we paid a total of $6500 for the whole ring including centre stone and 16 little diamonds.

 

Were we mislead then?

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Let me put it this way: a setting like the one you have - for example from Blue Nile - is about $1300-1500: http://www.bluenile.com/build-your-own-ring/diamond-engagement-ring-setting-white-gold_11776?elem=img&track=product

 

This leaves about $5000-5200 for the centre stone. There are 50 diamonds that roughly fit the description you have for yours on the database here:

 

http://www.diamondreview.com/diamonds/?sortOrder=price&sortDesc=1&fShape=Rnd&fCaratLo=1.00&fCaratHi=1.10&fColorLo=H&fColorHi=H&fClarityLo=SI3&fClarityHi=SI3&fCutLo=&fCutHi=poor&fDepthLo=50.0&fDepthHi=80.0&fTableLo=40.0&fTableHi=80.0&fSymLo=&fSymHi=poor&fPolLo=&fPolHi=poor&fCulLo=&fCulHi=vlarge&fFlrLo=&fFlrHi=vstrong&fPriceLo=0&fPriceHi=1000000&fLabEGL=1

 

Only 2 of these are around $5000; the rest are all less by a significant amount. It may be that yours is a top-flight SI3, or it may be it isn't. It is also true that purchasing from a retail store is usually more expensive than buying from an internet-based retailer, but still I'm not convinced you got a good deal. And that is beside any consideration of whether you "like" the inclusions or not.

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EGL is a little hard to shop because they’re not really very consistent but in the Diamond Finder database at the top of the page 1.0-1.04/H/SI3/EGL shows 35 stones.  Typical price is about $3000-$3,500.  There are lots of comps out there for that sort of setting but expect about $1000-2000 depending on details that we don't haver.  Plus tax.  That puts the ‘good deal’ price at $5-$6k for what you got.   The diamond sellers here tend to be pretty price aggressive and it’s not unusual for local stores to be more expensive so no, your price wasn’t way out of line but no, you didn’t get a great bargain.  EGL’s opinions of value aren’t very useful for reasons described above.

 

A far bigger concern is that it bugs you, and that’s not actually clear from your posts.  Is the problem that you’re worried about the price or you don’t like the look? You will be wearing this for a long time and it’s important to get one you love.  There are a LOT of diamonds out there and I’m reasonably confident the jeweler can get you a different one if you want.  I say that with the qualifier that it may cost you more by the way.  Although I think it’s entirely fair for you to ask for a different stone, I don’t really expect them to offer you a ‘better’ diamond for the same price.

 

 ETA:  Davide posted a few seconds ahead of me.  Same message, slightly different take.  I love it when that happens.   :D

Edited by denverappraiser
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Thank you both for taking the time to look into this, much appreciated.

 

I absolutely adore my ring and feel privileged to be wearing it. But I think the inclusions are bugging me because they are clearly visible now whereas when we first got the ring they were not. My partner is happy with the price he paid especially considering rings/diamonds are a LOT more expensive here in the UK, and I would never have got this ring for the price he paid there. But overall I think we just feel a bit upset that he paid such a lot of money for it but we were too ignorant to notice the flaw or look at it more carefully before.

 

We are definitely going to contact the jeweller and speak to him about it. Shouldnt a good jeweller point out this type of flaw in a diamond before selling it? or is it up to the customer to have researched and have a bit of knowledge before handing over the credit card?

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'Flaw' isn't really an accurate word here.  It's a rock.  They have inclusions in them.  That's not the same as a defect in the traditional sense.  Given that this is one of the things that drives the price, yes they should have talked to you about it but no, there's nothing in your posts that leads me to expect that they sold you a defective item.  

 

I'm not a fan of EGL, and to the extent that they asked you to rely on that laminated card as useful information to make a decision, I think they treated you poorly.  That said, the card isn't what you bought and it's not what you wear on your finger.  I'm just guessing how the sales presentation went and the presence of that EGL card does not, by itself, mean you were misled.  To the extent that there was a problem, it has to do with what they did with it. 

Edited by denverappraiser
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This is an interesting question. An SI3 by definition is going to have inclusions that would be easily visible with a loupe, and quite likely visible without any loupe (which seems to be the case here). Should a customer - moreover a 1st time diamond buyer - be expected to know the definition of "SI3"? 

 

In my opinion, no. The jeweller should take some time to explain what the various attributes measure, what the different grades mean and what is the impact on the looks (and value, and...) of what the customer is buying, and possibly demonstrating this with the use of different diamonds. A better informed customer is a happier customer - who knows, he/she may even become a repeat customer. ;)

 

On the other hand, one could argue that the task of the seller is not training the consumer: "everybody shopping for a diamond should know the 4C", just like everybody shopping for a car should know whether 6.7 l/100 km (or 42 mpg UK, or 35 mpg US) is good or bad for a car's fuel consumption - even though the underlying definition of "litre", "metre", "gallon" and "mile" are not necessarily known or understood by the vast majority of buyers. If you as a consumer choose not to inform yourself, that's your business. This mode of thinking is in my view myopic, if not outright unethical, but there are lots of jewellery outfits that elect to go this way.

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True. I think we are both to blame...

 

I think myself and Matt are to blame in a way for not asking more questions, for not enlightening ourselves more about the 4C's, and for generally not taking enough time to study what we were buying.

 

And thet jeweller to blame as well for not taking the time to explain better what we were buying and all aspects of the diamond in question. My partner had a decent budget so if the jeweller had pointed this inclusion out to us but then showed us a cleaner diamond for a higher price he would have taken it!

 

Next I guess is we just see what the jeweller's response is!

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Thank you David, and to you Neil...you have both been very helpful and will definitely be in touch if we need any more advice! I am slightly nervous of the thought of fedex'ing my ring across the world and my ring is not even insured yet but will wait for a response from the jeweller before I worry about anything else!!

 

Take care :)

Nicki

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hi there :)

I hope you had a good weekend!

i thought I would update you. I tried to contact the jeweller in LA by both email and phone. Email bounced back saying it was not recognised. Phone just rang and rang every time we tried to call.

So I then posted a review on Yelp for Jacob's Jeweler Inc. (funny enough i've seen a couple of reviews almost matching mine also from customers who live abroad and who cannot travel back to sort it out!!) Not a few hours later Matt received a voicemail (he missed the call) from the jeweller's assistant who had helped us to choose the ring. When he rang back on Friday Jacob tore into him and actually said he would sue us for the bad review! He would not let matt speak and just kept shouting down the phone, even though matt said that it was also partly our fault for not asking to see the diamond much closer etc so he wasnt blaming Jacob entirely but that we just want some sort of assistance to try and resolve this seeing as though I am going to be wearing this my whole life! The phonecall got us nowhere and acutally Matt then said to Jacob that he will get me to call instead.

 

Next step before I phone him is to go and get the ring valued here in London and see what that comes back with. We are praying that the appraisal we have is not too far off but somehow we think that wont be the case, so once we have the new valuation I will call him and take it from there.

 

If he still refuses to help then after a few more bad reviews our next step is to contact a diamond buyer/seller and see if we can sell mine and buy another one. More than likely we will have to pay in quite a lot more money but I guess this ring will be something special to pass onto my children and onto their children so money isnt an issue and its a lesson learned.

 

Nicki :)

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Bummer.  I"m sorry to hear they're being difficult.  

 

How did you pay?  In particular, was there a credit card company involved?  That's a more powerful hot button than Yelp although I'm not sure your case is all that good.   Does the receipt include any 'terms and conditions' that talk about how returns will be handled?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello :)

Thought I would give an update on the ring situation. I had it valued with Ernest Jones which is a very large reputable jewellery store here. The valuation was surprisingly good (complete ring value total £5950) so im happy with that. Unfortunately though for us, another mishap, last week one of the little diamonds fell out of my ring at work. Thank goodness my colleague actually spotted it on the floor. This afternoon I took the ring and diamond to Hatton Garden in central london to get the diamond repositioned at a diamond shop, and after the jeweller inspected my ring it turns out the diamond next to the one that fell out is actually completely fractured :( He let me see through his microscope thingy and I saw for myself the jagged diamond. It always looked slightly off colour to me. And actually when we bought the ring this particular diamond popped out while they were deep cleaning the ring, and they just said sometimes the deep clean can do this. Again, our inexperience with diamond buying we didnt think to question it. So now the diamond next to that has fallen out, and the jeweller I just took it to said that there is no way the diamond would fracture whilst getting cleaned? So it seems one thing after another with my beautiful ring :( :( We are now going to call the Jeweller and demand an answer and get this resolved. Its my engagement party next weekend and im at a point where Im too scared to even wear my ring incase something else goes wrong :( :( And I am definitely going to take this to social media so that other people arent conned by Jacob. how can he sell a fractured diamond and not say anything to the buyer?? and actually, im a little annoyed that Ernest Jones didnt pick this up or tell me about it either when doing the valuation?? May contact them as well!

 

Anyway so this is where we are at. Any advice would be great. I gues the only thing would be to send the ring back and either demand a refund or demand a new ring.

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You have a double problem:

 

1. The ring has been with you for a while. This puts you in a difficult position with returning it, particularly to a vendor that stated clearly at the time of sale "no returns".

 

2. The ring has now been in the hands of others. While you haven't had any "proper" work done to it, the cleaning gives the seller a wonderful "get out" clause. Ultrasound cleaning is not sufficient to smash a diamond, but it can break something that had a deep fracture before (but was nevertheless "whole").

 

Talk to your credit card as quickly as possible, and ask them what they can do to help you return what is clearly an unsatisfactory quality item. Start the process NOW - as it happens, the contractual relationship (in the UK) when purchasing something is also with the credit card, not just with the supplier, so they have a duty to help, but they will have policies about times and other formal niceties that need to be applied.

Edited by davidelevi
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Surely if his workshop in LA did the cleaning then this would be something for him to resolve? I understand what you are saying though, because we have had it for over a month now he could argue that it wasnt that way when he sold it to us :(

 

My fiance paid for it with his credit card so i'll tell him to contact his bank then and find out if they can do anything.

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Exactly... if it broke (if it wasn't already) in his hands, it would have been his problem. It was found broken in your hands, and it's your word against his that it was broken before you had anything at all done to it.

 

Talk to the credit card of wanting to make an "equal liability" claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. They will probably kick and scream at the news, but it's part of their legal obligations... see here for some details:

 

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/section75-protect-your-purchases

http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/section-75-of-the-consumer-credit-act

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Good luck!

 

Don't let the credit card company fob you off, BTW. They are liable. It's not nice, since it clearly it's not their fault, and it may not do a lot of good to your relationship with that particular credit card issuer, but at least that should see you made whole (and perhaps the merchant a little bit less dismissive, since they will land on him like the proverbial ton of bricks).

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