Why you need a diamond appraiser, how to determine a good appraiser
The services of an independent appraiser are increasingly of importance in today’s complex market environment. As consumers have grown in sophistication and education, diamonds have gotten more costly, and many previously unheard of treatments and ethical issues have arisen, as well. One used to fear that a diamond might be misrepresented as to color, clarity or weight. Now the list of reasonable questions is nearly endless:
- Has the stone had some temporary or permanent treatment applied?
- Is the stone a real diamond, a man-made diamond, a color altered diamond, loaded with filler, or totally phony?
- Will the dealer sell me one stone and deliver another?
- Is the information on the grading document accurate?
- Is the stone damaged?
- Are the grading documents genuine and unaltered?
- Does the diamond match the grading document?
- Is the stone really cut correctly and does the grading paper supply enough information to make an informed decision?
A jewellery appraisal is a complete evaluation, quantification, and detailed description of your jewellery and should include what material was used, and stamped on your piece, was it a custom design, dimensions and weight. Your diamond should be completely evaluated, measured and described in details. Every diamond is unique, and has its own characteristics. A plotting of your diamond shows exact location of any imperfections it may have. This is critical should you need to refer back to insure that your stone has not been switched out at any time. Although this is not typically included on your appraisal certificate your appraiser should have this in his or her files for future reference.
A photo gives a quick view of your item, should it be lost or stolen, but the details described above are required to determine cut grade, clarity and value.
The appraisal should also indicate if the item is worn, damaged in any way.
An appraisal should also state weather the diamonds were in a setting or loose when appraised, if in a setting it should state, “sizes and weights are estimated as diamonds are set”
Appraisals should be done every few years, between 2 – 5 years depending on your insurance requirements. Also confirm what your insurance will replace at, retail replacement value or wholesale replacement value.
An independent appraiser does not have a vested interest in your jewellery so his opinion should be objective and honest.
When choosing an appraiser look at their credentials, Gemologist Institute of America (GIA) is known for their standards, and intense training programs.
GIA’s Mission Statement:
GIA’s mission is to ensure the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism through education, research, laboratory services, and instrument development.
When your hire an appraiser, you’re hiring a professional, and should expect to pay a reasonable price for an expert opinion and evaluation. A typical appraisal will take between 45 mins to one hour, depending on the item to be appraised, it will consists of measurements, weights, and inspection of stones and setting.
The cost of the appraisal, covers the time it takes for a thorough appraisal as well as training and equipment fees required to do a good job.