Boston's Premier Independent Appraiser!

Is an independent diamond appraisal necessary if I already have one from the seller?

Hi Everyone,
Is an independent diamond appraisal necessary? This is a question I get on a regular basis. I am going to start off with a few reasons why it is so very important to have an independent appraisal from a company  and then I will tell a story that happened this past week that I think everyone should know about.

Independent diamond appraisals give the consumer peace of mind. In today’s world this is worth more than ever. An appraisal today is not just a “make sure the stone is real” process; it allows the consumer a way to check that the diamond they have just purchased is actually the diamond that was represented to them. When one color and one clarity can literally mean thousands of dollars this is very important. It also gives the consumer a second opinion on the value of the purchase they have just made that will hopefully be for the rest of their life.

 When a consumer gets an appraisal from the vendor that sold them their stone does this seem a bit harsh to say the appraisal might be biased? Could that appraisal be a little inflated to make the seller look better and the client feel like they got a good deal? Now I know there are vendors out there who give realistic appraisals for insurance purposes and that is great service. It is the appraisals I see every day that are double sometimes triple what the buyer paid. These are the documents that are hurting the consumer by doubling or even tripling their insurance premiums.

 One other question I get is, why is it so important not to go to someone who buys or sells jewelry? I will answer this in a scenario. You just purchased a diamond engagement ring and are about to go to your local jeweler to get an appraisal. He/She looks at the ring and shows you under 60x magnification the once small inclusion you viewed under 10x and tells you how they can sell you the same quality stone with less inclusions for a better price. Has this happened to anyone? I hear about it regularly. Next scenario: You just inherited a diamond ring and you go to your local jeweler who buys and sells jewelry to get an appraisal. You tell him that the purpose of the appraisal is for liquidation and before you get any kind of documentation you are already getting offered a check. Has this happened to anyone? I hear about it regularly. Can you get an unbiased appraisal from someone who buys and sells jewelry? You can if you are dealing with someone who is looking out for your best interest before his or hers.

Now for the story I promised at the beginning of this post. A couple came into my office a couple weeks ago with a 2 carat plus loose diamond for me to check and verify that the diamond I was looking at matched the GIA report they had brought along. Everything was fine. The color was right on, the clarity was perfect and the cut was "ideal". They were very happy and told me that they were going to take me up on my offer to come back once it is set and make sure that the diamond was the same one I had looked at in my office and to check if it was set properly and that there was no damage during the setting process. So a week or so went by and the couple came back with a beautiful platinum diamond ring they purchased from (one of the largest and most well known jewelers in NY). As soon as I saw the ring I knew there was a problem. It was not the same was not a diamond at all. It was a CZ (cubic Zirconia). The couple was in complete shock. I calmly did an appraisal for a platinum diamond setting with a CZ as the center stone. The couple literally ran from my office directly to the store from where they had purchased it. Before they left, I told them I would not leave my office until they called me to let me know what happened. About 20 minutes later I got a call from my client who was much calmer than I was expecting. He told me that the store would find their stone, replace it, or just give them their money back. They told them that this had never happened before and they would like this to be kept between them. Now whether it was a mistake or deceit I am very sure the company will fix it. I do really feel like it was some sort of mistake (hopefully). Imagine if this couple did not get an independent appraisal and 5 years went by. They walk into a jewelry store to get it sized and find out they have had a CZ for 5 years. I think they would be out of luck and a lot of money.

Does this happen every day? No. At least not in my office. However I do see some very interesting things being in this appraisal business. Most are very legitimate sales where everything is supposed to be what was represented. The purpose of this post is not to scare people into getting an appraisal or to compromise the great reputations that legitimate and honest jewelers have been working so hard to get and deserve. The sole purpose is to educate consumers on the importance of an independent appraisal.

Please also visit