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Pre-Cert-ing diamonds

These are just a few little words, but in the end can save you ‘tunz
of money’ and loads of embarrassing moments. Here is my true story!
Some years ago I used to buy my loose diamonds from a local

I requested for this special order that all of them must be a “VS,
” anything less will be returned! Owner, and assistant heard my
simple and serious request.

I picked up my 20,.15 pointers and thought why not get them “*
Pre-Certified*” by an independent G. I.A. appraiser? Well I asked him
what do you think of them, nice stones, eh? He used his 40x Gem-scope
and asked me to sit down. woops! oh-oh! Out of the 20 VS, only 3-4
were the quality I wanted, others were SI 1-2, F-G and some were even
I,1 G-H! I thanked him and paid for his services. I felt humiliated
and made a fool of.:>(

What would have happened if I set those stones and found out
afterwards that they were of inferior quality? They would have
thought I might have switched them after the purchase? I returned to
his office the next morning and quizzed the owner and
assistant…“what did you think I was going to do, keep them? Here
they are and I’m finished with you, permanently!” Their stupid
answer was “Oh I’m sorry, I guess some stones got mixed up in the
wrong parcel.” That would have lost my credibility with the ring

Moral of this story, spend a few minutes and give your diamonds a
’second opinion’.

Gerry Lewy

ll I asked him what do you think of them, nice stones, eh? He used
his 40x Gem-scope and asked me to sit down. woops! oh-oh! Out of
the 20 VS, only 3-4 were the quality I wanted, others were SI 1-2,
F-G and some were even I,1 G-H! 

There is something wrong with this story. If the appraiser really
used 40x magnification to grade the stones, than this appraiser is an
idiot and cannot be possibly educated by GIA or any other gemological

All grading must be done at 10x magnification. Even flawless diamond
will not survive 40x examination. Another question I have is why do I
even have to point to this obvious discrepancy.

How come man of your experience and wisdom missed this simple fact.

Leonid Surpin

I agree with Leonid although I would leave out the idiot part
because I don’t want to be called names myself. (even and maybe
especially when I’m wrong) All diamond grading is done with 10X and
GIA taught me that plus or minus two grades is right on!

Sam Patania,

Your answer to this is simple: the diamond merchant only used a 10
power loupe. It was the appraiser offsite is the one who viewed the
diamonds under the stronger magnification. I am not defending anyone
but only stating facts. I didn’t have you to pinpoint anything else.
Just how a lesser qualified individual nearly got away by slipping in
some poorer looking diamonds.

If you have any further reasons to doubt my credibility PLEASE write
back to me off Orchid!!!

Gerry Lewy

If the appraiser really used 40x magnification to grade the
stones, thanthis appraiser is an idiot and cannot be possibly
educated by GIA or anyother gemological establishments. 

I’m just hoping that the point of that story was how astonishingly
incompetent the appraiser was. I wouldn’t believe anything they said
again. It is permitted to "search"with higher magnification, but if
it can’t be seen under 10x, it doesn’t exist.

I find myself agreeing with Leonid here. Using 40x magnification ? -
who was this? an “appraiser” or an, (and I hate to use the term)

Either way if your invoice says you ordered 20 VS stones, then 20 VS
stones is what should have been sent. I would go to the source and
seek recourse. That is typical however in the independent jewelery
making business - that one gets taken if you haven’t used a reliable
or the same diamond conglomerate related seller(s)/family selling
loose diamonds for years. Metalsmiths just beginning would do best to
go to the seller themselves with their loupes and inspect each stone,
individually, when they are above 10 pt. or a special order. Below 10
pt’s (3mm or very close if hand cut and not take outs from a turn of
the century piece if not a piece made before the 1900’s which is
preferable) you are working with material that is visually perceived
to be " a clear or white stone" if you ask the average consumer. They
would be hard pressed to identify “real” from Cubic zirconium in a 2
mm (0.03 pt stones),2.5 (0.05 pt.) even an actually ‘visible’ 2.7 mm
(0.07 pt) stone, and probably pick the spectral cz over the diamond
material, even at a 10 pt. size.

Familiarizing oneself with diamond grading beyond just GIA’s system
is helpful, even if you stick to using GIA to express the
qualities (or lack thereof) for larger diamond material if you
design with them or find yourself taking orders for them frequently.
I personally will not accept a job wherein the customer has decided
they want based on what they hear on gem related TV shopping
channels-GIA, HRD, AGA, and Russian TU systems. all express the
valuation of the defects deteriorating a given diamond or it’s
perception. I think some jewelers and metalsmiths get a bit nervous
when a client comes in and purports to know diamond grading or
gemmology based on the 4 c’s. that, my friends, is not the extent of
it. and to expect a seller to evaluate a 2 mm 3 pt.

diamond is not likely - they will simply randomly select a scoop out
of a jar of similar sized diamond material and begin counting. If you
ordered VS material in a small or “accent” size (below 10 points) and
do not go to the supplier/dealer with loupe in hand to select it
yourself, the probability of your receiving what you ordered is slim.
For some reason the diamond sellers presume the diamond buyers are
idiots and therefore because they are paying for a stone, sight
unseen- they do not get what has been paid for in good faith. it’s a
common and typical sales trick. If you don’t get a parcel to inspect
with the understanding you or your supplier will send them back to
the ‘wholesaler’ then you should question the professionalism and
standards of any independent diamond selling sources (i. e.- not a
corporate office where the diamond parcel is retrieved from a vault
while you sit at a desk and then look over the stones in the shapes
and sizes you want from the parcel(s) individually paying a
reasonable premium for the pomp associated with the sale)- many of
them have no idea what you know and presume you know nothing or you
wouldn’t be buying your diamonds from them in the first place! Sad
to say, but common. Or there are the proliferation of “Diamond
Exchange” franchises selling material that has a supply chain coming
from largely Thai and Burmese sources that end up in China and are
then imported and distributed through these franchise stores in the
US to a largely uneducated public as their prices are far from
realistic despite the sales pitch and the signage in the stores.

It is up to you to learn who is a good local source for you to deal
with so this doesn’t happen again. The other option is buying from
jewellery supply vendors by mail that sell diamond materials but at
least guarantee them and have a written return policy that has no
"restocking" fee. If they send you bad stuff you shouldn’t have to
pay for their attempts to sell junk or clearly lesser material
because it is so reasonably priced. If someone looking for accent
stones from parcels that are mixed quality and advertised as “in the
range of” a certain size or quality and not exactly the advertised
material in their catalogue but costs less than 10-20 dollars a
stone, the likelihood one will return the material - and delay the
promise date- of a work piece or special ordered item- is slim. and
how does one differentiate between SI1 and I1 or even SI1-2 and I2
material when they all appear to be the same (under 10x or to the
eye)? You don’t need a GIA course to differentiate between small
stones that are going to have inclusions anyway. the price is one
sure indication and diamonds in general, are largely overpriced to
begin with unless you have family in the business and dealing through
Israel. In that one case will you perhaps get a fair price on just
cut or re-cut material that has been shuffled around from one
geographic location to another since being mined and originally cut
by workers for a conglomerate/attempted monopoly/cartel !. Buy on the
spot. get what you can afford or don’t accept commissions for
diamonds unless it’s up to you to choose them the customer just
signing off on the rendering/design. rer

Regarding Leonid’s reply to Gerry’s post. My saintly Mother always
told me that (visualize her leaning toward me with knitted brows and
her index finger pointed at my chest), “It’s not what you say but
how you say it!”