What's your protocol when a customer is providing a stone? How do
I protect myself and assure her that the stone is safe?
In addition to the microscope in the gem lab, we keep another, older
one on the counter. Then we find an identifying feature such as an
inclusion, extra facet, etc. to show the customer. Since many people
are nervous about it, I even do this when a customer wants to wait
for an appraisal. They don’t seem to understand that I’m not fast
enough at the bench to reset their ring or whatever in the time it
takes to jot down the notes for the appraisal. After the appraisal,
the piece (or stone) is put back under the microscope, oriented to
show the feature, then shown to the client and returned. The
appraisal is later typed, then mailed to them.
We do the same process for your situation, whether setting it into a
mounting or making a custom job. Often, the customer has trouble
recognizing the identifying feature since they’re not used to seeing
them, but patience pays off. Sometimes I think they never actually
see it, but resign themselves to the fact that, if they want it done,
they’ll just have to trust the store that’s been there since 1942.
If you don’t have a second (or even a first) microscope, I’m not
sure what to tell you. If you’re not experienced at clarity grading
it may be difficult for you to even find an identifying
feature for your customer. Since I don’t have to think outside the
"microscope box," I don’t have an alternative solution for you. But
if you think hard enough, you may find a way to identify that diamond
to your customer before they leave it, and when they return to pick
it up. If it has a cert, that can make it simple - especially if it
has a laser inscription. If it’s really all that big, it should.
James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL