Accolades to USA Certed Diamonds

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May 6, 2003
To Internet Diamond Shoppers:

I am an engineer by trade and therefore very thorough and meticulous in the research that I perform before making a major purchase. To summarize my experience, USA Certed Diamonds provided unbiased, generally applicable advice for Internet purchasing of loose stones, offered very reasonable prices, and assigned one very courteous and helpful person to assist me with my project. I will share my experience in greater detail with hopes that others may learn and gain from my experiences.

I was in the market for a 1.2-1.3 carat, princess cut, VVS1-VVS2, E-F stone with table less than 72% and depth less than 75%; my stone budget was $7500. For consumers interested in princess cut diamonds, a good cut chart to refer to can be found on this Pricescope site. Be advised that there are no "ideal" dimensions for a princess cut diamond, and that any chart is the opinion of an individual or a committee; preferably a well-respected Gemologist. My independent appraiser here in Scottsdale, AZ confirmed that D.S. Atlas is well respected in the industry, and therefore, I relied on the Pricescope chart. In addition, there is a "quick-and-dirty" rule that my USA Certed Diamonds advisor shared with me: the most brilliant princess cuts will have the table % less than the depth %. This will result in a larger crown height and allow more light to pass into (and subsequently out of) the diamond.

Armed with this information, I started my search. Blue Nile, Mondera, etc, etc, etc until I really sat down and read the tutorial that I downloaded from The Diamond Buyer’s Guide is a great resource, and is available for free! Once I learned about the Polygon network, I was able to find a particular stone that I was interested in (by weight, table and depth) and compare the prices that were offered by competing Internet retailers that access the Polygon inventory. I would imagine that price differences are due to retailer mark-up. USA Certed won the price game. So, I engaged in the buying process...

I was interested in having the stone independently appraised prior to the actual purchase, and I was only comfortable considering GIA certed stones. Be advised that this step in the process can get a bit precarious because independent appraisers typically work out of retail jewelry stores. In and of itself, this does not pose an issue, however, the store that employs the appraiser must also assume some liability to receive the stone and store it temporarily on their premises. Bear in mind that your Internet diamond retailer still owns the stone and is permitting you to have it shipped around the country, handled, appraised, etc (of course, it is insured!). After a couple of days of phone call runaround, I finally lost patience with the local retail store and purchased the diamond, sight-unseen. However, to protect myself, I confirmed in writing with the USA Certed President that they would cover the cost of return shipping and insurance in the unlikely event that I needed to return the stone.

If I had it to do over again, I would have requested one additional piece of information from the retailer. It is a good idea to have a Sarin report performed and shipped along with the loose stone and the GIA cert. The Sarin report is relatively easy to generate and will detail the stone dimensions that compliment the table and depth percentages; namely, the crown height and pavilion depth percentages.

Anyhow, I picked up my stone at my local FedEx office and was off to the independent appraiser. The appraisal took about an hour and the cost was $100. I chose one of the most reputable jewelry stores in town, but have seen independent appraisal costs as low as $75-85. I entered the appraisal process a bit standoffish, mandating that a scripted list of questions be answered, and that I would not reveal the GIA cert grades to the appraiser until AFTER he had performed his appraisal. This kept everyone honest, and put the appraiser’s full skills to the test. I have attached a copy of my list of questions in case anyone is interested.

The appraisal results were within ½ grade of all of the GIA stated criteria; therefore, I was convinced that the stone matched the cert. As a courtesy, I shared the cert and my purchase price with the appraiser at the end of our session. He confirmed that I got a “good deal” and that the stone was very well proportioned. My thanks go out to USA Certed Diamonds!

Under normal circumstances, the story would end here. However, the following day, I reluctantly jumped onto for the first time ever, only to find that the stone that I had purchased had been offered, some time in the past, at a slightly lower price (~$300). I promptly drafted an e-mail to the President of USA Certed Diamonds and explained the situation and he gladly agreed to refund the difference! Once again, I have no reservation about recommending the use of this company. I have confidence in their integrity and the products that they supply.

I hope my experiences are helpful to some of you diamond-hunters out there, as I do not plan to utilize my newly found knowledge again in the near future!


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