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AGS Grading vs. Independents

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helpless

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2003
Messages
2
I hope this is not asking too much, but I wanted to get some opinions from the poeple that know this stuff the best........

I recently purchased an engagement ring with the following AGS certified grading:

1.29 Carat
AGS Ideal (54% table, 62.2% depth, 34.9 deg crown 40.6 deg pav)
G
VS2
1% gir / no culet
Ideal Polish / Ideal Sym

I also received two independent appraisals that stated the following differences:

Color : F
Clarity : VVS2

I was walked through the color and clarity gradings during the appraisals (looking at the E vs F vs G masters, looking at the diamond under 30x)and even my untrained eye can see the color of this diamond looks better than the G color stated on the cert.

What gives? I like the fact that I seen to to have found a real steal... however, I must ask "how conservatively does the AGS grade?" and "Why would there be such a difference between what the AGS would grade and the two indepenedent appraisals?"

Any insight would be helpful....

Thanks.
 

photogold

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
31
When you took the diamond in for appraisal, was it loose or was it set in a ring? If it was set in a ring, it is possible that some inclusions are hidden under a prong. There is a huge difference between VS2 and VVS2. I can't imagine an appraiser being off by 2 grades. Maybe they also had a hard time judging the color if it was in a ring.

If it was not in a ring, well maybe AGS made a mistake or you got the wrong grading report from the jeweler. Maybe you can send it to GIA for grading, or resubmit it to AGS.
 

Colored Gemstone Nut

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 21, 2002
Messages
2,324

----------------
On 2/18/2003 10:58:38 PM helpless wrote:
I hope this is not asking too much, but I wanted to get some opinions from the poeple that know this stuff the best........

I recently purchased an engagement ring with the following AGS certified grading:

1.29 Carat
AGS Ideal (54% table, 62.2% depth, 34.9 deg crown 40.6 deg pav)
G
VS2
1% gir / no culet
Ideal Polish / Ideal Sym

I also received two independent appraisals that stated the following differences:

Color : F
Clarity : VVS2

I was walked through the color and clarity gradings during the appraisals (looking at the E vs F vs G masters, looking at the diamond under 30x)and even my untrained eye can see the color of this diamond looks better than the G color stated on the cert.

What gives? I like the fact that I seen to to have found a real steal... however, I must ask "how conservatively does the AGS grade?" and "Why would there be such a difference between what the AGS would grade and the two indepenedent appraisals?"

Any insight would be helpful....

Thanks.----------------
Helpless:

First GIA & AGS are very reputable labs which diamonds are graded. Both labs have strict standards they follow in which they grade stones. With that said you need to consider a couple factors-

1) It is normal for an independent appraiser to be off a color grade either way. In the case of you stone "G" is stated on the AGS report I would highly recommend you go with the color grade stated on this report. Remember a color grade either way in this case it was appraised as an "f". Keep that general rule in mind as to the appraiser being 1 color grade off.
2) Are you aware of how much experience the jeweler or appraiser you had evaluate the stone had under his belt and what his credentials were.
3) With the strict standards in mind that AGS maintains remember you have an ideal cut stone. A stone with ideal proportions is going to face up whiter in most cases than the color on the report. Stones are graded face down against a white piece of paper. The are also machines that grade color. Hold an "F" stone next to a "G" stone and I challenge you to see the subtle difference in hue. In your stone it is particularly hard to tell face up because of the light returned due to it's ideal proportions.

If you are comfortabne sharing with us what you paid for the stone I am sure you will get some opinions on whether or not you got a "steal". It might seem a little irrelevant because you purchased the stone. If you can say your happy with your purchase that's all that matters. Look at what you paid for the stone and do a comparison search on pricescope. I hope I answered some of your questions on why there might have been some discrepencies in grading...

Peace-
Josh Rioux
Sitka, Alaska
 

newenglandgemlab

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2003
Messages
316
Hi,

Couple of questions for you. On the appraisers you took it to...were they using a true master diamond set or CZ's or comparing color using certed stones they may have on hand? Did they look at the color from both sides? There is a master eye effect and it does make a noted difference in color comparison. We have two Lazare Kaplan Master Diamond sets and I can't grade without them. They are like my security blanket. These have to pass rigid inspection through the AGS labs and GIA and they are ideal cut. These are benchmarks so to speak. These are still the preferred method of proper grading. The colorimeters may still be off too. For fun I have put my masters on colorimeters from time to time and get different readings, they are not the ultmate answer, at least not yet.

I have seen many appraisers out there not using good masters. I have not been on this forum for long but haven't seen this question come up. Watch Ebay and see how many CZ sets are out there. I was speaking to one appraiser that had been doing some work for the larger chains in the malls and she was using CZ's and I just asked her the other day "How can you grade with those?" and she said she couldn't see the differnce between her G and her J! Yipes! I have seen many people use acerted stone from iventory as a comparison too. ths just doesn't work. there can be low and high grades within the coor scale. Without the benchmark master stones stones to refer to, your grading will be all over the place. I know my masters and have them imprinted in my mind. It is hard to understand but I do know my stones so to speak.

In looking for a good appraiser, ask what they are using for masters. These are not cheap pieces of equipment! This is key in good grading techniques. Also, lets not forget about lighting. Now that is another whole story! One of these days I wll buy the SAS2000....

Also, as far as the clarity grading. I have studied many diamonds in the past 20+ years and there have been very few AGS reports that I disagree with. I think there should be a noticeable difference between a VVS2 and a VS1 even at 10 power. Something is fishy here.

Cindy

p.s. We have 2 CGA's on staff and I would be happy to look over the color and clarity on that stone for you at no charge. Just Fedex them to me and I will ship them back immediately. You have me curious....
 

helpless

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2003
Messages
2
Ok.... thanks for the input first of all... I appreciate it.

First of all, I must say ... I am extremely happy with the ring... it is beautiful, and yes, it will make my girlfriend VERY happy I am sure - for a long time to come - and that was my goal from the start. I was only raising this because I was curious.

I can clearly understand the color discrepancy. I understand there are a great many factors that go into grading color, and it is much harder for a set stone. Again, I am happy that it looks great, and I definitely can't see any color in the stone...

About the clarity, I was puzzled when I received the AGS cert because it ONLY states two small feathers extending from the girdle (so small, you can barley see the red on the cert...) These were confirmed to be there and are mapped exactly like the AGS cert by both appraisers. No other inclusions were found by the AGS or by the appraisers.

Now onto the credentials of the appraisers. I have gone to two independent appraisers - one starting out - only 5 yrs experience. I have never used this appraiser before. I have also gone to "my old standby" I have used before he has with a gigantic list of credentials over 20+ yrs - I am sorry, I hesitate to use names here.

Anyway, I am going to propose to my girlfriend this weekend, and eventually this mystery will be solved - steal or no steal, I will make her very happy.

Thanks everyone.
 

Colored Gemstone Nut

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 21, 2002
Messages
2,324
Helpless-Thats all this important man!! Keep us updated on the proposal and post pics of the ring if you can.
Josh Rioux
Sitka, Alaska
 

photogold

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
31
----------------
On 2/19/2003 8
3:55 AM helpless wrote:

About the clarity, I was puzzled when I received the AGS cert because it ONLY states two small feathers extending from the girdle (so small, you can barley see the red on the cert...) These were confirmed to be there and are mapped exactly like the AGS cert by both appraisers. No other inclusions were found by the AGS or by the appraisers.
----------------
If the diamond has feathers, I believe this automatically disqualifies it from being a VVS2. I am not an expert, so somebody please correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, it looks like your diamond may have been graded correctly, but it is borderline F, VS1. That is certainly better than having a borderline H, SI1. Sounds like you have a great find.
 

photogold

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
31
----------------
On 2/19/2003 8
3:55 AM helpless wrote:

About the clarity, I was puzzled when I received the AGS cert because it ONLY states two small feathers extending from the girdle (so small, you can barley see the red on the cert...) These were confirmed to be there and are mapped exactly like the AGS cert by both appraisers. No other inclusions were found by the AGS or by the appraisers.
----------------
If the diamond has feathers, I believe this automatically disqualifies it from being a VVS2. I am not an expert, so somebody please correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, it looks like your diamond may have been graded correctly, but it is borderline F, VS1. That is certainly better than having a borderline H, SI1. Sounds like you have a great find.
 

photogold

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
31
----------------
On 2/19/2003 8
3:55 AM helpless wrote:

About the clarity, I was puzzled when I received the AGS cert because it ONLY states two small feathers extending from the girdle (so small, you can barley see the red on the cert...) These were confirmed to be there and are mapped exactly like the AGS cert by both appraisers. No other inclusions were found by the AGS or by the appraisers.
----------------
If the diamond has feathers, I believe this automatically disqualifies it from being a VVS2. I am not an expert, so somebody please correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, it looks like your diamond may have been graded correctly, but it is borderline F, VS1. That is certainly better than having a borderline H, SI1. Sounds like you have a great find.
 
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