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Any New Yorkers want to help me look at stones?

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
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yennyfire said:
CCL, they do not do ASET or Idealscope images. They have agreed to let me credit the $32K towards a new stone (verbally). I do not know if they will give me the GIA report numbers ahead of time so that I can seek advice here. I am screwed and I know it (I guess because they took a stone and inserted it in a setting, that is considered "custom" which has a "no return" policy and does not fall into the 7 day return policy). I realize that these are not close to ideal circumstances, but it's what I have to work with, which is why I was hoping someone would be willing to help me come out of this less crushed than I am right now. I have never felt so low about anything in my life. The weight is paralyzing me and causing major stress with hubby. I'm ready to just throw the darn thing out the window for someone to find.
and you know they'll do it again,right? yenny, hate to say it but i see a second "train wreck" coming. ::)
 

yennyfire

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I know that this seems like another train wreck in the making, but I really don't have a choice, do I? Would you be willing to consign the ring knowing that you'd throw away $10-15K minimum without at least trying to make it right in person? This is why I was begging for a 2nd pair of eyes, though the idea of hiring an appraiser is really terrific and I'm going to start looking now! Believe me, I know that this isn't an optimal situation and I am physically sick over it, but I don't know what else I can do.
 

MissGotRocks

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I don't know if this is something you could hire an appraiser to do but I would not try to go in there alone without someone with diamond knowledge to choose another stone. Perhaps you could call Leon and explain your situation to him and ask for his suggestion in terms of the 'someone' to go with you to help.

You have a large sum of money involved in this purchase and I would not try to broker another deal with this place without a professional to help. Having said that, I would not want to choose just any diamond broker or appraiser to go either. I'd want them on good recommendation from a trusted vendor.

Best of luck to you - just make sure that you have someone well recommended and knowledgeable about diamonds to go with you. It will be well worth the money to do so.
 

RedRobbin

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yellowcushionlover said:
Hi Yenny,
I am coming out of lurking to let you know just how much my heart goes out to you in this situation. I read your other post and know that you are in a difficult situation that must be causing a tremendous amount of stress.
I would recommend writing a letter and putting everything in writing so there is no misunderstand as to what your expectations are for your trip in September (preferably on an attorneys letterhead). What happens if they bring out a bunch of stones that are not GIA or AGS certified? What happens then?
I am not sure if this is even possible...but wouldn't it be great if you could locate a local appraiser to go with you on your appointment to look at everything with you? I know there may be a cost, but it seems that in NY and with large investments on the line...it might be worth an inquiry to see if such a service exists.
If not, perhaps the retailer would be willing to have their best options that meet your criteria sent to an appraiser so you can know exactly what they will be offering you in light of the fact that they cannot offer pictures or videos in advance.
You are really at their mercy. Having an objective set of trained eyes could be a great asset. You deserve to be completely happy with the outcome. I would recommend to not go in alone. You need the support to make sure you are not forced to settle and leave totally happy.
It might be worth it to pursue a consultation with an attorney just to see if you have any legal grounds based on everything that has happened up to this point. The insight might be most valuable moving forward to be in a position of strength and not weakness.
Wishing you a very happy outcome!

This is really good advice! Get an A+ appraiser in NYC to go with you. They will do it for a fee and think how relieved you will be to have a real expert looking at the stones with you! I love that idea. Maybe experts can weigh in on whether this is workable in the real world?
 

RedRobbin

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yennyfire said:
I know that this seems like another train wreck in the making, but I really don't have a choice, do I? Would you be willing to consign the ring knowing that you'd throw away $10-15K minimum without at least trying to make it right in person? This is why I was begging for a 2nd pair of eyes, though the idea of hiring an appraiser is really terrific and I'm going to start looking now! Believe me, I know that this isn't an optimal situation and I am physically sick over it, but I don't know what else I can do.

Yennyfire, I am going to say a prayer for you that it all works out. This has been a terrible situation for you and I did not realize until you posted today that you were unlikely to win the CC dispute. I see now that they really have your back up against the wall. That's just terrible. I hope that you will find a great appraiser to come with you. This seems very doable. How about calling Amex and asking them who they use for appraisals in NYC?
 

RedRobbin

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I just thought of something else. Maybe you can get the same independent certified appraiser to look at your stone and see if it is actually SI2 grade or if the color is the grade the vendor said or the carat weight is at least as much as the vendor claimed. If not, then you have a whole new ground to challenge the transaction, that being fraud on the part of the jeweler. They didn't custom cut the diamond for you. They sold it already cut and told you it was eye clean, and a certain color, weight etc. If they lied about all that too, then I think the manager of Amex would agree that the customization of the ring itself is irrelevant to whether you got what you paid for in terms of the diamond. Just a thought. Forgive me if you have already determined that their grading was accurate. I just hate to see you taken advantage of.
 

yennyfire

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I'm going to give Barry Block a call later this morning. He seems to have a good reputation here on PS. Does anyone know of any others I should contact if Barry is unavailable?
 

septsparkle

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yennyfire said:
I'm going to give Barry Block a call later this morning. He seems to have a good reputation here on PS. Does anyone know of any others I should contact if Barry is unavailable?

If you can get him to go, you are in GREAT hands. He's out on Long Island, but it's not too far from the city. Do your best to call and speak to him personally when you call, I think if he hears your story he may be more inclined to meet with you.
 

yennyfire

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That's what I'm hoping Septsparkle. He seems like he has a great reputation and I know that LI is a train ride from the city.
 

yennyfire

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I was able to speak with Barry Block this morning and he was most gracious. :) He questioned whether the stone that is in my ring matches the GIA report that I received. He said that I should not be able to see inclusions in an SI2 stone :confused: . He suggested that I send the stone to him for an appraisal. If the stone doesn't match, then I can file a complaint with the Jewelers Vigilance Committee if the jeweler in question can't produce the stone that matches the cert. immediately. I honestly don't think that this is the case, but I'm not an expert and if Barry thinks it's worth evaluating, I'm certainly not going to argue. Has anyone used Stephen Turner or George Houghtaling? They're here in Atlanta and it would save me shipping the stone to NY, but I don't want to use them if no one has had good experiences with them in the past (i.e. an unknown).

If it is the stone that is represented on the cert. then Barry suggested seeing if the jeweler will send Barry the stone(s) that they have available that meet my criteria and Barry will let me know if they are worth my looking at. I don't think that the jeweler will do this (I think that they'll feel that I'm insulting their integrity by wanting an independent appraisal), but I can ask. If they're on the level, they shouldn't have a problem doing this, assuming that I accept the cost of sending the stones back and forth.

So, that's the update.
 

slg47

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OK, I am glad you talked to an appraiser! I think sending him the stones is a good idea, hopefully the jeweler will be able to accommodate this request...best of luck to you
 

ChunkyCushionLover

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yennyfire said:
I was able to speak with Barry Block this morning and he was most gracious. :) He questioned whether the stone that is in my ring matches the GIA report that I received. He said that I should not be able to see inclusions in an SI2 stone :confused: . He suggested that I send the stone to him for an appraisal. If the stone doesn't match, then I can file a complaint with the Jewelers Vigilance Committee if the jeweler in question can't produce the stone that matches the cert. immediately. I honestly don't think that this is the case, but I'm not an expert and if Barry thinks it's worth evaluating, I'm certainly not going to argue. Has anyone used Stephen Turner or George Houghtaling? They're here in Atlanta and it would save me shipping the stone to NY, but I don't want to use them if no one has had good experiences with them in the past (i.e. an unknown).

Can you post the picture of your ring and the grading report again?
A 4 main cushion with very rectangular proportions is pretty distinctive, if the measurements look right, the facet structure matches the report and inclusions are in the right general area, I think the chances of it being different are very low.

Consider carefully if you should spend your time and money sending the stone you don't want to Barry on the chance it doesn't match the certificate. The "Jewelry Judge" may have judged a little too quickly and I question this statement especially since it is you that will pay shipping and for his time even if he is wrong.


I would suggest instead asking David Wolf(http://www.justappraisers.com/) who has an excellent reputation and his office is only about 4 miles from Malakov, if he would go and review your potential choices or have them sent to his office.

I don't think that the jeweler will do this (I think that they'll feel that I'm insulting their integrity by wanting an independent appraisal), but I can ask. If they're on the level, they shouldn't have a problem doing this, assuming that I accept the cost of sending the stones back and forth.

It is not your concern what this jeweler's thought or feelings are about this. This is a business transaction and in order for him to satisfy you he has to satisfy your expert. If you decide to work with David than speak to him and hopefully he will agree to contact Malakov directly.

He can phrase it as "my client has expressed to me that you are not setup to take photographs and reflector images, I have been asked to take photographs and an ASET and give my opinion on potential choices as this an expensive trip for my client to make another trip to New York"
 

ChunkyCushionLover

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yennyfire

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CCL, thank you so very much for another resource closer to RM and for trying to protect my pocketbook on the shipping and such. I'll definitely give David a call. I agree with you that I'm pretty sure this is the stone that's on the appraisal.

I like the approach you mentioned he could use...putting it back on them that since they don't take photos, asets, etc. I asked him to help make sure I make the most of my trip to NYC. I really appreciate your help!

I can post a photo of the ring, but I don't have a way to scan the GIA report. Does the GIA cert. # help you? It's: 17463184...
 

Green with Envy

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No offense- but any appraiser who told me that i should not see inclusions in an SI2 stone--- i would question their eye site and would not do business with them, no matter how nice they seem. i can easily see inclusions (especially if they are black) in SI1 and for sure in SI2 without a loupe.

I would fight like hell about getting it returned via your credit card... i don't think they can claim this is a "Custom" setting just because they set a loose stone into a previous made setting. The setting was not custom designed or made for your stone specifically, right? If you just picked a stone and then they showed you a setting that your stone would fit... that is not CUSTOM.

You have $32K tied up with this shady vender.??? That is a LOT of money and you should be getting a 3+ ct stone for that price.

Another idea-- if you HAVE TO KEEP DOING BUSINESS WITH THIS VENDER... ask to buy the LARGEST eye clean stone that will sell you for your price, and then have it recut into something nice? And I mean recut by someone OTHER than this vender- like BGD. I bet the recutting charge and the ct weight taken off will be less than paying for what this vender considers a GIA graded well cut stone.
 

yennyfire

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GreenwithEnvy, I wondered if anyone would say anything about Barry saying that my eyes must be very sensitive to see inclusions in an SI2, since that's not what I've read here. I am so grateful to CCL for giving me a resource closer to where I'm going to be. And if she suggested them, I inherently trust their opinion.

Are you suggestion I get the largest stone I can get period or the largest truly eye clean stone I can get?? Just want to make sure I understand your advice. I have asked for only GIA excellent cut stones. Does that not ensure that the stone is well cut?
 

kenny

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yennyfire said:
I have asked for only GIA excellent cut stones. Does that not ensure that the stone is well cut?
No, GIA's top grade lets steep deeps in.
Steep deeps are cut too deeply to have optimum light return.

Get a round with cut that AGS graded zero or use the HCA and Idealscope to weed through those GIA so-called "Excellent" cuts.
 

Green with Envy

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I am saying that not ALL GIA graded excellent stones are perfect, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I think GOG made a video that showed the differences in stones light performance comparing all top graded stones and there def was a difference.


What i was saying is if you don't trust your eyes... you should get the largest POORLY cut EYE CLEAN round stone (meaning that you can't see any black crap anywhere in the stone when you look VERY carefully. Not what they TELL you and claim to be eye clean), then just take this hunk of diamond and have it shaped to perfection by someone else. i figured you would be saving money by buying a stone that is not GIA graded EX.

Or if you are set on having a stone other than round... just ask for a GIA graded VS2 rather than a Si2. if you do a search and try to find folks who have eye clean SI2s... the list is short.
 

septsparkle

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Okay, I have worked with Barry before and I know others here have, too. He does has impressive credentials, but I also don't know why he would tell you that you shouldn't be able to see inclusions in an SI2 stone. That makes no sense at all. I also don't think my first instinct would be that you didn't get the stone on the GIA certificate. The inclusions alone should help you determine that. Is what you are seeing plotted in the GIA cert? You don't want this stone...so having him appraise it doesn't do you any good, regardless of his findings. And, I'm sure the last thing you want is another battle --- so I'd bypass that suggestion.

Yenny, if you are looking at Cushions as your first choice, there is no GIA excellent cut grade. GIA doesn't give a grade on cushions. So, you will have to do your own homework on the cut, or have an appraiser help you. That's why some of us suggested going the round route, even though it's not your first choice it would make it easier for you to determine the quality of the cut. I personally would only look into SI1 and above and get a stone that falls best within the overall specs you want. I wouldn't be out for the biggest stone you can afford, you likely won't be happy with the quality you have to sacrifice for the largest stone.
 

yellowcushionlover

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Aug 20, 2010
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Hi Yenny,
More food for thought....the vendor you are working with a is member of a NY club mentioned on their website. It would appear that they might be able to source inventory thru the association/network. Perhaps someone on Pricescope knows more how this group works and how you might be able to access the inventory options?
If you could figure out how to access the database maybe you could narrow down what diamonds that might interest you (or let the incredible Pricescope detectives help ;)) )for the vendor to source, etc. This potentially allows you to call some of the shots vs. allowing the vendor to offer some sub-par remedy and you are forced to settle.
I am fearful about a disconnect with the vendor leading to further disappointment with your "in-store" visit next month if you don't have everything agreed upon in advance that will make you ulimately satisfied.
 

ChunkyCushionLover

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yennyfire said:
CCL, thank you so very much for another resource closer to RM and for trying to protect my pocketbook on the shipping and such. I'll definitely give David a call. I agree with you that I'm pretty sure this is the stone that's on the appraisal.

I like the approach you mentioned he could use...putting it back on them that since they don't take photos, asets, etc. I asked him to help make sure I make the most of my trip to NYC. I really appreciate your help!

I can post a photo of the ring, but I don't have a way to scan the GIA report. Does the GIA cert. # help you? It's: 17463184...
I need the carat weight as well to check the report.
 

AnneinGA

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Aug 6, 2010
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Yenny,
I have another idea for you. I have read all your postings about this situation and my heart has really gone out to you. I would go in there with a three ring binder full of reference material, a hired appraiser, an independent appraisal of your stone, and a serious what-if plan, which to me might include a what-if-it-all-goes-bad and they don't have another stone for you, a tape recorder that you tell them you have to record everything they tell you, and ultimately (potentially) paperwork already drawn up from an attorney with intent to sue. This is a huge step and generally I don't believe in threat-litigation, but you've been through the ringer (no pun) on this and I don't want to see you walking out of there again without satisfaction.

Another thing that concerns me is the possiblity that the NY jeweler, knowing what you told him before, may be lurking here and already knows your thought process, which gives him an advantage. Something to consider.

One other thing, are you comfortable looking at stones in general to the point where you feel really good with what you're looking at? I am still learning, but I saw in your post you said "here in Atlanta" - where I am. I would love to go back up to Union Diamond and talk to them again, so if that' something you're interested in doing, just let me know. The guy I talked to up there is a GIA grad, and it would be interesting to me to just put that stone in front of him and get his feedback, not "on the record" so to speak, but as an additional person in the biz. I will call him for an appraiser name if you'd like.

Let me know and I guess we'll figure out how to exchange info.

Anne
 

bgray

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My suggestion is to hire an appraiser to come with you to the vendor. (like David Wolf or one of the other NYC area appraisers) Tell the vendor in writing before you go that you want to see several stones with your specs. If they dont have the stones waiting for you--it may provide you recourse with the CC company that the vendor was not behaving in good faith. Plus the appraiser will be there as a witness.
 

kenny

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Green with Envy said:
Another idea-- if you HAVE TO KEEP DOING BUSINESS WITH THIS VENDER... ask to buy the LARGEST eye clean stone that will sell you for your price, and then have it recut into something nice? And I mean recut by someone OTHER than this vender- like BGD. I bet the recutting charge and the ct weight taken off will be less than paying for what this vender considers a GIA graded well cut stone.
Smart idea.
The fee for a recut (and $$$ lost from weight loss) may be small compared to some other alternatives here.

Maybe call Brian Gavin to ask him which stones would make good candidates - perhaps you'll stumble across a steep deep with a nasty grade-setting inclusion near the culet which would get polished off.

That way the recut may substantially bump up the clarity.
 

yennyfire

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Anne, thank you for your sweet offer. I would definitely be interested in going to UD (I actually started there before I ended up going to NY, but their prices weren't as competitive as ERD or Eternity Diamonds). I don't know what your schedule looks like, but I'm open most days from 9:30-1:00.

GreenwithEnvy and Kenny...trying to buy a poorly cut stone in the hopes that it can be re-cut into an excellent cut scares me even more than trying to get a well cut stone from the get go. How would you know for sure that it could be recut into a well cut stone? I certainly don't mind sacraficing some weight for a great cut, but let's say I buy a 4ct poorly cut stone...what if it had to be cut down to a 2 ct? I could just take my $32K and purchased a excellent cut, VS2 clarity stone at a 2ct weight and know that I've got a good stone. I don't think I can handle the stress of worrying if the stone I got could be recut.

I already have a folder of info that's growing by the day. I'm constantly printing pages of similar stones (like the ones CCL listed for me, thank you again!)...I want to get an idealscope, but the link that jgny gave me has many scopes on it and I'm not sure which one I need. I plan to be as educated as I can before I go up there and am going to INSIST that they let me take the stones outside to look at them in natural light.

Septsparkle, your point about not wasting time/money having the existing stone appraised if I'm pretty sure it's the one on the cert. is a good one and I kind of agree with you. I'm going to call David and see if he'd be willing to come with me, since he's much closer than Barry.

CCL, the current stone is 3.32 ct.
 

MAC-W

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yennyfire said:
<snip>

Luckily, hubby travels a lot (as did I when I worked outside of our home) and we have $500K airline points, so we are able use them for both airline and hotel rooms. The trip will cost us nothing other than meals, subway and museum passes (since the kids are coming with us and have never been to NY, we are planning on taking them to the Natural History Museum, etc.). They have a week off of school, so we are trying to turn it into a mini-vacation, though I realize that if things don't go as I'd like them to, I'll probably be ready to jump off of the Brooklyn Bridge, lol!

Anyway, that's the update on the saga...I hope to have a happy ending after 9/22.

Yenny,

Do you have an appraiser type person in or near your home town that you trust absolutely?

If you do, and because you have the 0.5mil airline points to play with, it might be an idea to actually fly them up to NY with you rather than working with someone you dont know




Good luck with everything and I hope you get the resolution you are hoping for.

mac
 

daysie8

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Jun 2, 2010
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84
Hi Yenny,

I am so sorry to hear about all that you have gone through - I hope everything will work out in the end.

I know I won't be much help seeing that I live half way across the world, but will definitely be channelling positive thoughts on those days in September!

I am currently in a situation that could potentially end up being similar to yours (you can see my other thread), where I've put a deposit on a diamond but because it has a visible inclusion from the side (and it's a VS2!!), we may potentially not want it. But after telling me there is a full refund policy, the aussie vendor is now saying that the U.S wholesaler from where he bought it does not offer refund, only exchange, so I am basically restricted to whatever inventory they have if I am not satisfied with the result of this diamond. (mind you, he never ever said I would only be able to exchange before).

So my current dilemma is either forfeight my deposit of AUD$3,000 or take the gamble and pay the full amount and pray for the best. Either way it seems like I'm stuck with this vendor.

Also, I know I don't have alot of diamond knowledge, but I think having YOUR appraisal with you on the spot is the best option. This gives you alternative routes:

1. either be able to select a diamond which you are completely happy with;
2. choose a larger diamond which has excellent potential to be re-cut into a great smaller diamond.

I know you have probably had to endure alot already, but just know karma will get back at those who have cheated you!

Best of luck! ::)
 

CharmyPoo

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I absolutely can't agree with buying a stone for the purpose of having it recut. This should really only be left to the experts who can determine if the stone is a candidate for recut. The last thing I want to see is Yenny get a stone that loses 1/2 the carat weight to make it look decent!

The safest is just get a round - it's a lot easier to shop for a round (play by the numbers) than for any other shape.
 

Green with Envy

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 25, 2007
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969
I can understand if she doesn't want to go the recut road... especially since she has no familiarity with the concept. I am just saying if she is only looking at ROUNDS- why not get the stats and email them to Brian at BGD right when she is at the store and ask him to pick what stone he can most easily recut. Since he is a cutter- this is a no brainer question for him. And there is no way we are talking about going from a 4ct down to a 2ct. One phone call and she would learn that any cutter tries to take off minimum ct weight when recutting- or no one would want to do it!

Just an option would be to see the price difference they offer...and this is what can be easily found in inventory at PS vendors...

what if a $32k GIA G color, VS2 ex cut diamond is 2.40ct
the GIA H color Si1 good cut is 3.2ct???
That is a big difference in CT weight and it would be better to get the larger diamond and recut.

Getting it recut will make it look WHITER so she could buy a lower color and in the end it will have much better light performance.

A quick look at what is in inventory... she is going to get a stone smaller than 3ct if she wants a round G color VS2. i just hope she is prepared to trade in her current over 3 ct diamond for a round that is significantly smaller. plus- no way they are going to give her a price as low as a PS vender.

The more I think about it if she doesn't want to go the recutting road... I think it will be a HUGE mistake for her to buy a round. She said first of all this is not her preference. So now you are buying a $32K diamond that is not your first choice shape??? Then- problem 2... buying a diamond just by the numbers is a bad way to go. you got to buy a stone that speaks to you visually. She has less knowledge about what type of round stone she likes visually, but I think she KNOWS what type of cushion shape she likes and dislikes... just go back and look at cushions just like the original purchase, but only Si1 and above. Don't even really need an appraiser with her as long as she sees the cert. They can't sell her a diamond that doesn't match the cert or they know they will be challenged.
 
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