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appraisals with or without the cert info?

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bostonguy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2003
Messages
5
Should I give the GIA cert details to the appraiser in advance or ask the appraiser to do an appraisal without the cert?

A certless appraisal would allow me to gauge the quality of the appraisal and have a discussion about any differences between the appraisal result and the GIA cert. Would this be feasible on a mounted stone?
 

JayTee

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 6, 2002
Messages
62
bostonguy,

If you do a search on past RockyTalky threads, you will find that many people and appraisers recommend that the appraisal be done without viewing the certificate in advance.

With that in mind, let me tell you about my experience:

I took my ring to an appraiser who performs the service out of their jewelery store in the Bay Area. Initially, I got a good feeling from these people, as they also offered Internet purchase verification, that is, they would look at a stone purchased off of the Internet and verify against the cert that you indeed received the correct stone. All well and good.
However, when I returned to get the stone fully appraised, the first thing I was asked for was the certificate. When I initally balked, explaining what I had heard about doing appraisals w/o certs, the head appraiser explained that she didn't want to waste time doing a "guessing game" and would do the full measurements and verification, but against the certificate. All in all, it made me somewhat uncomfortable, given what I had heard here about the point of a full appraisal without the certificate is to have the stone actually "appraised" blind, without any outside influence.

Given my experience, I would recommend that the appraisal should be done without the cert, but as you can see, there are appraisers who apparently do not work this way.

JayTee
 

bostonguy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2003
Messages
5
Sorry, I tried to do a search for "blind appraisals" but came up with nothing relevant.

Your message makes complete sense to me - it's got to be better for the consumer to do it blind but the lazy appraisers aren't going to like it. As long as its reasonably acceptable to expect it, I'll find one that will do it that way.

Thanks!
 

Tarams

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Messages
228
I asked the appraiser who did mine for his grading before giving my GIA cert. He came up with "D" "SI1", GIA graded it as an "E" "VS2" - needless to say, he copied all of the information from my cert & charged $60. for it. (Oh, and he added a value & a picture)!
 

niceice

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
1,792
As I see it, there are two issues at hand here:

(1) You want to know that you received the diamond described on the diamond grading report issued with it. In that case, it is faster, easier and cheaper to hand the diamond and the diamond grading report to the appraiser and ask them to verify the stone.

(2) You want to know whether the diamond grading laboratory was accurate in their evaluation of the diamond. Know this, ten years ago we could send the same diamond around to each laboratory, three different times, and get three similar, but slightly different grades each time. Diamonds are graded by humans, get a different person each time and you're likely to get similar, but slightly different results. Heck, even the same person is likely to grade differently on any given day depending on how much sleep they had the night before, how much caffeine / alcohol is in their system, whether they were fighting with their spouse that morning, etc. That said, with rare exception (Bill, Marty, David - I don't want to hear it 'cuz you're amongst the rare exceptions...) the labs (GIA, AGS, HRD) are more likely to be accurate in their evaluation than an independent appraiser simply because they have more experience and 1000 master stones to base their grade upon. The diamond grading reports should not be taken as the gospel truth, they are simply more accurate (as a general rule) than what you can expect a lot of jewelers to grade their stones as... I'm not trying to start a Bon Fire here, so please let's not make this into one... If you're a jeweler, dealer, whatever, I'm not saying that "YOU" can't grade - I'm saying that the labs grade more accurately, more consistently than a lot of jewelers
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
On higher quality stones I will ask the client if it has a grading report from a major gem laboratory. If they answer yes, then I suggest that I completely grade, measure & plot the stone without seeing the cert, and then compare findings.

That way they get a true idea of an independent appraiser's opinion of the stone. While I'm performing the appraisal, I hand them a sheet I've written entitled "Diamond Grading- Is It A Science?", which explains the subjective science of diamond grading.

Afterwards, we compare the two reports point-by-point. Any differences are usually minor, and usually explained by calibration differences between instruments. A one grade difference in color or clarity helps give the client an idea whether their stone falls in the "low" or "high" end of that particular category.

In the end though, if the report they have is from the GIA, AGS, or HRD, I suggest that we use their grade for the appraisal, unless there is a radical difference and I simply can't agree with the grade given. In that case, I use my own grading for the appraisal, and note under the comments section that the stone has been graded by another laboratory as such & such.

This happens very rarely (with GIA, AGS or HRD). I would say I am usually in about the 98% neighborhood of agreement with these three labs.

With EGL-LA & EGL-NY, I would say that I am usually in about the 90% agreement with their reports, with EGL-Antwerp falling a little lower than this. Again, if I don't feel the grading is correct, I will use my own grading for the appraisal, with their grade listed in the comments section as "additional documentation".

With IGI, I would say that I am usually in about the 50% agreement with their reports.

With EGL-Israel, I can't remember ever seeing a report that I agreed with.

In my opinion, many appraiser's are reluctant to "grade against" a major gem laboratory's report because they feel insecure about their grading, regard the major gem labs as the "last word", and don't want to end up "looking bad" in front of the client.

When in fact a report prepared by a strong independent gemologist will go a long way towards shedding more light on the veracity of the report issued by a major lab. It is a "fine tuning" tool, so to speak, for the consumer, giving them an enhanced picture of the described stone.
 

ccuheartnurse

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 22, 2002
Messages
1,734
Hi There,
When I took my stone in to get checked, I was asked by the receptionist for my AGS profile. I told her I only brought it to compare it to the final outcome. She didnt push for it nor did she have an attitude. As it turned out, the grading was done exactly as the AGS had done with the feathers & cloud in the exact same spots. Only the appraiser in Toronto deemed my stone an F instead of a G (like AGS had graded it). Its a high G & could either go F or G. It doesnt bother me its a G on paper, we bought it a G. :) Mind you, if they had put J I would be upset.


If you were paying for an idependent appraisal, then let them do the job you're paying them to do. Appraise it blind.

Judy
:)
 

bostonguy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 3, 2003
Messages
5
All - thank you very much for your detailed responses. Your effort is very much appreciated.

I contacted Marty Haske in Boston and he wanted to do a completely blind appraisal. Even to the extent that he didn't want to know the store beforehand or even if it was an Internet or local purchase. He would discuss any disparity between his analysis and my cert after his analysis was complete and documented. I like this approach very much and it encourages me that Marty has confidence in his abilities.

Again, thanks for your time. I'll post another message once my appraisals are complete.
 

newenglandgemlab

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2003
Messages
316
----------------
On 2/3/2003 8:35:48 PM Richard Sherwood wrote:

On higher quality stones I will ask the client if it has a grading report from a major gem laboratory. If they answer yes, then I suggest that I completely grade, measure & plot the stone without seeing the cert, and then compare findings.

That way they get a true idea of an independent appraiser's opinion of the stone. While I'm performing the appraisal, I hand them a sheet I've written entitled "Diamond Grading- Is It A Science?", which explains the subjective science of diamond grading.

Richard,

I love the idea of the handout...why didn't I think of that? Duh! That has always been the problem doing these appraisals. Some clients are so tuned into all the info and most don't really know or care about going the extra for them. Usually, they opt for the least expensive option. Have to run...Cindy
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
Gemology vs. Valuation


Where consumers are completely confused here is that an appraisal is a report about valuation, and a gemological report is about gemology.

Needless to say one needs to include the gemological qualities in the description of the propery in order to value it properly, however one might explain why disclosing the cert is better.

First of cert information is hardly complete. GIA just reports the table and total depth. There's a lot more. AGS assigns a cut grade only based on THE AVERAGE of only 17 of the diamonds facets. The additional 40 facets on a round diamond have significant affect in the diamond's appearance and light performance. I really don't understand why the major labs don't report the information for all the facets on their reports. GIA even states in its recent cut study that ALL the facets have to be considered in determining a cut grade. It will be interesting to see if their new grading for cut includes this.

As for showing the report to an appraiser, it should change of affect his grading result, however.. walking in and grading blind requires more work than confirming.

So for those who want to not show the report - this is OK but your grading fee might be less if you just want the report confirmed. Then if you're paying by the hour, and the appraiser has a different grading result than the lab does, then there is time to sit and explain WHY this has occured. Gemological grading for some diamonds are difficult because some fall in between two grades. GIA and AGS pick ONE grade even if the stone is in between two grades, and as nice ice explained graders are human and the conclusions can vary. If a gemologist claims to be exactly "ON" with every diamond from the labs, he is full of soup, and while this might be "impressive" for the client to think is true, it isn't. This is NOT a perfected science.

Rockdoc
 

Giangi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 23, 2003
Messages
2,530
I think that your appraiser shouldn't know all lab infos before he grades the stone... When he has graded the stone you can discuss with him/her the results and ask for explanations and opinions on your diamond...

Giangi
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
Here's a question....


A stone comes in and the gemologist disagrees with the grading on the report.

He says its off a grade in clarity .


Who's right?

Rockdoc
 

newenglandgemlab

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 16, 2003
Messages
316
Here's a question....

A stone comes in and the gemologist disagrees with the grading on the report.

He says its off a grade in clarity .

Who's right?

Rockdoc

----------------
[/quote]
and...is the consumer totally cofused...and you have to spend lots of time explaining why without looking like you are knocking someone's merchandise....As far as who is legally right? Probably neither, unfortunately.

It seems most everyone in this forum is pretty aware of the slight differences there could be with grading opinions. But when performing an appraisal blindly and being a strong and fair grader this can be a hurdle. Especially when we are seeing stones coming out of the best labs graded more leniently than they were ten years ago. I always wished I had a real good set of comparable plots...maybe I will make some up! Several books published have plots but they look like they were drawn up by the more 'soft' labs. In this situation I would plot the stone very carefuly to verify my grading and stand by it. If the client wants the appraisal to read like the report then we have to just put a disclaimer stating the grading is based on the report.

Interesting question!

Cindy
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
-----------
Here's a question....

A stone comes in and the gemologist disagrees with the grading on the
report.

He says its off a grade in clarity .

Who's right?
-----------

That's an easy one, Doc.

I am!

Heh heh heh...
 
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