Appraise before purchase

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May 9, 2003
Greetings all,

it''s been a tremendous learning experience just lurking here, and now I''m ready to ask for advice.

I think I would be more comfortable having the diamond appraised prior to making a final purchase and then having the official appraisal after the ring is set for insurance.

My questions are:

Is this common when buying from a B&M store? I''m going to be looking in Philadelphia.

Would most web vendors accomodate this request?

What''s the best route to take? Contact the appraiser before I find the diamond? Contact the appraiser after finding a diamond? How do you prefer to handle this?



Mar 14, 2003
I think no matter who you buy from, you should get the stone INDEPENDENTLY appraised - this way you will know that the diamond you have bought IS the diamond you thought you bought, AND that you paid a fair price. You are lucky to be around Philly - you can use David Atlas - he visits/answers questions on this site regularly. He can be found at
Many vendors here will ship directly to an appraiser - if they will not, I would be wary.
I think that you should (just my humble opinion, 'cause this is how we did it):
Find the diamond (good ones here are quickly purchased)
IMMEDIATELY contact an appraiser to set up an appointment (because most places give only 7 days for inspection). You may even want to give the appraiser a 'heads up' before you buy the diamond...

Good Luck!


Nov 16, 2002

FYI, if you see a stone on the internet, there are a number of vendors out there who would be happy to send the stone to Dave Atlas for him to appraise and for you to view before purchasing. I live in Chicago and we had diamonds sent here (to an appraiser in Chicago) to view before deciding to purchase.

Look around online. Don't be deterred by the fact that the stones aren't right there in front of your eyes because you can make informed decisions about stones you are interested bvy getting lots of information from Pricescope and then from the dealers and have them shipped to you. Like I said, we live in Chicago and NOTHING here compared to the stones and the deals we could get online. IMHO, it is the better way to go. Especially when you have Dave Atlas at your disposal to appraise the diamonds and view them with you. Good luck!!!


Feb 22, 2003
Many of the PS vendors have pics of the actual diamond as well as the Cert and other reports readily available for you. Good Old Gold, Superb Cert, and Nice Ice (just to name a few) have a ton of info about their diamonds available online. White Flash posts the pic, Ideal Scope, and Sarin reports. If you have further questions about a WF diamond, Brian Gavin (the cutter) will pull the diamond out and discuss it with you over the phone.

Dave Atlas and Richard Sherwood post regularly here. Vendors will ship to both, and several other PS appraisers without you having to pay in advance for the diamond.

Whether you buy online or local, definitely get an INDEPENDENT appraisal. A free standing appraiser. Not a jeweler who is a GIA Grad and does appraisals. You could get into a conflict of interest. There have been more than a few posts here of jewelers that pull fast one's (thumb or finger print smudge on the diamond or rub the diamond with oily cloth) to shake the buyer's confidence. Then they are more than happy to sell the buyer one of their diamonds.

Good luck with your purchase!


Jan 29, 2003
Most of the dealers here on PS, including ourselves, send diamonds to independent appraisers, such as David Atlas in Philadelphia (the closest independent appraiser in your specific situation) for verification prior to the customer paying for the stone... We don't see why a traditional B&M store in the Philadelphia should have a problem doing the same... And many people do take the diamonds to an appraiser for evaluation prior to having the diamond set in a ring and then take it back for a quick verification after having the diamond set...

It is probably easiest to find the diamond you are interested in, contact the vendor to make sure that they are willing to accomodate your request and then contact the appraiser... All are likely to accomodate your request because it really is pretty simple...

Richard Sherwood

Sep 25, 2002
I second that suggestion about giving the appraiser a "heads up" beforehand.

That way you can come up with a contingency plan if he's going on vacation or something. I think it makes for a quicker turnaround time as well. The appraiser will know your time frame, and can anticipate knocking the appraisal out for you ASAP.
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