Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Appraisers telling you what you want to hear?

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

chris143007

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
145
I was just wondering people''s opinions on appraisers telling you what you want to hear...I was thinking, you send your diamond somewhere, after doing tons of research and spending alot of time, you pay someone to complete the appraisal, how many times do they send it back and say "it''s crap".?

I haven''t found many of those stories on PS...
 

windowshopper

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
2,023
well thats an interesting question.

1- perhaps by the time most pricescopers make a decision and buy the stone it is actually a pretty good one???
2-this is a very incestuous group..........my appraiser has worked with all these vendors and even though i liked him i did NOT feel that it was really "independent" --i felt a hair sold on the stone by him but I guess we want a little of that. We want to know if indeed the appraiser actually likes it...right? its a tough call.
3-i also think the professionals, meaning the e-vendors, appraisers and such that participate on pricescope, privately laugh at a lot of the people online-----------think they are over the top.............does that cause the "professionals" to think "we" are being too picky and expecting too much..................? maybe
 

fortheloveofdiamonds

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 8, 2004
Messages
1,279
Rich is 100% a class act and I believe that if the stone was crap, he''d tell you that it was.

When I went for my appraisal with Rich.

1. He didn''t know I was affiliated with PS
2. He didn''t know where I bought the stone
3. He didn''t know anything about the stone

All of his data matched, however, the data on my AGS cert. Which he only saw after it was done.

Even if he had known all of this. I know he wouldn''t tell me what I wanted to hear b/c he had no idea where I bought this stone from and 2. this is not the service he provides.
 

chris143007

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
145
Hi ftlod:

I''m not speaking about Rich in particular, but I get your point...

1.rich knows I go to ps :)
2.rich knows where stone came from (they sent it directly to him)
3.if he doesn''t look at the gia that was sent with stone first, he won''t know anything about stone either...

window made a good point that everyone here is interrelated and we really do have to trust that whoever is appraising will give us an honest unbiased answer...
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
5,951
There was a thread on this not too long ago, where Rich was the only one who flat out confessed...he never tells anyone to go fish. (edited to add: don't misunderstand...the indication from the thread is that only Rich would say the words, perhaps being then the "best of the bunch" that way, that all behaved the same, and besides, from past posts showing samples of his appraisals, the indication is that he'll use lots of words to specifiy pluses and minus, asking you to put it together, perhaps).

I've tried to encourage another approach.

Other threads I think show the only way. If you can narrow your options down, they'll tell you which one they would choose between.

Trouble is...appraisers might tell you the minutae about a diamond, and figure a titrated value, that you'll need to know for insurance purposes. But...although they'll have a significant knowledge about your specific pick, as against the universe of picks available to you...the question is...how to release that knowledge, presuming they're plugged in.

The idea of asking them...just for the purposes of working with you, if they'd semi-serve as your buyer's agent, and by the way, produce an appraisal along the way, could be something to fiddle with.

You'd need to get them on a good day, probably...maybe when they're feeling the slightest bit giddy. And by the way...do they have, and do you care if they have sarin, ogi, or helium... (see the "find a jewler you can trust" thread).
 

windowshopper

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
2,023
yes my stone was delivered to my appraiser and he knew exactly where it was and knew everyone by their first names etc.........doesnt mean anything bad but.....
 

valeria101

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 29, 2003
Messages
15,809
Just curious... would you appreciate stark news from the apraiser ? After all, there is some conceivable "better" for each and every case
 

windowshopper

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
2,023
stark--as in the hard cold truth?-then yes..................... BUT would anyone ever buy anything.............?
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
5,951
You'd like to have a relationship so that you can at least make the feedback to that consistent with a game of horseshoes.


...what's the saying...close only counts in horseshoes?


Are you getting feedback against some relatively meaningless dollar amount...or against what's actually available to you at a given price point, in a given market segment.


Seems like the sort of question anyone really wants to get at.

Ana, isn't it the relative sort of thing you go to help readers here with, when you make a suggestion? And, you're doing it for free! If you're actually paying for at least a related service, should you want a lot less?
 

windowshopper

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
2,023
Ira Z--I have no idea what you just said --in any way, shape, or form--however. I think --imo only--that most pricescopers take the stone to an appraiser for an opinion. How many of us actually worry the stone isnt what it is supposed to be--ie matching the cert etc. (if you are buying from a reputable co)

the appraisal is for insurance and its supposed to be a flat dispassionate assessment of value. I realized that I needed help asessing the stone for purchase as well and the appraissal was a colossal waste of money for me
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
5,951
So, would it have helped ...let''s say you were spending $5K...would it have helped to ask, for the price of $5K, purchased on the internet (not a B&M store), am I close to getting a good value for this? How about, as close as in...say...a game of horseshoes?

Would that have helped? (Or maybe, like you, they would have said...huh?)
 

windowshopper

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
2,023
actually i didnt care about the price--so much --i wanted someone else (someone who ahd seen the best ) tosay that is --compared to other very well cut emerald cuts--a very beautiful stone. Personally, Ive srewed upbefore and I dont really know what makes one beautiful or not--they all look alike to me
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
5,951
Window Shopper,

I think we're saying exactly the same thing. Without reference to a price point, you can imagine that -- given whatever you paid -- if you instead paid 10 times that, you could get something cut better, right? So...for whatever approximate price point (you set the constraints...maybe give or take 20%)...you'll have wanted to ask the question...is that an as well cut stone as you could imagine getting...or whatever.

Seems reasonable enough to me.
 

windowshopper

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
2,023
yes exactly--not just "is this what it says on the cert?" Or "whats the market value?".

I wanted ...............is this "pretty good" (cut, appearance etc) and is it worth the money relative to the market.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,742

A few comments from the other side of the desk:



New purchase appraisal clients are asking for some rather specific information in their appraisal session on which to base their purchase decision. In the end, that decision is up to the client, not the appraiser. It’s a very touchy topic to tell a client what they should and shouldn’t buy. The primary job of the appraiser for this type of assignments is to describe the item as completely and accurately as possible and to supply an unbiased assessment of the facts. This then gets compared with what the vendor reported (or failed to report) and any discrepancies become the subject of negotiation. The relative importance of any differences becomes part of the customers decision process. They don’t necessarily kill the deal. Some clients will accept no variation at all, others are flexible about certain issues. For example, they may be willing to accept a lower color than the vendor reported because they are happy with the price and the other characteristics of the stone. This is a decision for the client to make, not the appraiser. Our job is to provide the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.



PS customers tend to be very picky with their dealers. They reject 99% of the stones themselves, before they ever get to the appraisers desk. The result is that the merchandise we see from PS customers tends to be somewhat different from what we see from our other clients. PS clients tend to know what they want and the dealers (at least the successful ones) are inclined to deliver what is requested. It saves them money on return shipping as well as eliminating general aggravation. The discrepancies, if any, tend to be far less severe than with clients that come from , say, ebay.



It’s true that there is a connection between some of the appraisers and some of the vendors but it’s not nearly as close as you are imagining. Speaking for myself, I will not agree to receive a shipment from an unknown shipper. This is strictly about creditworthiness. If a vendor sells you something that is grossly misrepresented; selling a Mossionite as a diamond for example, it’s not just a problem for you, it’s a risk to the appraiser who signed for the package. The opposite is also true. Thinking dealers will not agree to ship valuable merchandise to just anyone claiming to be an appraiser because it adds an additional risk that they prefer to avoid. They have tight profit margins and these things are important. The result of all of this is that I have a list of dealers that I will take a direct shipment from. As other dealers request to be included on that list, I pull a credit report on them and decide accordingly. This consideration has nothing to do with either the client or the item that they’re considering. The dealers maintain a similar list of appraisers who they are willing to ship to and they have their own criteria bout how to get onto that list. I can see how a consumer might view all of this as a secret cabal of dealers and appraisers but it’s normally not nearly that insidious.



Neil Beaty
Independent Appraisals in Denver
 

windowshopper

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
2,023
thanks--very informative. i guess there are two distinctly separate issues under discussion

1-are the appraisals "kind" to the stones based on the relationships with the vendors--not as "independent" as they should be
2-people want more than a textbook analysis of the value
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,362
For the most part, a person who brings in a diamond or has one sent in to us, has, in theory, carefully selected that stone from a virtually limitless number of possible stones. We respect their choice as there are budget constraints nearly everyone lives with. Not every diamond is a fine or super stone, but most look pretty nice. It isn''t usually up to the appraiser to pick a diamond for the consumer although that might occur infrequently. We give our opinion, but attempt not to force our mindset on a consumer.

We don''t seek to damage a vendor''s good name, so we are very cautious about the words we use to describe any diamond. We don''t try to force people to buy only Ideal cuts, no more than we encourage only D color or Flawless stones. We let people choose their mix of categories and offer opinions on how well the end result turned out, hopefully in an unbiased way. Ultimately we want people to know and understand the product and appreciate how the value is intertwined with their choice of quality parameters.

People and dealers do love the high value,feel good appraisal. People love optimistically graded diamonds or some unnamed labs would go out of business. No doubt about it. I am afraid the high profit diamond sale is nearly a dead issue today. More and more we offer Internet purchase range levels of value although the insurance industry does not yet play by that rule in total. You still need a little cushion with most insurance.
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
5,951
Despite that, for PS readers, it may be true: "For the most part..." as you say, Dave, and also, although, as you say, DenverAppraiser, that PS readers: "reject 99% of the stones themselves, before they ever get to the appraisers desk..."

let''s say we did want your opinion on this particular diamond, in the universe of options anyway...that we really didn''t want to have to second guess ourselves on the selection, and were like someone like...Window Shopper, and wanted to know if a particular diamond was "worth the money relative to the market...." because he felt he : "needed help asessing the stone for purchase (against reasonably available alternatives)...

to either of you...are there a set of words we can use to release you of any supposed liability, or concern in the matter, to take advantage of your real world general knowledge of actually generally available alternatives...particularly if the concern is for something like cut, and therefore less easily ascribable, as in wanting D over E, which the buyer can work out all right.

So, of course, you could not be expected to say: "don''t buy that stone." However, if told the buyer is only seeking a well cut stone, and presented with something less than that...I guess the question is this. Surely you could say...that is not such a well cut stone...but can you add, with the appropriate prompting...given this price point, carat weight, color and clarity...you could do a good bit better, without sacrificing in the other areas. With this comment, of course, you could add things to look for in the buyer''s continuing their search...if only with respect to qualitative things...and not things concerning vendors and such

So, can the buyer give you permission to tell you to search further, if they were clear enough in communicating the question?

Or can they only give you multiple options to choose between.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,742
Ira,

I tell pretty much every client what I think a fair price for a particular stone should be 'in the real world' and I discuss what differences should be expected in differing marketplaces. If I say something about the cut that is disparaging (or even if it's not), I will explain it. If I use a term like 'hearts and arrows' to describe a particular stone, I'll explain what I mean by that. If there is an expected premium to be paid or a discount expected for a particular attribute I'll discuss how much of a premium to expect and whether or not I feel this applies to a particular stone. If the customer is seeking a particular set of attributes, like AGS000 or a special branding, I"ll tell them if it's there and, if not, why not.

There are actually very vew questions that I'm unwilling to discuss:

Should I buy this stone?
Where can go to I get a better one?
When will the Cubs finally win the pennant?

Did that answer you question?

Neil Beaty
Independent Appraisals in Denver
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 3, 2000
Messages
6,362
We will tell people not to buy a particular diamond if we are certain it is the wrong one for them. This could be because it is cut badly or because it is not the one they tell us they actually wanted. If someone told a tale about a stone, our service would reveal to the customer that the stone was not right for them. We would have to agree, if such is the case. If a diamond is represented as a fine cut and it isn''t, we will surely report that to the client. That is pretty much what most people are paying us to do.

We won''t tell people where to make a purchase and we won''t predict if the Eagles will make it to the Super Bowl..... We can do some pretty good guessing, but prefer to keep our advice to the facts along with expert subjective judgements that we think we understand.
 

Nicrez

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 21, 2004
Messages
3,230
An appraiser is not a diamond buyer or consultant, if they are only appraising.

They do give you general info on the diamond, determine it''s color, clarity and plotting, as well as other concrete details of the stone, and this information is measurable and the information is usually objective. But when it comes to giving a subjective opinion, like "in all the stones I have seen, this one is terrible" is just a very unprofessional way to operate any appraisal business!

Consider several things:

Everyone has different budgets
Everyone has different tastes (in shape, quality, ratios, etc)
Not everyone gets the best price EVER and cares about it.

For example, I like square radiants, and an appraiser who believes in the "real" radiant shape will tell me that radiants where MADE to be rectangular, not square. Subjective. Also, I like higher color, but not clarity, so if I ever bought an SI1 or SI2, an appraiser who works with high clarity could tell me that my stone is crap, and I should have gotten a better clarity. Subjective.

As for price, I am a hard-core bargain shopper. In the end I want to know that I got the absolute best for the absolute cheapest. I ended up buying a Radiant that was branded and a bit more than a generic. I spent for the name and quality, and if my appraiser said IDEALLY I could find the same stone in generic for MUCh cheaper, I still wouldn''t care. Toothpicks and pencils can be generic, but I personally wanted what I wanted, and I don''t pay an appraiser to give me their opinion that is subjective, unless I want to hear it. It''s not their job. They are professionals who are objective, no matter if you got your diamond from a fancy Fifth avenue retailer or the back of a truck. As such, they can tell you if cut is symmetrical, or polish is good, or if for the price it''s adequate, but understand there is a lot of leeway with such things because NO ONE will ever have a perfect cut, perfect stone REALLY cheap. No stone is perfect to everyone it''s subjective to what each person''s needs are. I saw a 35ct D, FL emerald, and I appreciated it''s beauty, but still would say that even if it was free, it would not be my choice. I''d probably sell it... (for a radiant!)

Also with fancies, we may look to an appraiser to give a value judgement on a stone, but they are not as measureable as a round. This is why there is so much leeway in their opinion, because there is also a lot of leeway in cut to accomodate different tastes in brilliance or fire, or both!

Stop worrying about getting that perfect stone, and just enjoy what you have. No purchase is ever perfect, so unless it is grossly out of the range, I doubt most appraisers will tell you you did an awful job... it''s not their position to do so, or else Tiffany''s wouldn''t be in business anymore... (hee hee)
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Date: 12/17/2004 3:55:36 PM
Author: Nicrez
An appraiser is not a diamond buyer or consultant, if they are only appraising.

They do give you general info on the diamond, determine it''s color, clarity and plotting, as well as other concrete details of the stone, and this information is measurable and the information is usually objective. But when it comes to giving a subjective opinion, like ''in all the stones I have seen, this one is terrible'' is just a very unprofessional way to operate any appraisal business!

Consider several things:

Everyone has different budgets
Everyone has different tastes (in shape, quality, ratios, etc)
Not everyone gets the best price EVER and cares about it.
That pretty much should sum it up to a consumer. Appraisers appaise. Advisors advise. Appraisers aren''t in the business to tell you what you should be buying. They can form an opinion based on what the person *may* be looking for. Appraisers appraise the specs & properties of the stone - pros & cons. It''s up to the consumer to decide whether this is the stone they are looking for based on the information given.

Honestly, people do have different ideas of what is beautiful to them & what they find desirable. I wouldn''t want an appraiser to tell me that. An appraiser should tell me what I am buying is what is represented. Not pontificate on what I should buy. Nothing wrong with their gut opinion; but, one is *paying* for an appraisal. We are not paying for a decision maker.

Also, it is human nature to listen to the bad and not the good. No one would buy anything if the negative was delivered so negatively. Nothing is perfect. So, I''m sure inconsistencies are pointed out; but, not presented like chicken little.

Finally, no I don''t think that PS appraisers favor PS vendors. In the end, he who has the gold rules. The consumer is *paying* for the services of an appraiser not the vendor. Appraising is a profession.
 

windowshopper

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
2,023
all this is great but look back to the original post.................

I was just wondering people''s opinions on appraisers telling you what you want to hear...I was thinking, you send your diamond somewhere, after doing tons of research and spending alot of time, you pay someone to complete the appraisal, how many times do they send it back and say "it''s crap".?
I haven''t found many of those stories on PS...


the point being is do appraisals lay it out cold or are constrained by their relationships....................this segued to the issue of wanting more from an appraisal than a valuation. really wanting a "consultation"
 

fire&ice

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
7,828
Date: 12/17/2004 5:53:21 PM
Author: windowshopper


the point being is do appraisals lay it out cold or are constrained by their relationships....................this segued to the issue of wanting more from an appraisal than a valuation. really wanting a ''consultation''

I read the initial post. By the time someone comes to PS, reads the tutorial, posts a few to throw out, and not to mention the vendor being subjected to being in a fishbowl, rejects are going to be far and few between. It *has* happened here. Just not frequently.

My point is the morphing of what one expects an appraiser to do. You *are not* paying for a consultation in the true sense of the word. Appraisers appraise. Consulting isn''t the service they provide. PERIOD. If one wants an advisor/consultant, one can pay someone a fee to do this for them. I did. His fiduciary responsibility was still to me; but, I had no interest in knowing the nano particulars of the stone. Just procurment of a stone that fit my parameters; and, making sure that those parameters were indeed what was represented.

It is natural for appraisers to offer advice; but, that''s not what they are in business for.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
31,068
Date: 12/17/2004 10
9:27 AM
Author:chris143007
I was just wondering people''s opinions on appraisers telling you what you want to hear...I was thinking, you send your diamond somewhere, after doing tons of research and spending alot of time, you pay someone to complete the appraisal, how many times do they send it back and say ''it''s crap''.?

I haven''t found many of those stories on PS...
chris,
i''ve been asking the same questions and no appraisers want to answer.

i don''t understand why they have problems telling a client that the stone that they''re looking at is a piece of crap, if that''s what it is. in most cases the client hasn''t even seen the stone yet, and i expect them to give me an honest opinion. i''m not saying giving advice on buying the stone or not, all i want to know is if it''s a piece of crap then tell me before i make a mistake of purchasing the stone.
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
Author: windowshopper

the point being do appraisals lay it out cold or are constrained by their relationships....................this segued to the issue of wanting more from an appraisal than a valuation; really wanting a 'consultation'
A good appraisal lays it out cold, describing exactly each aspect of the 5 C's, carat weight, color, clarity, cut, & cost. The consumer can see exactly what it is and if it fits their criteria. After all, they might be looking for a Mazda rather than a Ferrari. The fact that I like BMW's shouldn't influence the appraisal.

With the Pricescope customer in mind, I've expanded my appraisal to contain a component I call a "Critique/Consultation", in which I cover the pros and cons of each of the 5 C's in narrative form. If there is a negative, I point it out and how it relates to the total picture of the stone. No effect, minor effect, moderate or significant. The client is then armed with all the facts to make an educated decision.

Sometimes though the client will ask "what would YOU do?". Then I proceed to question him intently in regards to his wants versus his budget. After I have a clear idea of what he's after, I try to put myself in his place and tell him what I would do.

As far as relationships with the vendors coloring the appraiser's viewpoint, bear this in mind. The vendor does not pay a dime of the appraiser's fees. The consumer does. They are the appraiser's client, not the vendor. If the appraiser is going to be biased in anyone's favor, it should be to the person paying for his service. I consider myself a guardian of my client's interests.

In the same breath, an appraiser's relationship with the vendors will often swing weight in the client's favor. When an experienced professional whom the vendor respects requests resolution of a certain problem or discrepancy on a client's behalf, the vendor usually moves in an expedient manner to resolve the situation. He knows that appraiser wouldn't waste everybody's time by making an undeserved or uneducated criticism.
 

elmo

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
1,160
That''s a good post, Richard.

I can''t find it now but I remember reading a post by Robin/Todd at niceice where they described in great detail some of the negotiating that would occur at the supplier-dealer level. Even for a nice ideal at a particular color and clarity, it seems there could be much haggling based on things like location and nature of inclusions, report comments, whatever. Apparently there can be a great deal of nitpicking that either affects value to some degree, or at least just provides the basis for a negotiation.

Most appraisers'' final reports don''t includes that sort of discussion. It''s not really useful for the purpose of an appraisal as f&i astutely points out. But for an evaluation, especially for something rare and expensive, isn''t it fair game and even relevant?
 

windowshopper

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
2,023
Elmo

per what you said

"...it seems there could be much haggling based on things like location and nature of inclusions, report comments, whatever. Apparently there can be a great deal of nitpicking that either affects value to some degree, or at least just provides the basis for a negotiation."


I agree--I really liked my appraiser BUT---I got a lot of resistance from him on acting as a consultant about the actual purchase when I felt I''d made it quite clear thats what I wanted. I think it makes their job too hard and they just want to give the valuation. Obviously--I shoudl ahve used Rich or Dave but if you live far away and your retrn policy is only say 10 days how much time does it really leave you--plus if you want to see it.............. I think perhaps having to choices with appraisers like 1)valuation and 2)buying consultation
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.

New posts

Top