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Color tolerance

cvu

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
11
Hello,

So I have read that the tolerance for any given color grade should be +/- 1 grade. This makes sense to me because color is graded against a master set and a gem either shows "more color" than the comparison stone or it doesn't and this may be somewhat subjective.

I recently took the plunge to purchase a "J" color stone (GIA graded 2016) off the internet and had it taken to a local appraiser to verify the purchase. They said that everything matched up with the exception that it is a "L" color. This appraiser is GIA/AGS educated/certified and generally I trust their opinion. They do, however, have interest in their jewelry store (not an independent appraiser) so I do not want to be naive. In my location, an independent appraiser is not available without significant travel. "K" might not have surprised me given the margin of error but "L" certainly did.

There is a faint yellow tint when viewing the stone but I understand this could describe J, K, or L (and I tend to see some tint in each of these). It is difficult for me to see the difference myself, though the price tag difference is obvious. Is GIA missing by two color grades a likely occurrence? Would you trust the certificate or the appraiser in this situation? For obvious reasons, I do not want to pay "J" color price if receiving "L".

I am leaning towards returning it because of the doubt that has been cast and continuing my search for the right stone. Would you invest more (time and money) to have it appraised a second time?
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,074
Don't know if this is practical (don't know the date on the GIA report, how much more time you have left under the return policy, where you live), but GIA will perform a regrading of color, clarity, cut and origin within 60 days after date on report for 1/2 the price of the fee charged for the report in question. That's what they call a Recheck or Final Observation; a bit more info here:
http://www.gia.edu/gem-lab-service/diamond-services
 

ADN

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Messages
311
Hey - my first question would be to ask if the valuer is using a set of colour masters that have all been certified as such by GIA - - a lot of guys make up their own set of colour masters because it costs quite a bit of money to find stones that meet all of GIAs strict criteria for to qualify a master stone - or they measure against other cert'd stones they have in stock... :wall: ...there aren't that many retailers that are willing to sink that kind of cash/time into a proper set - close enough I'm afraid is not good enough when it comes to a proper set of masters. I'd trust the cert waaayyyy before a retailer that is also putting on a valuers hat...especially if there is no-one around to back up their claim...bit of a conflict of interest perhaps... :think:
Hope this helps
 

cvu

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
11
Thank you for the information regarding the re-check. That is interesting. I am within the time frame (by a mere 4 days on the certificate); however, I am a little hesitant to make that additional investment right now (would be $90 + shipping both ways + time).

The store where I had it inspected is an accredited AGS gem lab and the individual who did the examination is a GIA GG and AGS CGA so it was my best shot at a local place that could perhaps be objective and hopefully have all the required materials in order (master set, etc required to be an accredited lab). The fact that I paid 25% less than I would have at a retail store could very much skew his thinking though. His direct comment was that I paid an "L" price and a "J" would be 25% more expensive when I know many other "J" colors are available at similar pricing online. They can't all be graded inaccurately.

I am very skeptical of all parties being this is such a large and important purchase. Appraiser, vendor, and GIA. I am considering a second "purchase verification" but finding an independent appraiser is proving a bit of a chore.

Thank you both for your feedback.
 

msop04

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 3, 2011
Messages
9,769
cvu said:
Thank you for the information regarding the re-check. That is interesting. I am within the time frame (by a mere 4 days on the certificate); however, I am a little hesitant to make that additional investment right now (would be $90 + shipping both ways + time).

The store where I had it inspected is an accredited AGS gem lab and the individual who did the examination is a GIA GG and AGS CGA so it was my best shot at a local place that could perhaps be objective and hopefully have all the required materials in order (master set, etc required to be an accredited lab). The fact that I paid 25% less than I would have at a retail store could very much skew his thinking though. His direct comment was that I paid an "L" price and a "J" would be 25% more expensive when I know many other "J" colors are available at similar pricing online. They can't all be graded inaccurately.

I am very skeptical of all parties being this is such a large and important purchase. Appraiser, vendor, and GIA. I am considering a second "purchase verification" but finding an independent appraiser is proving a bit of a chore.

Thank you both for your feedback.
It makes me wonder why the appraiser would include what you paid into his color assessment. I would go by the cert. His evaluation seems biased.
 

marymm

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
4,066
As the appraiser you used has a store selling diamonds/jewelery, I do not consider him an objective, professional appraiser. Thus, I do not believe you received an objective, reliable appraisal/opinion. That said, I think the biased opinion you did receive has cast doubts on the stone you bought, and unless you can access a reputable professional appraiser in the time left in your return period, I'd just return the stone.

This time, perhaps with the help of PSers, make another informed purchase of a diamond within your budget and spec preferences and with a solid return policy. Have the diamond shipped directly to independent professional appraiser Dave Atlas or Ned Beatty (both are highly respected not only by PSers but on a national level) for an objective opinion before it is shipped to you.
 

MollyMalone

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 2, 2013
Messages
3,074
cvu|1459927715|4016049 said:
Thank you for the information regarding the re-check. That is interesting. I am within the time frame (by a mere 4 days on the certificate); however, I am a little hesitant to make that additional investment right now (would be $90 + shipping both ways + time).

The store where I had it inspected is an accredited AGS gem lab and the individual who did the examination is a GIA GG and AGS CGA so it was my best shot at a local place that could perhaps be objective and hopefully have all the required materials in order (master set, etc required to be an accredited lab). The fact that I paid 25% less than I would have at a retail store could very much skew his thinking though. His direct comment was that I paid an "L" price and a "J" would be 25% more expensive when I know many other "J" colors are available at similar pricing online. They can't all be graded inaccurately.

I am very skeptical of all parties being this is such a large and important purchase. Appraiser, vendor, and GIA. I am considering a second "purchase verification" but finding an independent appraiser is proving a bit of a chore.

Thank you both for your feedback.
Probably won't be cheaper to send it off for a non-local, independent appraisal than to GIA -- and I imagine that your vendor is far more likely to agree to an extension of time, and the return itself if need be, based on a reassessment by GIA. (Are you sure about a GIA fee of $90; I'm not seeing a $180 fee on GIA's current 2016 fee schedule)

As with any profession and business, there can be some bad apples. But I would not assume that a AGS Certified Gemologist Aporaiser is inherently biased & to receive the AGS certification of the in-house gemstone lab, you do have to have, e.g., a certified master color set of diamonds & more equipment than is standard for even a high end jewelry retailer.
https://www.americangemsociety.org/accreditedgemlaborat-1
So I hope you aren't beating yourself up over what was a reasoned, logical choice. It's not surprising that there's no credentialed, independent appraiser in your immediate geographical location; it's a very tough way to make a living in most parts of the country unless-until you are able to attract clientele that are not within driving distance. AGS's certification of in-store labs its "licensing" of Certfied Gemologist Aporaisers represents an effort to bridge the gap between "anything goes" & full-fledged independent gemologist appraisers.

But I certainly understand why you don't feel comfortable-confident with the experience you just had. Once this is past you, maybe you'll write to AGS itself to relay what happened.
 

Wink

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 3, 2001
Messages
7,471
GIA now has many labs around the world and they are having serious problems with consistency, so while the likelihood of them being two color grades off is low, it is possible. So is your scenario of the grader at the store being biased.

It is, naturally, completely impossible for us to know since we are unable to see the diamond.

My question to you is, "Do you like the stone?"

If not, it does not matter who is correct.

If yes, then do some more research and perhaps have the diamond graded by a new grader to see what his/her opinion of the diamond is.

I wish you a speedy resolution to your dilemma.

Wink
 
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