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Discrepancy between Certificate and Appraisal

rockypay

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
9
Hi everyone,

I just recently purchased a diamond and setting from a PS vendor and the purchase experience was fantastic. Upon receiving the ring, I promptly had it appraised for insurance and verification purposes with Patrick Davis in Los Angeles, which many of you know. BTW, great appraisal experience, hugely knowledgeable and two thumbs up! Anyways, everything turned out ok except for one thing. When the ring was placed under UV lighting, there was a definite blue tint which Patrick categorized as "medium" to "strong" fluorescence, which I also saw with my own eyes. The problem is, the AGS certificate lists it as "negligible". Everything else turned out to be on point.

After appraising the ring, he threw out a price range to estimate how much I paid for it. Needless to say, that figure was quite a bit lower, due to the fluor. Then, he gave me a price range if going by the cert, without fluor, and it was very close. In terms of value, this difference is roughly around $500. Patrick suggested that I contact the vendor directly to see what options I have, so I did, and I spoke to them in his office on speakerphone. They said that I would have to mail the ring back, and they would send the diamond to AGS to have it regraded.

So, the stone was incorrectly graded, marketed and priced. My questions and concerns are, what recourse do I have with the vendor? How are issues like this usually handled and resolved? I love the diamond and the ring and it looks beautiful. However, I feel as if I should have paid less, given the discrepancy. Also, since this is a high quality, in-house diamond, do they verify specs on the certificate? If they are relying on the info on the cert, I understand why they priced it the way they did. But given the error, would they make a price adjustment to reflect what the stone's actual specs are?

I'm holding off on making a complete judgement until things progress further, but it just doesn't seem to be that hard to stick the rock under a light to make out the presence of color, on both AGS and the vendor. Thanks for reading this all the way through and I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
20,775
rockypay|1304724173|2914361 said:
Hi everyone,

I just recently purchased a diamond and setting from a PS vendor and the purchase experience was fantastic. Upon receiving the ring, I promptly had it appraised for insurance and verification purposes with Patrick Davis in Los Angeles, which many of you know. BTW, great appraisal experience, hugely knowledgeable and two thumbs up! Anyways, everything turned out ok except for one thing. When the ring was placed under UV lighting, there was a definite blue tint which Patrick categorized as "medium" to "strong" fluorescence, which I also saw with my own eyes. The problem is, the AGS certificate lists it as "negligible". Everything else turned out to be on point.

After appraising the ring, he threw out a price range to estimate how much I paid for it. Needless to say, that figure was quite a bit lower, due to the fluor. Then, he gave me a price range if going by the cert, without fluor, and it was very close. In terms of value, this difference is roughly around $500. Patrick suggested that I contact the vendor directly to see what options I have, so I did, and I spoke to them in his office on speakerphone. They said that I would have to mail the ring back, and they would send the diamond to AGS to have it regraded.

So, the stone was incorrectly graded, marketed and priced. My questions and concerns are, what recourse do I have with the vendor? How are issues like this usually handled and resolved? I love the diamond and the ring and it looks beautiful. However, I feel as if I should have paid less, given the discrepancy. Also, since this is a high quality, in-house diamond, do they verify specs on the certificate? If they are relying on the info on the cert, I understand why they priced it the way they did. But given the error, would they make a price adjustment to reflect what the stone's actual specs are?

I'm holding off on making a complete judgement until things progress further, but it just doesn't seem to be that hard to stick the rock under a light to make out the presence of color, on both AGS and the vendor. Thanks for reading this all the way through and I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.

The AGS report is the authority here, not the appraisal. The appraisal is a fantastic tool for just these purposes - to see if there are any disconnects between the "official document" and stone's characteristics, but it doesn't hold any market weight against that official report.

If you are concerned about what you paid (which I can understand) send the ring back, have them send the stone back to AGS, and depending on the outcome you can renegotiate with your vendor for a lower price or just return it and start over. But please don't give in to temptation to blame the vendor here - they did nothing wrong in selling the stone by the report, and by the value the report dictated, and if you get mad at them and you show it you reduce the odds of an amicable resolution in your favour!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 11, 2006
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55,816
I totally agree with Yssie! The vendor is certainly not at fault. I am sure they do not routinely check all stones for fluorescence when they arrive considering they are buying stones with AGS or GIA grading.

I have seen this happen once before when an AGS stone was graded a color grade lower by two appraisers. I know there was an adjustment in the purchase price. But that involved thousands and not hundreds. AGS definitely should be alerted to the potential error, though. A lot of us are trusting in those lab reports to be correct.
 

rockypay

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
9
Thanks for the info. I'm not placing blame at anyone yet and certainly not getting mad, and I did say that I understand if the vendor priced it by relying on the AGS cert.

Could you also elaborate on the difference between negligible vs. medium to strong? Because what I saw was pretty blue. If going by the picture in this link http://www.diamond-buying-made-easier.com/diamond-fluorescence.html , it was between medium and strong, which seems like a big difference from negligible.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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55,816
I hope you didn't think I was being sarcastic or anything! I can see how what I wrote might have sounded that way upon rereading it! I know you weren't blaming the vendor. I really meant to just say that they don't go behind AGS and recheck all the grading. :))

I think it is very strange that the fluorescence was totally missed. I can't imagine how that happened. Must have been a complete fluke as that is one characteristic of a diamond that would be pretty easy to grade! (And it is really ironic because your vendor, if it is who I think, actually carries fluorescent stones and labels them as such, so they are totally honest in regards to fluorescence.)

I think your decision would be..do I really want to part with my stone and delay my plans in order to try to renegotiate the price on the stone by a few hundred dollars? I'm really sorry this happened and hope you can get it worked out!
 

rockypay

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
9
Oh, that was in response to Yssie's reply, thanks. =)

And yes, those tradeoffs were exactly my thoughts. Time isn't an issue, so what it comes down to is, is the hassle of shipping and going through the process worth it.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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55,816
Yes, having bought a few stones and returned a couple, it is a big hassle alright!
 

dreamer_dachsie

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Messages
24,364
I think I would send it back to the vendor in this case and ask them to give their opinion about the flour, just for a second opinion perhaps. And from there decide if you wanted a regrade from AGS. Seems like a big rigomorole for a small pay off re: a potential deduction (not negating its importance, but just thinking in dollars and cents). I have never heard of this particular issue with an AGS cert. I'm not totally sure which direction I would go, but would likely consider exchanging the stone with the vendor and let them deal with the potential misgrade issue for the current stone.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Dreamer_D|1304801339|2915029 said:
I think I would send it back to the vendor in this case and ask them to give their opinion about the flour, just for a second opinion perhaps. And from there decide if you wanted a regrade from AGS. Seems like a big rigomorole for a small pay off re: a potential deduction (not negating its importance, but just thinking in dollars and cents). I have never heard of this particular issue with an AGS cert. I'm not totally sure which direction I would go, but would likely consider exchanging the stone with the vendor and let them deal with the potential misgrade issue for the current stone.
But he said he loves the diamond and the ring, Dreamer. It's already set. :(sad
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
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Messages
8,791
Send it back if you’re unhappy.

That said, I agree with the above that the driving grade here, if the issue is insurance replacement valuation, is AGSL’s, even if they are wrong. Florescent stones are generally slightly cheaper than otherwise similar non-florescent ones, but stones graded by the major labs where they made an error in the fluro call are not. It’s an AGS-negligible, and it’s that regardless of the ‘facts’ of the florescence so, in terms of value, and in terms of what they will have to shop for in the case of a loss, it’s really a non-issue. Is it what you want? Maybe, maybe not. If not, send it back with a polite explanation and be done with it. If it is and you’re just worried about whether you’re correctly covered for insurance, call back Patrick and ask him if confident that the funding provided for by his appraisal would really be sufficient to replace with like kind and quality, which would include being AGS gaded as negligible among other things.

Lastly, if he can defend the case that it can be reasonably replaced with a comparable AGS graded stone for $500 less than you were charged, take the report to the vendor and complain about THAT. It may or may not matter to them, there’s nothing wrong with being more expensive than your competition ( 50% of the vendors out there are above average after all), but most of the PS favored jewelers are pretty aggressive in terms of pricing.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
24,364
diamondseeker2006|1304802250|2915041 said:
Dreamer_D|1304801339|2915029 said:
I think I would send it back to the vendor in this case and ask them to give their opinion about the flour, just for a second opinion perhaps. And from there decide if you wanted a regrade from AGS. Seems like a big rigomorole for a small pay off re: a potential deduction (not negating its importance, but just thinking in dollars and cents). I have never heard of this particular issue with an AGS cert. I'm not totally sure which direction I would go, but would likely consider exchanging the stone with the vendor and let them deal with the potential misgrade issue for the current stone.
But he said he loves the diamond and the ring, Dreamer. It's already set. :(sad
I know, it is tough! But for *me* I would have them set a different stone in the setting for me. I guess if there is nothing else available it is more complex. That would be a bridge I would cross later. But in the end, I would want to feel 100% happy, and a disparity like this would not make me happy. Nor would sending it back to AGS and waiting for it to come back and all that jazz. I would rather start fresh.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I know, Dreamer, I couldn't bear to do the sending back to AGS thing, either. But he got a fairly unusual and desirable stone just under a carat and it can't be easily replaced. It could take weeks or months for a comparable stone to appear at that vendor. That is why I would keep it.

But rockpay, I do think I'd call and speak to Brian personally about this if you haven't already.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Messages
24,364
diamondseeker2006|1304805069|2915063 said:
I know, Dreamer, I couldn't bear to do the sending back to AGS thing, either. But he got a fairly unusual and desirable stone just under a carat and it can't be easily replaced. It could take weeks or months for a comparable stone to appear at that vendor. That is why I would keep it.

But rockpay, I do think I'd call and speak to Brian personally about this if you haven't already.
Yes, I did not know the specs, if it is the .92ct G VS2 he references in another thread it is hard to replace. ETA: I see he also has a thread about an H VS1 of similar size from WF. I don't know which he bought?

This is the closest comparable at BGD (if they are his vendor): http://www.briangavindiamonds.com/diamond/diamond-detail/?product_id=AGS-104051075003 No comparables at WF right now.

Since the discrepancy in price based on the appraisal is $500, provided that the appraiser would give an insurance evaluation based on the AGS cert - -which is the authority here -- then I would explore whether some agreement could be reached with the vendor for *some* type of compensation/accommodation on the value. The cost of sending the stone to AGS and the cost of shipping would presumably come out of the vendor's pocket. Perhaps some of that amount could be used to compensate the OP (provided the OPs facts are verifiable with the appraisal documents etc.)?
 

diamondseeker2006

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Dreamer, I am not 100% sure, either, although I was thinking it was the BGD one. I agree that he should speak with the vendor.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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20,775
Rocky - I read resentment in your OP, I apologise if I was mistaken.


With regard to what you can do now - PPs have addressed this: you have three options as I see it -

1. Return the ring, try to find another stone to use in your setting, because no matter what the outcome the stone is no longer mind-clean for you.
Pros - the new one will be mind-clean
Cons - might be tough to find a replacement b/c of the size, and the setting might pose more constraints - the vendor can give you more info here. Other concern is the recent price increases may have eaten considerably into the $500 savings if you choose from current stock.

2. Have your vendor send the stone back to AGS and plan to work with the vendor depending on the outcome (partial refund, full return and replacement, do nothing).
Pros - potentially keep the current ring that you love as-is, at a price that both parties feel is fair
Cons - it'll take some time for the stone to get re-evaluated, so you are ringless and unsure of the outcome for probably a few weeks.

3. Work with the vendor to send the stone to a different independent appraiser and plan decisions based on the outcomes of both appraisals.
Pros - faster than sending the stone back to AGS, potentially keep the current ring that you love as-is at a price that both parties feel is fair
Cons - still takes some time and expense depending on who will fund the appraisals (which may depend on outcome).
 

oldminer

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There is no real excuse for a first class lab to miss the strength of UV fluorescence, but it happens all the time. None of us know why because we all think it is easy enough to see the reaction, yet the labs frequently give fluorescent strength results that defy what our own eyes readily see. Obviously, it is a failure to standardize the grading in one or more respects. There is room for improvement.

No appraiser can claim an absolute certainty about what is a retail "price" for a diamond. The "price" is the amount set on the item by the seller. What an appraiser does is "estimate" the "value" by looking at market evidence in general and making the trained end result, a replacement value. For many decades, appraisers made high retail reports and people got a feel good papers from them. Now, appraisers are making an attempt to give results much closer to actual transaction prices and it is a whole lot more difficult not to be too low on occasion. I always have told people I have taught that being a bit high is much better than being a dollar low. Appraisers who are making a diligent effort to report nearly exact transaction amounts in this very tight market as their "value" are confronted by this demon. Once they have made their decision about value they find it difficult to provide an adjusted amount. The client hears the low number and the deal goes badly from there on. It makes sense, but it is unfortunate. Appraisal values are not a perfect science.

The fluorescent effect can have a small negative, neutral or small positive value in the overall value of a diamond. Very few diamonds are ruined by UV fluorescence. None are vastly improved by it, either. If the stone you bought has a fluorescence problem which would have prevented you from buying it, then just choose a different diamond and have the vendor double check the fluorescence before you agree to the deal or have it shipped. I hope you get resolution in your problem. A quality vendor ought to be aware of a UV strength issue on a diamond they are selling from their own inventory. Dropped shipped stones are out of the vendor's control, but reliance just on the paperwork when the dealer has the diamond in hand is a poor excuse. Every seller should examine every diamond they have in stock to verify and stand behind the quality reported on the documents. Saying that that an expert vendor relies totally on a lab is a poor business practice, and while a very common excuse, I find it inexcusable. There are many, many vendors and retailers hiding behind the excuse of the paperwork rather than the facts which they could ascertain for themselves.
 

rockypay

Rough_Rock
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Mar 15, 2011
Messages
9
Thank you ALL for your insightful comments and advice! I now see why Patrick suggested that I post this issue on PS, to see what other people say. It's great to know that the diamond enthusiast/expert community is there to help out!

I do plan to send it back and see if it is indeed a grading error. Since this situation is somewhat fresh, I will refrain from going into more details until things play out more. But I will definitely update down the road regarding the outcome. Thanks!
 

CharmyPoo

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It appears to me what you want is to keep the diamond, not get a new AGS report, and have the vendor refund you $500. Let's see what happens.
 

saj007

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Mar 21, 2011
Messages
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i have the same problem!! i just received by BGD signature H&A ring. i looked at it in direct sunlight and its very blue! i'm so freaked out. the report says negligible fluorescence. i don't know what to do. i attached a picture of what i mean. please help

photo.JPG
 

slg47

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it may be reflecting the sky or a blue shirt? that pic does not look like blue fluor, although best way is to test with UV light
 

saj007

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wearing a white t-shirt. and the sky was a mix of clouds and sun. i'm puzzled because the AGS report definitely says negligible fluoro.
 

Lightfoot

Rough_Rock
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Jul 9, 2009
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58
As slg suggested, I really wouldn't draw any conclusions before looking at it under UV light.
 

dreamer_dachsie

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slg47|1305928823|2926886 said:
it may be reflecting the sky or a blue shirt? that pic does not look like blue fluor, although best way is to test with UV light
Ditto. That is NOT flour. That is something blue in the environment reflecting in the stone.
 

JulieN

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Fluorescence means that it is emitting photons, hence the common description of "plugged in." In that picture, the diamond itself seems blue (of course it isn't, so probably reflecting something) rather than that it is a source of blue light.
 

jsb1976

Rough_Rock
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Jan 7, 2011
Messages
53
Are you using a flash on your camera? This may be why your diamond is showing a very deep "cobalt blue" color.
 

rockypay

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Mar 15, 2011
Messages
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UPDATE! Re: Discrepancy between Certificate and Appraisal

Update on my original post:

I sent the stone back to the vendor, who sent it over to AGS to have it regraded. Lo and behold, the AGS grade of negligible fluorescence was WRONG! During the appraisal, I remember Patrick being very adamant that the stone should be regraded. I saw that there was definitely a blue tint under UV light. And AGS has confirmed this and will be issuing a replacement report.

There seems to be quite a bit of belief that grading reports from reputable firms are the final say on a diamond's specs. In 99.9% of the case, I would think rightly so since they have great track records and have longstanding reputations. However, in this .1% instance, they were not. We should keep in mind that people are performing these grading reports, and as such, we are prone to human error. It doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen. I understand that diamond grading is an inexact science. Some of the variables are subjective, that is why multiple individuals grade the same stone. But I would urge everyone to question the validity of a particular grade if it seems way out of line. You are, after all, making a huge financial and emotional commitment.

I am working with the vendor on different options going forward and will update again later. Thanks for your input everyone.
 

Laila619

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Re: UPDATE! Re: Discrepancy between Certificate and Appraisa

rockypay|1308193738|2947214 said:
Update on my original post:

I sent the stone back to the vendor, who sent it over to AGS to have it regraded. Lo and behold, the AGS grade of negligible fluorescence was WRONG! During the appraisal, I remember Patrick being very adamant that the stone should be regraded. I saw that there was definitely a blue tint under UV light. And AGS has confirmed this and will be issuing a replacement report.

There seems to be quite a bit of belief that grading reports from reputable firms are the final say on a diamond's specs. In 99.9% of the case, I would think rightly so since they have great track records and have longstanding reputations. However, in this .1% instance, they were not. We should keep in mind that people are performing these grading reports, and as such, we are prone to human error. It doesn't happen a lot, but it does happen. I understand that diamond grading is an inexact science. Some of the variables are subjective, that is why multiple individuals grade the same stone. But I would urge everyone to question the validity of a particular grade if it seems way out of line. You are, after all, making a huge financial and emotional commitment.

I am working with the vendor on different options going forward and will update again later. Thanks for your input everyone.
Good for you!! What an odd situation, but kudos to your appraiser who saw the fluor and urged you to have it regraded. Good luck!
 

dreamer_dachsie

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Messages
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rockypay|1308279995|2948057 said:
Dreamer_D|1308194648|2947223 said:
What level of flour did it come back with?
Regraded to medium.
Interesting. For AGS, Medium is right next to negligible on the scale, so it is not a huuuuge difference using that scale -- probably akin to 1 color grade difference, which is within the realm of error that is probably more common that we all know.

Still, since the value of a stone is determined by its report, such errors are of little consequence in most transactions -- unless the consumer cares, of course, in which case it is the consumers perogative to return the stone, and seek redress, as you are.
 
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