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patricia

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I am not sure I am in the right place, but need some help. I am about to purchase a round EGL 3.6 GVS2 stone VG VG polilsh and symmetry and has a superior cut rating. I have had it appraised and the appraiser is a GIA cerified gemologist. But I am VERY NERVOUS about the EGL cert. and I believe it is a EGL from Turkery. I have heard good and bad things about the EGL certs. The asking price is 43,500+ tax and the appraisal was for 60,500.00, everything matched up...... But, would this stone get a GIA cert with equal specs???? Would the price be much higher just because it has a GIA? I have been burned once on a diamond purchase and am very gunshy. Is this a good buy? Should I only look at GIA certs. HELP
 

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Kaleigh

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Was this appraiser an independent appraiser?? It''s a lot of money, perhaps take it to one of the independent appraisers listed on PS?? For a second opinion... I''m kind of surprised everything matched up, especially from EGL Turkey, don''t hear that very often. Usually they are off a grade or two...
 

Richard Sherwood

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Hi Patricia, welcome to Pricescope.

I don't think I would count on an EGL-Turkey stone certifying out to the same specs as a GIA certified stone. The price also seems to indicate this.

Most likely the color is not quite as good as GIA would grade it. Possibly the clarity, maybe yes, maybe no. If the stone were a bonafide H color for example, the pricing would seem to be more correct. $43,500 seems to be too cheap for a properly graded 3.6 G/VS2. I would expect a stone like that to cost you more in the $55,000 to $65,000 range, possibly up to $70,000.

That's not to say it's not a gorgeous stone in it's own right. But it would be nice to know what it really is, especially when you're spending that kind of money. If the color grade is only one grade difference it's not such a big deal, and for the price you're paying you'd be more than okay.

But if the color is more than one grade off, and the clarity a grade off, then you might be better off working with a correctly graded GIA stone.

Excuse my pessimism, but I am extremely skeptical of any Middle Eastern graded stone. The Middle Eastern business philosophy in general seems to have a long way to go to come up to Western standards.
 

Modified Brilliant

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I agree with Richard regarding quality and price. Did the appraiser grade the diamond first without looking at the EGL report?

It''s best to form an opinion before looking at the report..then compare the findings.

Jeff Averbook, G.G.
Graduate Gemologist (G.I.A.) since 1986

www.metrojewelryappraisers.com
 

patricia

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Thank you for your reply. Yes the apparaiser was independent. I am going to speak to him on Monday and ask. If I wanted to get this GIA certified could I not do that? The appraiser is a very reputable one here in OC, California..... but I to am a little skeptical of the EGL Turkey and I assume it is Turkey because it start with a T and 4 digit number. On my own research I found that out. I was initially told it was EGL Israel, but could not verify the certificate number. I think that even though this is a good price and the dealer is will to do a trade I may have to pass. But because I was burned and am taking a hit on my first stone then, I was hoping to get a good deal on the second one.
Patricia
 

denverappraiser

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As I’m sure you know, if the description is accurate or even reasonably close it’s a pretty good price unless there’s something drastically wrong in the off-cert specs.

You mentioned that this is a GIA certified gemologist. Is that how they describe themselves? GIA doesn’t certify gemologists. That’s a trademark of AGS and the vast majority of CG’s are not independents. They work for and even own AGS retail stores. That’s an ok thing, AGS stores tend to be pretty good but if they’re misrepresenting their credentials, that’s a very bad sign for your grader. You can look up a list of CG’s, CGA’s (certified gemologists appraisers)and ICGA (independent certified gemologist appraisers) at the AGS website here:

www.americangemsociety.org

In this case, the value conclusion on the appraisal isn’t nearly as important to you as the grading and the description. Did the appraiser actually grade the stone or is he quoting a grade based on the EGL? The difference between a F/VS2 and an H/SI1 is pretty important and, yes, this is well within the realm of possibility. I recently sent in a stone to GIA with prior grading by EGL-Turkey that differed by 5 full grades.

Actually, it’s nearly certain that the stone will not be graded the same by GIA. If it would, one of the dealers would have sent it in long before it got to you. GIA’s fees for a stone like this will be about $400 and the opportunity to raise the price by $10k or more for having the right paperwork is a pretty strong incentive for them to do just that. There are some smart folks in this business who are working on razor thin margins and I guarantee that they wouldn't have all missed that. That said, GIA will grade a stone for anyone who wants to and they are a short drive away from you down in Carslbad CA. Tell your dealer your plan, leave a deposit and drive it down. Make sure to discuss this in advance with the dealer because GIA can sometimes be pretty slow and this is a fairly expensive stone to have in limbo while you decide. You will, of course, be responsible for the GIA fees either way.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

patricia

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Hi Denver appraiser,

To answer your question, he is a Graduate Gemologist(GIA) and he physically checked the stone. Most likely taking the stone to GIA will not be possible. WHAT TO DO??????
 

denverappraiser

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You’re betting $43,000 on is his grading skills, not those of some anonymous drone in Turkey. Are you confident in him? You can play with the database here to see what the differences do to the price by using the tool at the top titled ‘pricescope your diamond’. Search a few times with slight variations in the color and clarity to see what changes. You can sort the results by price by clicking on the column header and ignore everything but GIA & AGS graded stones for purposes of this exercise. If it’s really G/VS2 or even H/VS2 and the cut is at least decent, it’s very competitively priced. H/SI1 and I/VS2 are marginal at that price point. Below that and you’re probably going to do better elsewhere. I have no idea what EGLT means by 'superior' cut but your appraiser who has seen the stone should be able to give you an opinion of cut using a more standard grading scale. You are paying them to grade the stone and help you to understand what you do and don't have. Ask questions and, if you don't understand the answer, ask more.

What to do? Assess the skills of your grader and have him fill in the blanks.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 
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I am hearing some mixed messages in this. One person is saying:

Date: 10/13/2007 9:38:45 PM
Author: Richard Sherwood
Hi Patricia, welcome to Pricescope.

If the stone were a bonafide H color for example, the pricing would seem to be more correct. $43,500 seems to be too cheap for a properly graded 3.6 G/VS2.
Now, when I read this I am also remembering past post by Richard and other authors. On several occasions I have heard professionals saying that when a business considers pricing on a diamond they will often discount according to how off the second and third tier labs have miss graded.

Thus, the above text seems to be saying that the diamond is cheaper because it is actually a lower color or clarity grade than the cert says, thus the business is giving a "discount" which is either a decent deal, spot on, or overpriced for the proper graded color. In that scenario the diamond is priced based of the actual color/clarity, such that it is based on each individual stone.

Meaning that the lower price is not actually caused by having a lower tier lab''s paperwork, but is a result of an individual analysis of the particular diamond by the vendor.

Then we have this quote:

Date: 10/14/2007 11:44:31 AM
Author: denverappraiser



GIA’s fees for a stone like this will be about $400 and the opportunity to raise the price by $10k or more for having the right paperwork is a pretty strong incentive for them to do just that.
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

Professional Appraisals in Denver

Here we have denver who is saying that GIA papers in and of themselves are adequate cause for charging 10,000 dollars more.

The difference here is subtle, in that in this later situation the higher GIA pricing is not necessarily based on a stone by stone analysis by the vendor, but rather based on the general perception and average accuracy rates of said lower tier labs. Meaning that the lower price is based on the paperwork and repute of the lab in and of itself. (though that would obviously be a result of past miss gradings)



If it is as Richard suggest then the lower grade is representative of an individual stone by stone account of color accuracy. In this case it would be impossible to get a good deal because the jeweler would either determine the color/clarity to be accurate, in which case it would command essentially the same price as a top tier lab would, or the vendor would determine that it was miss graded and lower the price accordingly. The key here is that y you would never have anyone saying "this is actually an H" and therefore lowering the price without being 100% positive of the missgrade before doing so. And they may well overcharge in that event as well.


But: if what denver says is true, then it would theoretically be possible for a jeweler to have a diamond that is properly graded by a third tier lab, and if it were properly graded it would still be 10,000 dollars cheaper due to the paperwork in and of itself.

while most jewelers would probably send it to a higher tier lab in that event, there are several reasons I can think of why a few diamonds might be overlooked. Some jewelers are not particularly competent, the difference between G and H can be difficult for some people to discern, lack of official training, etc etc

And that would then create an opportunity for finding excellent deals, with the appropriate correspondence with highly qualified independent appraisers.

though in truth Ira touched on this earlier, and I believe the main concern at that point was that certain enhnacments and other elements might not be noted in the EGL reports, but so far nobody has confirmed exactly what EGL does or does not include in regards to those matters. But if there is adequate information conveyed on the report and if what denver says is true, then i believe there is a possibility that you may have found a fantastic deal--its just going to take a bit of caution and work to verify if it is or not, and a very likely thing to find--but possible.
 
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Date: 10/14/2007 2:43:24 PM
Author: denverappraiser
You’re betting $43,000 on is his grading skills, not those of some anonymous drone in Turkey. Are you confident in him? You can play with the database here to see what the differences do to the price by using the tool at the top titled ‘pricescope your diamond’. Search a few times with slight variations in the color and clarity to see what changes. You can sort the results by price by clicking on the column header and ignore everything but GIA & AGS graded stones for purposes of this exercise. If it’s really G/VS2 or even H/VS2 and the cut is at least decent, it’s very competitively priced. H/SI1 and I/VS2 are marginal at that price point. Below that and you’re probably going to do better elsewhere. I have no idea what EGLT means by 'superior' cut but your appraiser who has seen the stone should be able to give you an opinion of cut using a more standard grading scale. You are paying them to grade the stone and help you to understand what you do and don't have. Ask questions and, if you don't understand the answer, ask more.


What to do? Assess the skills of your grader and have him fill in the blanks.


Neil Beaty

GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA

Professional Appraisals in Denver

if he had a couple more qualified appraisers look at it then wouldn't that be pretty similar to the testing done at the GIA laboratory? if 1 or 2 more Ind. AP. agreed, that would seem pretty conclusive to me?

and to save 10 or 15K it seems well worth it to me...especially since your first appraisal was positive.
 

Richard Sherwood

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Hi W.H. Your interpretation of what I was saying is correct. I think you're incorrectly interpreting Neal though.

I think he's saying who wouldn't get GIA paper if it was going to increase their stone's value by $10,000? In other words, no one. So when the vendor gets second or third tier lab paper they know the grading is soft, and price the discount appropriately.

Am I reading you right Neal?
 

Modified Brilliant

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To confuse the issue further...we (appraisers) have seen "Premium" "Ideal" "Superior" "Tolkowsky Ideal"

on various EGL reports regarding cut, and not clearly defined. Did I miss any other "ideal" cut grades?

Jeff Averbook, G.G.
Graduate Gemologist (G.I.A.)

www.metrojewelryappraisers.com
 
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Date: 10/14/2007 3:52:12 PM
Author: Richard Sherwood
Hi W.H. Your interpretation of what I was saying is correct. I think you're incorrectly interpreting Neal though.


I think he's saying who wouldn't get GIA paper if it was going to increase their stone's value by $10,000? In other words, no one. So when the vendor gets second or third tier lab paper they know the grading is soft, and price the discount appropriately.


Am I reading you right Neal?
Surely there are plenty of diamonds that pass through incompetent hands?

Some may well believe it to be improperly graded, don't have much actual training, the eyes for it, or master stones to discern between G/H, too lazy to inspect each one and so forth, and thus give the customary EGL discount?

Then say they give a discount of a certain inaccuracy, some of them will be more innacurate and they will get the best end of the deal, and a very few will be properly or very well graded, and thus end up making a deal for us consumers. If EGL discounts do carry such an automatic discount then I can't help but think it must be happening out there in the market? but obviously if the price were based on a stone by stone evaluation, then there would be no way for us consumers to come out on top, even if they just stick with the report.

but perhaps they pass through too many channels after certification for that to ever occur? (even if it does happen though I suspect it to be a rare occurence)
 

Quash

Rough_Rock
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Sep 13, 2007
Messages
92
Because you've been burned before in a diamond purchase, I'm surprised you're opening yourself to this possibility again by going the EGL Turkey route, which is raising red flags for you. Would you feel more comfortable downgrading the size of the stone and going a GIA or AGS route?

In any case, 43k is a lot of cash (at least to me). I'd personally have no problem sending it to an independent appraiser (or two), such as those on PS, AND driving it down to the GIA lab, too!!! Small investment relative to the purchase price that would give you peace of mind.

The quote, below, captures the essence of the issue for me.

By the way, do you have all the specs you could post here, for those who are interested? Not sure what the EGL cert says but it would be interesting to run the diamond through some of the cutting tools used on PS.

Quash



Date: 10/14/2007 11:44:31 AM
Author:
Actually, it’s nearly certain that the stone will not be graded the same by GIA. If it would, one of the dealers would have sent it in long before it got to you. GIA’s fees for a stone like this will be about $400 and the opportunity to raise the price by $10k or more for having the right paperwork is a pretty strong incentive for them to do just that. There are some smart folks in this business who are working on razor thin margins and I guarantee that they wouldn't have all missed that. That said, GIA will grade a stone for anyone who wants to and they are a short drive away from you down in Carslbad CA. Tell your dealer your plan, leave a deposit and drive it down. Make sure to discuss this in advance with the dealer because GIA can sometimes be pretty slow and this is a fairly expensive stone to have in limbo while you decide. You will, of course, be responsible for the GIA fees either way.
 

denverappraiser

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Working,

I apologize for being unclear. Richard is correct, what I was saying is that the apparent discrepancy in price between superficially similar stones that are graded by different labs has more to do with the grading standards of the labs than the fees charged. The stone is whatever it is, but the ‘certificate’ can be dramatically different even for the same stone.

Most diamonds change hands several times on the path from the cutter to the final consumer. This can include everyone from the cutter’s boss to the supplier of the store or website where you bought it. The original report was probably ordered by the cutting house but at every step the buyer/seller had the opportunity to make the exact same decision that’s being discussed here. The selection of a grading lab for a particular stone is not done at random, it’s not being done by fools, and it’s not generally being done with your best interests at heart. The objective was to maximize money. That cutting house has an account at every lab out there and some real brainpower goes into deciding which stones go to each. Sure, mistakes get made, and when one happens the next person in the chain is watching out for it. AGS’s and GIA’s get sent to EGL in the hopes of a better grade, EGL’s get sent to GIA in the hopes of better provenance and both get sent to AGS in the hopes of getting a ‘ideal’ cut. The one that makes it through to you is the one that produces the highest price, or at least those they think will produce the highest price. It’s the reason you never see an AGS-3 cut grade. It’s not that these stones don’t exist, they simply don’t arrive to the market with AGS paperwork.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 
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hum, somebody needs to do some diamond tag researching:) like on penguins. It sounds like it would be a fun experience.

If it is really such a thorough and sound process, and richard had the right of it at the beginning (as no doubt he does) then it sounds like buying a diamond with an EGL report is a pretty bad idea


I guess the part that really gets me is that I have a hard time imagining numerous highly trained and highly attentive individuals getting their hands on every diamond out their before it reaches some incompetent "jeweler". Though I am sure you are right, in my mind its kind of like trying to wrap my mind around the concept of an eternity--it makes sense for a bit, and at first it seems logical and reasonable, but once I start to really think about all of what is involved I suddenly lose my grasp on it. of course that doesn''t mean it isn''t true
.
 

denverappraiser

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Take a peek at these two stones. Both are 3.54 G/SI1/Round and both are listed in the dropship inventories where they belong to someone else entirely. Neither is likely to be popular with the cut connoisseurs here but neither screams of a bad cut either. I’m sure someone could describe them as ‘superior’. The really obvious difference is that the first one is EGL and the second is GIA. That and an $18,000 difference in price.

http://www.whiteflash.com/round/Round-cut-diamond-427625.htm

http://www.mondera.com/diamonds/product.asp?partno=528664&sourceID=BPVd0yuZ5sA-ZPowNv1HlvTheKDSt4_lMg

Most of the sellers to these folks are working on single digit margins so someone stands to make $2k to maybe $5k when a deal goes through. IF that EGL could be sent in and converted to a GIA without reducing the grade, don’t you think whoever owns it would do it? That’s quadrupling their profit in exchange for shipping it to California for a month and paying a few hundred dollars to GIA.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 
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I suppose it is really pretty easy to grasp with 3.5 cts.

it just gets hard for me to imagine when I think about the .5-1.5ct range. Where mondera has 10,000 diamonds listed on their site coming from all over the place I assume. and that is just one listing from a company that I assume has its act together.

What about all of the thousands of smaller local shops. How many tens of thousands of diamonds are exchanging hands, getting certified and and being sold of thousands a day between this store in Arizona or that store Massachusetts or what have you. Then amongst sooo many stones you are talking about such small differences as in the difference between G and H or VS2 and SI1--where sometimes even professionals might not agree--and where it takes a lot of time, patience, and even master stones which alot of people probably don't have. So when I really break it down and imagine the type of resources and time it would take to evaluate all of those diamonds individually with proper equipment and with enough properly trained personal I have a real hard time imagining that the industry is THAT thorough and well maintained.

I am sure they could be, and I will trust you that they pretty much are. Its just hard for me to imagine. Either way I would love to follow a number average diamonds around from start to finish.

But, in the 3.6ct range for 43k, I am totally convinced that there is no reason to risk EGL-Turkey
 

Richard Sherwood

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Date: 10/14/2007 5:50:02 PM
Author: WorkingHardforSmallRewards

If it is really such a thorough and sound process, and richard had the right of it at the beginning (as no doubt he does) then it sounds like buying a diamond with an EGL report is a pretty bad idea
Depends on the EGL lab. Some are much better than others. The US and Canada labs are much more consistent and predictable. The European labs aren''t half bad, while the Middle Eastern labs are questionable. There''s other EGL labs that the jury''s still out on, such as EGL-India, although I would suspect they are pretty conscientious in their grading.
 

MWG

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530
If you are spending this kind of money......why are you trying to buy something that is UNCERTAIN?

Pick a reputable PS vendor and be done with it.

This way you buy with confidence that you are getting what you pay for and not HOPING for a great diamond, but GETTING A GREAT DIAMOND!!!

Just my 2 cents
MWG
 

Regular Guy

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Sorry,

I've only skimmed this...and Working's point is still valid for the substance of this discussion...but on the topic generally of tagging diamonds...



Date: 10/14/2007 5:50:02 PM
Author: WorkingHardforSmallRewards
hum, somebody needs to do some diamond tag researching:) like on penguins. It sounds like it would be a fun experience.

If it is really such a thorough and sound process, and richard had the right of it at the beginning (as no doubt he does) then it sounds like buying a diamond with an EGL report is a pretty bad idea
and also including EGL...you should see the study done here a few years ago (Grading Survey above under Tools), which did just that.

The sample could have been bigger...and on point...it only included EGL USA. But the concept has come forward.
 

patricia

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Oct 13, 2007
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You are right. It was independently appraised, and I have the appraisal, but I did not take it down myself and the certs match up so it makes me a little skeptical. I am going to pass and only will I consider the GIA certed stones.

This has been a wonderful forum for me to make my decision. Basically I believe I knew all along this might be a disaster.

Thank you
Patricia
 

denverappraiser

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The general premise is correct that since EGL and some other brands sell at a discount because of the paperwork then a correctly graded EGL (or any other lab that is discounted in the market) would produce more diamond for the buck than one graded by GIA or AGS. There are deals to be had in this ‘loophole’ but they aren’t easy to find, they aren’t readily apparent without inspecting the stone and they generally don’t happen with expensive goods.

If we accept the premise that what you’re looking for is an error on the part of the cutters and dealers that slips through the proverbial cracks, it’s perhaps helpful to consider when those errors are most likely to happen. With smaller stones, say under 0.75cts., it pays the cutters to simply ship all stones to the same lab and to establish a long term relationship with that lab. Sometimes the lab can even set up shop right on the factory floor. The cost of grading is a significant percentage of the cost of the stone but it’s just that, a cost. You can bet that they are tracking the overall performance of the production and this includes everything from the cutters to the banking expenses to the lab as well as the salability of the various stones. It’s just good business. If they feel they can gain by switching labs either because a different brand sells through at higher net prices, sells though faster, or gets them into the right stores, they will do it in a heartbeat. They are watching the big picture more intensely than each stone and errors can slip in as long as it doesn’t form a pattern. That’s why you see advertising for gem labs in consumer venues like airplane videos, bridal and business magazines and even on TV. They want to build their brand.

Somebody bought each ‘virtual’ stone listed here and they decided it was worth their money to put it into inventory and try and sell it. Every stone more than a few hundred dollars will be at least briefly inspected individually. The more the money that’s involved, the more intensive this inspection gets. They may just pass through the stone with a markup because it’s not worth the fees and shipping costs to get them re-papered but with each and every stone they think about it. The dealers who aren’t themselves experts quickly find themselves buying up the leftovers from those who are and the people who are successful in this business are some very savvy folks. I’m not saying that they agree with the paperwork that accompanies each stone they sell, I’m saying that they know the difference and that they DO have options.

It’s worth noting that this is largely happening in the US and other consumer markets. A US dealer who decides that he could gain by choosing a different lab is unlikely to decide to ship a stone to Turkey to do it. It arrived with Turkish paper and they needed to decide to sell it as is, send it to EGL-USA, IGI, GIA, AGS or wherever for an ‘upgrade’ or just sell it without paperwork at all. This process has a terrible affect on the lab’s reputation. If they get it right on an important stone (meaning they report things the same as GIA), the stone goes off to GIA and their report goes into the shredder, never to be seen again. If they get it way wrong (meaning they miss by 3, 4 or even more grades) it will be presented to consumers as a ‘certified diamond’ and after it’s purchased will be treasured forever in a safety deposit box until the customer or their heirs finally figures out what happened. Even if they are accurate with 75% of the stones they examine, it’s those other 25% that are going to build their reputation and their reputation is what drives their success or failure. It’s a vicious cycle.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Jewelry Appraisals in Denver
 
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