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How much of a discount would you expect for an uncerted stone?

pearaffair

Ideal_Rock
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Although, I wonder how you’d know how much of a “discount” you got if the diamond wasn’t graded...

Something I’ve been thinking about.
 

elrohwen

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I've wondered this too. Both pairs of my OEC studs are not certified, which doesn't bother me. You can't really measure ideal cut in an OEC without seeing it, and if the color is not exactly as stated I don't care as long as I like it. But I also hope that I saved some money and paid a reasonable price since they aren't certed.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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You don’t know exactly what you’re getting so there is no accurate way to determine if you’re getting a fair price.

GIA or AGS is the best way to determine the fairness of the price. Next best is a good trustworthy appraiser.
 

LisaRN

Ideal_Rock
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My experience was that it is very hard to sell an uncerted OEC. I got less than half of retail when I sold a 1.08 I/VS1 EOC ring to a jeweler. He sent it to GIA which is how I know the specs. Buying an OEC without a cert is a risk but if you do, realize that with rare exception there is not much competition for the sale.
 

pearaffair

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My experience was that it is very hard to sell an uncerted OEC. I got less than half of retail when I sold a 1.08 I/VS1 EOC ring to a jeweler. He sent it to GIA which is how I know the specs. Buying an OEC without a cert is a risk but if you do, realize that with rare exception there is not much competition for the sale.
Good point!
 

elrohwen

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Both of my earring purchases were pretty cheap which is why I was ok going uncerted, also because if there was a discount (even just the price of the getting the cert) it was a decent percentage of the sale. And I had no intention of selling them again.

If I were buying something more expensive, especially a stone for an ering, I would want a GIA cert. And I wouldn't buy a modern stone without a cert I don't think
 

Rockdiamond

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Interesting question!
As it stands, pretty much all diamond pricing on stones over about .75cts is based on the GIA grade.
So let’s say the stone has no GIA.
My experience is that it’s not possible to predict the GIA grade anymore than about 75% of the time........and that’s for an expert grader.
I’ve been grading diamonds since 1976.......if that qualifies me:)
When a dealer/cutter approaches me with a valuable stone sans GIA I assume that the stone was sent to GIA and the cutter disagreed. For example, they thought it was I color, GIA gave it J.

In such cases I offer the price of an L.
Many other dealer/buyers might even be more tough.
So in general, valuable stones are virtually never offered without the GIA.
I’m using the word “ valuable” to represent colorless stones that are above about K color. Stones that fall below L all the way down to about Z are basically in the same category.
I would also use the “v” word to describe any stone with pink, blue, green, orange.
In general- spending a lot of money on a stone without a GIA report is a bad idea for consumers because you’ll have no idea of the discount
 

denverappraiser

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My experience was that it is very hard to sell an uncerted OEC. I got less than half of retail when I sold a 1.08 I/VS1 EOC ring to a jeweler. He sent it to GIA which is how I know the specs. Buying an OEC without a cert is a risk but if you do, realize that with rare exception there is not much competition for the sale.
Most consumers get less than half of retail when they sell to a jeweler even WITH lab grading. You did pretty well.

In any case, the key issue here is a discount from what? What the seller told you the grade was? That has as much or more to do with the seller than the stone.
 

AllAboardTheBlingTrain

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I haven’t bought an uncerted stone of any significant size before, but in principle I’m not completely opposed to it depending on seller and discount.

If it’s a jeweler who is honest and can estimate color/clarity reasonably accurately, I think I’d be okay with an uncerted stone which is priced at a color/clarity discount (if estimated H-I VS, then priced at certed J-K SI levels). I’d also be more comfortable with many small stones (like in a tennis bracelet) or with a fancy shape rather than a round brilliant.

edit: actually thinking about it again, I don’t think I’d be comfortable with an uncerted larger stone no matter what. Even if it’s an IGI cert not a GIA one, I think I’d need there to be a cert. Smaller stones are fine though (in the <0.3-0.4 range) from a trusted jeweler, to me.
 

MRBXXXFVVS1

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I would look at comps and deduct 1-2 grades for an uncertified diamond.

I would not buy a larger or higher value diamond without certification. If it's not worth certifying, it's not worth buying to me.
 

MRBXXXFVVS1

Brilliant_Rock
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Hahaha I hope not! ;-)

but I sometimes see uncerted stones and it has me wondering at what point the gamble might be worth it.
I just always wonder, why it wasn't worth it to the seller to get it certified? The cost is relatively low... Would definitely be looking for a good return policy in case!
 

RosieR

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When buying an old cut in the uk, it is really difficult to find GIAcertificated diamonds. The only place I could find them was at Hancocks diamonds, (https://www.hancocks-london.com ) and with them being in Mayfair, there is a serious premium! There are many small pawn brokers and dealers who have old cuts, mostly without certs. Many if not most are not willing to incur the cost of sending stones to the USA. I managed to find an old cut from a pawnbroker who often gets access to large old cuts. This is how I managed to get a good deal. I did get certification by anchor certificate https://theassayoffice.com/certificating_diamond_acexpert who use GIA master stones to grade and are linked with the assay office. Using this certificate I then looked at comps from jewels by Grace. Given the fact I didn’t have to incur 20% import/taxes getting the stone into the uk and lack of GIA and being able to haggle, I managed to save a little over 32% on a like for like stone.
I however would not play this game with a modern cut, as with old cuts you need to judge with your eyes.
 

Rockdiamond

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I just always wonder, why it wasn't worth it to the seller to get it certified?
Option 1- the seller is unfamiliar with the diamond business.
Option 2- the seller understands the business but they are willing to concede any potential profit an accurately graded stone’s price would bring.
Option 3- the seller is hiding something.
Am I missing an option?


ETA- Rosie brings up a scenario that makes sense as well. But even then- of the grade is claimed to be a higher color clarity I’d still be skeptical
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
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Uncertified Diamond?
It is not just matter of missing details on color, clarity and cut grades and proportions..
An uncertfied diamond can be color/clarity enhanced or lab-created. It may have durability issues. In the worst case, it may not be a diamond.
As for how much discount, it depends on who is selling the uncert diamond.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Uncertified Diamond?
It is not just matter of missing details on color, clarity and cut grades and proportions..
An uncertfied diamond can be color/clarity enhanced or lab-created. It may have durability issues. In the worst case, it may not be a diamond.
As for how much discount, it depends on who is selling the uncert diamond.
and who is buying
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
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And it is just NO for fancy color diamonds. The GIA report is a must.
 

ForteKitty

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I think it depends on how good you are at reading the diamond photos, and how cheap it is. I've taken SO many risks collecting my old cuts. 99% of them didn't have GIA or even an appraisal, and I've lucked out on all of them because my photo assessment have been spot on with GIA's eventual assessment. Sent in over 50 diamonds in the last 10 years and I have not been one grade off yet. Best score was a 1.13ct yellow antique moval purchased based on one crap photo, and I knew it wasn't irradiated by the look of it. GIA graded it Natural Fancy Intense Yellow, lol. Paid like 20% what it would cost retail, score! So it really depends on how knowledgeable and how risky you are.
 

oldminer

Ideal_Rock
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As an expert grader, a diamond without a GIA report is valued at what I believe it will safely grade at GIA less the cost of the GIA paperwork and shipping, etc. Maybe the diamond needs a bit of repair or some cut improvement. Those costs are also subtracted. Then, because GIA is not totally predictable one might further discount the color or clarity, or both, a grade below what we believe the GIA might give. Just to be sure. All of these things will often lead to a rather substantial discount from the end result. The discount can come from many factors, not just a color or clarity debate.

Another issue is the pressing need for money. Many sellers are highly motivated to take a short profit and get immediate payment. That's the best pressure of all when you are the buyer and not the seller.

You can't generalize about any specific set of standard discounts which apply because circumstances are far from constant. Every deal is on its own. Looking for commonality in understanding the market with precision is not really possible. You can look at trends and overall discounting, but in the trenches, every deal and every diamond has some unique issues which make it a far more entertaining business, but hard to explain in black and white.
 

nala

Ideal_Rock
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I think it depends on how good you are at reading the diamond photos, and how cheap it is. I've taken SO many risks collecting my old cuts. 99% of them didn't have GIA or even an appraisal, and I've lucked out on all of them because my photo assessment have been spot on with GIA's eventual assessment. Sent in over 50 diamonds in the last 10 years and I have not been one grade off yet. Best score was a 1.13ct yellow antique moval purchased based on one crap photo, and I knew it wasn't irradiated by the look of it. GIA graded it Natural Fancy Intense Yellow, lol. Paid like 20% what it would cost retail, score! So it really depends on how knowledgeable and how risky you are.
You are my hero.
 

ls430FL

Rough_Rock
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May 28, 2020
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I own both certified stone and uncertified stones. I think if you are buying an uncertified stone the most important thing to do is either bring a friend or two that are very good at grading or take the stone to two different very well respected GIA certified jewlers and get two separate appraisals and see how far apart they are on grading. My largest stone that is not certified I took two people with me who know more than me and I also took it to two jewelers and had each of them grade it. The two jewelers came up with the same grade as the seller did without having prior knowledge of the grade. I got an excellent deal because it was not certified and felt great. Other uncertified stones that I have have been in my family for several generations. Who knows if they were ever certified but I have nothing on them.
 
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