Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

How to make sure they don''t switch my diamond!??

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

karendiben

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2002
Messages
7
My fiance bought me a beautiful 2 carat diamond and had it mounted in a very simple setting. The stone he bought was not plotted and not laser-inscribed. I know he should have gotten this done beforehand, but now I am very VERY worried that when the stone is placed into the real setting, which I am getting at the same store where he purchased the diamond, that they will switch it on me! We have all the data on size, clarity, etc. but there is no way to be SURE... And I doubt they will let me watch the stone as it is being set...

I would like to get the stone plotted now, but can they do that without taking it out of the setting? (if they take it out of the setting, how do I know they're plotting my original diamond? they'll probably take it in the back to clean it first...) Also, when it's in the new setting, will I be able to examine it to see if it has the same plotting, or does it have to be taken out AGAIN for that? (then you run into the same problem all over again when they re-set it)

Please help, I am so worried about this!

-Karen:errrr:
 

karendiben

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2002
Messages
7
One thing I also wanted to ask about-- I have heard about Gemprint but I am not sure if this will be a good way to go in this situation. Can the stone still be verified if it is in the setting? (say I have it gemprinted, get the set stone back, and want it verified without taking it out AGAIN?)

Is this fool-proof? Or just another way for appraisers to make more money?

Please help me if you can, we plan to look for a setting very soon and I am almost to the point where I don't want to have it set at all!!! I know the setting it's in right now isn't the most sturdy one, but I am just so nervous... If anyone has any suggestions, please respond!

Thank you,
Karen


----------------
On 10/22/2002 11:27:39 AM

My fiance bought me a beautiful 2 carat diamond and had it mounted in a very simple setting. The stone he bought was not plotted and not laser-inscribed. I know he should have gotten this done beforehand, but now I am very VERY worried that when the stone is placed into the real setting, which I am getting at the same store where he purchased the diamond, that they will switch it on me! We have all the data on size, clarity, etc. but there is no way to be SURE... And I doubt they will let me watch the stone as it is being set...

I would like to get the stone plotted now, but can they do that without taking it out of the setting? (if they take it out of the setting, how do I know they're plotting my original diamond? they'll probably take it in the back to clean it first...) Also, when it's in the new setting, will I be able to examine it to see if it has the same plotting, or does it have to be taken out AGAIN for that? (then you run into the same problem all over again when they re-set it)

Please help, I am so worried about this!

-Karen:errrr:
----------------
 

Greentree

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 24, 2002
Messages
96
The buying and selling of diamonds among old-line, established, diamond merchants is founded on trust and not on gem prints and laser inscriptions, etc. Above all else, each values his integrity and a reputation which has been built up over many, many years. They will not risk ruining their reputation by switching a measly two carat diamond. There's not enough to be gained. It isn't worth it.

Find an old, well established independent jeweler or appraiser in your area and let them handle it. They've worked with expensive gems for years and years. The old switcheroo is very unlikely.
 

Tarams

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Messages
228
Hi Karen,

I too had the same worries with my stone. But relax, there is hope!

I was able to watch my diamond as it was being reset. Most jewelery stores have only salespeople, not a gem setter on hand. But they do get them in every so often for special events though (like a re-setting event). You can call, find out when someone will be there to do this for you, and ask if you will be able to watch, and make an appointment. (It's actually interesting to watch!)

I hope this helps!
Tara:twirl:
 

Rook

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
294
If you are going to have the diamond removed from the setting it is in, it may not be a bad idea to get either an independant appraisal, or have it certified. I am sure the jeweler you are dealing with can help you get it certified by GIA or whoever. Then have it reset into your new setting. If you are worried about someone switching the diamond then get a 10x loop and examine your diamond for flaws. Learn the special charicteristics of your diamond. Then when ever you take it somewhere inspect it yourself so you will know that it is your's.

From what I have heard, with gemprint, even if a diamond is cut down to a smaller size or changed, the gemprint will remain the same. But this only works if you plan on getting a new gemprint each time the diamond leaves your site. An inscription can help, but a really sneeky jeweler could always inscribe your inscription on to another stone and switch them, then polish the inscription off of yours. Maybe not likely but possible.

I think the best idea is just to know your diamond.
 

Tarams

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Messages
228
Karen,

Rook is right. You do need to know the characteristics fo your own stone. I forgot to mention that I have 1 specific flaw that can only be seen from the underside of my stone which I always look for! (And even though I watched my stone being set, I still looked for that flaw!)

Good advice, Rook!
 

karendiben

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2002
Messages
7
I did look at it under magnification and can't see a darn thing! Either the prongs are hiding the inclusions or they're really tiny. Anyway, even if I knew my diamond very well, without having it plotted and compared, why should they believe me if I say it doesn't look like the diamond I gave them? It seems like my word against theirs.

I talked to someone from the jewelry store (Shane Co. Cupertino, CA)today and they said they would need to stone for up to 5 days to set it. Also, they were like "We pride ourselves on honesty and integrity"... Hmm... that's nice, but it doesn't substitute for some proof that it's the same stone!:))
 

Rook

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
294
Have the store give you an onsite appraisal of what they think the diamond is, and make sure you agree, or have them explain why. Then have them send it to GIA or Dave Atlas. The only downside is your beautiful ring will not be on your finger for up to a couple of weeks, but that may be the price you need to pay for the ease of mind security you are looking for.
 

karendiben

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2002
Messages
7
If I do send it off and get it GIA appraised and plotted, do you think I'll still be able to use this info to identify it when I get the set stone back? Or will they have to take it out again to re-plot it and see if it matches up? (that's such a catch-22)

Thanks for all of your replies, I am feeling a tiny bit better about this :))

Also (although I highly doubt this), if there aren't enough/big enough inclusions to use to identify the stone, can they identify it by its measurements and all that? I just don't seem to be able to see anything with the 10x. I'm sure there must be a couple under the prongs (it's a 6-prong tiffany setting) but I'd just like something more concrete than a very faint dot somewhere :))
 

Rook

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
294
How good at using a loop are you? I know I've used one quite a bit, but I am still not great. Maybe you could have a jeweler you trust show you using a loop where the inclusions are. Or use a 30x loop or a microscope at the jeweler's. Once you have a GIA you shouldn't need to remove it to identify it. There is enough info on the report that should identify it. You just need to be able to visually know it is your diamond.

Does it have any fluorescence? That is another identifying characteristic, along with the color, overall shape, any inclusions or surface blemishes.
 

karendiben

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2002
Messages
7
Yeah, you're right, I'm probably not very good at using one :))

Incidentally, can proportions and all of those measurements they take be taken again after the stone is set, or does it have to be loose?
 

Rook

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
294
I'm no expert, but unless you have it in some obtrusive setting I don't see why you can't measure it again in the setting. But, if you think you are dealing with a crook are you going to be satisfied by what he says? You can look over how big the diamond is inrelation to your hand and the ring itself to get an idea of its size. Also look at the depth, crown height, pav. depht. girdle thickness(all the way around), cutlet, size of the table, placement of the table and cutlet compared to the center of the stone,(they are usually just of center), symmetry, polish, facet placement.

There really are a lot of definning characteristics in a diamond. It just takes a good memory and lots of time looking at the diamond (which is fun anyway). You can actually do this without a GIA, but the GIA report may give you some peace of mind. Keep in mind the GIA charges too!
 

karendiben

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2002
Messages
7
I looked it up and apparently it's not so easy to find inclusions with a 10X on a VVS stone, but this is a VSI... shouldn't I still be able to see some?
 

Rook

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
294
Typically a VS1 has inclusions that are easily identifiable to a trained eye using a 10x loop. But if it is already set in a ring, and you are not sure where the inclusions are, and you said you were not quite a trained eye, then that may explain why you do not see the inclusions. Once someone who is trained points them out to you, you should be able to spot them.
 

karendiben

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 22, 2002
Messages
7
Thank you all so much, I feel much better now. I'm going to go to the jeweler where we got the stone and at the very least have it plotted before I leave the stone with them for setting. I guess even if I can't see the inclusions, if they switched it to a lower quality stone, I would probably see more inclusions and know something was wrong. Overall, I guess I'm being rather cynical, but I feel like this is our first joint "investment" and I want to protect it at all costs!! Thanks for all the information!:wavey:
 

k5koy

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 13, 2005
Messages
1
I see this a lot in my store. I am a master jeweler for 25 years in Texas and over the years I have had little old ladies come in worried about if I am going to swap out thier 10 point diamonds. For decades I simply tried to calm them down by explaining that a jewelry business takes years to build and gain trust in a community, but it only takes 1 incident to crumble it to the ground. My business is very good. I make a 6 figure income. Why would I jeoprodize that for a 10 point diamond? Why would I jeoprodize it for a 5 carat diamond?
I dont do that any more. I just send em packing. Why should I be accused of being a thief? I got plenty of customers that trust me to put up with that kind of nonsense! Besides, it has been my experience that someone who cant trust you, cant be trusted.
In the 30 years I have been in this business, I have never seen an actual case where someone has switched out a stone. I have seen plenty of cases where idiots brought in a rind for sizing that had hand lotion, mud, paint, etc. caked on the back of diamonds, and after a good cleaning/polishing, stupid people think you switched it out because it didnt look the same! This really does happen!
So they take it somewhere else to see if they have been cheated only to find out it is a quality stone afterall.
My point is, dont be so paranoid! Find someone you trust and use them. And not the big chain stores. Find an independant Jeweler in your area. These guys have to work twice as hard to compete in a corporate market, and will offer you better service and usually at a lower price.
Koy
 

windowshopper

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
2,023
i would hope you have a little more confidence in the jeweler you have purchased from than what you are displaying. Are they an established business? good reputation? known in the community? if so--the chance your diamond will be switched is nil.

edit: i myself have purchased three large diamonds in the past ten years and i wouldnt spend that kind of money with someone I thought was going to cheat me
 

pearcrazy

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2004
Messages
1,438
Interesting to see this thread pulled up again after more than 2 years. My aunt claims she had her diamond switched at a Service Merchandise store when she went in to have the setting changed. Her diamond had a great cut but a rather large visible inclusion than mysteriously changed positions after the service and the diamond didn't have the same sparkle. They of course denied it but she is convinced. It all goes to finding a jeweler that you can trust.
 

deny

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
61
Hi all. I recently had my 1.5 (center) three stone changed along with my anniversary band to shadow it. I had the two .40 sides in my three stone changed to sapphires. I will have to learn how to take pictures and post it.

Anyway, before I left the jeweler''s store he put my center diamond under his scope and we both looked at it and he drew on a paper each inclusion. They were small, but I could definately see them under the scope. When I picked the ring up three weeks later, we went over the ring again. I had my diagram he gave me and then I gave it back to him and signed for my ring. I was happy to have it done that way.
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
The real issue here, is the proof of switching.

I will tell you that it is uncommon that a diamond is actually switched. Those of you who don''t think it does happen are being foolish.

It may not be the jewelry store that switches your diamond, it may be an employee of that store. So you could go to a store that has a fine reputation, and still become a victim.

One bad apple spoils the bunch.Very few jewelers would actually switch someone''s property.

But the problem is that if you suspect this happened to you, you have the burden of proof. If you can''t positive have a basis of proof, then you''re stuck.

This level of proof is very high. Generally the complaint alledging the switch is made in criminal court, since most consumers don''t want to bear the expense of it. In civil court, the level of proof is much lower, but in criminal court the evidence is very high, since the accused will be looking at jail time. Criminal courts require evidence which is "beyond the shadow a doubt".

There are several ways this proof can be established. One, is laser inscribing. Most places that offer this can inscribe the stone while it is set. It is an easy identification for the consumer. They simply have the jeweler who is taking possesion of the item to write on the take in receipt that it is inscribed. The other part of this is positive identification. Because manufacturers of the inscribing machines now sell them to anyone, a different stone can be inscribed with the same number that appeared on the original stone. But if your diamond has a logo as part of the inscription, it is difficult, if not impossible to duplicate the inscription. Samples of the inscriptions would be the GIA logo, the Superb Cert logo, the ACutAbove logo ( on whiteflash diamonds) or othere where the inscription has a "graphic" of the brand name, rather than block print. If your stone just has a "generic" number or word inscribed it may be duplicated. Another important consideration is that lab reports all have disclaimers that the plots are approximate. Thus relying on this may not be suffiecient proof that your diamond has been switched. In the postings here, there are opinions that only take clarity into consideration... Let''s say you have a stone that has very few inclusions that are hard to see even with a loupe. A cubic zirconia to a novice may take the same clariity appearance. In the switch cases that have occured of expensive stones, the switcher many times puts in a imitation stone such as CZ.

Also inscriptions can easily be removed.


The Gemprint System. Gemprinting your stone, is a very good way of proving it is the same stone. It can also prove a stone was misrepresented. In a prior case of mine in Philadelphia, a stone was represented ( without a lab report) as a VVS-1 and high color. At the time of purchase the seller provided a Gemprint to the consumer. Upon inspection of the stone later on, when brought to me, my results were considerably lower. When the consumer complained about this, the original seller claimed that the consumer switched the stone. Basically he shot himself in the foot. The stone was re-gemprinted and compared with the original Gemprint, and it was proof that the stone''s new gemprint matched the original one provided by the seller. In fact at the time I did not have a Gemprint machine, and Dave Atlas did. He actually performed the Gemprint to prove the diamond was indeed the same one sold, and that the seller had grossly misrepresented the stone. For those who have been in the Phila area, you might even remember this case, as it was on TV with Herb Denenberg, during the time of the Perlstein case.

The only "bad" thing about the Gemprint system, is the fact that the consumer has to have the stone re-imaged again at a Gemprint dealer. But this is a minor inconvenience.

Gemprint company also provides support in these cases too. It is inexpensive to have done, and many stones have been gemprinted. Insurance company also offer a discount on thier premiums when a stone has been Gemprinted.They also offer a toll free number and if you sell your stone, you can transfer the Gemprint registration to the new buyer. They will even provide expert testimony at no charge to assist you should you have a problem. Gemprinting prices are very affordable, generally around $50-60 per carat, a small price to pay for the protection, peace of mind. Plus with the insurance premiums reduced, over time your reimbursed in full for the service.

Hope this informs and helps consumers out there. If you have any questions, ask me.

Rockdoc
 

solange

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Messages
871
There was a TV story a few years ago about a jeweler who had been in business many years. He had been switching diamonds for zircons.

One customer got suspicious because her ring did not look the same and she took it to an appraiser who told her that she no longer had a diamond. A news team visited him with the stone and the appraisal and of course he said that this was what she had brought in.

Then some other customers who had had diamonds set or repairs done by him came forward and it turned out that several of them had zircons as well.

I also was told by a jeweler in the Diamond District that there was a vendor who had gotten caught switching stones with very similar looking but less valuable stones. However, there are a few bad apples in every business and I doubt that this is a very common practice now that so much information about a particular stone is available. But I guess you have to exercise caution. However, if you know and trust your jeweler, it is doubtful that he would do this.
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
Like RockDoc says, it is uncommon, but it does happen (diamond switching).

I''ve been called in on several "switching" cases. PearCrazy, one of those involved a diamond setter who formerly worked at a Service Merchandise store.

I don''t think customers should be tossed out the door for not blindly trusting a jeweler they hardly know. That would be kind of naive, wouldn''t it?

Educating the consumer is the classy way to go. Show them how to identify their diamond, and they''ll trust you from there on out.
 

windowshopper

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 10, 2004
Messages
2,023
Date: 2/13/2005 5:35:53 PM
Author: Richard Sherwood
Like RockDoc says, it is uncommon, but it does happen (diamond switching).

I''ve been called in on several ''switching'' cases. PearCrazy, one of those involved a diamond setter who formerly worked at a Service Merchandise store.

I don''t think customers should be tossed out the door for not blindly trusting a jeweler they hardly know. That would be kind of naive, wouldn''t it?

Educating the consumer is the classy way to go. Show them how to identify their diamond, and they''ll trust you from there on out.
i didnt get the impression she had been tossed out the door --i got the impression she left it there and all of sudden had a panic attack about it. perhaps if she''ed expressed here conccern they would have risen to the occasion
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
Windowshopper, I was referring to K5Koy''s comment:

Date: 2/13/2005 10:23:59 AM
Author: k5koy

I dont do that any more. I just send em packing. Why should I be accused of being a thief? I got plenty of customers that trust me to put up with that kind of nonsense! Besides, it has been my experience that someone who cant trust you, cant be trusted.

In the 30 years I have been in this business, I have never seen an actual case where someone has switched out a stone. I have seen plenty of cases where idiots brought in a rind for sizing that had hand lotion, mud, paint, etc. caked on the back of diamonds, and after a good cleaning/polishing, stupid people think you switched it out because it didnt look the same! This really does happen!


Koy
 
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!
    Wanderlust Woes
    Wanderlust Woes
    Radiant Ruby Cluster Ring
    Radiant Ruby Cluster Ring
    Recutting And Resetting A Heirloom
    Recutting And Resetting A Heirloom

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top