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DanieBurger

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I''ve heard that people don''t like the grading standards of the IGI...is there a reasoning or is it just a personal thing from those people?
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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The same people say the same things about EGL USA.

Check out the grading survey - pinned thread at the top of the page.

We would have included IGI in the survey - but not many IGI stones are listed on the web and since we compared pricing too - we could not do them.
 

oldminer

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IGI is probably larger in volume than GIA. In other words, it is a major lab with major impact. Generally the grading is less well respected by members of the trade for being a bit on the more liberal side. Truthfully, no lab can't ever afford to be more strict than GIA or AGS. If that was the case they would find few customers who would accept their grading.


By being perceived as reasonalbe or a little bit more liberal is not a terrific problem. Prices are nearly always adjusted according to actual quality and the value added by the credibility of the cert.




In other words, consumers get reasonable values using any credible lab's report as prices generally represent the diamond you are receiving. Sometimes the consumer gets a better deal with a secondary level report. Sometimes a person can fool themselves by believing everything they read as being true when it might not be. In the end, it all balances out pretty well with little harm being done. There is a little slop in the present system that will eventually be diminished with new technology, but diamonds resist totally objective grading, so don't believe any lab is 100% perfect.
 

DanieBurger

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That really makes a lot of sense. When I received my diamond it came with an IGI appraisal report AND a certificate. The appraised value of my diamond is $14,750 and we only paid $6400. Does the GIA appraise higher or lower than the IGI?
 

Jennifer5973

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I wouldn't disregard an IGI stone if I liked it but I would go to an independent appraiser for an analysis. Then again, you should do this with any stone.
21.gif
 

mdx

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Nice reply Dave
May I quote a very interesting recent incident regarding GIA color grading?

We sold a GIA certified diamond to a client with color grading of D and also strong Blue fluorescence.

The client presented the diamond to a local appraiser who stated, “ I cannot value this diamond as a D as it’s an E in my opinion”. The appraiser correctly stated in the appraisal that strong blue fluorescence does make color grading difficult.

So the question is, can an appraiser actually challenge a GIA certificate when the final judgment on a GIA color call is the GIA itself?

One would assume that the only chance you could have of succeeding would be to grade against a GIA certified 1st generation master set or at least a 2nd generation in exactly the same lab conditions, claiming a possible mistake. If the GIA dug its heals in on their call, the relationship between the vendor and the appraiser could become a nightmare. Very Very uncomfortable indeed.

What’s interesting is not whether the appraiser is right or wrong, but the technical justification of the call against any certificate.

Any thoughts.

Johan
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Interesting Johan.

1. No labs rely on color grading digital devices - When I did the tour of AGS Lab 2 years ago - they had a Gran colorimeter sitting in the corner. I asked about it - they use it in disputed internal calls, but with a weather eye to fluoro.
So grading is done by humans and even GIA humans will find border line stones.

2. As you can see on Marty Haske's website, GIA apparently now have some UV light in the color grading lamps they use - it is possible a strong blue stone will get a higher grade in such a case.

3. GIA (I believe) claim there is some UV light in almost all viewing environ's, so they should grade in some UV. This is a strong case.

3. Therefore should we all, or should we not, grade with the same lamps?

4. Personally I do not believe in using other than the cheapest daylight fluoro tubes from any hardware store. I have tested many and these seem to enable easier differentiation between the subtle grades we are interested in. High color temp tubes seem to make every thing look closer to the same.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Just for the record, here are the results from 2 recent survey's of diamond grading labs through put:
First one:
-GIA certifies 45 % of world's certified diamonds,
-IGI 33% and
-HRD 10 %,
-12%remaining are other labs.

A few months ago, an Israely article studied the same and came out with

-GIA 29%
-IGI 33%
-HRD 10%
- 27%remaining are other labs.

IGI participates in DTC's pilot program 'Forevermark' which suggests there is some high level quality-recognition.

Just think back to the Lab survey that Leonid, Dave and I did. A lab may grade less or more strictly, but they should also do a lot of hard work and have a passion for smooth delivery turnaround combined with a constant worry for consistency both within a lab and withing all the various branches of the labs in sometimes different countries.

The labs we are discussing I think do that extremely well, given the enormous number of difficult subjective tasks they perform.

The appraisl business is a different task; it must support high retail asking prices, just as the Rap list supports high wholesale priceing.
 

adamasgem

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----------------
On 9/24/2004 8:02:06 PM Garry H (Cut Nut) wrote:

Interesting Johan.

2. As you can see on Marty Haske's website, GIA apparently now have some UV light in the color grading lamps they use - it is possible a strong blue stone will get a higher grade in such a case.
The change in grade will depend on the bulb and the grading technique

3. GIA (I believe) claim there is some UV light in almost all viewing environ's, so they should grade in some UV. This is a strong case.

It is a case that turns around 50 years of grading standards, makes the DeBeers stockpile more valuable, and foster's what I think is a consumer deception. It only benefits certain elements of the trade. Your Chevy is now a Cadillac, do you understand, and would you accept that.

3. Therefore should we all, or should we not, grade with the same lamps?
My opinion is well documented.

4. Personally I do not believe in using other than the cheapest daylight fluoro tubes from any hardware store. I have tested many and these seem to enable easier differentiation between the subtle grades we are interested in.

Remind me not to buy a stone you have graded
1.gif


High color temp tubes seem to make every thing look closer to the same.------

???? Comeon Gary I disagree with you here. Higher color temperature bulbs put more energy below 500nm where the relative absorption features distinquish between diamonds. Lower color diamonds absorb more in the blue. If you have no energy in the blue green (below 500nm), i.e. grade with a yellow light, then I believe that you can't see any differentiation between stones.

----------
 

adamasgem

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On 9/24/2004 9:22:38 PM Garry H (Cut Nut) wrote:


The appraisl business is a different task; it must support high retail asking prices, just as the Rap list supports high wholesale priceing.

The appraisal business should support facts of the marketplace, not inflated ficticious "retail values". It is not that difficult to look at reality, although some in the business make a very good living pandering to the trade and deceiving the overly gullible consumer.
----------------
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Before you spout theory Marty, go buy a few different tubes and check ot the differences in practice.
You may have heard of the diffference between looking and "looking good".

Re 50 years - before that we had 50 years where fluoro diamonds were more highly prized. I think that was a wrnog decision - they hit the blue white problem with a sledge hammer.

There are many people who really know diamonds who like a diamond to be medium to strong blue fluoro.
 

adamasgem

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On 9/25/2004 3:50:30 PM Garry H (Cut Nut) wrote:

Before you spout theory Marty, go buy a few different tubes and check ot the differences in practice.

Well, At least I'm not spouting BS
1.gif
All D65 bulbs are not the same, period, I believe looked at a few more bulbs' spectra than you have


You may have heard of the diffference between looking and 'looking good'.
Yah, marketers, who are all sizzle and no steak

Re 50 years - before that we had 50 years where fluoro diamonds were more highly prized. I think that was a wrnog decision - they hit the blue white problem with a sledge hammer.

OK, so you support consumer deception?

There are many people who really know diamonds who like a diamond to be medium to strong blue fluoro.

Yah, spoken like a true merchant, because they know they can buy fluor stones at a discount because they are probably overgraded, and tell people they have a "true D", rather than telling them the truth that they have a "new D", and being ficticiously price competative, am I giving you a deal, bend over please.
----------------
 

Richard Sherwood

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-----------
So the question is, can an appraiser actually challenge a GIA
certificate when the final judgment on a GIA color call is the GIA
itself? (Johan @ MDX)
-----------

An appraiser is rendering his opinion as to what he believes the grade to be, just as GIA is doing the same.

Let's say for example you send a stone to AGS that was formerly graded by GIA. AGS doesn't bother to check and see how GIA graded it, but instead stands confident on their own opinion and grades it as they see it.

Independent labs and independent appraisers essentially operate in a "checks and balances" capacity in the diamond grading industry, just as the judicial and legislative systems of the US government operate in a "checks and balances" capacity in the legal system, each making sure the other doesn't run amuck.

If the GIA was the "final judgement" on the grading issued on their own reports (or others), then you would essentially have an unacceptable situation of totalitarian authority and dictatorial control.

A more democratic method which could be used if "final judgement" were required would be to have three recognized top laboratories grade a diamond, with an agreement of two or more establishing the "final" grade.
 

mdx

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----------------
On 9/25/2004 10:09:28 PM Richard Sherwood wrote:

-----------
So the question is, can an appraiser actually challenge a GIA
certificate when the final judgment on a GIA color call is the GIA
itself? (Johan @ MDX)
-----------

An appraiser is rendering his opinion as to what he believes the grade to be, just as GIA is doing the same.

Let's say for example you send a stone to AGS that was formerly graded by GIA. AGS doesn't bother to check and see how GIA graded it, but instead stands confident on their own opinion and grades it as they see it.

Independent labs and independent appraisers essentially operate in a 'checks and balances' capacity in the diamond grading industry, just as the judicial and legislative systems of the US government operate in a 'checks and balances' capacity in the legal system, each making sure the other doesn't run amuck.

If the GIA was the 'final judgement' on the grading issued on their own reports (or others), then you would essentially have an unacceptable situation of totalitarian authority and dictatorial control.

A more democratic method which could be used if 'final judgement' were required would be to have three recognized top laboratories grade a diamond, with an agreement of two or more establishing the 'final' grade.





----------------

Hi Richard
This is my question,
Can Appraisers put pen to paper and effectively say that a GIA certificate is incorrect and GIA has incorrectly graded a diamond for color using the GIA master stones and color grading methodologies as determined by the GIA rules.

While we all know mistakes do happen, should an Appraisers make such a statement even as a professional opinion if they do not use an exact clone of the grading conditions and a set of masters that exactly matches that of the Lab that graded the stone in the first instance. By grading conditions I mean the light box lamps, the grading room lighting, wall color and even the clothing color of the grader.

This may sound extreme but if an Appraiser chooses to challenge a Cert and cannot prove how he reaches a conclusion then can we as vendors and consumers accept the opinion over that of the GIA or any other lab.

The laboratories and the Appraisers are equally important to our industry but the lack of exact standards is a real nightmare.

Richard I suppose in the event of a serious dispute where legal action is contemplated your suggestion of submitting to three labs would possibly be the only real answer

Johan
 

adamasgem

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On 9/26/2004 5:31:54 AM mdx wrote:

----------------

The laboratories and the Appraisers are equally important to our industry but the lack of exact standards is a real nightmare.
Johan
----------------


Johan, The bigger problem is changing "standards" because of $$$$

See http://www.gis.net/~adamas/giafluor.html

 

Yupi

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Hello adamasgem,

I am impressed by what you've posted. I am not in the trade/field but as a layman, it seems that you know exactly what you're talking about and you have reasonable grouds for your arguement. Also, what you posted remains the few in this forum which are different from the rest of the GIA/AGS fan-club/others.

I have one question regarding this topic. What is your view on GIA and IGI-the two major labs?

Yupi
 

adamasgem

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On 9/26/2004 2:45:09 PM Yupi wrote:

Hello adamasgem,

I am impressed by what you've posted. I am not in the trade/field but as a layman, it seems that you know exactly what you're talking about and you have reasonable grouds for your arguement. Also, what you posted remains the few in this forum which are different from the rest of the GIA/AGS fan-club/others.

I have one question regarding this topic. What is your view on GIA and IGI-the two major labs?

Thanks for the compliment. As to strictness in grading standards, I believe AGS, GIA grading and then the other majors in that order. If a "lab" writes "values" for pre consumer purchase feel-good purposes, then I think those retailers who purchase them and those write those "sales tools" may be suspect as to their "independence" and due diligence.

Ask yourself why the consumer is always getting such a deal compared to the "values" stated on such paper. Am I (the retailer) going to sell you $10 bills for $5?

Thankfully, neither AGS nor GIA have or will venture into "valuations" like some of the "independent" labs whose "paper" is used to tell the consumer what a "great deal" they are getting. (Bend over consumer, in most cases)


Yupi ----------------
 

yowahking

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Thank you Marty for your tech insight. I was at the GIA cut grading seminar in HK, spent an evening with some of the GIA whizes, spent many hours with the leaders of the Isreali diamond industry, all to try to keep up with what is really going on. First to address a little more from the original question, IGI is questioned by most appraisers, retailers, and dealers because of the weak standards. Try to sell back an IGI stone to a dealer and see how they grade clarity and color, not to mention cut deductions. The other stubling block is that no one in the nation sells diamonds of the exact quality IGI sells for the appraised value that is on the cert. No other legit lab puts values on as they become part of the sell not independent. Consumers like having the phony value, forgetting that they are overpaying for insurance. The insurance companies love the overpaying as they are on the hook for either replacement cost or simply replacing the stone. Isreali firms are looking at doing more IGI stones because the world market is a little behind the US in the push for certs, they can not wait for GIA's turnaround, and a little help with grading makes for better sales. The stones headed for the US market will stay with EGL and GIA. I saw more IGI stones at HK show than in the last 5 years combined. Finding an independent appraiser is better than paper. There are some differences in labs, and some stones that get a "lucky" call on a cert. Appraisers will be able to tell you, yes the paper says VS2 but it is more like an SI1 so make sure you are paying SI1 price and you are ok. Insure them for real prices not inflated ones.
 

robbe

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scott,


you saw more IGI stones at HK show than in the last 5 years combined because their grading is accurate and consistent and thus respected.


i see increasing numbers of gia certed stones with unacceptable grading reults lately, usually too soft on clarity, the usual fluor problems ( i received 'e-very strong' from gia, 'g-strong' from hrd for the same stone!!!stone is never an e...). i know of a batch of 250 stones graded by igi that went to gia afterwards where 40 of the 250 were graded softer by gia...


knowing some of the igi people, i can tell you they don't need to go fishing for clients with soft grading. they are reliable and fast servicing.


i know because i use gia, hrd and igi for equivalent number of stones.




you write generalities "...the paper says VS2 but it is more like an SI1..." which suggests it is always the case? i know the products that i sell. i can only stand by these products if i believe in them. i cannot stand by an hrd, igi or gia cert if i see there is an abovious mistake in the grading. but knowing the job, i must consider each discrepency or eventual error as an isolated and individual case.




regards,


robbe
 

yowahking

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Robbe, If you somehow have a relative at IGI, I did not mean to offend. When I asked the big boys at the Isreal conference (who cut 50% of the world's gem quality diamonds) why the rush on IGI, they told me for 3 reasons. One, often not so tight on grading. Two, faster turn, three, cheaper. It would have been just as easy to tell me that they were so happy with grades that they valued the cert. They also added that many countries just want a cert and are not so hung up on GIA as other countries are.
I agree with you that GIA can give goofy grades. I have one that any GG or appraiser will tell me it is 3 shades off the K that GIA gave it. The insiders tell me that GIA has gone a little softer on brown tones. When I sell it, I will be honest and tell my customer that while it looks great in an earring or pendant, I think that the K was generous and will be priced accordingly. VS and very well cut still makes it eye pleasing, shocked at the grade. I don't sell much that low in color so I may have it a few months. If you really think that IGI stones carry the same clout as GIA, AGS, or EGL, try to sell one back to a dealer and see the reaction on the face when you show the IGI cert. Many won't fess up to it, but most dealers have seen so many IGI stones come through the second hand market, usually from chain stores, where grades are off and value stretched so far, the customer feels like only the dealer is the bad guy. I had a very nice IGI stone that a chain store sent to me to help a very nice customer get rid of it. I was happily surprised to see a great stone. I shopped it for her with the cert, did not get high enough bids. I waited a week and shopped it without a cert and got her $300 more on a 3/4 ct stone. Tossed the cert, everyone happy exept the insurance companies who will not get premiums based on IGI figures. Not that there are not appraisers who also over appraise value, but isn't that what we are all here for....... to help consumers fight the BS and be better served?
 

Yupi

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yowahking,

I am confused about a few things and perhaps you can explain to me (bear with me a little as I am a lay person here).

[You wrote:One, often not so tight on grading. Two, faster turn, three, cheaper.]

So you're saying that because IGI delivers faster and at a cheaper price, is therefore not as good as those who deliver slower and at a more expenisve price?

[You wrote:many countries just want a cert and are not so hung up on GIA as other countries are.]

Which are these countries anyway and why would they "just" want a cert? And for those who are "hung up" on GIA, should they be or not?

[You wrote:Tossed the cert, everyone happy exept the insurance companies who will not get premiums based on IGI figures.]

So it appears that this insurance/premium system is not welcomed by most in this forum. If so, why does it still exist? Are you saying the insurance companies and IGI are (have been)acting inappropriately ? If yes, what is the harm exactly that they have done to the industry? If so, will the government/industry/whoever do anything about it in the future?
 

yowahking

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It would help to know who you are and what your level of this industry is. I am very open and honest about who I am and what I am trying to do here. Some don't like what I have to say. Some are happy to have more variety of opinions. For some, I have shot over their level of understanding, for some I have answered too simply. For me it is helpful to know if you are consumer, collector, appraiser, dealer, jeweler, computer hobbyist, etc. I will try to answer your questions, just not interested in those who want to just disagree for fun.
 

yowahking

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Sorry Yupi, it is 1am and missed the part where you said you were lay person.
First part. I did not say that because IGI was faster and cheaper it was a bad thing. Just reported what I was told that 2 of 3 factors of increased numbers of reports. When large corporate stores started with the whole cert craze of a few years ago, price had to be a huge issue if you are going to cert stones for 1000 stores. Generally the cheapest of anything will not be the best, but does not mean that the most expensive will be the best.
As for countries, I will stay out of that one because I would only be guessing. I do much business in many countries but do not sell diamonds to other countries and will leave that answer to those who do. When I am overseas, I try to learn as much about what is happening with trends, prices, new stones, etc. Some for my own curiosity, some to share with the jewelers in my state.
As far as being hung up on GIA, that is a decision for consumers to decide what suits their needs. Any organization as large as GIA will have critics. There is something to be said for the one who came up with the grading system of color and clarity that is now used world wide. It may not be a perfect system, but when it was introduced, not many thought it would have the effect it does now, including GIA. When you sit at a table of GIA big dogs and they tell stories about the last 30 years of being there, you realize how some was genius, some luck, some mistakes, and ever evolving.
Insurance. Would you accept an appraisal on your house from the guy who sold it to you? It is also not legal. Home appraisers have to pass a state test to prove a minimum standard, and be independent, and be able to prove comperable values. Personal property appraisers can be any knucklehead with a computer and business cards, and insurance companies will accept them. One study found more than 50% of appraisals were done by "appraisers" that did not even have a GG. That is not even close to enough knowledge to appraise but at least a GG may identify things correctly. If someone appraises something for above what anyone in the real world sells that exact quality for, how can it be called replacement cost? Most insurance companies will not pay you that amount. Some insurance companies are finally waking up to this. It should lower premiums, but even if it does not, why would you pay premiums on a $3000 ring if you paid $2000 for it and real appraiser would value it at $2500 tops. If you really searched you could have bought it for $1700. There is no law that says you can not appraise something for $6000 that is really worth $2000. If you donate it to charity and claim the $6000, that is not legal. If you sell it to a friend for $3000 because the phony appraisal said $6000 and your friend takes it to a real appraiser and he says $3000, the phony appraiser can be sued in most states for the difference. Not in NY. Guess where those phony appraisals get done? Mostly jewelers have done it to themselves. Jewelry used to be a very high profit margin item, margins are much lower on average than even 10 years ago. If you are old enough, the phony 50% off games were they way to make customers feel good. Then the cert started being the craze, then the IDeal cut craze, then the internet. Drug through all of them were the appaisal messes as jewelers refuse to become real appraisers and keep appraising based on whatever standards their narrow minds put forth. Some groups like AGS promoted education and even independent appraisers certified by them to be good. Most of them are tired of stupidly high appraisals as well. Enough for now. Hope that helps.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Scott it is interesting that outside USA GIA is well respected, but not with the same degree of reverence that it is within USA. Much of the reverence both inside and outside USA comes from the fact that GIA have trained proably more than half the worlds Gemo's.

I think even the GIA-GTL admits that they would like to be able to control the growth in demand for reports so that they could select, induct and train enough top staff. I am sure also they would prefer that their graders were not poached by everyone who wants to say - "I have an ex gIA-GTL grader on staff".
Lets face it - staff problems = consistency problems.
IGI do most of their grading in Antwerp and India, and I believe the labour force turnover is far less of a problem / more stable.
Why do you think GIA is opening a school in India?

Also IGI is a dispersed private family type business; I wonder if that has an impact in the lab compared to a big corporate? Mind you I have the greatest respect for the GIA management.

Anyway, outside USA, in my experiance, GIA does not have as good reputation for consistency as IGI for grading diamonds.

Secondly - re grading accuracy:
In the survey Pricescope conducted we studied Pricing.

What we found was that EGL USA graded diamonds were discounted by 10% more in the market than any softness in grading over the 17 stones. (edited - Even allowing for higher prices that resulted form some softer color grading by EGL USA, the market still discounted the EGL stones by more and the same stones would have been better buys with their EGL certs).
Now it is interesting that the market prices IGI diamonds higher than diamonds graded by EGL labs.

So just as I believe our survey shows that EGL do a dam good job, I have no reason to believe that IGI do not also do an excellent job of grading diamonds.

Re the appraisal issues - it is not my area - and I am not happy that our trade stoops to marked up and marked down prices, but then that is lafe, especially in the mid to lower market levels.
 

Yupi

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yowahking,

Thank you for the reply. I was curious to know what countries will just want some cert, a pity you cannot go into this.

I currently live and work in Hong Kong, a city predominated by GIA certs. But recently, I observed that this has started to change. I see IGI certed H&A stones available in reputable stores and these stones cost more than the other certed stones. I've been to the recent tradeshow in HK and noted that IGI is going to have a lab in HK. Well that's about all I can say about the situation here.

Another question, forgive me for being thick, you said "Would you accept an appraisal on your house from the guy who sold it to you?" Of course not, but correct me if I am wrong here - IGI has never sold any stones directly to consumers........
rolleyes.gif
 

adamasgem

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----------------
On 9/27/2004 6:11:00 AM Garry H (Cut Nut) wrote:



Anyway, outside USA, in my experiance, GIA does not have as good reputation for consistency as IGI for grading diamonds.

Consistency and accuracy are two different things
1.gif


Re the appraisal issues - it is not my area - and I am not happy that our trade stoops to marked up and marked down prices, but then that is lafe, especially in the mid to lower market levels. ----------------
Gary, If you are not happy about it then take a stand regarding those who facilitate the practice
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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In answer to Adamas
Posted on Sun, Sep. 26, 2004
Kansas City Star

IN YOUR CORNER

Before you buy, study diamonds or pay the price

By PAUL WENSKE

Columnist

So how are you at judging diamonds?
Never thought about it? Maybe you should. Most of us buy at least one to three pieces of diamond jewelry during our lifetimes, say jewelry experts.
And we buy for much the same reason, to express our deep affection for another person.
Yet, most of us are no better at comparing the quality of diamonds than we are at comparing the attributes of hand soaps. That makes us prey to advertising hype — from the benign to outright deceptive — that can result in paying much more than we should.
Demand for diamonds is higher than ever, due in part to robust demand among the nouveau rich in China and Russia, said Garry Holloway, a diamond expert and consumer educator at PriceScope ( www.pricescope.com), a popular Web site for diamond fanatics.
“This year, diamond prices have gone up 20 percent and they're not going down,” he said.
But prices can vary dramatically. A top-quality one carat diamond can fetch $20,000. A one carat diamond just three grades lower in color may go for $900 or less.
With diamond prices at a premium, ads that boast deep discounts on diamond bracelets and rings can seem better bargains than they really are.
Recently, a reader showed me a department store ad for a gold bracelet with 22 diamonds, total weight two carats. The bracelet sparkled in the ad, which touted a sale price of $299, down from the regular price of $436.
An accompanying appraisal estimated the bracelet's replacement value at more than $1,000.
But wait! For one day only, starting at 9 a.m., the lucky consumer could buy the bracelet for $199 — a full $100 less than even the sale price.
Bargain of the century? Not really. A close reading of the appraisal explained why. The diamonds' clarity was graded I3 — or Included 3 — the lowest of 10 possible grades.
In essence, the diamonds were industrial grade, or as Holloway put it, “the dregs of the dregs.”
So were consumers who paid $199 or $299 for the diamond bracelets bilked? Probably not, Holloway said, because they paid close to the bracelet's true value.
But could consumers still have been misled? Possibly, if they were persuaded to buy the bracelets, thinking this was a deal too good to pass up.
It's a problem some jewelers say has plagued their industry. While misleading and deceptive pricing is illegal, it's hard to define, much less document. The most blatant form is advertising a diamond's weight as two carats when it is only one.
Another form of deception that is harder to prove is called fictitious pricing. That occurs when jewelry is marked at a price higher than it would likely ever sell for, is carried for a short period of time at that price and then deeply discounted.
The Federal Trade Commission requires a store to show that the higher referenced price is “bona fide.” That means the item has to be offered at the higher “regular” price for a substantial amount of time before the store can call the discounted price a sale price.
But what constitutes a legally bona fide price varies from state to state.
What most often happens, Holloway said, is that department stores buy diamond jewelry in bulk from foreign countries. In lots of 10,000 or more, quality can vary widely. Diamond appraisers may rate some of the items. But they can't rate all of them.
High-quality jewelry might sell easily. But lower-quality items might sit around until stores slash prices or pass them off to close-out companies that peddle the rocks on infomercials on late-night TV.
Holloway said consumers who want the best quality at the right price should take the time to be informed before forking out a lot of money for diamond jewelry. He offered these tips:
• Know that high-quality diamond jewelry is seldom sold at steeply discounted prices.
• Contrast prices of comparable diamond items at different stores, including Internet sites.
• Learn the basics. For example, diamonds are rated according to “the four Cs” of color, carat weight, clarity and cut.
• Buy only from a reputable dealer.
• Check out the store's policy on returning an item if you are not happy with it.
• Research diamond prices and retailers at Internet sites and Internet forums such as PriceScope.
• If possible, get the opinion of an independent accredited appraiser.
To reach Paul Wenske, consumer affairs writer, call (816) 234-4454 or send e-mail to pwenske@kcstar. com. For archived In Your Corner columns, go to www.kansascity. com and click on Business.

On the Web
• www.pricescope.com: Tips and information about buying diamonds.
 

yowahking

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Messages
317
YUPI,
While IGI has not sold stones directly to consumers, they are acting as agents of the seller,rather than independent, by posting a very high retail that is above the selling price of the highest profit margin stores like the corporate stores in the US. If the "replacement" price reflected typical market price as it does with industries like home appraisals, then it would be more accepted. Certs should not act as appraisals. Appraisals are confirmations of grading and tools to evaluate replacement cost or in some cases fair market value for estate or IRS concerns. Appraisals should also reflect the local market as does a house. My house has a very different value in HK or here. Diamonds have a different value in Beverly Hills, than in Casper Wyoming. One blanket value statement is nuts when the cert does not even give table and depth measurements to determine how well a stone may be cut.
 

adamasgem

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2003
Messages
1,338
----------------
On 9/27/2004 4:13:57 PM Garry H (Cut Nut) wrote:

In answer to Adamas
Posted on Sun, Sep. 26, 2004
Kansas City Star

IN YOUR CORNER

Before you buy, study diamonds or pay the price

By PAUL WENSKE

Columnist

But prices can vary dramatically. A top-quality one carat diamond can fetch $20,000. A one carat diamond just three grades lower in color may go for $900 or less.

This is really more than a little overblown, but what do you expect from journalists
1.gif



With diamond prices at a premium, ads that boast deep discounts on diamond bracelets and rings can seem better bargains than they really are.
Recently, a reader showed me a department store ad for a gold bracelet with 22 diamonds, total weight two carats. The bracelet sparkled in the ad, which touted a sale price of $299, down from the regular price of $436.
An accompanying appraisal estimated the bracelet's replacement value at more than $1,000.
Yup, bend over consumer

But wait! For one day only, starting at 9 a.m., the lucky consumer could buy the bracelet for $199 — a full $100 less than even the sale price.
Bargain of the century? Not really. A close reading of the appraisal explained why. The diamonds' clarity was graded I3 — or Included 3 — the lowest of 10 possible grades.
In essence, the diamonds were industrial grade, or as Holloway put it, “the dregs of the dregs.”

So were consumers who paid $199 or $299 for the diamond bracelets bilked? Probably not, Holloway said, because they paid close to the bracelet's true value.

My sincere appologies on your not taking a stand, Gary

But could consumers still have been misled? Possibly, if they were persuaded to buy the bracelets, thinking this was a deal too good to pass up.
It's a problem some jewelers say has plagued their industry. While misleading and deceptive pricing is illegal, it's hard to define, much less document.
If it walks like a duck...

The most blatant form is advertising a diamond's weight as two carats when it is only one.

That is called out and out fraud

Another form of deception that is harder to prove is called fictitious pricing. That occurs when jewelry is marked at a price higher than it would likely ever sell for, is carried for a short period of time at that price and then deeply discounted.

Yup, all too familiar theme, "regualarly priced"
The Federal Trade Commission requires a store to show that the higher referenced price is “bona fide.” That means the item has to be offered at the higher “regular” price for a substantial amount of time before the store can call the discounted price a sale price.
But what constitutes a legally bona fide price varies from state to state.
What most often happens, Holloway said, is that department stores buy diamond jewelry in bulk from foreign countries. In lots of 10,000 or more, quality can vary widely. Diamond appraisers may rate some of the items. But they can't rate all of them.

Appraisers can, but the s**t merchants are too cheap to have it done

High-quality jewelry might sell easily. But lower-quality items might sit around until stores slash prices or pass them off to close-out companies that peddle the rocks on infomercials on late-night TV.

Oh yah..

Holloway said consumers who want the best quality at the right price should take the time to be informed before forking out a lot of money for diamond jewelry. He offered these tips:
• Know that high-quality diamond jewelry is seldom sold at steeply discounted prices.
• Contrast prices of comparable diamond items at different stores, including Internet sites.
• Learn the basics. For example, diamonds are rated according to “the four Cs” of color, carat weight, clarity and cut.
• Buy only from a reputable dealer.
• Check out the store's policy on returning an item if you are not happy with it.
• Research diamond prices and retailers at Internet sites and Internet forums such as PriceScope.
• If possible, get the opinion of an independent accredited appraiser.

Great comments Gary, I might also add to pay with a credit card as there is much more leverage in getting your monies back if there is misrepresentation. Other than Ebay jewelery sales (consumers should REALLY watch their backside there), I haven't seen any real misrepresentations from most Internet dealers (there are maybe some exceptions). I've disagreed with some grading from time to time (mostly because of fluor, once on "eye visibility) , but I think, in general, those who sell higher quality goods on the Inet, are pretty straight forward and honest.

Anytime a consumer sees the 50% off sale at a retailer, they should
ask "50% off of what?".. I've seen manufacturer's tagged "prices" at 5X, what BS, and "appraisals" on Ebay similarly inflated..

As Gary said, proving the deception is difficult because of the lawyers at the paper mills..



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