shape
carat
color
clarity

My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post.

poprocks

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 30, 2011
Messages
30
I have been lurking for a while and wanted to respond to some posts but it took a while for my registration attempts to get sorted out. But at long last, here I am and I wanted to say hello to everyone and thank you all for being so informative. I have learned a lot…maybe too much as I am beginning to think ignorant is bliss :twirl:

My boyfriend bought a round brilliant stone (GIA VVS2, excellent cut and polish, VG symmetry) from a jeweler my family has been going to for years. We were offered a free white gold solitaire setting or a big discount on a custom made one. My brother in law had warned me about getting their setting custom made there because he had a bad experience with them-said their craftsmanship is beyond poor and you will get a product that is crooked because they hand make their settings. Since the jeweler said that they use a machine to make it, I thought may be their technique has been updated and we would not run into the same problems as my brother in law did. So we attempted to have them make a custom ring for us. I won’t go into the details but it was an utter FAIL for so many reasons and my brother in law was right.

The jeweler said we did not have to purchase the setting if we were ever unhappy with it so we asked him to just go ahead and set the stone in the free simple white gold solitaire setting. We had already spent 2 months of back and forth and my boyfriend really needed a temporary ring. So the jeweler had his worker set the stone. He said it would take no more than 1 hr. My boyfriend actually waited for over 3 hours.

When he brought the ring home to me, I looked at it and noticed that the stone was set unevenly. The stone was tilted and the shank was not a perfect round circle. I was really upset. We thought about going back to the jeweler and having them fix it but at this point, I didn’t trust their skills and figured if they can’t set a stone in a simple setting, that they might damage it trying to reset it. Plus I figured since I was going to get another setting made, that to have it set and then reset would cause wear and tear on the stone. So we decided not to say anything.

While I did research into finding a person/place who can custom make my setting, the ring sat in its ring box. Of course I would occasionally sneak it out to admire it for a few seconds—how can you not?!? :love: Well, about a month after it was set, I noticed that the diamond was tilted more than ever. So, my question is, is it possible for a setting to shift or get bent out of shape on its own? I’m beginning to think that the person who set the stone intentionally did this because they were upset that we didn’t purchase the custom setting and so they made a setting that would quickly weaken so that we would lose our stone. Am I being crazy and paranoid? I also noticed that there are signs of wear on the ring even though it was never worn. It’s supposed to be 18k white gold, but it seems very fragile. All my jewelry are 18k, and it seems more durable than this one.

Recently, I acquired a loupe from my brother in law, and so I spent some time examining the stone. The stone is a VVS2 clarity with a “cloud” in the middle of the table per the GIA report. When I looked at it with a 20x loupe, I can see little specks of the “cloud” scattered around the table—maybe less than 15 specks. But it’s not concentrated in any one area. However, around the four prongs are “clouds” and little “hairline” scratches. The “cloud” around the prongs have I would say, at least 50 “specks” so it’s pretty concentrated. So, my next question is, is this normal, for some damage to occur around a prong when a diamond is set? I examined my other rings and don’t see that happening. Or did the jeweler who set the stone really damaged it? I also noticed that one of the prongs seem chipped and so it’s barely holding onto the diamond. And I’m crossing my fingers that my eye is playing tricks on me, but I THINK I might have seen a diamond chip under one of the prongs.

I am really worried because we did not get the stone appraised since we purchased it and we made the payment by wire transfer (though the jeweler is local to us—an hour away) and I doubt there is any return policy, especially since it’s been 3 months since it was purchased and paid for.

Help! What should we do? Thank you in advance.

IMG_0841.JPG
 

yennyfire

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
6,873
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

Is the stone certed? I'd take it to an appraiser to make sure that the stone is the one you purchased (I'm not saying that it's not, but I'd want to know for sure). The appraiser should also be able to answer the questions that you asked in your post. I do know that it's certainly possible to damage a diamond while setting it, though it seems like a jeweler who can't set a stone in a simple solitaire setting shouldn't be called a jeweler! As for the gold showing some wear when it's sitting in a box, that seems unusual too.

I think that the wisest course of action is to go to a trusted appraiser. Where do you live? Perhaps we can suggest one who is local to you and has a good reputation on PS.

So sorry that you're having to deal with this. I'm sure it's beyond upsetting.
 

poprocks

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 30, 2011
Messages
30
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

Thank you so much for your reply. The stone is GIA certified and has the number engraved on the girdle which matches up with the certificate.

We live in Orange County, Ca. I looked up the recommended appraisers on Pricescope and Vickie Adams and Gina D is close enough to us, however they charge by the hour and from what it seems, Vickie is pretty unresponsive. We are thinking about contacting David Bogges since he does appraisals while we watch and wait. Plus he is very local to us. My only concern is that he is not exactly 'independent" though he has really good reviews on the various online sites (citysearch, yelp, etc). http://www.jewelrybuyersandappraisals.com/
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

poprocks|1315753188|3015014 said:
Thank you so much for your reply. The stone is GIA certified and has the number engraved on the girdle which matches up with the certificate.

We live in Orange County, Ca. I looked up the recommended appraisers on Pricescope and Vickie Adams and Gina D is close enough to us, however they charge by the hour and from what it seems, Vickie is pretty unresponsive. We are thinking about contacting David Bogges since he does appraisals while we watch and wait. Plus he is very local to us. My only concern is that he is not exactly 'independent" though he has really good reviews on the various online sites (citysearch, yelp, etc). http://www.jewelrybuyersandappraisals.com/

Is it possible your stone is dirty? Diamonds can attract dust/little things that look like inclusions, especially around the prongs. You could just take it to a jewelry store and ask them to steam clean it (usually free) and then inspect it to see if the 'specks' disappear? If you are looking for an appraiser I would look for an independent one. I am not sure if the PS list has been updated recently but maybe you could look on google or maybe someone who is local to you can suggest someone. You can also ship an item to an appraiser if you can't find someone in your area that you want to go to.

I'm sorry about the setting job...that is unacceptable.
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,216
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

I'd take it to an appraiser and see if it's the same stone. While it's been 3 months if they fraudulently led you to believe it was the GIA stone, you stand a better chance of having the issues addressed. I would clean it first. You'd be surprised what dirt looks like at 20x!
 

CharmyPoo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 10, 2004
Messages
7,007
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

First of all, that setting job is horrendous! I have never seen an engagement diamond set so crocked!!

Second, it shouldn't be so easy to see inclusions in a VVS stone. to be honest, I can barely even find my inclusions on a VS1 stone. It sounds like it can be dirt or something strange going on. The hairline scratches could be feathers ... are there feathers on the report?

Best to get it to an independent appraiser to see if the diamond is what it is suppose to be.
 

poprocks

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 30, 2011
Messages
30
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

Thank you to everyone who has responded.

I did clean it to make sure it wasn't dirty.

The GIA report did indeed document a little cloud and not a feather. I remember looking at it under a loupe before I bought it but it wasn't with a 20x that I am using now. I think it was with a 10x.

I am pretty sure it's the same stone but the only difference is now it MAY have been damaged after it was set. I guess the only way to confirm is to have it appraised, which we will do.

I will keep you posted. But THANK YOU so much for your input!

And yes, I was pretty shocked at how crappy a job they did setting it.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
58,547
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

I do think diamonds are graded with a 10x loupe, so you need to look at it again with 10x. You really shouldn't see anything in a VVS stone with a 10x loupe.
 

poprocks

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 30, 2011
Messages
30
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

Thank you! That's a good point diamondseeker2006. With a 10x loupe, it's really really difficult to see the specks, but if I look hard and long enough, I can see them, though not all. And that's only because I know it's there and I'm looking for it.

I am hoping that the "damage" are only surface blemishes which can hopefully be polished away and not affect the clarity grading of my stone.

I am contacting a couple of Appraisers today and see if I can set up something this week.

I will definitely keep everyone posted. I appreciate all the responses or even for taking the time to read my post. Even though it's still a mystery what I am "seeing", or what is going on, I just feel so much better knowing that there are caring people like you out there. My anxiety level has decreased dramatically since I first posted, simply because of all your support and care. This forum is a gem!
 

OCgirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
509
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

Hi poprocks, I'm so sorry to hear about this. What the jeweler did to your diamond and your ring is not acceptable! With that said, there are a lot of crooks and dishonest ppl out there. It's sad that you can't even trust a "family jeweler". I'm sure you can go to one of the PS recommended vendors here to get your stone re-set. Hopefully everything works out.

I also reside in OC and I am currently looking for an appraiser. Can you let us know your experience? Welcome to the forum!
 

poprocks

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 30, 2011
Messages
30
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

Hi OCgirl. I talked to Patrick Davis today and will set up an appointment this week. He is located in Los Angeles though. He seemed to have gotten good reviews on various threads here on PS and also on yelp, yahoo, etc. He was very pleasant on the phone, listened to my needs, confirmed what I needed and then explained the process of the appraisal for me. His price is fair ($85 for two written reports, and then $50 for a reappraisal--which I will need after my stone is reset). His sample reports seem pretty detailed and included the diamond plot in the fee. It takes about an hour where you can watch him play with all his tools and ask any questions. I think that will be neat.

The other appraisers in the area I looked at didn't have a clear price list. They charged hourly, and then there was a separate required fee for diamond plotting if you stone is over a certain size, an additional surcharge for VVS+ and D color diamonds, then an additional fee if it's over 2 carats, and an even bigger fee if it's over 3 carats, but wait, you get a 10% discount if it's over 4 carats and accompanied by a GIA report, but sorry, if your four carat is D or VVS+ then you aren't entitled to that discount. LOL! I'm sure they have their reasons for the charges, but it was just too confusing for me. It also seemed like it would take them a lot longer to get back to you with the report. Not to mention they aren't responsive to my request. I need to get this done fast and with someone qualified and Patrick Davis seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

I will let you know how it goes. Take care.
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,216
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

Let us know how it goes!
 

OCgirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
509
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

poprocks|1315879837|3016222 said:
Hi OCgirl. I talked to Patrick Davis today and will set up an appointment this week. He is located in Los Angeles though. He seemed to have gotten good reviews on various threads here on PS and also on yelp, yahoo, etc. He was very pleasant on the phone, listened to my needs, confirmed what I needed and then explained the process of the appraisal for me. His price is fair ($85 for two written reports, and then $50 for a reappraisal--which I will need after my stone is reset). His sample reports seem pretty detailed and included the diamond plot in the fee. It takes about an hour where you can watch him play with all his tools and ask any questions. I think that will be neat.

The other appraisers in the area I looked at didn't have a clear price list. They charged hourly, and then there was a separate required fee for diamond plotting if you stone is over a certain size, an additional surcharge for VVS+ and D color diamonds, then an additional fee if it's over 2 carats, and an even bigger fee if it's over 3 carats, but wait, you get a 10% discount if it's over 4 carats and accompanied by a GIA report, but sorry, if your four carat is D or VVS+ then you aren't entitled to that discount. LOL! I'm sure they have their reasons for the charges, but it was just too confusing for me. It also seemed like it would take them a lot longer to get back to you with the report. Not to mention they aren't responsive to my request. I need to get this done fast and with someone qualified and Patrick Davis seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

I will let you know how it goes. Take care.

Wow thank you for the detailed response. It was frustrating trying to find a reliable appraiser. I am willing to drive up to LA if that's what it takes. Do you know if he does weekend appointments? If not I can give him a call.

Let us know how it goes!
 

poprocks

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 30, 2011
Messages
30
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

OCgirl|1315895058|3016331 said:
poprocks|1315879837|3016222 said:
Hi OCgirl. I talked to Patrick Davis today and will set up an appointment this week. He is located in Los Angeles though. He seemed to have gotten good reviews on various threads here on PS and also on yelp, yahoo, etc. He was very pleasant on the phone, listened to my needs, confirmed what I needed and then explained the process of the appraisal for me. His price is fair ($85 for two written reports, and then $50 for a reappraisal--which I will need after my stone is reset). His sample reports seem pretty detailed and included the diamond plot in the fee. It takes about an hour where you can watch him play with all his tools and ask any questions. I think that will be neat.

The other appraisers in the area I looked at didn't have a clear price list. They charged hourly, and then there was a separate required fee for diamond plotting if you stone is over a certain size, an additional surcharge for VVS+ and D color diamonds, then an additional fee if it's over 2 carats, and an even bigger fee if it's over 3 carats, but wait, you get a 10% discount if it's over 4 carats and accompanied by a GIA report, but sorry, if your four carat is D or VVS+ then you aren't entitled to that discount. LOL! I'm sure they have their reasons for the charges, but it was just too confusing for me. It also seemed like it would take them a lot longer to get back to you with the report. Not to mention they aren't responsive to my request. I need to get this done fast and with someone qualified and Patrick Davis seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

I will let you know how it goes. Take care.

Wow thank you for the detailed response. It was frustrating trying to find a reliable appraiser. I am willing to drive up to LA if that's what it takes. Do you know if he does weekend appointments? If not I can give him a call.

Let us know how it goes!


Yeah, I thought it would be easier to find an appraiser too. Seems like when I wasn't looking for one, that they were around every street corner. Hahaha, but that was before PS and learning about "independent" appraisers, and credentials, and tools, etc. Seriously, I think ignorant is bliss.

But anyhow, yes, Patrick does have Saturday appointments. He had a few open time slots for this Saturday when I had talked to him yesterday afternoon.

BTW, Is there a way to private msg someone on this site?
 

OCgirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
509
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

I agree ignorance is bliss. I was already pretty OCD pre-Pricescope but now my symptons are just even more aggravated. Good thing my bf hasn't said anything about me being totally crazy. The only comments he made were if I I said, "yes this will be my FINAL setting. This is something I'll wear for the REST of my life. Do you understand how important of a decision is this?," and he said, "somehow I don't believe you on the 'final' part." :lol:

Yea I called a few appraisers in the Orange County area and none of seem independent. All of them sell jewelries except for Vicki Adams I think. But their charge over $250 per appraisal (per the website) which is wayyy too much in my opinion.

Good to know I can make a weekend appointment. It'd be a hassle to take half a day off work to get my ring appraised... :???:
 

poprocks

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 30, 2011
Messages
30
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

Hello :wavey:! I just wanted to give an update because I always love and appreciate the threads with updates :twirl:

Final Result: Yay! No damage to the stone! {sigh of relief} BUT, the gold was 14k and not 18k like the jeweler told us. Our appraiser said the head was made for a smaller stone (~half a carat smaller) and showed us under the microscope how they cut into the side of the prongs in order to make the stone fit. It looked so ugly at that magnification {shudder}

We had the ring appraised by Patrick Davis of GemSecure in Los Angeles. He's not on the PS listed appraisers, but was mentioned and highly recommended through various threads on this website. He also had excellent (and legit) reviews on yelp.

Anyway, he was very responsive, personable yet professional by email and phone and took the time to explain the process and to answer any questions I had prior to the appointment. He was very thorough during the whole process, explaining what he was doing and why, the tools he was using, and answered all our questions along the way. It was so informative and actually a lot of fun--probably the only fun I've had with this whole diamond thing so far.

We had him do the appraisal "blindly" meaning he didn't know the details of the GIA certificate. So, as he told us the result of each assessment, we would compare it to the certificate and it was definitely spot on! I also appreciated how he kind of thought out loud as he was doing the examination so it's not like we're just sitting there while he stares under this microscope for a long time--took him a while because he was being very careful and kept cleaning the stone during to make sure it's not an inclusion. So while he was assessing the stone for clarity under a GIA standard issue microscope using a 10x with a strong zoom, he would talk out loud, "I see a very very very faint and tiny cloud pattern (which the GIA report documented)...it's so faint and hard to see...this stone is really clean and is almost like an IF stone, but since I see it, it can't be an IF...so it is more similar to a VVSI, but due to the location being closer to the table rather than the side, it would be graded as a VVS2" (which matches the GIA clarity grading).

He seemed to be very cut aware and wasn't afraid to voice and explain how GIA cut grading can be little iffy and that their excellent cut grading can be questionable sometimes. He knew how the different numbers, angles, facet alignment, symmetry, proportion, craftsmanship characteristics can potentially affect performance. He also had the idealscope and other tools to measure light performance and leakage. And he took the time to explain all that to us and how it relates to our stone's performace. He had the sarin machine and I wanted to have that done just for the heck of it but he doesn't unmount rings. Oh well.

Without rambling further, I definitely had a positive experience with Patrick and would highly recommend him. Oh, and he really explained in detail how he comes up with the appraisal value. He also gave us ranges and cost depending on the outlet it was purchased from (like internet, or Costco, or downtown or in the mall stores like Zales, or at Cartier, etc) so that was sort of neat. The price we paid for the stone was within the range he estimated it to be at. But most importantly, his appraisal value seemed to be accurate and not overly inflated.

Thank you for reading and for your advice and support during my "crisis"! :appl: Now I can move on to creating my custom mounting.


P.S. I love all the tools that they have and I want my own toys too! I just ordered a gold test kit and am looking into acquiring various loupes and scopes and guages. My boyfriend knew what was coming next as soon as we left and he was right. He's making a field trip to a jewelry supply store in LA today with a list of items to pick up for me. Hahaha! They have this scope called the perfect cut scope--similar to the ideal scope. I wonder if it will work just as good because it cost less--they said its a 10x. http://www.aajewelry.com/templates/product_list_dropdown_pix.aspx?GroupGuid=1352
 

MissGotRocks

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
16,434
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

Thanks for sharing your appraisal experience with us. Sounds like he was very knowledgeable and informative. So glad to hear that your stone sustained no damage.

Good luck with your tools - just don't let them make you crazy!!

What size is your stone and what color? Did he hit the color spot on as well?
 

OCgirl

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
509
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

Thanks for reporting back to us!!! Glad to hear your stone is okay. Sucks that the jeweler lied to you about the setting being 18k!!!

Are you going to reset the stone?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,225
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy that A) you stone matched the certificate and B) isn't damaged.

So... what do you want in terms of a setting?
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
5,962
Re: My dilemma-please help! and warning--this is a long post

poprocks|1316289518|3019618 said:
We had the ring appraised by Patrick Davis of GemSecure in Los Angeles. He's not on the PS listed appraisers, but was mentioned and highly recommended through various threads on this website. He also had excellent (and legit) reviews on yelp.


I see him on the list...

https://www.pricescope.com/appraisers/california

But...glad you had a good experience with him, and that your diamond has checked out.


Ira Z.
 
Be a part of the community Get 3 HCA Results
Top