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Need Advice IGI Rating James Allen

mcchillin

Rough_Rock
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Oct 21, 2016
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5
Hi guys,

I'm new to this forum and really not sure if I am using it correctly. I really need your guys advice! I am really concerned about a diamond I purchased from James Allen for my wife's 14 year ring upgrade as I noticed that it was IGI certified, and now have learned that it grades diamonds 1-2 grades up apposed to GIA. I have saved up in years advance to buy my wife the perfect ring. I'm really amendment about getting her a triple excellent diamond which according to the specs, is the perfect diamond. I have tried to reach out to James Allen's customer service numerous times, but it just seems that they are just trying to sell me. I have requested many times if they could have there gemologist to look at the diamond and tell me what GIA would consider the grading to be, but they keep telling me that they don't do it. The reason I'm so concerned is I want to be sure I am getting what I paid for, as it is a $25000 diamond and I have been saving up for it for about 14 years. Right now the diamond is in production. Can anyone give me advice on what you may think of the diamond.

Diamond - https://www.jamesallen.com/loose-diamonds/princess-cut/2.82-carat-h-color-vvs2-clarity-sku-1962255

Shape: Princess
carat weight: 2.82
color: H
clarity: VVS2
polish: Excellent
symmetry: Excellent
Fluorescence: None
l/w/d (mm): 7.51*7.51*5.57
l/w ratio: 1.00
depth %: 74.20
girdle: Slightly Thick
table %: 73.00
certificate: IGI
crown ∠: 47.90
crown %: 14.00
pavilion ∠: 38.50
pavilion %: 56.50

img_36.jpg

cert_24.jpg
 

flyingpig

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I have requested many times if they could have there gemologist to look at the diamond and tell me what GIA would consider the grading to be, but they keep telling me that they don't do it
They would not do it. They have no reason to do it from liability and marketing perspective. In addition, even if a JA gemologist agrees to do it, it means nothing.

You make two mistakes by buying
1. IGI stone
2. without ASET/IS to check light performance

You have saved 14 yrs for this stone.

I cannot say this is a bad stone or value. At the same time, there is no guarantee this is a good performer.
There should not be any uncertainty or question for such significant purchase (25k!!!!).

I would get a full refund and start fresh.
 

pyramid

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James Allen cannot tell you what GIA would grade your diamond as, only GIA can and it would cost you extra money although not much considering the price of the diamond, but the turn around time may mean you have lost your right to return.

As said above I would cancel the order and buy a GIA diamond if that is what you want. Crafted by Infinity and Whiteflash do princess cuts which get the AGS000 grade. AGS cut grade is thought to be more advanced than GIA's, although GIA is the industry standard for grading reports. Some say AGS is harder on clarity and GIA are harder on color.
 

pyramid

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Just wanted to let you know in case you don't. A princess cut faces up smaller than a round for the same weight.
Does your wife definitely want a princess cut, okay if that is what she does want.
 

pyramid

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To give yourself an idea you can search the diamonds database here and see what size diamond you would get for your specs and $25000 which is GIA XXX rated and that will let you know if the diamond you chose is the same. What is written here and has been for many years is that some of the second or third tier labs can be out by up to 3 grades, therefore your price would be perhaps for a K SI1 in that size if it were a GIA diamond or if it were an H VVS2 it would be considerably smaller for $25000.
 

pyramid

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https://www.pricescope.com/diamonds...ox_panel2=&sort=&page=1&pageview=24&adv=false


Going by the last one posted here from Blue Nile, who are a large company so have a lot of volume, I would say your stone must be a bit off from the IGI grade if it were being graded by GIA. As you can see this one is more money, lower color (but only by 1 grade though) and a lot smaller, the clarity grade is the same. So would one color difference be the same as the difference in size of 73 points, at over 2 carats I don't think so, however even if the experts here said it was equal, you still would not have a GIA certificate.

I know you did not use ASSET but the diamond you chose does look good from the picture in my opinion only.
 

pyramid

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Regarding grading color from onscreen photos or videos, you cannot get anything from that and the experts here, meaning the appraisers and dealers would not even try. We have a member here who is very good at photography and he has posted photos before showing us that the white balance has to be right and also he has said that every screen color is different. I know on my computer which is just a standard not fancy expensive one that I notice when looking at colored stones, eg. sapphires, that as I scroll down the screen my pictures look noticeably darker at the top of the screen than when they reach the foot, this is pictures on webpages I mean.

You can ofcourse, incase you don't know, ship the diamond to one of the appraisers here, Denverappraiser, Oldminer, and they
can do an appraisal for you, this ofcourse would cost you money. You would no doubt get a straight answer, however it
would not be the opinion of GIA and you would not have their report. GIA does not certify anything though it is just their opinion but good to have when so much money is at stake and a more safe way of buying. If you are happy you have paid for what you got, and know it is not a true GIA grade H or GIA grade VVS2 or GIA Excellent xxx then it may be worth it to get a beautiful stone for less money but you have to then accept it is not a H VVS2 in the opinion of GIA but only in the opinion of IGI and you have paid that market price as GIA's grades are higher in that they are more stringent, they set the color grades (in other words invented them) so they are their color grades, they train their own graders in the lab and as they are more accurate they cost more.

Incidently if you come across a GIA trained gemologist working in a jewellers they are not approved by GIA either as they do not certify any diamond grade or any person even if they achieved their qualification through GIA. Their reports are the opinions of their lab staff who are presently working for them only. So even if James Allen's gemologist is GIA trained his opinion means nothing regarding your diamond, it has to be done by the GIA lab. When a dealers gemologist is working with you looking at a stone they are employed by that dealer, and even if they are honest and giving their genuine opinion on what looks better between say 3 stones, their opinion on color or clarity grade means nothing as far as GIA is concerned. Not saying GIA doesn't believe they know just that GIA does not recognise this, their lab staff will be going through ongoing training and checks a gemologist leaving their training will change and he will not be having his eyesight tested by them unless he keeps that up. I believe the appraisers here go through eyetests but I don't know if this is through GIA or some other organisation. The GIA lab will also be set up specifically regarding lighting, weighing machines etc so this cannot be replicated unless it was actually being checked by GIA. So although the gemologist helping you may have all these attributes GIA will not guarantee them.

Gemologists who trained at GIA are just like university students whereas the GIA lab staff are employees of GIA, so two different things.

Sorry this is so long, just wanted to say also, that when grading large diamonds at GIA which a 2.82 may be, the stone would be graded by two people and if they did not agree, a third more advanced employee will decide the grade. Therefore one gemologist saying what they think is not the same as GIA grading it.
 

pyramid

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Having said all this I believe John Pollard who is on this site, a gemologist, educator who has worked out of America too, has said that IGI are fairly accurate and much better than EGL which has got a reputation. I don't think I would want to believe though that if this stone was mine that it was similar to a GIA H VVS2 for this kind of money. As I said if I believed or got proof from an appraiser that it was worth $25,000 and the appraiser said he believed it was a J VS2 say and I loved the look of the stone and the color etc I would be happy enough or I may consider getting a true GIA H VVS2 and paying maybe $35,000 for it. (Just figures of the top of my head). Everyone is different and would do different. I probably would go down in size and get GIA graded one for the same money and probably reduce clarity at the same time which would give me a bit more size. Good luck it is very stressing working these things out for your own wants and needs separate even from the buying price and beauty of the stone. :wavey:
 

pyramid

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Just wanted to clarity, I said the word 'dealers' above but if you are new here you may not know that dealers/vendors are not permitted to comment on another vendor's goods, so none of the other dealers are allowed to give you an opinion on James Allen's diamond. There are two appraiser who may comment. Other people here are just long time consumers who have read and learned about diamonds. Just incase you are waiting for professional opinions I just wanted you to know that other vendors who are gemologists usually cannot comment but they cannot tell anyway from an onscreen video or photo regarding color, they may know from looking at the certificate about cut or clarity characteristics although are not able to give an opinion on grade without the actual diamond in hand. However, due to their membership on this website will not reply to questions asking about another sellers goods, they can only reply generally upon a topic, once you have mentioned you are working with James Allen or any other company here they have to be very careful with any advice they give.
 

mcchillin

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Messages
5
Thanks everyone. I think, since its ready to be shipped, as soon I receive it I will be getting it appraised by a local GIA independent appraiser. If its not what I paid for, I will be returning it. I feel that either way I might miss out. If I just canceled my order I could be missing out on a good diamond. I will take up on the 30 day return if the appraiser thinks its graded lower than what IGI certificates states.
 

pyramid

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

Good luck, there is a list of appraisers for different areas in USA at the above link. For what it is worth I can tell you that Denverappraiser has been here for years, also Oldminer. I remember seeing a photo of Oldminer at one of the JCK events in Las Vegas and he was working for the day in the appraiser room there sporting a GIA badge so I think he is highly thought of by GIA.
Not sure how all that works but you could check or maybe someone here will know. Still his opinion or anyones is not a GIA Report.
 

mcchillin

Rough_Rock
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Oct 21, 2016
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Pyramid|1477170058|4089623 said:
https://www.pricescope.com/appraisers

Good luck, there is a list of appraisers for different areas in USA at the above link. For what it is worth I can tell you that Denverappraiser has been here for years, also Oldminer. I remember seeing a photo of Oldminer at one of the JCK events in Las Vegas and he was working for the day in the appraiser room there sporting a GIA badge so I think he is highly thought of by GIA.
Not sure how all that works but you could check or maybe someone here will know. Still his opinion or anyones is not a GIA Report.

Thanks. I will get it appraised. I might also get a second opinion from another appraiser to have a better chance for it to come up with the same specs as it would if it was from GIA. If all goes well, I will send it out to GIA to get it certified. Thanks everyone
 

ChristineRose

Brilliant_Rock
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IGI is kind of the McDonalds of the grading world. They do a lot of cheaper stones. I don't think they're like EGL because EGL is mostly used when a seller wants to deceive their customers. A seller can send a stone to EGL and if the grade isn't soft enough, the seller can refuse the certificate and pay only part of the fee. Because of this ALL EGL stones are overgraded.

IGI I think is considered less reliable, but not exactly bad. What would make me suspicious is why a stone like this wasn't sent to GIA. It's only a few hundred dollars to send the stone to GIA and if they had, you wouldn't be here talking about sending it back!

The usual advice in this situation is to ask them to send the stone to GIA and tell them you'll pay for it and buy the stone--if the grades come back within one grade. Otherwise you'll consider buying it a price appropriate to the GIA grading.
 

mcchillin

Rough_Rock
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Oct 21, 2016
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ChristineRose|1477178105|4089660 said:
IGI is kind of the McDonalds of the grading world. They do a lot of cheaper stones. I don't think they're like EGL because EGL is mostly used when a seller wants to deceive their customers. A seller can send a stone to EGL and if the grade isn't soft enough, the seller can refuse the certificate and pay only part of the fee. Because of this ALL EGL stones are overgraded.

IGI I think is considered less reliable, but not exactly bad. What would make me suspicious is why a stone like this wasn't sent to GIA. It's only a few hundred dollars to send the stone to GIA and if they had, you wouldn't be here talking about sending it back!

The usual advice in this situation is to ask them to send the stone to GIA and tell them you'll pay for it and buy the stone--if the grades come back within one grade. Otherwise you'll consider buying it a price appropriate to the GIA grading.
The diamond wasn't in-house but shipped from Mumbai. Maybe GIA isn't international so they used IGI? I will call JA today and ask if they will consider the request for them to send the stone to GIA and I will pay for the fee. I wouldn't mind if the grade was a bit higher but lower is a whole new ball game :)
 

flyingpig

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GIA has an office in Mumbai.
Even if GIA does not have office in India, it is a poor business decision not to use GIA service just to save a few bucks for international shipping.
 

John Pollard

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Hi Pyramid. Thanks for the mention.

Pyramid|1477167863|4089609 said:
Having said all this I believe John Pollard who is on this site, a gemologist, educator who has worked out of America too, has said that IGI are fairly accurate ...
Yes and no. It depends on the report format.
* IGI "Diamond Report" and "Hearts & Arrows Diamond Report" are reliable in terms of color-clarity.
* IGI "Jewelry Reports" grade finished-pieces, so only give approximate weights and sometimes split colors-clarities.
* IGI "Appraisal Reports" USA buyers see in USA chain-stores pose a big problem. Read below.

ChristineRose|1477178105|4089660 said:
IGI is kind of the McDonalds of the grading world. They do a lot of cheaper stones.
I wanted to quote this because it's spot-on when it comes to the "Appraisal Reports" used in USA chain-stores. These are far less consistent. They also list an unrealistically high replacement-value which gets famously misused by salespeople to push the idea that the buyer is getting a deal. It's a black eye for the lab.

It may be interesting to know that IGI New York is the only lab to issue such reports. The 19 other IGI worldwide locations do not and it's a bone of contention within the lab. It's unarguably the reason IGI has a dent in their rep here, while remaining strong in other world markets.

flyingpig|1477290874|4089925 said:
GIA has an office in Mumbai. Even if GIA does not have office in India, it is a poor business decision not to use GIA service just to save a few bucks for international shipping.
I'd agree if the producer's diamonds were all intended for the USA. But IGI has strong acceptance in Indian and Chinese markets and 8 locations in India, including Surat, with faster turnaround times.
 

Tiber55

Rough_Rock
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Sep 12, 2016
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Just going to chime in here, because I have personal experience with this.

The IGI stones that James Allen offers are priced significantly lower because the IGI report may or may not be accurate, its on the website.

My GF and I purchased an oval from James Allen in September and subsequently sent it to GIA to see if it was the same. We live in San Diego so we just drove it over and since it was a little over a carat the cost to have it regraded wasn't super significant whereas having that assurance/satisfying our curiosity was.

In the end the color was graded a G on the IGI and an H on the GIA report.

Other than that maybe some minor % details were different but that was about it.

TBH the stone was appropriately priced for an H GIA and in the end we decided to return it not because it was not a G but because we were looking for a different level of stone and this actually helped us to decide that.

So just like everything else understand that the stones that James Allen are listing that are IGI graded are most likely appropriately priced. You may find a deal but probably not, if the stone was going to get the same grade with the GIA why wouldn't the cutter send it there to begin with?
 

John Pollard

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Tiber55|1477342839|4090150 said:
In the end the color was graded a G on the IGI and an H on the GIA report. Other than that maybe some minor % details were different but that was about it. TBH the stone was appropriately priced for an H GIA and in the end we decided to return it not because it was not a G but because we were looking for a different level of stone and this actually helped us to decide that.
For the record, the accepted trade standard is +/- 1 grade in color and clarity since grading is subjective. Everyone would like it to be +1 in their favor. It doesn't matter because, in your case, price was the equalizer - as it should be. That is a good exercise and result. It sounds like a confidence builder, and I'd wager you'll be a good resource for friends looking into making their own diamond purchases.

So just like everything else understand that the stones that James Allen are listing that are IGI graded are most likely appropriately priced. You may find a deal but probably not, if the stone was going to get the same grade with the GIA why wouldn't the cutter send it there to begin with?
Globalization. GIA is not the only game in every country, mainly because there is more goverment-involved oversight in the Asia-Pacific. I elaborated on it a bit in my last post, above.
 

flyingpig

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John Pollard|1477341655|4090143 said:
flyingpig|1477290874|4089925 said:
GIA has an office in Mumbai. Even if GIA does not have office in India, it is a poor business decision not to use GIA service just to save a few bucks for international shipping.
I'd agree if the producer's diamonds were all intended for the USA. But IGI has strong acceptance in Indian and Chinese markets and 8 locations in India, including Surat, with faster turnaround times.
Hi John.

I'd agree if IGI is more accepted than GIA is in Chinese/Indian Market, AND the producer is specifically targeting Chinese/Indian Market only, KNOWING the fact that the stone is potentially exposed to the US market and its buyers. This is a bit hard to believe.

It is 2.8c F/VVS at 2.5k+. By going with GIA or dual-cert, that's potentially extra thousands in profit and great marketability.
 

John Pollard

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flyingpig|1477351165|4090209 said:
This is a bit hard to believe.
I understand. And I have no dog in this fight. I'm just reporting what's happening.

I was in Surat and Mumbai in July, and Hong Kong last month. Specific to this conversation, I was in a meeting with a retailer of millions of carats who was/is debating on what western lab to choose for a line of diamonds they wish to introduce (as a dual-cert proposition along with NGTC). HRD, the new DeBeers lab and AGSL were all in the mix. GIA was not even a consideration.

How is this possible? Because the USA has had to deal with the nonsense of outfits like EGL International for many decades. Bottom lining it, we came together saying "No no! You can only trust GIA!"

But India and China are young markets. There has been governmental oversight/watchdog-action for grading standards (unlike the USA). EGL failed miserably trying to enter that market. HRD, IGI, AGSL have all been accepted. And, in such a climate with dual-certing and watchdogging, one western report is considered on-par with the others . It's a different paradigm which, indeed, makes it hard to believe for Americans who are used to a very different reality.

flyingpig said:
It is 2.8c F/VVS at 2.5k+. By going with GIA or dual-cert, that's potentially extra thousands in profit and great marketability.
Maybe. Maybe not. The USA is still the largest audience by a small percentage. But diamonds of size in collection colors/clarities command a far higher retail price in China than in the USA. Walk into a CTF or CSS the next time you're in HK, Sh or Bei and do the conversion. CN has more billionaires than any other country now, and is adding millionaires at an insane clip. That's the target market for 2 caraters there.

Apologies to McChillin, as I realize we're swerving a bit from the original question (hey, is IGI grading ok?) but I think the evolution we're seeing and its influence on the industry is fascinating. I'm glad for the dialogue.
 

flyingpig

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John Pollard|1477356506|4090240 said:
flyingpig|1477351165|4090209 said:
This is a bit hard to believe.
I understand. And I have no dog in this fight. I'm just reporting what's happening.

I was in Surat and Mumbai in July, and Hong Kong last month. Specific to this conversation, I was in a meeting with a retailer of millions of carats who was/is debating on what western lab to choose for a line of diamonds they wish to introduce (as a dual-cert proposition along with NGTC). HRD, the new DeBeers lab and AGSL were all in the mix. GIA was not even a consideration.

How is this possible? Because the USA has had to deal with the nonsense of outfits like EGL International for many decades. Bottom lining it, we came together saying "No no! You can only trust GIA!"

But India and China are young markets. There has been governmental oversight/watchdog-action for grading standards (unlike the USA). EGL failed miserably trying to enter that market. HRD, IGI, AGSL have all been accepted. And, in such a climate with dual-certing and watchdogging, one western report is considered on-par with the others . It's a different paradigm which, indeed, makes it hard to believe for Americans who are used to a very different reality.

flyingpig said:
It is 2.8c F/VVS at 2.5k+. By going with GIA or dual-cert, that's potentially extra thousands in profit and great marketability.
Maybe. Maybe not. The USA is still the largest audience by a small percentage. But diamonds of size in collection colors/clarities command a far higher retail price in China than in the USA. Walk into a CTF or CSS the next time you're in HK, Sh or Bei and do the conversion. CN has more billionaires than any other country now, and is adding millionaires at an insane clip. That's the target market for 2 caraters there.
Of course, I am not arguing with you. I am just trying to understand the psychology and business strategy of diamond dealers.
Always appreciate your expert inputs
 

John Pollard

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flyingpig|1477359127|4090264 said:
Of course, I am not arguing with you. I am just trying to understand the psychology and business strategy of diamond dealers. Always appreciate your expert inputs
And I appreciate the discussion. To elaborate, I didn't perceive you to be arguing. On the contrary; from a US perspective - and extending to the online US market where I believe you have strong insight - what you said is entirely logical. I'm adding to this by noting that younger markets on the other side of the world, where grading is government-monitored, have embraced greater diversity.
 

gm89uk

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flyingpig|1477090244|4089425 said:
I have requested many times if they could have there gemologist to look at the diamond and tell me what GIA would consider the grading to be, but they keep telling me that they don't do it
They would not do it. They have no reason to do it from liability and marketing perspective. In addition, even if a JA gemologist agrees to do it, it means nothing.
Just out of interest:
[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/is-igi-really-that-bad.128091/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/is-igi-really-that-bad.128091/[/URL]

Schlutz said they WOULD try give an estimate of GIA grade

JamesAllenSchultz said:
Folks,

Here is a short blurb that I just sent to all my CSR''s and will be adding to the Pricescope FAQ on the JA website.


Beginning in the summer of 2009, JamesAllen.com began listing a limited number of IGI diamonds. All of these diamonds are available for immediate purchase and include a scan of the IGI report and a magnified image on the website. These diamonds are not located in New York, however, so additional images or analysis are not available prior to sale.

IGI grading for color and clarity is less stringent than GIA or AGS, so the pricing of these diamonds has been discounted to reflect those softer standards. It is our opinion that IGI diamonds still represent a good value, even after consideration of the grading differences. One of our gemologists can inspect any IGI diamond and share our opinion of how the diamond might have been graded by GIA, but this analysis can only take place after the order is placed and the diamond is shipped to our New York office for inspection.


The short answer is that we have the opportunity to carry an inventory of IGI diamonds and we''re listing them on the website to see how they do. We''re very upfront with our clients about the different standards between the labs, just as we were years ago when we carried EGL. Outside PS we don''t get requests for sarin reports or IS images, so those customers are not bothered by our inability (or unwillingness) to ship diamonds to the NY office for additional analysis. For the PS crowd we''re willing to do the extra work, but not until the customer has made the purchase. If the IS isn''t up to par or the color/clarity ratings are off by more than we expected we can cancel the order, do a refund or exchange. It isn''t the best solution, but it works.

Hope this makes sense and I''m glad this thread came about so I had a place to clarify the policies.

All the best,
 
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