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Newbie needs help- Inherited diamond earrings.

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redmeezer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 28, 2003
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2
My (would have been future) mother in law passed away yesterday and left me a pair of absolutly beautiful diamond earrings that my fiancee and his father bought for her many many years ago. My fiancee was very young at the time (5-6) and remembers distinctly that the jeweler had to fetch them out of a safe- and his mother has always kept them very... very carefully. I''ve never owned a diamond before (My engagement ring is a blue topaz) and neither my fiancee nor I are sure of cut/clarity/color- they''re just the way they came to me, in an old velvet box. They could be extreamly sentimental (and believe me they are always going to be kept lovingly- Lisa was like a mother to me for the 6 years my fiancee and I have been together.) but very inexpensive.... Or they could be very very expensive and require insurance and a very safe place to keep them (His family was very well off at the time so anything is possible).

They appear to be at least a half carat each- I''m not really sure how to tell other than they are *much* larger than the 1/4ct (ea) diamond studs I''d been looking into purchasing and they''re smaller than the 1.5 ct ring a friend of mine has, 6 prong set (very secure). I can detect no visable flaws (but I obviously don''t have a loupe) and the color is a very bright white agaist the black velvet. They are very brilliant- they glow in a mostly dark room.

So my questions are as follows- is there a way that I could better estimate the size/cut/clarity on my own? I''d like to go in somewhat knowledgable when the earrings are appraised. Also- is there anything I should know before going in to have these appraised? How long does it take? This would be my first time and I really don''t want to leave them overnight or really out of my sight- they''re all I have left of her and they''re to be worn at the wedding a week from today.

Thanks in advance for your help- if this is the wrong place to ask- please help me find a better place
 

Giangi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 23, 2003
Messages
2,530
Hi Red,

I'm very sorry to hear about your MIL. But now you have something which will reminds you of her forever.

To get a VERY VERY VERY rough idea of the size you could measure them with a ruler. It will be very unaccurate, but will give you a ballpark idea. A 4mm is approximately 0.22-0.25, a 4.5mm is about 0.30-0.35 (1/3 of ct), a 5mm is about 0.45-0.55ct and a 5.75 is about 0.70-0.80ct. Maybe your fiance has a gauge, ask him.
As for clarity, unless you have a loupe you won't be able to get an idea. If you can't see anything with your naked eye (try to look very close), I'd say it's safe to guess that these are better than I 2. Maybe better than I 1, but since you've said you're not too acquainted with diamonds, you may (without offense, obviously) nt have an eagle-eye for clarity characteristics. These can be tricky!


As for color, put them on a white background (like a business card) and observe them carefully in natural light... Can you discern a faint trace of color (yellow, grey or brown)??

Also, if you're worried about them being Cubic zirconia, take a sheet of paper, draw a thin line with a pen and put the earring on it. If you can see the line through the pavilion, these probably are CZ.
Another good way is the following one: tilt the stone against a dark piece of paper (or background). If you can see a very evident, dark triangle-fan shaped dark area, then it probably is an imitation.

The best way to find out the nature and the value of the earrings is to have them appraised. You can find a list of appraisers here on pricescope.com or on your yellow pages. Try to look for an AGS jeweler. These stores usually have an appraiser on staff.

Let us know what happens!
 

Richard Sherwood

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 25, 2002
Messages
4,924
Try to locate an appraiser who will do the appraisal while you wait and watch.

If you can't find one, ask the appraiser to show you some of the characteristics from the following list which will allow you to identify that they're your same stones when you pick them up:

-----------
An inclusion with a certain size, shape, color and location. Naturals on the girdle edge are good identifiers, as well as open culets on older cut stones.

Ask him to draw a rough diagram for you showing the location of the identifying characteristics.

Millimeter measurements of the diameters.

Fluorescence (or lack of it) under ultraviolet light.

Total weight of the earrings on a diamond scale.
-----------

A while-you-wait appraisal is always nice though. I always make it a point not to take the diamonds out of the clients sight, and narrate what I'm doing during the appraisal process.
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
Great ideas Giangi...

I agree with Rich--get the diamonds appraised while you wait and watch. Alot of appraisers will let you do this..make an appt and let them know you want to hang around while it's done. Go an independent appraiser as opposed to a jewelry store's hired gemologist.

It's so hard to gauge diamonds with the naked eye! Even minimal differences look huge or not visible at all when you don't know what to look for. As an example,my original diamond earrings were N's and we thought they looked very white and beautiful (we thought they were H's as sold to us). Then when we got my e-ring, compared them against it, and were blown away by how yellow they looked! Now I have G earrings and they match my ring perfectly.

So it's hard to eyeball color and size particularly...though clarity should be easier as if you say they are eye-clean to you...you should be in good shape.

Good luck and let us know how things turn out. I'd be curious to know!!
 

redmeezer

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 28, 2003
Messages
2
I'm going today to get them appraised by a guy I found on the list on this site. I did the ruler thing and they would appear to be in the *rough* range of .45-.55 each and I was out at a walmart (of all places) and saw what THEY called an I1 and an I2 I-J color- and this is a million times more clear. Compared to ~that~ these are totally clean and totally white... yuck. *shivers* *Laughs* but that just means that walmart has crummy stones which everyone knows and I didn't need proved *Laughs* I was mostly currious what serious inclusions would look like.

I will certainly let you all know what happens- thank you SO much for the help and advice.
 

Giangi

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 23, 2003
Messages
2,530
Very good. Let us the results.
 
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