Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Question about diamond paperwork legitimacy

VictoriaW

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
13
Hey PS, I couldn't find this specific topic previously discussed, so I apologize if this is a repeat.
While ER browsing in physical stores I encountered the good, the bad, and the heinously unethical. In one particularly shady mall-vendor the SA showed us a (hideous) diamond and then pulled out basically a rolodex of "certificates" from a dozen different diamond graders, none of which were GIA anyway, and then appeared to just guess which of these cards went with the diamond. I'm 99% sure the one she chose was totally random.
It got me thinking, whats to stop a shady vendor from giving you a GIA report for a similar size/spread, but much higher quality diamond, and pretending it goes with another stone so you'll buy it. If the diamond isnt engraved with a number how would anyone know? Or a store getting one VVS D graded and photocopying the report for every stone they sell?
I'd appreciate anyone's feedback. Thanks!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Obviously there is a reason we recommend the same 10 jewelers again and again. Because your best line of defense against any kind of issue is to work with the best jeweler (in terms of integrity) that you can. And there is a reason we recommend getting your pieces appraised after you buy them by an independent and VERY reputable appraiser. Because mistakes can happen.

Obviously there is a reason for inscriptions.

With lower clarity stones you just need to match the inclusions up with the lab report. If you need to go to a 20x loupe to see the inclusions, then do so.

I have an F VS1 stone. My stone has very very hard to find inclusions. I have needed to go up to 40x to correctly identify my inclusion type (location was easy, type is hard for those of us who aren't professionals).

So how do you tell? Well, you can get a SARIN on the stone, if your jeweler offers that and match it up against the lab report. And then look at the color masters and match the color.

But without jeweler cooperation, your best bet is a loupe, again. Inclusions are like birthmarks. Match them up against the lab report.

Hopefully a trade professional will also reply with advice.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Oh. Also regarding the photocopying issue.

First of all, stick to GIA and AGS stones. And learn to recognize real lab reports from these labs. Make sure you NEVER accept a photocopy. And that you check the lab report against the stone, with any of the methods above.

With the digital age and the advancements in home printing, you can duplicate just about everything though. So again... making sure you are going to a reputable jeweler, with knowledgeable and trained staff, with a stake in their reputation and integrity is your best bet. And I don't mean that you check Yelp, like you would for a restaurant. You do real research on the jewelers you are considering buying from.
 

VictoriaW

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
13
Thanks for the fast response, how would someone locate a truly excellent appraisal expert locally to check up on an already purchased stone?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Depends where you are.

There aren't a heck of a lot of great ones. We have several we recommend on the forum.

And if you aren't near one, you can send your ring there to get it appraised. I've done it.

What metro area are you near?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
You want more than just some Graduate of GIA hanging his shingle out. That's never a good thing.

You want someone who is one or all of the following:
Fully accredited by and/or member of the International Society of Appraisers, and/or the American Gem Society and/or by the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, and/or AGS Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser


Frequently recommended appraisers on here:
http://www.americangemregistry.com/
http://datlas.com/
https://justappraisers.com/
http://www.metrojewelryappraisers.com/


I personally would start with the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers and see if there are any members near you and then do some research on them (ask the NAJA to see if there have been complaints, check BBB, etc.). I consider a good thing if insurance companies use their services, especially if they are retained as expert witnesses for litigation. That usually is a good thing, at least in my book.

And then you also want to call and talk to them.
 

Paul-Antwerp

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Sep 2, 2002
Messages
2,852
While chiming into this discussion with a horror-story, I wish to start by saying that the likelihood (or the scope) of this happening is relatively low on a global scale. Still, it is worth to know, and yet another reason why the selection of your trusted jeweler with a good supply-line is of utmost importance.

A few months ago, there was a big upheaval in the industry about an Alibaba-vendor offering synthetic diamonds for sale in China, accompanied by GIA-reports stating the diamond to be natural. The real story was discovered quickly, as there seems to exist a trade in second-hand GIA-reports in some parts of the world, reports that were not used in the sale or not delivered to the customer. This guy had synthetic stones cut to kind of fit the GIA-report and had the GIA-number inscribed on the girdle. This scam was too obvious in its presentation and the vendor was quickly banned by Alibaba.

Then again, it is technically relatively easy to 'cut-copy' real diamonds to an empty GIA-report. If such fraudster limits this to stones just one color and one clarity lower than the report, there still is huge potential profit in the scam, with very limited risk of being caught.

This does happen. Just recently, in our capacity of diamond-expert for the Belgian police, we recently had to examine and value a batch of diamonds, used by a criminal organisation as their store-of-value. In this case, the criminals were scammed themselves, as most of the diamonds were accompanied by GIA-reports belonging to other stones, while the stones did have the correct number inscribed.

The above is not meant to scare anyone. Like I said, the likelihood of running into such scam is relatively low, but it does exist. And it is just another reason why the selection of your jeweler is extremely important.

Live long,
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,746
#1 Choose your dealer first and the diamond second, rather than the reverse.
This applies to all such blind items. How do you know your gasoline is really 97 octane, your coffee is fair trade or that your chicken is REALLY organic? Vet your sources. Nearly every jeweler can get nearly anything you want and mostly they're going to be special ordering things in for you. View your jeweler as an ally in getting the correct purchase. If you get a whiff that something isn't right, don't just find another stone, find another jeweler.

#2 Use credible labs. Although it's true that counterfeit reports exist, sufficiently motivated criminals can fake lab inscriptions and so on, these are tiny pieces of the problem. By far the top way people get scammed is from sellers with no-name labs reporting outright fictitious grades. Vet the lab the same way you're vetting the jeweler. The burden is on them to convince you that their opinions have merit and the default answer is no.

#3 Use a credit card. If you don't already have a relationship with the jeweler and fully count them as reliable, use plastic. What you're asking about is a felony, which is grounds for a chargeback if push comes to shove. The protections for cash and wire transactions aren't nearly as good. The bank is your friend.

#4 Trust, but verify. It's easy enough for a competent gemologist to tell 95% of the time. Never make a diamond purchase without a right of return for some reasonable amount of time. During that return period, have it inspected by an expert who is working for you, not the seller. As an independent appraiser, this is the #1 question I get asked on new purchase type appraisals.
 

4Moonlite

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 19, 2016
Messages
81
I never see the original GIA certed before. Is it watermark? How do we know it's original or a photocopy? I'm a little confusing liked OP. I bought a diamond from one of PS vendors. They provided a photo of diamond with laser inscription on the girdle. If I see the inscription match with the certificate, do I need to have it appraisal?
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,611
4Moonlite|1463074426|4030789 said:
I never see the original GIA certed before. Is it watermark? How do we know it's original or a photocopy? I'm a little confusing liked OP. I bought a diamond from one of PS vendors. They provided a photo of diamond with laser inscription on the girdle. If I see the inscription match with the certificate, do I need to have it appraisal?
If you bought a GIA graded diamond from a PS vendor, you should have the official GIA report. It is not paper, it is laminated. Assuming you mean you do have the GIA report and your stone matches it, no, you do not need an appraisal. I have never had a diamond appraised from Good Old Gold or Whiteflash because I know that what I bought matches the grading report. I have used Neil Beatty when buying a second hand diamond, however, and in that case, an appraisal is a smart idea.
 

VictoriaW

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
13
Thanks Gypsy! I'm in Alberta Canada so it's hard to get details on good appraisers here, I'll check those ones out :)
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Yeah. Okay so you aren't in the US. So the NAJA isn't going to help you.
 

VictoriaW

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
13
I noticed you can ship to Mr. Beaty for appraisal, I wonder if he takes Canadian customers.
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,546
VictoriaW|1463108506|4031083 said:
Thanks Gypsy! I'm in Alberta Canada so it's hard to get details on good appraisers here, I'll check those ones out :)

I live in Calgary, Alberta. I know excellent appraisers here.

cheers--Sharon
 

VictoriaW

Rough_Rock
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
13
That's great Sharon,
Who have you used down there? That would be cheap enough shipping. I could even drive it.

What's the usual turnaround time for appraisals?
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,746
VictoriaW|1463174399|4031424 said:
I noticed you can ship to Mr. Beaty for appraisal, I wonder if he takes Canadian customers.
Of course I take Canadian customers, but there are fine people there as well. Normally I only get involved in foreign deals when the stone is physically in the US and the client wants to have it checked out before they go through the cost and trouble of importing it. Here's a thread about appraisers in Calgary. It's a bit old and I don't know any of them personally but it should be easy to check and see if they're still around.

I don't think there are any in Calgary but NAJA does have members in Canada.

Schedules vary, of course. Normally I do it in a day or two, and for local customers I can usually do it while they wait, but a week should be plenty for nearly anyone. After you pick an appraiser, ring them up and ask.

[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/appraisers-in-calgary.82833/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/appraisers-in-calgary.82833/[/URL]
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
20,546
VictoriaW|1463182541|4031484 said:
That's great Sharon,
Who have you used down there? That would be cheap enough shipping. I could even drive it.

What's the usual turnaround time for appraisals?
HI:

I use either International Gem Labs (IGL) (403) 264 5826, or Ron at J Vair Anderson (403) 266 1669. I've known Ron for decades and highly recommend him. He recently appraised a colored stone ring for me.

I don't know where in AB you are but if Edmonton is closer, you might call IGL and ask if they recommend someone in Edmonton. Doesn't hurt to ask--they tend to network. And you can ask what the time frame/turnaround is when you call.

cheers--Sharon
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    June’s Birthstone Trinity
    Memorial Day Jewelry 2020
    Memorial Day Jewelry 2020
    Van Cleef & Arpels Perlee Clovers Bracelet
    Van Cleef & Arpels Perlee Clovers Bracelet

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top