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The story of my ring's grading issue

Julyisjuly

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Messages
125
Hi folks,
A very sad story right after the Xmas.
I posted a list of diamonds from whiteflash here back in November, based on the cut, I decided to go with this 1.941 ct, G, superideal cut. However, the stone was gone in second right after I made my decision.

4 weeks later, the stone was magically back in stock again! Apparently, the guy who bought it has RETURNED it.
I was excited and concerned at the same time. I called whiteflash and spoke to the sales lady who helped me during my search. I asked her what's the reason for the return, she said "the wife just didn't want a diamond." That was such a relief for me, so I immediately wired transferred them $24,200 for this diamond.

Today, we went to an independent GIA diamond appraiser. He is a G.I.A. Graduate Gemologist / Independent Jewelry Appraiser. We called a very large and reputable diamond retail store here to ask whether they do appraisal, the store doesn't do appraisal but they referred us to this guy.

Without telling the guy the grading on the certificate, he told me the color is between H and I, and he is more towards I. He said for insurance quote purpose, it can be graded as H; for purchase purpose, he think buyer should view it as I. He wrote I on his scratch paper before we asked for an official paperwork(fee for oral consultation $45 and official workpaper $135, that's why he just wrote on a scratch paper before we asked for an official copy) . We told him it's a G on the certificate. He asked another appraiser lady in the next office to look at it on her equipment again. She gave her answer "H to I, and can be graded to H."
Finally we asked the guy to put his opinion in the official workpaper, then he said this can be a H. As such, he put H on the workpaper. I think he is concerned about putting a grade which is too different from the AGS report.

In terms of clarity, he thinks it's between VS1 and VS2 and he put VS1 on the workpaper. On the AGS report, it's a VS2. While I got a slightly better grading on the Clarity, but color is more important/valuable as long as it is eye-clean.

What a drama! This maybe the true reason why it was returned first time. Super shocked and disappointed now. I thought that AGS is more strict than GIA. There is always a price premium on these AGS diamonds. I paid for it since I think they are more reliable than GIA.

I dont even know what to do now..... I will talk to whiteflash.
However, there are not that many inventories on the market.....

This is the diamond I purchased:
https://www.whiteflash.com/loose-diamonds/round-cut-loose-diamond-4049800.htm which says color as G.


Attached is the workpaper from the appraiser, which says color is H. ( while his first opinion was I)
upload_2018-12-26_13-4-18.png It was graded today without setting, a loose diamond.
 
Last edited:

ame

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
Messages
10,743
Was it appraised loose or set? That can make an impact.
 

bmfang

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 2, 2017
Messages
1,852
First thing I would like to know is whether or not he is grading your stone against other stones that have been graded G-I by GIA or is it an “eyeball assessment” only (with no reference to a master set of stones).

Also, what is the set up of his office? Are there any other extraneous sources of colour that could be affecting his perception of colour.

Lastly, G-H is within one grade of each other and these types of differences are within industry norms. Until GIA or AGS are able to come up with some machine that can determine colour (and clarities) in larger stones with very little error, the industry norm of grades between labs allowed to be one grade apart for colour and clarity will still be present.
 

lovedogs

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 31, 2014
Messages
11,299
First thing I would like to know is whether or not he is grading your stone against other stones that have been graded G-I by GIA or is it an “eyeball assessment” only (with no reference to a master set of stones).

Also, what is the set up of his office? Are there any other extraneous sources of colour that could be affecting his perception of colour.

Lastly, G-H is within one grade of each other and these types of differences are within industry norms. Until GIA or AGS are able to come up with some machine that can determine colour (and clarities) in larger stones with very little error, the industry norm of grades between labs allowed to be one grade apart for colour and clarity will still be present.
This!
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,794
Have you talked to your appraiser about this? Have you talked to Whiteflash yet?

‘Official’ is the key word here. GIA is a college and we’re all graduates of that college, but that’s not the same thing as GIA’s in-house lab. If you’re second guessing the AGS grades, which is not unreasonable given the situation, I have a suggestion. Use GIA lab for this, not some appraiser (not even me). It's not that difficult, it's not that expensive and if they're proven wrong, ask them to take a return. They might even be willing to share in some or all of the costs.
 

Blingalingaling

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
521
Did everything else check out in terms of the inclusion locations, measurements, etc.? It's odd that the clarity grade was different also. Is it possible the stone was switched and then returned? You would think Whiteflash would have inspected it before accepting it back, though...
Maybe you should have it looked at by another appraiser and see if they find differently.
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
10,055
Did everything else check out in terms of the inclusion locations, measurements, etc.? It's odd that the clarity grade was different also. Is it possible the stone was switched and then returned? You would think Whiteflash would have inspected it before accepting it back, though...
Maybe you should have it looked at by another appraiser and see if they find differently.

It’s the same stone. The inscriptions match.
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
10,055
I would like to know more. Was his master set of diamonds graded by both GIA and AGS? The appraiser I use only has a set that match for color grade from both organizations.

Also, the price premium was as much for the cutting parameters as was for color. Just pointing that out... but if it comes back GIA I then there is a discrepancy.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
22,106
Your stone is not an H/I. It is an AGS G. An appraisers
Opinion does not out weigh a report from an accredited
Lab like AGS.

You can have it removed and sent to GIA to see how
It is offically graded. If the GIA lab report says it's an
H or I you can say it's a GIA H or I.

There is really no reason to add drama by speculating
Why the stone was returned. You have no idea.
 

Julyisjuly

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Messages
125
This is the equipment he used and his qualification:
upload_2018-12-26_13-57-34.png

upload_2018-12-26_13-58-59.png

Size is a bit off as well:
AGS says: 8.01*8.05*4.94
He says: 8.02*8.00*4.93

Clarity:
The appraiser report don't have the detailed picture report on clarity, but he did say he saw feather, cloud, needle.

I called WF sales lady, she was busy and didn't picked up yet. Will call again tmr.
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
10,055
Your stone is not an H/I. It is an AGS G. An appraisers
Opinion does not out weigh a report from an accredited
Lab like AGS.

You can have it removed and sent to GIA to see how
It is offically graded. If the GIA lab report says it's an
H or I you can say it's a GIA H or I.

There is really no reason to add drama by speculating
Why the stone was returned. You have no idea.

Right.

In short, this guy could be wrong, but that idea wasn’t reflected in the original post.

A AGS G will not turn out to be a GIA I... I mean I suppose it could, but I sincerely doubt it.
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
10,055
This is the equipment he used and his qualification:
upload_2018-12-26_13-57-34.png

upload_2018-12-26_13-58-59.png

Size is a bit off as well:
AGS says: 8.01*8.05*4.94
He says: 8.02*8.00*4.93

Clarity:
The appraiser report don't have the detailed picture report on clarity, but he did say he saw feather, cloud, needle.

I called WF sales lady, she was busy and didn't picked up yet. Will call again tmr.

Were his master stones both AGS and GIA matched for color grade? It doesn’t say.

For instance, my guy says “Our diamond master stones for color grading have been accepted and certified by the GIA and the AGS. We have to be re certified each year to maintain our membership and titles”
 

whitewave

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Messages
10,055
So what are you looking for?

Do you want to return the stone?

Here is a story for you. When we bought my original (uncertified— gasp!!) engagement ring in 1993, the sales person said it was a D color, which is what it said on the tissue. After we bought it and received the appraisal from the in house GG, it said H color. Big difference, right? We didn’t do anything about it because we were young and dumb and it was 1993, so there were no internet resources either. The ring we bought we bought because we liked it. So there was nothing to do about it. My ring was my ring.

Flash forward to last year when I finally got it appraised along with several other pieces. It was appraised as a D color and I told him the story. He said it was actually whiter than his D color master stone. (It also has SBF)

So the in house GG was wrong and nothing happened because of it, the end.
 
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Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,224
This is the equipment he used and his qualification:
upload_2018-12-26_13-57-34.png

upload_2018-12-26_13-58-59.png

Size is a bit off as well:
AGS says: 8.01*8.05*4.94
He says: 8.02*8.00*4.93

Clarity:
The appraiser report don't have the detailed picture report on clarity, but he did say he saw feather, cloud, needle.

I called WF sales lady, she was busy and didn't picked up yet. Will call again tmr.
Hi July,
First, thank you for placing your trust in Whiteflash for such an important purchase. I apologize for any concerns you have about the quality or value of the diamond. I am personally looking into the situation and will report back soon.

Others here have already made some relevant comments about the normal accepted deviations between top tier labs. And the fact that appraisers vary in their ability to replicate the accuracy and consistency of the labs, depending on their experience levels, how many diamonds they grade on a weekly basis, what kind of masters they use, etc.

But all of that aside, we want you to be thrilled with the diamond. We provide free returns for refund or exchange. You also have a lifetime 100% trade up benefit if you ever want to exercise it.
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
4,350
Along with everyone else I’ll say “send it to a lab”.
A GIA graduate assessor (who may not have reference diamonds) is the same as seeing a guy who got the diploma but who you really want to see is the Professor for his much more experienced and learned opinion.
As with anything it’s experience and “reputation” of the giver of the report.
Nothing against your GIA graduate but how many diamonds does he assess a day / a week?
I personally would give more credibility to the AGS report than the “guy with the GIA diploma” but I would take a GIA lab report over everything else.
 

bmfang

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 2, 2017
Messages
1,852
Yup, send to GIA and see what comes back. If GIA grades within one grade for colour and clarity of AGS, it is within industry norms however if the grades are one lower than what AGS graded (ie GIA grades as a H SI1), there would have been a material difference in price at the retail level originally.
 

Texas Leaguer

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Messages
3,224
Hi July,
First, thank you for placing your trust in Whiteflash for such an important purchase. I apologize for any concerns you have about the quality or value of the diamond. I am personally looking into the situation and will report back soon.

Others here have already made some relevant comments about the normal accepted deviations between top tier labs. And the fact that appraisers vary in their ability to replicate the accuracy and consistency of the labs, depending on their experience levels, how many diamonds they grade on a weekly basis, what kind of masters they use, etc.

But all of that aside, we want you to be thrilled with the diamond. We provide free returns for refund or exchange. You also have a lifetime 100% trade up benefit if you ever want to exercise it.
Hi July,
I have looked into our back-end notes on the diamond and there is no indication from our evaluations that the color grading was anything but solid. And the previous customer returned the diamond because they decided to go bigger.

Again, we want you to be totally comfortable with your purchase, so perhaps you would like to consider an exchange. Your diamond consultant will help you identify other candidates, and I will be happy also to assist in any way possible.
 

Julyisjuly

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Messages
125
Hi July,
I have looked into our back-end notes on the diamond and there is no indication from our evaluations that the color grading was anything but solid. And the previous customer returned the diamond because they decided to go bigger.

Again, we want you to be totally comfortable with your purchase, so perhaps you would like to consider an exchange. Your diamond consultant will help you identify other candidates, and I will be happy also to assist in any way possible.
Hi Texas Leaguer,
Thanks for the quick reply. We all know that Whiteflash has great reputation. While "They decided to go bigger" vs. "The wife didn't want a diamond", sounds slightly different to me.

It's our first time to buy an engagement diamond, that's why I over-acted when I just walked out from the appraiser knowing that he thinks the color is almost two grades lower than what's on the certificate. It's a loose diamond, we haven't set in a ring yet. Currently, it's more about whether I got what I paid for? Did I over pay?
We understand these are all opinions. But as a customer who just received the diamond, it's definitely not easy to take such kind of downgrade opinion.

We will drive hours to Houston WF store tomorrow and compare to other similar inventories. See them in person. We purchased this one since we thought it has the best cut. Hopefully I can get my mind clean on this stone or find an perfect alternative after the trip tomorrow.

Thanks everyone on this community!
 

Kaycee2018

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
596
I hate to say this out loud on this forum, but based on what I’ve seen with my own eyes and been told by basically every jeweler I’ve encountered (and not “mall jewelers”, but reputable local jewelers and gemologist, some of which sell both GIA and AGS diamonds and several who admittedly actually prefer AGS graded stones for cut grading), AGS is softer on color grading vs. GIA (though some have said the AGS has gotten “better” in that regard). Based on my experience, if I were ever to go with an AGS diamond I wouldn’t go below an F for that reason, whereas with GIA I’d go down to probably an H or I. *waiting for the stoning to begin* Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen beautiful pics of AGS diamonds in “lower” colors that look fantastic, but IRL in my experience and based on my discussions with jewelers and gemologists, AGS tends to be softer on color than GIA.
 

Menlikediamondstoo

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
Messages
242
I had an uncertified 1.38 f si1. An appraiser told me it was an I. That’s three color grades!! Multiple jewelers in the area told me he is EXTREMLY strict and that they have sent him GIA stones that have also come back as a lower color.

Flash forward to 2018 and I have my dream 2 carat XXX. My rule is that no one is allowed to look at this diamond. No matter what you have, someone will always be there to tell you it’s got too big this, too small that, this number doesn’t aligne with this. Ect.

When I had my new ring appraised, I handed them the gia report and they simply wrote down the report # and stone specifics on the apprasial.

I would believe the AGS report. Did you show it to him before hand? I couldn’t imagine he would try to dispute what it said.
 
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