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Think your safe with GIA? Think again...

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cadman

Rough_Rock
Joined
Oct 19, 2002
Messages
6
Well I (like 99% of people on this board) thought GIA was the only solution to diamond searching. I spent a lot of time (like over 100 hours) finding an oval diamond that had good stats and of course was GIA certified. I will leave the internet broker who I bought this stone from out of the story as they were good to deal with, they never actually saw the stone.

So the oval diamond I ordered was a GIA certified, F-color, VS2, laser-inscribed stone.

I was filled with excitement after I ordered the stone. When it arrived and I opened the box and my first impression was that the table of the stone looked significantly dark, it had a decent bow-tie, and at the top and bottom of the stone it had what I have heard called a "fish-eye" effect (dark areas). But what really surprised me was the large frost cloud that was definitely eye-visible on the edge of the stone. Remember this is a VS2 stone.

So before I jumped to too many conclusions I took the diamond to a friend who is a GIA graduate and diamond expert. He was not impressed. He said AT BEST THIS WAS A SI2 STONE! My heart dropped. He also commented on how the diamond had little to no fire or brilliance. He touched it for a few seconds and just his finger prints alone killed all reflections. We did a few other inspections and found that it was not even a F-colored stone, but actually closer to an H. My friend even checked the hologram and laser inscription because he thought they delivered me the wrong stone. The laser ID matched the cert exactly. So much for thinking GIA is the only way to go.

Anyways thank God for money back guarantees. The stone went back the next day. I did visit a local jeweler and explained the whole mess. He showed me an EGL certified oval (yes EGL) that had worst stats than the one I had ordered, and it had much more brilliance.

So what did I learn? #1 fancy cut diamonds need to be seen by yourself or an expert before you commit to purchasing, because stats don't mean much especially with ovals. #2 GIA is operated by humans not robots, and humans make mistakes. #3 you get what you pay for. This stone was $1,600 below what it should have been trading for. #4 EGL is another alternative that I never considered until I received an over-rated GIA stone.

*Cadman
 

barry

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2001
Messages
441
You make excellent points.

Fancies can not be purchased over the Internet
solely on the numbers. Two fancies with the
same exact specs can look totally different.
Shopping on the 'net, you will require
digital pictures, BrillianceScopes, and ImageScope/
IdealScope visual aids in order to make
good decisions. Absent that, you'll have to 'see' them
for yourself.

Had you been provided this kind of information
from the beginning, I have no doubt you would have flagged
the "VS-2" on the GIA Report, the lack of light
output on the diamond and would have saved
yourself considerable aggravation by not ordering in the
stone, in the first place.

Where fancies are concerned, you can not shop by
the "numbers".

Barry
www.superbcert.com
 

rsilvers

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 26, 2002
Messages
251
I decided to really play it safe. I am planning on only buying a round AGS 000 THAT ALSO scored great on the HCA (0.8 or less) AND ALSO has a depth of less than 61%. In other words, I am taking the tightest specs of three theories. The cost seems to be 10-15% more than if I got a GIA with some very good and excellent qualities, but it is still way lower than retail, so I don't care. I am just trying to vastly increase the odds of liking it when I see it, which I know is the final test along with an ideal-scope or something.
 

barry

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2001
Messages
441
The best ( in terms of depth) fall within
the range of 60.5-61.8 %.

The HCA is but one (excellent) tool to assist you

Don't arbitrarily shut out from your consideration GIA's.
You may be passing up a winner. Obtain a
detailed Sarin or MegaScope report and any
visual aids (digital pictures, BrillianceScopes,
ImageScope/idealscopes)
the vendor can provide. That goes ditto
for AGS graded diamonds.

Barry
www.superbcert.com
 

rsilvers

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 26, 2002
Messages
251
Barry,

I know I should not eliminate GIA. But I don't want to bother a jeweler by calling in lots of stones to see in person. I want to order one and have a 95% chance of keeping it. But since you have photos online and detailed reports, then yes -- your stones need to be on my list.
 

barry

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2001
Messages
441
R;
The only point I've tried to make for
your benefit is; get as much information upfront
before making your decision and/or
making your Jeweler jump through hoops.

Best,

Barry
www.superbcert.com
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
15,327
----------------
On 11/3/2002 9:25:25 AM Richard Sherwood wrote:

Are you sure it wasn't an IGI stone?----------------

Rich my experiance with IGI has been quite the opposite. I have found their grading consistency to be superior to GIA on stones I have seen and bought.
There are borderline stones where on occasions IGI may have given the stone the benefit of doubt.
But when it comes to INconsistency - I have seen lots of GIA shockers - yes eye visible VS2's etc like the oval cadman mentioned.

I think a lot of consumers would be well advised to consider the second and third tier lab graded stones - the stones often trade at a substantial discount to GIA stones - and even if the stone is a border line VS2 / SI1 and gets booted up by a lab - you will still very often be saving 5-10% over the GIA VS2.
As for colour - As Marty Haske has pointed out we know that GIA now use lights that have UV light for color grading, so some fluoro blue stones get a better color grade.

The only thing I would always say is if you are buying an unseen internet listed pack and drop stone - ALWAYS have it shipped directly to some one like Rich before you see the stone. It saves emotional heartache (because you will get attached to 'your new purchase') and the whole cost of shipping insurance and secrity deal is better.
 

niceice

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
1,792
It is important for people to realize that the laboratories only report the grading characteristics of the diamonds that they grade, they are not a one stop solution intended to determine whether a diamond is going to look nice or not... They merely issue reports that reflect the characteristics of the diamond at the time they graded it and YES they do make mistakes which is why reputable dealers like ourselves, GOG, WF, SC, etc. insist on seeing the diamonds that we sell to ensure that the laboratory grader made an accurate assessment of the stone. Many dealers however, simply take the labs word for it and drop ship the product direct to their customer from their supplier without ever seeing it, this is a perfect case in point as to why this practice should be avoided. Make sure that you are working with a real person and not a script when buying a diamond on-line, ask questions about the diamond and ask to see detailed clarity photographs and computerized proportions analysis prior to ordering...
 
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