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When did later treatment of diamonds begin?

Sandyc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
17
Hi there. I am a nervous newby. I inherited a 2.38 pear from my mom, which she bought in April of 1964. I recently had a few people look at it:

1) an independant appraiser referred by a reputable jewelry store in my town. He gave me a verbal and said its got 4 naturals, and liked the stone. He says its a VVS2 but he could tell more when taken out of the setting.

2) someone at a big jewelry store who is GIA trained looked under a microscope and found a small black dot which he showed me. He said maybe the other guy didn't see it because it could have been under a prong.

3) a jeweler who is going to put it in a new setting, and who is an appraiser, says that it looks like it has been later treated, because he saw little bubbles on the back of the diamond. He says it has two fractures, one on the back and one on the front. The first appraiser and second did not mention fractures.

The stone was re-set in the 1980's. I don't think there is any chance it was swapped out at that time because being a pear, its so recognizable. The weight is the exact same as it was appraised at in the 1970s.

Isn't lazering something that started later than my diamond was purchased? For more info, it was sourced from a family member in the diamond district in New York originally.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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Jan 7, 2009
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8,173
Hi Sandyc
It's simply not possible to accurately assess a VVS grade once a diamond is set.
The size of VVS imperfections means they can hide under a prong.
In my opinion, someone telling you a set stone they've not seen loose is VVS2 really negates the value of whatever else the appraiser is telling you.

If I understand correctly the second place found a carbon crystal ( black spot) with a microscope while the diamond was still set

Place number is still looking at the stone set I assume?
There was laser drilling back in the '70's for sure.
I can find out if there as in the '60's tomorrow. I have a feeling it was being done in the '60's as well.

It it does have laser drills, it's not that big a deal at this point unless you're selling it.
Laser drilling leaves indisputable evidence- it's not all that tough to spot with a microscope or loupe.
Still, inspecting a stone when it's set leaves the appraiser handcuffed compared to examining it loose.
 

Sandyc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
17
The first appraisal was just a verbal and he did not take it out of the setting. He told me that when I had it taken out, he could better judge the clarity and color. He said probably vvs2. The plan was to come back after it was removed from the setting to do a written appraisal. I did a search of his name and on an old thread someone says they got his name from PS.

Then I went setting shopping, and that is when it was taken out of the setting by #2 person. ( he called it VS2)

#3 person is looking at the stone not in a setting.

An appraisal from 1989 calls it a VVS-1. I can't tell if it was in the setting when it was done.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
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8,744
This is why GIA started in the lab business in the first place.

Are you planning on resetting it into something new, insuring it, selling it, or something else entirely?

You mentioned this is an inheritance. Does this appraisal have anything to do with the process of the inheritance, especially estate taxes?

It matters, but frankly at that size and that clarity you probably want a lab doc either way unless this is just idle curiosity. It'll help your insurance and the lab requires it be loose to do the inspection. Given that it's loose now, it seems like an opportunity. If you're planning on selling it, or even deciding if you want to sell or not, it's mandatory. If this is a taxable estate, it would be very helpful. If this is about equitable distribution of an estate it would be very helpful. If this is going to be a component in something that you plan to insure, it would be very helpful.

Any one of these jewelers should be able to help you do it or you can send it in directly yourself. Info at www.gia.edu.. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that the jeweler who is going to be setting it hasn't insisted, especially in light of your use of the word 'fractures' in your above story.
 

Sandyc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
17
Hi there. I am keeping the diamond and putting it in a new setting. This is for my curiosity and for insurance purposes. Its not on a taxable inheritance or for estate splitting purposes. Are you saying it should be sent out to GIA and not done by an independent appraiser?
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
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Sandyc|1460034450|4016523 said:
Hi there. I am keeping the diamond and putting it in a new setting. This is for my curiosity and for insurance purposes. Its not on a taxable inheritance or for estate splitting purposes. Are you saying it should be sent out to GIA and not done by an independent appraiser?
I'd suggest GIA on the loose stone, then get an appraisal on the completed ring when it's done, including the GIA as a supporting document. I probably would get a professional inspection first, as opposed to a quickie verbal evaluation, but this has more to do with condition than anything else. Again, someone used the word 'fracture' and it would be good to understand what that meant. If any sort of repairs are in the pipeline, right now is a good time to do it (before resetting and even before GIA).

The upside of this is twofold. First, it answers, once and for all, the curiosity question. As much as we appraisers are proud of what we do, the veritable definition of the various grades is to estimate what GIA would call it.

The difference between VVS1 and VS2 is a big deal come replacement time unless your color is just horrible (like OP) and I rather suspect you've got the same issue on color. Grading mounted is problematic. The laser question is easy but it's important. You can argue and even win a 'like kind and quality' replacement based on an appraiser assigned grade but it can lead to problem. They never fight a GIA 'certificate', at least not on the weight/color/clarity issues.

The USUAL problem with getting a GIA on an inherited stone is that they will only examine things loose. Taking it out can damage the mounting, and resetting can damage it more. I normally don't recommend it for these reasons (unless there are tax or contention type matters at play) but your situation is different. It's unmounted now, for the first time in 30 years, and quite possibly the only time in the next 30. That's an opportunity. If you don't choke on the price or the time, there's very little downside to just doing it right, right now.
 

Sandyc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
17
Thank you for your thorough response! I am going to have the appraiser who gave the verbal finish the appraisal now that its not mounted. Since I'm not selling it I may not send it to the GIA though, but I'll see. Not sure about the third person who looked at it if he has a reason to trash it. I know it could not have been lazered.

The first and second were about equal on the value stated. The second one had every reason to give me a lower value as they sell diamonds.
 

Wink

Ideal_Rock
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May 3, 2001
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7,471
I am going to strongly recommend that you get a new grading report from GIA for the very reasons that Neil did. I actually saw this thread early this morning, but this is the first opportunity for me to come post, and Neil answered it so thoroughly that it needs no improvement.

I know that I learbed abiyt laser drilling when I was at the GIA getting my GG in 1975, so it was happening then, although not nearly as well as it is being done now. If it had been done back then, the laser drill holes would be clearly visible to anyone looking at it with a loupe or microscope.

As Neil said, it may not be important unless the diamond is lost or damaged, but the little money spent now will be worth a LOT of comfort over the years, and can even help your heirs avoid the stress you are currently going through.

Wink
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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8,173
+1 to Wink and Neil on the GIA report.
The diamond is worth too much money to avoid the small cost of a GIA report.

I did my homework on laser drilling. Thank goodness one of my teachers ( Sam Spade) still walks the earth- he started cutting diamonds after returning home from WWII
Laser drilling began in the late '50's.
It's done using far more advanced techniques today.

Neil- one point- GIA will issue a report on a mounted stone- It's an incomplete, and vaguely graded report, but they will .
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
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Rockdiamond|1460048556|4016605 said:
+1 to Wink and Neil on the GIA report.
Neil- one point- GIA will issue a report on a mounted stone- It's an incomplete, and vaguely graded report, but they will .
Incomplete and vaguely graded we already have (in this case). A mounted diamond report is not the answer from the proverbial 'horses mouth'. A Diamond Quality Report is. FWIW, they cost about the same, require the same amount of shipping insurance and take the same amount of time.
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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denverappraiser|1460057729|4016674 said:
Rockdiamond|1460048556|4016605 said:
+1 to Wink and Neil on the GIA report.
Neil- one point- GIA will issue a report on a mounted stone- It's an incomplete, and vaguely graded report, but they will .
Incomplete and vaguely graded we already have (in this case). A mounted diamond report is not the answer from the proverbial 'horses mouth'. A Diamond Quality Report is. FWIW, they cost about the same, require the same amount of shipping insurance and take the same amount of time.
We're in total agreement- the mounted GIA report is generally a waste of money.
They may not even still offer it- I had one done once maybe 7 years back- totally useless.
 

Sandyc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
17
Do you have stories about bad outcomes with insurance due to that there was no GIA report?
 

Wink

Ideal_Rock
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Many.

When I did a lot of insurance replacement work I would often get people in who had a ten to fifteen year old receipt for the diamond that they had purchased. A typical receipt issued in the mid mid seventies and earlier might read like this.

One 1.08 ct diamond. $2,857.00.

set in 14kt white gold solitaire $65.

Sales tax xyz.

I dare you to get a decent replacement for that stone. No matter what you suggest the adjuster is going to be able to find a lower priced one and that is what they will pay for. It was especially sad back in the late seventies and early eighties when that diamond had quadrupled in value since 1970. The $2,857 was the max that they would get paid, no matter that the diamond was now worth much more.

Back then, of course, GIA reports were not the norm that they became. Still there are jewelers today who will issue this type of a receipt,

One 1.08 carat diamond with a clarity grade of VS2 - SI1 and a color grade of G-H. XYZ dollars.

Good luck getting anything higher than an H-SI1 for that client.

With the branded diamonds of today, you want not only the GIA or AGS report on that diamond, but you want the appraisal to mention the brand of the diamond. If you have a top brand and do not have it listed on the appraisal, or better yet, on the diamond grading report, you are NOT GOING TO GET LIKE KIND when you replace. A generic kind of okay cut diamond is not the same as a precisely cut branded diamond that has visibly more sparkle and pizazz. Too bad that you will not be getting a diamond equal to what you lost without that report and a properly done appraisal.

Over the years I helped many people get a replacement for lost diamonds. Those who had proper documentations were ALWAYS much happier than those who did not.

Wink
 

Sandyc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
17
Thanks for the education. That makes sense. But if you don't have a branded diamond and you have an appraisal that spells out the clarity, cut, color, exactly, is the adjuster going to quibble with that because it isn't GIA? What if what you have is ordinary?
 

Wink

Ideal_Rock
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In 1975, when I became a graduate gemologist I would have said you do not need a report. Today you may not need it, but things will go better with it than without it if there is ever a problem. Today, unlike 1975, it is now the norm to have a report.

As it is, you have had three different people look at your diamond and tell you three different things if I am reading your first post correctly.

The first said it is a VVS2 with four naturals and did so while it was mounted. Big flag for correctness in my book.

The second said he sees a small black dot but you do not tell us what he called the grade, calling up more flags.

The third states that the stone has "fractures" on both the crown and pavilion and little bubbles on the back that might be laser drill indications. More flags. Are these in fact fractures caused by damage to the diamond, or feathers which were there when the diamond was polished?

This is a 2.38 ct pear shaped diamond with flags all over the place as to just its clarity. We know nothing of the color or the quality of the cut. Does it have a big nasty price-lowering bow tie or does it sparkle like the band? (A report will not answer either of these last two questions.)

So far you have had three totally different opinions which indicates that one or more of the opinion givers are wrong and possibly all three of them are wrong. All three of them cannot be correct, but possibly one is. Which one?

Even if your diamond is only "ordinary" it is worth thousands of dollars at this size. So, you can just pick whichever of the three that you think is the "correctest" and go with that, or you can get a report and perhaps have a much higher degree of comfort. And if the adjuster gets to choose from uncertified diamonds for a potential replacement, do you feel comfortable that you will get what you deserve or what the adjuster feels he/she can get away with?

Those are just my thoughts and what I would recommend to any of my clients coming to me with an inherited diamond. I started ordering only diamonds with reports for my clients nearly 40 years ago since I nearly always disagreed with grading on the diamonds that I was being sent that did not have reports on them. I burned through a LOT of suppliers who did not appreciate me calling them out on their grading. I finally found a few who were as tight as I am in my grading and guess what, most, if not all of them used reports for their diamonds.

Still, a report is not required, especially if you have a great local B&M store with gemologists that you can trust and have confidence in. From what you are telling us, I do not think you have that yet.

Wink
 

Rockdiamond

Ideal_Rock
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8,173
Totally agree with The WInkerino

Maybe Wink and I are ....more schooled in the current market, being as how we spend a lot of time in the online diamond world. But IMO store number 3 should also be giving this advice-
Another plus is that GIA is returning stones in a few days- at other times it could take a month.
 

Sandyc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
17
Thats a good point that if anything happens the adjuster can give you a stone without a report.
More data:
The first appraiser was just a verbal and advised that I come back to get a better idea of grade and color when the stone was out of the setting. I brought it to him to get more information to decide to sell or not to sell. He advised me not to sell, but to look for a setting, but bring it back before it is set so we could get a better idea of clarity and color. It had been in a yellow gold setting and he estimated its G-H, would need to see it not in a setting.

The second person ( after we took it out of the setting because I was going to possibly buy a setting there ) said it is a VS1 and showed me a tiny black dot under a microscope. He said the tip was bruised.

The third person said there were two fractures and it looked to be lazered.

Yesterday I brought it back to the original appraiser as planned. He says that the tip is bruised, not fractured. He says what the third guy is calling a fracture, is really an indented natural, and there is no evidence of anything that looks like lazering. He also found the tiny dot, which he agrees with person #2, that it had been under a prong, and it is a diamond crystal, making the diamond a VS1.

So all in all, person #1 and #2, both agreed on color ( H), clarity, and value, the bruise, that it has indented naturals, and that its a really nice shape of pear with good sparkle.

It does not show bow tie at the appraisers, but I can see a bit of one in my halogen lit kitchen if I turn it a certain way. In most lighting conditions, I don't see it, and its a nice sparkly diamond.

My mother's jeweler in the 1980's offered her 10K for it. My appraiser said that value was higher then before the internet. He said I could purchase similar for 16K. The second person said value is 23K but I could purchase one for 16K. ( I don't know why he would say value is that high).
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 10, 2002
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4,607
GIA only offers opinions on their diamond report as they say it is not a certificate. Their opinion counts over the world and
for tradespeople though more than the opinion of your appraiser or jeweller or a layperson or your own opinion. As you
have a large stone I would get a GIA report done on it if it is not going to cost too much money as other things are important too. It
just would be better to say 'Oh my diamond is a GIA H' than to say 'Two jewellers have said they think it is an H under the GIA
grading system'. Remember it is GIA who came up with the color H in the first place, otherwise it could have been a different
name like the old ones of 1st water etc etc. (I don't know the GIA equivalents of all those.

If selling a new buyer who is into diamonds and most would be doing some research if buying that size, would definitely want
a report and if there wasn't one and they liked the stone they would want it cheaper. If the stone is unmounted as other
professionals here told you, it is the best and a good opportunity to have it graded properly by GIA.
 

Sandyc

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
17
My appraiser said it would do better at GIA if I had the naturals( and I think he said the tip) polished. I was under the impression there is some risk to doing that and don't know if that is worth it.
 
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