Would you get an appraisal after purchasing online from a beloved ps vendor o

Would you get an independent appraisal if your purchased your diamond ring online from a PS vendor?

  • A. Yes

    Votes: 20 47.6%
  • B. No

    Votes: 22 52.4%

  • Total voters


Jul 21, 2004
Are there other reasons for an appraisal?
Yes, there are.

Most people with new items seeking appraisals are doing so for insurance reasons, or at least they think so. That's why they come in. That is to say, their insurance company required them to get it. Why?

The appraisal is going to be used as the purchase order for the replacement in the case of a loss. That’s why they ask for it upfront. The plan is to take the description section out of the report, minus the price, and ask suppliers to bid to replace it with ‘like kind and quality' or words to that effect. They will then adjudicate the claim based on whoever comes in the cheapest. The weaker the appraisal, the more wiggle room they have, and the wiggle is never in your favor. That makes the first step simple enough. Read the report, look at the data provided, the photos, the narrative, the certs and so on, and decide if you are reasonably likely to be happy with the results if a replacement were to be made based solely on this information. Better data makes for better replacements. If not, you need a new appraisal.

#2. An independent appraisal constitutes something of a quality control step. I do this quite a bit... Many times a day for the last several decades. When a problem comes up, I would estimate 80% of the time, it has to do with the craftsmanship, condition, or other details that do not appear on the lab docs or in the seller's "appraisal". They also don’t appear on the receipt. If the stones are crooked, if things are chipped, or any other potential problems are present, a seller document isn’t going to mention it. Perhaps equally importantly, if the first time you have an expert actually look at the piece is 3 years down the road when your carrier asks you to update the report, there’s nothing you can do if there’s a problem. If you have it inspected immediately, any reputable vendor will work with you in resolving the problem(s). You may be able to do much of this yourself, like checking every stone to be sure it’s secure, but do you do it? Do you even know what to look for? Again, I have yet to see a seller-supplied report that indicates a craftsmanship problem like loose or crooked stones or defective prongs when, in practice, it’s common.

#3 Some details, like matching the stone to the reports provided or confirming metal content are not entirely obvious. Marked 18k doesn’t make it true, for example. Identifying synthetic melee is not a trivial task and involves tools that most people don’t have.

#4 Nearly every customer has questions. Some have quite a few. They often boil down to things that left them scratching their heads after the sales presentation, competitors, or the Internet. Is this super-ideal? What even is that? How do I know if my stone was graded in India? Should I care? What’s an Idealscope? What’s a Brilliancescope? What’s a ‘cloud not shown’? Is this the right size for my finger? They called it handmade. Is it? Why is it snagging so much? Why was it so cheap (or expensive)? Is it Canadian? Is it treated? What does 'clarity enhanced' mean? It’s different for every customer.

#5 The seller-supplied report serves the same purpose as the sales receipt, and yes, you want one. These should say the same things, by the way. Some people want a second opinion on an expensive purchase, and it’s not a second opinion if it comes from the same source as the first.
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Aug 5, 2019
I spoke with Bill “Rockdoc” Lieberum on the morning of his death. I sincerely miss him.

I have received the wrong diamond from the vendor of a shared client. The last one was about~2.4 ct. RB. I had received the lab report before the package came in. As soon as I opened the paper, it was clear that I was not looking at the gem in the report. Same weight. Different dimensions and miserable cut quality. Had to call the client right away to explain the situation. Client already had a relationship with Dave Atlas. Dave agreed to have a look on behalf of, now, myself and the client and resolution soon followed. The vendor did ship the wrong ~2.42 ct. RB. Mistake? I don't know.

I owe my "success" to Rockdoc, Old Miner (Dave Atlas). Denver appraiser (Neil Beaty), Marty Haske, Richard Sherwood, Carole Richbourg and other appraisers who have worked to keep the vendors honest with the clients and the clients honest with me.

This way of working that PSers have embraced was a new frontier ~20 years ago. Without the appraisers, it would have become a different realm.

Those who remember me, know that I don't accept a client stone of any kind unless I can be certain that the client knows (documented) what they have first. To understand why, just browse through PS for the levels of doubt and anxiety in so many PS posts.

Do not be shy or penny-wise about seeking assurance from an experienced, well regarded appraiser - if for no other reason than to put your anxiety to bed.

P.S. (get it?) The reason I have worked as hard as I have on scope clean fit and finish was to, early on, impress my bosses and later it was all done to impress the appraisers. Clients just happened to reap the benefits.


Sep 3, 2000
An experienced and competent appraiser can often see a chip or damage even when a prong is covering the situation. A consumer or a newbie gemologist won't have that methodology at hand, but in time, they will likely learn how to do it. I don't need to pull a diamond to get a very good grip on damage being concealed. Sure, I can miss a feather, a crystal, or a pinpoint concealed by a prong, but damage almost always can be seen with knowledge of where and how to look for it. When a consumer needs solid advice, they need an expert opinion and experienced eyes. It isn't often a necessity, but knowing when to ask for skilled help is a sign of your own knowledge limitations and nothing to be ashamed of.
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