Diamond Articles

Flaws in Jeweler’s Appraisals of Precious Stones

October 28, 2014 - Diamond Articles
Firm’s study highlights how grading certificates provided to consumers often contain optimistic jeweler’s appraisals of diamond color and clarity.

Jeweler’s Appraisals

NEW YORK, N.Y. (8/15/13)–When consumers buy diamonds, they often gain a sense of confidence and security from the grading certificates provided by jewelers. But a new study by WP Diamonds, one of the world’s preeminent buyers of second-hand diamonds, quantifies the extent to which such jeweler’s appraisals tend to overestimate the color and clarity of the stones.

“In terms of clarity, we found that the jeweler’s appraisals graded an average of 1.3 grades higher than the grade determined by our evaluation team, which relies on internationally recognized standards set by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA),” said Matthew Howe, General Manager of WP Diamonds. “Our experts also found that the color grades in these jeweler’s appraisals were approximately 1.9 grades higher than the GIA equivalent.”

The WP Diamonds study, which was conducted during the second quarter of 2013, involved 220 evaluations by the Company’s graders. For consumers, the takeaway message is clear: “Optimistic grading certificates from jewelers are one thing, but when it comes to the returns consumers stand to receive in the second-hand diamond market when they sell diamonds, what truly matters is the actual color and clarity of the stone as determined by a recognized diamond-grading laboratory, such as the GIA, or respected experts, such as those here at WP Diamonds,” Howe said. “Consumers should be circumspect, to say the least, about non-laboratory grading certificates as they can give a very false expectation of resale value.”

For its part, WP Diamonds presents its customers with a pricing range based on first-hand evaluations by its valuation team. The company puts a premium on making this evaluation process completely transparent. “We see the dialog with clients as one of the most important services we provide, because our goal is to help them make informed decisions,” Howe explained. “Our clients tend to be passionate about diamonds. Ultimately, they understand that true confidence in a diamond transaction comes, not from a piece of paper, but from fully understanding the relative merits of the stone.”

Bio: Written by one of our diamond, designer jewelry or luxury watch experts. With over 150 years of combined experience, our experts are able to comment on trends, share industry knowledge and provide diamond, designer jewelry and luxury watch education.

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