Diamond Certification Mis-Hap

For a quick refresher on the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) color and clarity grading scale, please click HERE!

I want to share an experience that really struck me this week. It exemplifies the importance of consulting with a professional before making decisions based on Internet research that may or not apply to every situation. Let me be frank – do you believe EVERYTHING you read on the Internet?

A client in Alaska contacted me in regards to a diamond she was trying to sell. She stated that it was a 2.65ct IF (Internally Flawless), I color diamond. The first question I had was a diamond certification, given the extremely high clarity grade. This is where things got interesting: She stated that there was not a diamond certification, but she had two appraisals done by different Graduate Gemologists in her area. One had put the clarity grade at IF, the other at VS1 (Very, Slightly Included). While they both agreed the color of the diamond to be an I, the discrepancy in regards to the clarity grade was what was most alarming.

To be clear, the only true IF diamonds in the marketplace are accompanied by a diamond certification. My first instinct was that the individual who wrote the appraisal made a grave mistake. I discussed my concerns with the client, but she remained adamant that she remembers the diamond being an IF when her husband purchased it many years ago. I explained the way IF diamonds work in the marketplace, and I advised her that it may be best to have our Gemologists take a look at it for her to evaluate the clarity grade, confirm the color grade, and make a recommendation on whether or not to have the diamond certified.

A few weeks went by before I heard from her again. I received an email with a copy of a GIA diamond certification, and a note that went something like this:
“I did some research online that supported your statement that GIA was the most prestigious lab. I also read that diamonds with a GIA certification sell better than any other diamond certification, and that it was a good idea to have the diamond certified. I went ahead and sent the diamond to GIA to confirm the clarity grade. The diamond came back a VS2, M color. Needless to say I am extremely disappointed with the results – please advise on how to proceed.”
This was the exact circumstance I was trying to avoid when I advised her to have us, and possibly a few other Graduate Gemologists, look at it to give their opinion on the color and clarity grade.

Since our staff is GIA certified, grade to their standards, and grade with GIA master stones, we would have been able to give a fairly accurate assessment of what the diamond would come back certified as. Since the color grade was so low, we would have recommended NOT having it certified. This is because once the diamond was certified, and laser-scribed with the certification number, there would be no way of getting away from the grade GIA gave it. When working with an uncertified stone of this size, it can be a benefit to let buyers grade it on their own in hope they may not grade it as harshly as GIA.

The moral of the story is to take advantage of advise/evaluations by individuals familiar with this marketplace – MJ Gabel. We are professionals in the industry and it is our job to accurately evaluate and grade diamonds and give recommendations on the best way to maximize the amount that can be pulled from the piece. My words of wisdom are these: Evaluations are FREE when working with us. We are more than happy to just look at a diamond, and give you an honest evaluation. Not doing so can be the difference of losing or gaining not just hundreds, but thousands of dollars!

September 19th 2013

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