How to Spot A Questionable Appraisal

In March of 2013 we offered up some advice on detecting appraisals of questionable quality. We’d like to refresh that since we’ve now got a an example.  The lawyers require me to state that the following is an ‘opinion only‘ and should be taken as a list of things we think should be in a quality appraisal.  

At Premier we use a nationally known independent lab to appraise our merchandise because we want you to feel comfortable with what you’re buying.  You’ll see why shortly.  

In the appraisal scan below we’re going to highlight some areas of concern.  Before we get to the technical problems however let me highlight this: Google the appraiser.  If you can’t find the lab or company then you should be immediately suspect.  

Item 1: Clarity Enhanced Diamond.   Fracture filling is a process by which low quality diamonds are resin injected to make them more transparent (and therefore easier to sell).  Disclosure is a big part of this process and tucking the statement away from the rest of the grading details is dubious at best.

Item 2:  Clarity is graded face up so there’s no reason not to have a solid grade on this.  This grading is the POST TREATMENT grade and is not the permanent state of the diamond (it’s an I2).  Frankly these fracture filling treatments aren’t permanent so most reputable labs won’t grade them or will list them as their actual (lower) grade.  This should be disclosed more visibly to avoid someone overpaying by several clarity grades.  

Item 3:  The comments field down below says ‘set in 14K ring’.  Really?  What kind of ring?  How much does it weigh?  It should say something like “One ladies 14K white gold solitaire engagement ring, 4 prong set in a high polish band weighing 3.2 grams”

Item 4:  So, who exactly appraised this?  There’s a signature but no typed name, credentials or anything?

Item 5:  Err… when was this appraised?  There’s no date?  What was the gold market doing at the time?

In fact, one of the few things this appraisal does RIGHT (green box) is to provide a unique reference number.  This lets you cross-check to confirm the appraisal is genuine.    Appraisals are opinions: make sure the one you listen to is coming from a reputable source.



Bad appraisal