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 some examples. 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. Hiding it at the very bottom of a report is nearly as bad.
Item 2: Clarity is graded face up so there’s no reason not to have a solid grade on this. The grade shown in the questionable appraisal below is the GRADE AFTER TREATMENT. Frankly these fracture filling treatments aren’t permanent so most reputable labs won’t grade them at all or will list them as their actual (original untreated) grade. The first diamond is an I2 which is 2 grades lower than list on the appraisal. The second example is also an I2 but is mis-represented by 4 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.
UPDATE: November 2015
We’ve received more questionable appraisals again. This is another case of a non-lab appraiser grading a fracture-filled diamond as if it as if it were ‘natural’ and untreated. Clarity enhancements should ALWAYS be prominently disclosed on a legitimate appraisal.