Online Diamond Appraisal
For prospective buyers of diamonds (or any type of gemstone or jewellery, for that matter), one of the most frequently doled out pieces of advice is as follows: “Make sure you get an appraisal!” Most people have heard of diamond appraisal before, but there are a lot of misconceptions as to what this actually entails, what purpose it has, and who really needs one.
What is a diamond appraisal?
A diamond appraisal is a process by which an appraiser (preferably a certified gemologist or another professional with documented training and experience in appraising and/or certifying diamonds) thoroughly inspects and assesses a diamond in order to provide the most accurate possible estimate of its proper market value.
Of course, there’s much more to this process than simply looking at the diamond and quoting a dollar amount based on how nice it looks. Professional appraisers use special equipment to inspect the diamond and measure certain aspects of it. For example, magnification is used to spot microscopic flaws on the inside of the diamond.
Among the things that an appraiser should be able to tell you about a diamond are: whether or not it’s a real diamond; whether the diamond has been altered in any unusual way; whether the diamond has been damaged in any way or not; how accurate the certificate is; and more.
The basic purpose of an appraisal, though, is to determine roughly how much the diamond is worth. You can then use this information when deciding whether or not your dealer is offering you a good deal on the diamond in question.
How does diamond appraisal differ from diamond certification?
The purpose of an appraisal is somewhat different from that of diamond certification. Certification is done by organizations like the Gemological Institute of America and others on behalf of diamond buyers and vendors alike. A diamond’s certificate lists its ratings in the “four C” categories (cut, clarity, color, and carat weight), and, ideally, various measurements and other pertinent information. A certificate does not, however, explicitly give any estimate of the diamond’s market value.
An appraisal is a useful complement to a certificate in that, not only does it provide an idea as to an appropriate price for the diamond, it can also let you know if the certificate is inaccurate. Most appraisers do not have the same range of equipment that certifiers use, but they will be able to tell if there are any major or moderate mistakes on the certificate, which in turn can result in a more accurate valuation from the buyer’s perspective.
Where should I get a diamond appraisal?
Ideally, an independent appraiser is your best option. Appraisers who are affiliated with diamond vendors have an obvious conflict of interest and may be inclined to provide you with an estimate that is skewed in the vendor’s favor. That being said, there are some vendor-affiliated appraisers who have earned a reputation for honest work. In any case, it’s a good idea to look into the background of an appraiser before deciding to get an appraisal.