I Know the 4C’s!
Let’s say you did your Homework. You Studied the 4C’s. You Learned about Cut, Color, Clarity and Carat Weight.
You went into the Jewelry Store Knowing what Quality of Stone to Buy…
You Bought that Diamond, and Guess what?
What they Sold you WAS NOT it!
This can Happen and DOES!
Were you Cheated?
Feeling Ripped Off?
Let’s find out…
First off, let me say that Diamond Grading is not an Exact Science. It’s actually just an Experienced and Professional Diamond Expert (Diamonotologist or Gemologist) giving their Knowledgeable Opinion as to what the Quality of that Diamond is.
It’s like Judging people’s Skin Tone and the Amount of Freckles or Moles on a Body. Every BODY is Different! There is no Exact Way to Measure, Categorize, Calculate, or Group Diamonds based upon the Number or Size of Inclusions Perfectly. It’s just Someone’s Opinion.
It’s NOT a GUESS!
No, it’s Not a Guess, but rather a Very Formulated Opinion Based upon Years of Experience, Training and Education. But in the End, it is just an Opinion. And Everyone’s got one!
Many times, as in GIA, they’ll have at least 3 Experts Verify, Grade and Identify a Stone’s Features and Characteristics. And then they will Average them all together for their Official Diamond Grading Report.
That’s Triple Checking! GIA calls this Triple Redundancy!
But, that’s also if the Stone is “Certified“.
If the Diamond is Not Graded by a Certified Company, then the Jewelry Store’s themselves will Grade the Stones they Show and Sell.
These Gradings may be Accurate, or… they may not be. Especially if the Grader is Tired, Distracted, or has Eyes that are Not So Good. So sometimes, their Grades could be Questionable.
And let’s just say that this happened to you!
SI1, G, Diamond Example
Say you Buy a Stone thinking the Clarity is SI1. But when you take it somewhere else to have it Checked out, they say it’s an “SI2“.
And, not only is the Clarity Lower than what you Expected and Paid for, but the Color is an H instead of the G you Wanted!
Now you Feel Ripped Off!
You go back to the Jewelry Store you Bought the Diamond from and Confront them. They stand behind their Word and Grading of “SI1, G“.
Now you don’t know what to do!
Who’s to Blame?
And there isn’t much you can do in this Instance either, and here’s why…
It’s an Opinion!
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) knows that Diamonds are Graded by Opinion and Understand that Opinions are Not Perfect. Ten People could look at a Diamond, Grade it, and give you Many Different Possibilities.
So that’s why the FTC is Lenient in this Regard, and allows Jewelers, Diamond Sellers, and Graders to be off by One whole Grade from the Stated Quality Sold.
ONE WHOLE GRADE!
A VS2 could be an SI1.
An F Color could be a G.
An SI2 could be an I1.
Which could Result in a Price Difference of a Thousand Bucks or MORE!
(Keep in mind this is 1 Grade (Like SI1 to SI2), not 1 Complete Range (like VS1 to SI1).
This Grade could be off by one Grade Up or Down (So it could End up Better than Stated as well).
It’s all an Opinion! And like I said, if you Show that Diamond to Enough People, you’ll find someone who will Agree with the Original Grade.
So with the Diamond being just one step down in Color or Clarity, there really is nothing that can be done about it. It’s Opinion!
Just like it’s the Appraiser’s Opinion as to what he thinks it is!
Who’s Right? Who’s Wrong?
It Doesn’t Matter! They are too Close to Pick Sides.
Plus, many Diamonds can really Sit on the Line between one Grade to another. It could be Very Difficult to say “That Diamond has one more Tiny Pin-Point in it that causes it to be an I1 versus an SI2“.
Jewelers will normally Work with Customers in these Circumstances. They all want to Keep your Business! They will usually try to Satisfy the Customer’s Needs. Get them in a Diamond that Better Suits the “SI1“, or what ever Quality of Diamond it was.
This really could happen to anyone, at any Jeweler, at any time.
And many Jewelers do have a Return Policy! (although for some, it’s a Very Short Time Frame)
If you don’t like the Quality of Diamond you Bought, or feel like you were Cheated, or Lied to, Return it for a Full Refund!
Also note, that Sizings or Engravings often will VOID a Return Policy! Check it out before you have them done.
But… What happens if the Jeweler Really Did Rip You Off?
The Jeweler Ripped You Off!
Let’s take this Circumstance Even Farther. Let’s say you went into the Store to Buy an SI1, G, and when you took it to an Appraiser to have it Double Checked, they told you the Diamond Quality was I1, J instead!
Now that’s a Big Difference!
A Difference like this is Too Wide of a Gap for a Slight Fluctuation in Opinion! No one will Accept that.
Here’s What You Do:
First off, CHECK YOUR RECIEPT!
Make sure that they Listed the Clarity, Color, Carat Weight and Cut on the Paperwork, or In-House Appraisal. That way you have some True Reference to go by, and not just what you remember…
This is so True, I’ve actually seen people look at Ten Different Qualities of Diamonds, Decide to Buy one, get up at the Counter and say “Oh, I thought this was the VS2, F!”
If you look at too many Colors and Clarities, you’re Bound to get Confused. So Get it in Writing! Make sure the Color and Clarity you Bought is Listed on the Receipt, Appraisal, Guarantee, Warranty, Something! This is your Proof of the Diamond Quality! You’ll need it if you try to Dispute anything. Otherwise, it’s your Word against theirs!
If the Paperwork does State that your Diamond is an SI1, G (or whatever Quality you Bought), and an Outside Appraiser says it’s an I1, J. Don’t Get Mad Yet!
Go Calmly back to the Jewelry Store you Purchased the Ring from. Speak to the Manager or Owner (Not the Salesperson). Tell them you Feel that the Quality of the Stone is not Exactly what you thought it would be. Ask them if you can see other “SI1 G range Diamonds” and maybe Exchange or Trade the Stone in.
This does 2 Things:
1) It Doesn’t Exactly Scream “You Ripped Me Off!“
2) It tells the Jeweler that you are Willing to Calmly Work with them in Smoothing out a Sticky Situation and are willing to get a Different Diamond and let them keep the Sale!
Jewelers will be more Willing to Help you and Not get so Defensive or Angry or go on the Attack.
How you Confront them makes a Huge Difference. If you Start Yelling, Cussing, Accusing, and Throwing a Fit, they’ll get Mad back and Usher you out the Door!
From there, you’d probably have to get Legal Representation to make Amends.
Stay Calm, Stay Focused! The Difference in Quality really could be an Oversight or an Honest Mistake. I’ve seen it happen before. A Tag could have been put on the Wrong item. People are Human, and Errors will happen.
The Truth is, you just don’t know, and Pointing Fingers won’t Solve the Problem!
In most Cases, working directly with the Jeweler will make everything all right. Jewelers are not out to get anyone. They are trying to make an Honest Living just like you. But sometimes things do happen. Maybe there was a Misunderstanding? Maybe there was a Distraction? Maybe the Right Questions weren’t asked?
Stay Level Headed and I’m sure the Jeweler will go out of their way to Keep you Happy.
Jeweler’s are Competitive!
One more Word about “Double Checking” the Quality of your Stone.
Don’t let another Jewelry Store do this!
Many Jewelers are Competitive and like to Bad Mouth or Dog on other Jewelers. If they have the Opportunity to Talk Down about another Jeweler’s Diamond, they probably will. Sadly, it happens to many Store’s Competitors!
Jeweler’s will say things like:
“Their Cut is BAD!“
“Their Color is LOW!”
“Their Clarity is CRAPPY!“
“Look at how Uneven that Girdle is!”
Anyone could look at a Diamond and Point out the Negative Aspects of it (Every Diamond has some). Plus, they’ll make sure you know that you “Over Paid” for that Stone, and that they could Sell you a Much Better Diamond for Cheaper!
Beware of this Negative Talk!
Taking your Stone to another Jeweler to have it Checked out is NOT Recommended!
In Fact, it can get Quite Uncomfortable!
This is why a Jewelry Store should NEVER grade another Jewelry Store’s Diamonds.
Instead, look in the Phone Book for Gemologists, Appraisers, or Diamontologists.
Have them Grade it!
They will be Biased towards Jewelers and won’t Worry about what they said it was, or how much you Paid for it. They’ll tell you what their Honest “Opinion” is. They’ll Grade the Stone, Type it up, and give you Actual Paperwork that they’ll stand behind.
That way you have Professional Proof that the Diamond Quality was Misrepresented. You should have no Problems in having the Jeweler Work (Calm and Cool) with you to Rectify the Situation and get a Better Quality of Stone that does meet the Standards Sold.
Want to Avoid this?
If you really want to avoid going through any of this Ordeal… Do this:
Buy GIA or AGS Certified Diamonds ONLY!
This will Prevent all the Aggravation!
If you Buy a Loose Certified Stone (With a GIA or AGS Diamond Report), and have it set later in a Mounting of your Choice, you’ll be Happy to know that you are as Protected as you can be… Just look at the Diamond under a Microscope and Verify the Flaws to the Flaws on the Diamond Plot! Or Double Check the Laser Inscription (if it has one), to the one Listed on the Report.
Buying a Certified Stone makes it Factual. You aren’t taking the Jeweler’s Word about the Quality of the Diamond anymore. You’re getting an Expert Opinion!
GIA and AGS are the Top Two Diamond Graders in the Country. I Highly Recommend them, and only them!
This really is the Best Way to Protect you, and your Diamond.
So when you Buy an SI1, G Diamond…
You’re getting an SI1, G Diamond! :)
Take a look at Certified SI1, G Diamonds Here!
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