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Jewelry and Diamond Buying Guide: Avoiding False Claims

False claims and highly-priced deals: How to identify fraud and keep away from misrepresentation.

There are many factors affect pleasant and price in diamond. When the average character is asking at a diamond already set, it is very difficult, if no longer not possible, to look variations which could dramatically affect price. For this cause, we endorsed shopping for any important diamond un-mounted, and mounting it most effective after all of the records had been tested. But, you do not must be a “gemologist” or worry shopping for rings. If you follow a few simple steps, absolutely everyone should purchase with confidence.

Four key steps to keeping off fraud or misrepresentation:

The first step is to shop for from someone on hand and knowledgeable.

Sellers have to have the skill to understand for sure what they themselves are buying and selling. This isn’t to say that there aren’t deals to be found in flea markets, estate sales, and so forth, however you run a better risk whilst shopping in such places because of viable incorrect information , intentional or in any other case. You should weight the risk as opposed to the capacity reward. In addition, earlier than making a very last purchasing choice, ask your self whether or not or now not you may be capable of find the seller again if what you acquire seems to be aside from represented. This is equally actual while travelling and considering a jewelry buy overseas.

Second, ask the right questions.

Don’t be afraid to ask direct, even pointed questions. The key to getting entire records approximately what you’re buying is calling correct questions so you can be sure you are privy to important elements affecting fine and price.

Third, get the data in writing.

Be certain the vendor is inclined to place the solutions to the questions you ask, and any representations made approximately the gem or earrings you’re thinking about, in writing. If not, we propose in opposition to buying from this dealer unless there may be an unconditional return policy which lets in products to returned inside a reasonable time frame for a complete refund (no longer a shop credit).

Finally, verify the information with a gemologist appraiser.

It’s especially critical to verify whatever has been put in writing with a professional gemologist appraiser. Some unscrupulous dealers are willing to place whatever in writing to make the sale, understanding that written assurances or claims about the stone are often enough to meet customers’ doubts. So this ultimate step can be the most vital to make certain you’re making a sensible choice.

Types of Misrepresentation

Beware of deals!

Diamonds represented to be higher than they’re

Beware of bargains. Most aren’t. When a price appears too properly to be proper, it until the seller does not know its proper fee (which displays badly on the vendor’s understanding).

Scams related to appraisals previous to sale

Beware of jewelers no inclined to place the statistics in writing, but who provide to permit you to take the stone, to an appraiser within the neighborhood. This can be a scam.

One have to continually be careful of pointers from the seller. While valid jewelers usually know better than all of us else who the nice gemologist appraisers are in their groups, and their suggestions should be reputable, you must nevertheless be sure to check the credentials must be reputable, you ought to nevertheless make certain to test the credentials yourself to avoid such scams.

In trendy, you need to defend in opposition to fraud or misrepresentation in one of the following 4 areas:

Weight misrepresentation

Color alteration and misgrading

Flaw concealment and misgrading

Certification, alteration and counterfeit certificate
Weight

Giving “overall weight” of all stones wherein multiple is worried, as opposed to the precise weight of the principle stone, is any other form of misrepresentation. This is in strict violation of federal Trade Commission (FTC) rulings. I giving the load, particularly on any display card, descriptive tag, or different type of advertising for a selected piece of jewelry, the load of the main stone or stones must be indicated as well as the full weight of the all the stones.

Color

Enhancing colour artificially

Touching the culet, or facet of a barely yellow stone with a coating of red ink, together with determined in a indelible pencil, neutralizes the yellow, producing a greater white searching stone. This can be easily detected with the aid of washing the stone in alcohol or water. If you’ve got ay questions about the shade, tactfully request that the stone be washed (in the front of you) for higher examination for better examination. A authentic jeweler have to have no objection to this request.

Improving the coloration with the aid of utilising a sputtering approach (additionally referred to as “portray” the diamond). This includes sputtering a completely skinny coating of a unique substance over the stone or part of the stone, commonly the lower back, where it will likely be tougher to stumble on when installed. The girdle place can also be painted with the substance and create the equal effect. The substance, like indelible pencil, additionally neutralize the yellow and thereby improves the shade through as a great deal as seven color grades, however not like indelible ink, the substance will not wash off. It can be eliminated in two ways: by means of rubbing the stone rapidly and firmly with a cleanser, or with the aid of boiling the stone carefully in sulfuric acid. If the stone is already set up and is lined at the returned, the use of purifier isn’t viable. The sulfuric acid method is the handiest manner. But please notice, the use of sulfuric acid may be extremely dangerous, and ought to be executed best by an experienced character.

This method isn’t always regularly used, but stones dealt with on this manner do seem regularly sufficient to be well worth bringing up.

Coating the diamond with chemical substances and baking it in a small lab kind oven. This method also has a tendency to neutralize some of the yellow, thereby producing a higher color grade. This coating can be eliminated in the end by way of repeated hot ultrasonic cleanings, in order to progressively erode the coating. A extra fast removal may be accomplished by the extra risky approach of boiling in sulfuric acid.

Radiation treatment. Exposing off shade diamonds such as yellowish or brownish tinted stones (and also badly flawed stones wherein the flaws would be much less important in opposition to a coloured history) to sure styles of radiation can result in the production of fancy coloured stones. This treatment produces rich yellows, veggies, and blues, and significantly complements salability due to the fact these colorings are very perfect. In and of itself, radiation is not fraud; it is able to make a fancy colour diamond low priced to someone otherwise unable to buy one. But again, simply make sure that the stone is well represented and you recognize what you’re shopping for, and which you have become it on the proper fee, which must be a good deal lower than that of the natural fancy.

Treated diamonds have to be represented as “handled diamonds” and must be priced accordingly. Whether the colour is herbal or treated may be provided with the aid of a gem testing laboratory. Not all gemologists, but, are equipped with spectroscopic procedures, and some fancy shade diamond require exam with very sophisticated system no longer available to maximum labs. Most herbal fancy coloured diamonds offered by using jewelers in the United States are accompanied by using a GIA diamond record.

Clarity enhancement and flaw concealment

Clarity enhancement

Be specifically alert to the opportunity that readability may be more advantageous. The maximum frequently used techniques are lasering inclusions and filling the fractures. In both instances, darkish inclusions or cracks which may commonly be seen, in a few cases, very visible, are hid, or become a good deal much less substantial. Be positive to invite whether or now not the stone has been lasered or stuffed. As lengthy as , and pay the right charge, a readability stronger diamond can be an attractive preference.

Flaw concealment

Where possible, flaws are concealed by using their settings. The appropriate stone setter will attempt to set a stone in this sort of manner that the setting will assist to conceal any seen imperfections. For this reason flaws close to or on the girdle will downgrade a stone less than those located in the middle of the stone; given that maximum settings cowl all or a part of the girdle, they are honestly less visible here. Indeed, a setting can make a flaw “invisible.”
There is not anything fraudulent in such uses of settings so long as the stone is properly represented. The most effective hazard is that now not best the customer however additionally the jeweler won’t have the imperfection concealment by using the putting.

Can concealment have an effect on price? In most diamonds aside from FL or IF, the presence of a minor flaw hid under a prong will no longer affect the price substantially. However, given the distinction in fee among diamonds graded FL or IF and VVS1, a minor blemish or inclusion hidden by using the placing which may result in a VVS1 diamond being graded FL may want to have a widespread have an effect on on value, specifically if the stone has tremendously satisfactory coloration. For this purpose diamonds should be considered UN-hooked up.

Certification of diamonds

Most diamonds weighting one carat or greater are cautiously evaluated previous to being set by means of a respected laboratory which include the GIA or the AGL, and are issued a diamond grading report. That document both certifies the diamond as genuine and describes it, providing vital records as color grade, flaw grade, weight reducing and proportioning, and so forth. If you are considering the buying of a completely nice diamond weighing one carat or more and it isn’t always followed by means of one of these file, we’d strongly advocate which you or the vendor have the stone evaluated by using the GIA or every other respected laboratory previous to purchase. You ought to accomplish that despite the fact that it manner having a stone this is already set eliminated from the setting and reset. Given the extensive difference in fee that may end result from a grading blunders within the rarer grades, we believes this system is worth the inconvenience and rate.

Unfortunately, the confidence of the general public in diamonds followed by means of the certificates has given upward thrust to the practice of altering and counterfeiting them. While you could be noticeably sure that “certificated” diamonds sold by using official, mounted rings companies are what they claim to be, there are a few providers and dealers who’re seizing opportunities to prey at the unsuspecting.

Altering certificate

Sometimes records is modified on an in any other case valid certificates; for instance, the flaw or colour grade may be altered. If you have got any query regarding records on the certificate, a smartphone call to the lab (or its web website online) giving them the certificates quantity and date will permit you to confirm the records at the certificate.

Counterfeit certificate

Producing a certificates from a nonexistent lab is an an increasing number of common hassle. Stones followed with the aid of fancy “certificates” from remarkable sounding labs that don’t exist are appearing increasingly more often. If the certificate isn’t always from one of the identified labs, it must be carefully checked. If the lab appears valid, call to verify the facts at the certificates, and if all appears so as, you can probable relaxation readily. Otherwise, you may want to have the records verified with the aid of every other gemologist or diagnosed lab.

Switching the stone described on a document

In a few cases the document is bona fide however the stone has been switched. To protect each the patron and the lab, some labs are taking benefit of inventive techniques to ensure in opposition to switching. For instance, a carrier called gem-print makes use of laser era to show a diamond’s precise sample of reflection after which facts it photographically. The result is an electronic “fingerprint” of the diamond which may be used for identification purposes. In addition, the GIA can now really inscribe its file wide variety, that is visible best beneath magnification, immediately onto the diamond itself, along the girdle. By so doing, on can very effortlessly be sure a specific diamond matches a specific certificates virtually by matching the numbers.

In the absence of any such mark, one clue to a switched diamond is probably supplied by using evaluating the carat weight and dimensions given on the record. If the measurements and carat weight healthy exactly, the opportunity is slender that a diamond has been switched, provided the document has now not been altered.
If the stone has been set up, it can be hard to get precise measurements to compare.

Always make certain, for both your protection and the jeweler’s, that the jeweler writes down on the bill of the sale or memo all the stone’s dimensions as excellent as may be decided: diameter or period and width, depth, and weight. This is to help make certain which you aren’t accused of switching the diamond after leaving the premises inside the event you ought to return it.

Is it a diamond or a diamond imposter?

How can you inform if a stone is definitely a diamond? Unless, you’re an professional, or consult one, you cannot be sure approximately the identity of a stone. Nevertheless, there are some easy tests you could perform to be able to display up maximum diamond imposters quite quick. Here are a few things to look for:

Is newsprint readable or observable through the stone?
If the is a round contemporary cut stone and is unfastened or mounted in the sort of manner as to assist you to vicinity it table down over some small newsprint, test whether or not you may see or study any part of the lettering. If so, it isn’t always a diamond. Refraction of light within a genuine diamond is such you’ll not be capable of see any of the letters inside the newsprint.
Is the stone open or closed?
Diamonds are seldom glued in. Rhinestones regularly are.
Is the lower back open or closed?
If the stone is a nicely set diamond, the back of the placing will commonly be open, allowing you to easily see a portion of the pavilion. Some very small rose cut or single reduce diamonds, as visible in some specific earrings, Any be installed with a closed back. Otherwise, if a ring has a closed back, it might be rhinestone, in which case the again is regularly closed in order to disguise the foil that has been implemented to the lower back of the stone.
How many aspects are visible on the top?
In cheaper glass imitations best 9 pinnacle facets are generally visible, in preference to 33 visible top sides in a diamond or top simulation. Single cut or Swiss cut diamonds can even show most effective 9 aspects on the top, but they’ll be set in open back mountings, whereas reasonably-priced glass imitations are generally set in closed returned mountings.
Does the girdle of the stone look like frosted?
The girdles of most diamonds are unpolished, with a floor glass like appear that indicates “frostiness.” The re are some diamond imitations that still have a frosted look, but of all of these, a diamond has the whitest frostiness, like smooth, dry, spherical glass. On the alternative hand, some diamonds do have polished or faceted girdles, and thus no frostiness can be gift. You can develop an eye for this with the aid of asking a dependable jeweler to point out the variations between a refined girdle, an unpolished girdle, and a faceted girdle.
Is the reduce symmetrical?
Since diamond is so precious and symmetry so essential to its usual look and desirability, the symmetry of faceting on a diamond might be very cautiously carried out, whereas in diamond simulations the symmetry of the aspects may be sloppy. For example, the eight kite formed sides (every so often known as bezel facets) will often be missing one or more factors on the aspect, or at the pinnacle or bottom, displaying a small directly part rather than a point. This sloppy faceting may be an important indication that the stone in query is not a diamond, since it indicated that a cutter did now not take proper care. It must be noted that some poorer grade or old reduce diamonds may display sloppiness
Are the crown and pavilion of the stone properly aligned?
While from time to time a diamond may additionally display partial misalignment, imitations are often and often badly misaligned.
Are the side or faces scratched, chipped, or worn?
Diamond imitations consist of some stones which might be very soft and/or brittle, inclusive of zircon, GGG (a person made simulation), Fabulite (a person made diamond simulation also know as Wellington Diamond), and glass. Due their loss of hardness and, within the case of zircon, feasible brittleness, these imitations will display wear without problems, and you can frequently discover scratches or chips at the facet edges or faces. The edges are extremely extra vulnerable and scratches or chips can be more without difficulty seen there, so check the rims first. The take a look at then flat faces for scratches. Check both the area what would be maximum exposed and areas across the prongs, in which a setter would possibly accidentally have scratched the stone even as setting it.
Zircon, a stone determined in nature that is regularly careworn with cubic zirconia (CZ), a man made imitation, is surprisingly tough however very brittle, so it’ll almost continually display chipping at the edges of the facets if the stone has been worn in jewelry for a 12 months or more.
Some diamond appearance-alikes, however, are extra long lasting and immune to considerable put on. These include colorless synthetic spinel, colorless artificial sapphire, colorless quartz, YAG (guy made), and CZ. While those can also scratch or chip over the years with normal put on and day by day abuse, scratches or chips are as numerous, and may be less considerable.
Does the stone, loose or mounted, exhibit fluorescence below ultraviolet mild?
This is not something comfortably completed by way of an novice, nor comprehensible to the common individual because of numerous variables and clinical complexities. If, after the above tests, you continue to have doubt, take the stone to certified gemologist with lab facilities and ask him to become aware of the stone. If it’s miles a diamond, have him note the character of the stone’s fluorescence, as it can prove a treasured device for identity if ever needed.
An critical word approximately cubic zirconia

Cubic zirconia (CZ) is the first-class diamond simulation made to date, and even a few jewelers have wrong those stones for diamonds.
CZ is sort of as first-rate as diamond, has even extra fireplace (which masks its lesser brilliance), and is enormously difficult, giving it good sturdiness and put on-capability. CZ is likewise being produced in fancy hues; purple, green, and yellow, and may offer a pleasing diamond “opportunity” as a means to offset or dress up coloured stones in earrings if diamond are not less costly.

How can you tell if you have a CZ?

Some of the tests already mentioned might also assist you hit upon a CZ. The following may also put off any final doubt.

If it is a unfastened stone, have it weighted.

A free stone may be weighted on a scale, which maximum jewelers have accessible, and you can determine how a whole lot it should weigh if it’s far simply a diamond. If the load is tons greater than the diamond weight must be, based on its unfold, then it is not a diamond. A CZ is about seventy five% heavier than a diamond of the same spread. For instance, a CZ that looks as if a 1 carat diamond length-smart will weigh 1-3/4 carats; a CZ that looks like a1/4 carat diamond in phrases of size will weight approximately forty/one hundred carat.
Look at the girdle.

If the girdle is frosted, a subdued whiteness similar to barely moist or oiled frosted glass will suggest CZ. Looking at girdles to differentiate between the appearance of frosted CZ and frosted diamond girdles requires full-size experience.

Test the stone with a carbide scriber.

CZ can be scratched with a best-factor carbide scriber, additionally available at maximum earrings deliver shops. If the scriber is forcibly pushed perpendicularly to any of the facets (the table being the perfect) and then drawn across this flat surface, you may scratch it. You can’t scratch a diamond except with every other diamond. But be realistic and thoughtful. Do now not heedlessly scratch products that doesn’t belong to you; specially if the jeweler or supplier does not represent the stone as a diamond.
Examine the stone, free or set up, for fluorescence.
Both CZ and diamond fluoresce, however the colours and intensities could be special.

Use an electronic diamond tester.
These are pocket length diamond testers in order to inform you what you whether or not you have a diamond. Most won’t let you know what you have got if it is not diamond, however most effective confirm whether or not or no longer it’s miles diamond.
After those tests, if you have some questions, take the stone to a certified gemologist with lab facilities for high quality identity.

Comparing diamond costs

All too frequently humans look for smooth solutions to complex issues. Many would really like to have a easy list of diamond grades and corresponding fees, via size. Unfortunately, marketplace situations are continuously changing, and more vital great differences in first-rate no longer conveniently discernible to any however the professional. Therefore, it is not viable to provide a easy solution to this complex question.

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Bijan Aziz is the proprietor and Web Master for The Jewelry Hut.

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