You know your diamond is valuable. You may even remember how much it cost and you probably still have paperwork given to you at the time of purchase. But the real questions are “How much is your diamond worth today?” and “How can you get the full value you deserve?”
In this article, we cover some of the common questions and answers involved when obtaining a diamond appraisal and selling your diamond jewelry for a fair cash price.
Are all diamonds worth the same price per carat?
It is a common misconception that all diamonds are worth relatively the same price per carat. This could not be further from the truth. Diamonds are formed deep within the earth over millions of years. Over all of this time, the pure element of pressurized carbon often comes into contact with foreign elements. These foreign elements can become trapped within the diamond during growth and create what are called inclusions. The amount and nature of inclusions determines your diamond’s clarity and (in part) its worth.
In addition to clarity, a diamond appraiser will also take into consideration the color and cut of your diamond when establishing its price per carat. All of these factors are also included in what is called diamond grading report (or diamond certificate), which we discuss in more detail further along in this article.
How much does size matter?
The unit of measurement used to weigh gemstones is called a carat. One carat equals a twentieth of a gram. Diamonds are most often priced and sold on a price per carat scale. The clarity and color of a diamond, along with its size, are three of the main factors that determine the price of your diamond. A diamond of a fine color grade with few inclusions may be the same price of a much larger diamond with many inclusions. Also keep in mind that diamond prices jump dramatically once the 1 carat level is reached — which is why cost-conscious shoppers often purchase a .99 carat diamond versus a full carat diamond.
Should I get a written appraisal for my diamond?
Many appraisers will tell you to get all diamond jewelry appraised. This is more often true if you are looking to insure your diamond against theft, fires, etc. When you are looking to sell your diamond to a jewelry buyer, any money spent on a written appraisal means less money you’ll end up with after selling it.
Diamond appraisals can cost hundreds of dollars. If you expect the value of your jewelry may be less than $2,000, the cost of a written diamond appraisal may not be equivalent to the amount of money earned by having the diamond appraised. For example, if you expect that the value of your jewelry will be under $2,000 and the diamond appraisal costs you $200, you may not get any extra money for having an appraisal.
Should I get a lab report on my high-value diamond?
High-value diamonds require special care. Every diamond is unique. Even diamonds of the same variety and size can vary in price by thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. Again, if you suspect your diamond is worth less than $2,000, the cost of a lab report might overwhelm your profit, leaving you little to no return. If you are unsure whether your diamond should be sent to a lab, feel free to call or email Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers for a free verbal estimate and cash quotation.
If you know that you are in possession of a very high-value diamond, then it often is a good idea to get an official lab report in order to know what you have, before going to see a diamond buyer. A report from a lab like the Gemological Institute of America or the GIA, will give the diamond buyer you choose specific grades to follow, enabling them to more easily and accurately value your diamond on the estate (resale) market.
A steward of the public interest, the GIA created the International Diamond Grading System, a universally recognized guideline at which all diamonds are judged. In addition to this Diamond Grading System, the GIA employs thousands of gemologists in research and lab analysis, providing an unbiased judgment of gemstones worldwide, eliminating dispute of quality amongst jewelers.
Setting the standard of consistency since 1953, diamonds can be bought, sold and understood worldwide using their standardized terminology. Having an official GIA Lab Report provides you with indisputable information about your diamond’s color, clarity, carat weight, and cut.
Upon arrival at the GIA lab, your diamond will be inspected and graded by three professional diamond grader gemologists. A gemologist is someone specially trained to analyze the subtle nuances that determine the value of your gemstone. Each grader will provide their analysis, unable to see the report given by the other graders. To receive a GIA Lab Grade, your diamond must undergo a final review by a top diamond grader who will review each grade and make a final decision.
Diamonds sold with the security of a GIA Lab Report garner higher prices in the market and eliminate the guesswork that could potentially cost you money. In other words, a GIA Lab Report provides the diamond appraiser and buyer with an accurate grade on which to base the market value of your diamond. However, keep in mind that these lab reports do cost a sum based on the gemstone, carat weight, and services you choose.
Can a GIA Appraiser give me the same paperwork as the GIA Lab?
GIA Appraisers can be a valuable and trusted appraisal source. However, the training of a team of GIA Lab Graders and the powerful analytical technology created and utilized by only the GIA Laboratory is far greater than one GIA Appraiser. GIA Lab Graders must undergo months of rigorous training and meet highly acute standards in many fields. Shielded from all client information, graders are given only the diamond, eliminating subjectivity without a doubt.
As stated before, having an official GIA Lab Report provides you with indisputable information about your diamond. This means that even if 10 GIA graduates working as appraisers did not agree with the final grading awarded by the GIA Laboratory, the diamond industry will recognize the official GIA Lab Report as undeniable truth.
The forefront of leading technology and research, the GIA owns laboratories all over the world. From New York to Carlsbad (CA) to London to Hong Kong, GIA has a lab within your reach. For more information about sending in your diamond for review, please go to: Sending a Diamond to GIA.
Getting your Diamond Jewelry Appraised
Looking for a trusted diamond appraiser in the jewelry industry can be intimidating. When dealing with important diamonds, of course, you want to get the best return on your assets. The process is straightforward if you follow these simple rules.
1) Remember to ask the diamond appraiser you choose for the right kind of jewelry appraisal, as the values will differ. There are two types of diamond appraisals. Estate Jewelry Appraisers offer a “replacement value diamond appraisal,” describing the amount of money your diamond would cost should you purchase it at a jewelry store today.
Diamond jewelry appraisals provided for homeowner’s insurance always entail the replacement value, giving the cost of replacing the item at full retail price after a robbery, fire, etc.
An estate jewelry appraisal is a “resale value diamond appraisal” which describes the sum the appraiser believes you could sell the diamond for wholesale. You will want this kind of appraisal if you intend to sell the piece.
2) Make sure you choose a diamond appraiser who is both a qualified gemologist and an experienced fine jeweler. When an estate jewelry appraiser conducts a resale value appraisal, they must be well versed in the industry to incorporate fashion trends, market demand, the condition of the item and mark-ups the jewelry has undergone in its respective market in order to assess your diamond jewelry’s full value.
A qualified gemologist is someone that has been highly trained, completing the Graduate Gemologist program at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or a well-experienced jewelry professional with a well-supported reputation in the field. Please see our reviews page to hear directly from clients who have sold their items to DEJB: Diamond Jewelry Buyer Reviews.
3) Don’t get scammed. Some diamond appraisers base their fee on a percentage of the value they place on your jewelry. A higher cost for a higher appraisal is made to seem like a win to someone not in the trade, but this takes money out of your pocket for two reasons. The diamond appraiser is charging you more money for the same work and the insurance company charges you a higher insurance premium, forcing you to pay more over time than necessary.
An example of this would be an item that is appraised for $8,000 when the realistic wholesale value (that which a jewelry buyer pays you) is only $800. This is an inflated appraisal, given that a typical retail appraisal should be about 5x the wholesale value (in this case $4000), not 10x.
4) A jeweler who follows best practices will agree to give you a free verbal estimate for your diamond jewelry without obligation. This allows you to have a fair advantage when comparing quotes from different jewelers and in deciding whether to obtain a written appraisal.
5) As internationally recognized fine jewelry buyers, Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers has had the opportunity to appraise and sell some of the world’s most treasured estate and antique jewelry. We are passionate about empowering our clients through knowledge of the trade and making the sale of their jewelry easy and amicable.
Our owner Carl Blackburn created DEJB to in order to ensure a positive, profitable experience for anyone who wishes to sell their diamond jewelry.
Contact us today for a completely free verbal appraisal and immediate cash offer without obligation. Then compare our quote and the services we offer to that of other jewelry buyers, pawn shops, or estate buyers providing free cash quotations.
Call Us Toll Free: (800) 956-8505
To learn more about selling your diamond from anywhere in the United States, please see our article: How to Sell a Diamond Ring.