Appraisals vs. selling prices

March 30, 2011

Appraisals vs. Selling prices

Have you ever noticed many stores sell diamonds with appraisals that far exceed the actual asking price of the piece? This has been a confusing issue for me since I became a Gemologist over 20 years ago. If I buy a new car for instance it does not come with an piece of paper stating that it is worth much more than the price the sales person is offering it for. Why do so many diamonds come with appraisals stating the value is much much higher than the actual sale price? During my training I was taught all the skills needed to do an appraisal except the pricing. You see the diamond market is very dynamic as are the multitude of retail levels people buy them at. The same quality of diamond can sell at many different locations for many different prices. A very high end exclusive location gild store may sell a diamond for more than others. Most diamonds aside from a few patented cut brands do not have a manufacturers suggested retail price like a TV set or an appliance. The best way to value a diamond is to compare certified stones of the same quality using the same standards of grading . The most respected labs in the world, the Gemological Institute of America and the American Gem Society will not even comment on the value of a diamond.  They only report the quality. The market and the consumer will decide the value. My opinion is, the price of the diamond should represent the appraised value and no less. Many times other labs will provide a certificate of quality and then add a value for the consumer to feel good about. I feel there is a great conflict of interest to both attach a value on a diamond plus provide the report of quality without offending the seller or the buyer. Most of our diamonds come with certificates from the GIA and AGS. Both of these organizations will not place a value on any diamond submitted to them for certification. This is your assurance of an unbiased opinion of quality. One final thought. Insurance companies do not pay out a claim on the amount you have a diamond insured for. They pay out on how much it actually costs them to replace it. Even more reason to consider a certified stone, NOT one with just an ego style appraisal.