Last week I shared with you an interesting fact that two diamonds that appear to be the same on paper can be different in reality. You were probably left wondering how that can be. Here’s the answer:
- Not all gemological laboratories grade diamonds with the same strictness. They may be using the same methods and they may, theoretically, be using the same criteria, but their application of those criteria and their discretionary judgments are different. The GIA is reputed to be the strictest grading laboratory, but even its graders don’t always get it right.
- Even within the same laboratory, two gemologists may make different judgments about the same diamond. As a result, two diamonds of different qualities can get the same grade. If a weaker diamond gets the same grade as the stronger diamond, and if the seller prices the diamond based on what it really is rather than just the written grade, the weaker diamond will cost less (as it should), but will appear to be a great deal compared to the more expensive diamond. Of course, in reality, they are not the same quality, and each may be properly priced, in comparison to the other. But you won’t realize that unless you are guided properly.
- The gemologist may have simply made a mistake in grading a diamond. A seller of a diamond with an inflated grade is not going to ask the laboratory to correct it. He may sell it for a relatively lower price (giving the impression of a great deal), but in reality, the diamond is less desirable (and less valuable) than a properly graded diamond of the same grade.
- Finally, and perhaps most important, gemological graders do not understand that when you purchase a diamond, you want one that is pretty and desirable. This is more than just a matter of grade; it is a question of value. It is a question of understanding what makes a diamond desirable. Gemological laboratories and their gemologists do not purchase diamonds. They don’t put their money on the line. They don’t evaluate more than the strict “Four Cs” of a diamond. Accordingly, their certificates do not tell you whether the subject diamond is one you should purchase or stay away from.
We, who put our money on the line and buy diamonds, have to understand what makes a diamond desirable to the end user and why, between two diamonds of the same grade, one may be worth purchasing and the other not. We have to decide for ourselves whether the certificate reflects the true color of the diamond or whether it is it influenced by other factors. We need to determine whether the clarity grade is accurate and whether the inclusion is desirable or not.
Tomorrow I will share an experience I had that will exemplify the paper versus reality issue.
In the meantime, until next time, Mind Your Diamonds!