While you cherish your diamonds — regardless if they were gifted to you, or passed down through family members —in the back of your mind, you may be wondering exactly what the diamond value or diamond resale value is in that jewelry of yours. Even if you purchased your diamond, and know how much you paid for it, the value of the diamond is not found in the price tag.
In order to determine how much your diamonds are worth, you need to have them evaluated. But, it’s important to go to someone that is fully knowledgeable on the subject who can give you an accurate appraisal or GIA grading report (don’t worry, we’ll get to these terms!)
How Does an Appraisal Find My Diamond's Value?
You may have heard of a diamond appraisal, but there are some misconceptions on the way the term is used. First, let’s go over what an appraisal is exactly. It is one form of assessing a diamond, and essentially is a monetary value assigned to a diamond.
An appraisal, however, does not determine the absolute or true value of a diamond. This is because an appraisal is determined with an inflation rate, and operates like insurance or tax. Plus, the value determined at an appraisal can vary under certain contexts.
It’s important to note that the price at which your diamond is appraised is neither the price you paid nor what you will be able to resell it for.
GIA Grading Reports vs. Diamond Appraisals
As mentioned above, diamond appraisals are when a monetary valuation is given to your diamond, or your diamond ring, and are typically done by a jeweler or gemologist.
A grading report, on the other hand, is a thorough evaluation of a diamond and its characteristics to determine the most accurate value of a ring considering all its qualities. These characteristics include carat weight, cut, color and clarity.
Diamond grading reports are completed by professional gemological labs, such as GIA (Gemological Institute of America), EGL (European Gemological Laboratory), IGI (International Gemological Institute) and AGS (American Gem Society).
One of the key differences between appraisal and grading is that the grading certificate typically does not provide a monetary value, while an appraisal does just that. Appraisers do not examine rings to the same depth as the professionals behind diamond grading reports and lab grading. Additionally, although an appraiser should be an expert in their field, due to the fact they can either operate independently or associated to larger jewelry companies, they may not be totally unbiased in their appraisal.
A final point to keep in mind: if you want to sell diamond jewelry, an appraisal will tell you the value of the jewelry as a whole, while a grading report will cover the characteristics of the diamond alone
Why should I get a diamond appraisal?
There are a few reasons why you should take the time to get a diamond appraisal. First, it can ease your mind knowing that the value of your ring is around the amount of money you paid for it. Or, if it’s a passed-down piece, you would be pleased to know that the diamond holds the value that you were told it had, or the expected value. Secondly, by obtaining a professional diamond appraisal, you can insure your ring for a full replacement value.
In fact, appraisals are absolutely necessary if you’d like to take out an insurance policy on your diamond from an insurance company. The appraisal is key to allowing you to receive financial compensation if the ring is stolen, lost, or even damaged.
When should I get my diamond appraised?
You should get your diamond appraised as soon as you have it, so that you can obtain insurance coverage immediately. I’m sure you’ve heard horror stories where diamonds or engagement rings have been lost before ever being actually insured — a mistake you’d want to avoid at all costs. As the saying goes, things happen, and jewelry can get lost. Getting an appraisal quickly after purchasing or acquiring your diamond will allow for peace of mind.
Another good time to get your piece appraised is if you are intending to sell a diamond, or similarly for tax purposes, for example if the diamond is included in an estate’s valueIt’s also important to note that you should get your ring appraised about every five years. You always want to be sure that you have an accurate recorded value of your diamond because the value of diamonds and other precious stones and metals rises over time. If you happen to lose your diamond 10 years after it was appraised, you won’t have it insured for the full current amount.
The Diamond Appraisal Process:
Cleaning —The first step for a comprehensive diamond grading process is to clean the diamond, polishing off any superficial dirt in order to visually evaluate the diamond precisely.
General Condition Overview — A certified diamond professional will visibly inspect the diamond in order to assess the stone’s general condition, as well as to make sure the diamond is real before evaluating further.
The 4C’s — The most important step of the process, which we will cover in the next selection below, refers to a diamond’s carat, color, cut and clarity.
Description — After the examination, the evaluator will write a diamond grading report, including all his or her findings on the diamond. Sometimes, an estimated market value will be included in this write-up.
The 4C's of Diamond Grading
You may have heard of the 4C’s before in reference to diamond grading, and that is because it is the most important step in the entire process. The 4C’s describe a diamond’s definitive characteristics, and are the most important guide to determine a stone’s value. If you get a quote for your diamond from a diamond buyer, the offer will usually be based on how your stone scores on the 4C’s.
Carat — The Carat refers to the weight of your diamond. For reference, 1 carat equals .2 grams. Heavier diamonds are more rare, and therefore more valuable than smaller diamonds.
Color — Most diamonds appear colorless to the untrained eye, but in actuality, diamonds often have a slight yellowish or brown tint. The color grade is determined by ratings from D to Z. D is the best, meaning there is no color tint, and Z is for when the diamond displays a strong yellow hue.
Cut — Consumers frequently conceive of a stone’s cut as its shape (such as round, emerald or pear), but in the diamond grading process, “cut” more appropriately describes how well a diamond’s facets show off light. The seven components of the GIA Cut Grading System are brightness, fire, scintillation, weight ratio, durability, polish, and symmetry.
Clarity — This addresses the quality of the diamond, assessing both its internal and external flaws and must be done with special tools. Rare diamonds are those that do not have any flaws such as clouds, inclusions or scratches, and will of course be the most valuable.
How Much Does a Diamond Appraisal Cost?
The cost of a diamond appraisal varies greatly depending on the complexity of the jewelry that the diamond is a part of. All things considered, the cost of an appraisal is a small price to pay in order to determine the value of your diamond.
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