The good news: Lab-grown diamonds have reenergized the jewelry industry.
The bad news: You’re at greater risk of inadvertent mixing or outright fraud.
Did You Hear The Story?
She seemed so nice when she entered the store. A 60-year-old widow, newly engaged, selling her previous wedding ring. She described the joy it had brought her over the years. The platinum setting was dulled by patina. The laser-inscribed 2 ct. E VVS2 center diamond matched the old grading report, right down to the measurements. She was surprised at how low the first offer was, but eventually settled for $500 more, plus a $500 gift card she could give to her fiancé to put toward a watch.
The grading results came back 10 days later: The 2 ct. E VVS2 HPHT lab- grown diamond was worth half what this unfortunate jeweler had paid the “nice lady,” whom he never saw again.
Trust, But Verify
Scams are everywhere. They come by email, phone, and even in person. The International Gemological Institute (IGI) has uncovered lab-grown diamonds submitted as natural numerous times, sometimes unknowingly. Thermal and electronic diamond testers do not identify lab-grown diamonds. New UV testers are not decisive. The fraudulent producers are getting more sophisticated, as with this 6.18 ct. colorless, flawless round brilliant, submitted with a natural report from another institute. The only way to decisively know whether a diamond is natural or lab-grown is to have it tested by a gemological institute capable of advanced spectrometric analysis.
IGI Screening: Safeguard Yourself
IGI offers affordable, decisive screening services for jewelry as well as melee parcels. Without unmounting gemstones, we can determine natural or lab- grown origin for all stones in a piece, bringing peace of mind to all parties involved in the transaction. Jewelers buying diamond and gemstone jewelry over the counter may advise the consumer that, in the interest of mutual protection, payment will come after verification by IGI. If the consumer refuses verification it may be wise to reject the deal.
Did You Know About IGI Appraisals?
Safeguard your clients with IGI’s independent appraisals. Whether you use natural diamonds, lab-growns, or mixed-in jewelry pieces, it’s critical for consumers to have proper documentation and valuation when securing insurance.
Insurance Value Changes Over Time
Precious metal and gemstone prices change over time. To maintain proper insurance coverage, IGI offers an affordable appraisal update service. Consumers who have an IGI appraisal are invited to use this service every one to two years for up to 10 years, after which the item must return to IGI for a new physical appraisal. The piece can be returned by the jeweler or by the consumer.
IGI Is the World Leader in Appraisals
The grading and appraising of jewelry is more complex than loose-gemstone grading. After grading millions of carats of gemstones mounted in jewelry, IGI has developed techniques for providing accurate and impartial assessments of total carat weight, color, clarity, nature of origin, precious metal content, and other details for natural and lab-grown gemstones in finished jewelry pieces.
Safeguard yourself and your clients. Contact us for more information about screening and appraisal services.