Do Jewelry Appraisers Know How To Evaluate Fancy Color Diamonds?

This time, I will start the article with the conclusion first, which is:

Jewelry Appraisers have absolutely no clue whatsoever on how to properly evaluate a Fancy Color Diamond. There! I said it loud and clear. If any true Jewelry appraiser claims otherwise, he is lying to himself.

Now I will explain why…

Fancy Color Diamond Color Evaluation

A Jewelry Appraiser is a generalist, not a specialist. Similar to a family doctor who is a generalist. Now on the other hand, a brain surgeon is a specialist, like an individual that his mainly or only line of work is to deal with Fancy Color Diamonds. That is all that person does. That is a specialist. I will go as far as to say that even an individual who did his 6 month course with the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and successfully acquired his G.G designation (Graduate Gemologist), would have no clue about Fancy Color Diamond evaluation other than the fact that he has or may have acquired the tools and know how to distinguish what a Fancy Color Diamond is. 

Appraising Jewelry

A Fancy Color Diamond Expert deals with Fancy Color Diamonds all day long, and can distinguish with his eyes the variance in color depth between the same family of Fancy Color Diamond color very quickly. This individual can see without using a loop if the diamond he’s holding is a Fancy Yellow, or Fancy Intense Yellow or Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond. His eye is trained for that. That is the first step; The ability to distinguish between color depth right away. Those individuals that appraise Fancy Color Diamonds at the GIA pass a very rigorous training for months before they become a Fancy Color Appraiser at the GIA. The group of people that do that job, are in a separate class of their peers that evaluate colorless diamonds. 

Pink Diamonds presented by the GIA

Going back to Jewelry Appraisers, they are trained as generalists with perhaps a concentration in a specific area. To give you a better idea, the majority of Jewelry Appraisers see as many Fancy Color Diamonds in a year, that a Fancy Color Diamond expert or dealer sees in a single day.

Many jewelry stores may employ an appraisers at the store. This appraiser sees even less Fancy Color Diamonds than most appraisers since the far majority of the jewelry in the store do not contain any Fancy Color Diamonds. Should they be given Fancy Color Diamonds to review, I will bet you any amount of money that they will either not know at all or will guess. If they see a blue diamond, they will either say blue diamond or maybe guess its intensity, but they will have absolutely no clue, and will refer to the GIA certificate for their internal Evaluation Certificate.

Color Intensities for Yellow Diamonds

This is not to say that these evaluators or appraisers are not professional, not at all. All I am claiming is that they are not experts in Fancy Color Diamonds, and will need to consult with experts in Fancy Color Diamonds.

Another example of comparison for those experts in Fancy Color Diamonds at the GIA and the Experts that deal with Fancy Color Diamonds as dealers on a daily basis: on rare occasions there are differences in opinion as to the color depth of a diamond between the two individuals. The GIA appraiser may say that a diamond is a Fancy Light Pink, while the dealer would claim that it should be Certified as a Fancy Pink. What is the difference? major financial value.

Fancy Color Diamonds Financial evaluation

If GIA evaluates a diamond to be a Fancy Light Pink, while the dealer claims that it should be certified as a Fancy Pink, the dealer can appeal the diamond color certification back to the GIA. The GIA will then have another grader evaluate the diamond. Should the second grader grade the diamond as a Fancy Pink, then we can proceed with a new certificate, since the dealer will not appeal. Should the grader certify it like the first grader as being a Fancy Light Pink, the dealer can appeal it a second time. At this point it will go to a special committee and will be evaluated by a group lead by the Lab manager. Once they come with a grade, it cannot be disputed any further. 

The financial value difference between a Fancy Light Pin and a Fancy Pink is huge, and can mean a great financial loss or gain to the dealer. We can see the value difference between blue intensities and their valuation in many of the articles I have written up on diamond upgrading. It can be valued as much as double should the color be improved in some cases.

Variety of Pink Diamonds and their Intensities

In the majority of time (that is 99.99%) jewelry appraisers will need to consult with a Fancy Color Diamond specialist in order to get an appraised value for a diamond. One of the major challenges for appraisers is that when they get a client that wishes to appraise their jewelry collection, which may be several pieces, the appraisers gives them a price for appraising their jewelry. Once the client brings their jewelry to the appraiser and the appraiser falls on a Fancy Color Diamond, going to a Fancy Color Diamond specialist will cost money, and since Fancy Color Diamonds are a class of their own, at times, the cost of appraising a true fancy color diamond will be expensive and may end up leaving the appraiser without any profits left on his services. The issue will arise when the appraiser will not approach their client to explain that they have something unique and will need to add an additional fee for that item. So they will end up giving an incomplete valuation, based on their own research which may not be accurate.

Has any of you read the appraiser’s report for Drew Brees Jewelry from his trial last year? It was done by the gemologists working for Vahid Moradi’s C.J Charles store in La Jolla, California. Drew Brees won in the court battle that lasted over a year and a half and won a $10 million case! I will discuss this particular case in a separate article, as I was the expert witness on behalf of Drew Brees.

A variety of Blue diamonds


I will go back to my initial statement and repeat it: Jewelry Appraisers do not have the skills or know how to give an accurate evaluation for Fancy Color Diamonds. I am not saying that Jewelry Appraisers are dishonest in any way. Should you have any in your collection, and you want to properly evaluate your Fancy Color Diamonds, I strongly suggest you divide your collection between the jewelry pieces you have. Give the Jewelry Appraiser your jewelery, except your Fancy Color Diamonds. For those, you will want to consult with a Fancy Color Specialist to get an accurate valuation, otherwise, your collection may be inaccurately appraised.

We are available for any type of consultation in regards to Fancy Color Diamonds, check out our services provided.

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