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Unraveling Diamond Appraisal

Unraveling Diamond Appraisal

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Unraveling Diamond Appraisal

Diamonds are precious. But they’re not created equal. That’s why you need an appraisal to prove their value. There are several reasons why you need this document. The first one is determining the item’s replacement cost for insurance. Ordinarily, insurers ask for a new report every few years because of the diamond’s changing prices.

Another motive is determining estate taxes upon inheriting jewelry. This kind of appraisal finds your ornament’s fair market price. You could also seek an evaluation when selling. While immediate liquidation attracts lower prices, the value can increase if the diamond’s previous owner was prominent. Remember, the stated figure isn’t the stone’s absolute value but a quote for a particular purpose.

Conducting an Appraisal

The appraiser focuses on:

  • Cut: The quality depends on the closeness of your stone’s proportions to the benchmarks. Experts choose some diamonds as reference points because of their sparkle. Per GIA’s rating criteria, the best cuts are graded “Excellent” and the worst are “Poor”. Appraisers also check the gem’s depth, table width, facet symmetry, and edge thickness.
  • Color: Since color measures purity, colorless gems cost more than their tinted alternatives. The evaluation is more accurate on loose diamonds. That’s because mount reflections affect the original color. Note that rare shades like green and pink have a different grading system.
  • Carat: The expert checks the stone’s mass in carats. A carat makes 0.2 or 200 grams and milligrams, respectively. Although heavier gems cost more, the connection between weight and price isn’t linear. Suppose you have a four-carat diamond and another weighing 8 carats. Even if they have similar characteristics, the second jewel will exceed twice the first’s value because larger stones are rare.
  • Clarity: The clarity grouping depends on the stone’s inclusions and defects. Gems are more valuable if their flaws are invisible to a powerful loupe. The price drops if you can spot the imperfections under magnification. Blemishes visible to the unaided eye attract the lowest mark.

After assessing the stone, the gemologist may also check other ring qualities, for instance, band age, material, and aesthetics.


  • Description: It should include the piece’s measurements, color, and other distinct features. That way, anyone reading the appraisal recognizes it.
  • Value: The gemologist should capture the market price. Apart from voiding the appraisal, incorrect values may affect your claim and premiums.
  • Sales Tax: This feature doesn’t apply to every assessment. For instance, it may be irrelevant for jewelry sales because market values are the only ones that matter. Contrarily, you can mention the sales tax in insurance valuations and let your insurer decide whether or not they’ll include it.
  • Photos: Although they’re not mandatory, pictures facilitate identification and replacement when you lose the gem. They also help buyers match an appraisal with the diamond on sale.

Comparing Appraisals With Diamond Certifications

The main distinction is that appraisals mention the stone’s value while certifications don’t. Though both check the quality, certifications are more detailed. Think of them as vehicle title equivalents. Instead of the VIN and car model, certifications identify the diamond using its polish and fluorescence. Because they confirm the diamond is what the jeweler claims, certifications double as buyer protection.

Conversely, appraisals act as property protection when presented to insurers. Since they bear the stone’s aspects, certifications reduce the jeweler’s subjectivity during evaluations. Another difference is that certifications don’t require updates like appraisals that change according to the insurance company’s guidelines.


If you're looking to get your diamond appraised, Ralph Mueller & Associates is the place to go. Our certified gemologists have the experience to give you the best value and price for your jewelry. Contact us today to learn more.