Monthly Archive: October 2014

Different Types of Diamond Appraisals and How They’re Used

diamond ring

Now days, everyone seems to think that coming across a diamond ring in some old jewelry box means they’re going to earn a fortune after selling it. Often you might read in a newspaper about a woman who found a diamond ring in her attic, or you watch a news report on television about someone who found a diamond ring in an abandoned storage locker and were able to make a consistent profit because that person managed to sell it for a very good price.

What the media doesn’t tell you is how a proper diamond appraisal is really done. In most cases, the value of a diamond can be very different, according to the type of appraisal made. Especially for estate jewelry, there are usually two types of appraisal meant to settle the value of a diamond jewel.

When a diamond is appraised, it’s important to make a difference between the replacement value and the market value (referred to as resell value in some cases). The replacement value means how much a brand new items costs. Therefore, if you have a diamond ring you bought a couple of years ago, the replacement value is equal to a similar diamond ring bought from a shop or a jewelry store. The market value represents the sum of money an owner would receive in the case of a resell. Simply put, you as an owner are not able to receive the same amount of money for  diamond jewelry like a jeweler or a store would, no matter how much you paid for it in the first place.

The resale value is calculated by taking several factors into consideration, such as the condition of the jewelry, market demand, fashion trends and the mark-ups undergone by a specific jewelry piece from a low wholesale price to a high retail price (in fact, the replacement value). Considering all these factors, it’s no wonder the dream of selling a diamond ring for thousands of dollars quickly bursts like a bubble, because often estate jewelry can be sold for a fraction of the original price.

Truth been told, it’s important to specify what you intend to do with a diamond appraisal, because for insurance appraisals, for instance, the replacement value is always used. That’s because insurance companies need to know how much money they have to pay in case of robbery, fire or other accidents that might occur. However, no serious buyer will be interested in your insurance appraisal, so you will need to get a market value appraisal. The confusion of these two values it’s what makes many diamonds owners wonder why their jewelry is not as much worth as they thought in the case of a resale.

Knowing the difference between these two values is equally important as finding the right appraiser. Even if some is a qualified gemologist, they still need to be certified, so be careful who you choose, because an appraisal done by a non-certified gemologist is not as valuable and many buyers or even insurance companies will not consider it. Not only a certification is what makes a gemologist the right person to perform the appraisal. It’s best to find some with experience in the field, someone who’s able to provide an appraisal as detailed and accurate as possible. Don’t forget to communicate with the appraiser of your choice what you intend to use it for, because, as stated above, the replacement value is used for insurance purposes, but it’s not useful if you want to resale diamond jewelry.

If you want to sell your estate jewelry and need to know exactly how much money you could get for diamond jewelry, or if you need to insure your diamonds, schedule an appointment with us and you can be certain you’ll receive the best possible services regarding diamond appraisals.

Photo:, user: Wounds_and_cracks

How to Choose the Perfect Pink Diamond

choosing pink diamonds

If you thought pink diamonds were so last year, than you’re in for a surprise. Just last week, a fancy vivid pink diamond was sold at an auction for nearly $17.8 million, which makes it officially the most expensive pink diamond sold at an auction so far. Yes, pink diamonds are like a magnet for the ladies in particular, so how does one choose a pink diamond that’s both beautiful and of high quality at the same time?

Pink diamonds have this interesting color due to some physical abnormalities or impurities found in their structure. Most pink diamonds come from Australia and natural pink stones are pretty rare, making them some of the most expensive fancy-colored stones. When buying pink diamonds, the most important things you should pay attention to are the size and the color density, because these two elements will set the price higher or lower and you’ll notice the difference in your wallet.

How important is the color of pink diamonds?

The color for pink diamonds is evaluated by three components: tone, hue and saturation.

  1. Tone is what tells you how light or dark a color is. Naturally, it comes to the personal preference how you choose the diamond, but usually too light or too dark stones don’t have a discernible primary color and are not so desirable. Medium-dark stones on the other hand, have a well-defined hue, so the color looks more beautiful.
  2. Hue is the visible color of the fancy diamond. The most common hue for pink diamonds is, naturally, pink. However, in a stone you can also see secondary hues of a primary color. Secondary hues usually enhance the primary color, making the diamond even more valuable.  If the secondary hues outshadow the primary color, distracting the eye from it, the value is automatically lower, because the color won’t appear as vivid. Common secondary hues for pink diamonds are orange, purple or brown. Purple and orange give value to the stone, while brown or yellow secondary hues are not sought out by buyers. Pink diamonds with no secondary hues, but with a vivid pink primary color are the most expensive ones because they are very rare.
  3. Saturation is the intensity of the color. Not just pink diamonds, but any kind of fancy diamonds are more expensive if they have a saturated color. Therefore, deep pink diamonds are more valuable than pink diamonds with light coloring. The most expensive pink diamonds in terms of saturation are those who have a hue closer to red, because red diamonds are the rarest colored diamonds.

Carat weight

Like for any diamond, carat weight is also very important to set a price. As fancy-colored diamonds are rarer, bigger diamonds are more expensive. Especially with pink diamonds, because these stones are so much in trend, a diamond bigger than 0.3 carats is considerably more expensive than smaller but otherwise comparable stones. Pink diamonds bigger than 0.5 carats are extremely rare and therefore very expensive.


For pink diamonds, clarity is graded the same way as it is for other types of diamonds, although it should be mentioned that clarity is not as important for fancy-colored diamonds like for colorless ones because flaws are not so visible due to the coloring. So at least in this aspect you don’t have to pay more for a flawless pink diamond, because flaws are unnoticeable for the naked eye. Something in the SI1 or SI2 clarity range looks stunning and it’s  a little more budget-friendly (as much as pink diamonds can be).


Colored diamonds are not cut with proportions used to maximize brilliance, like in the case of colorless diamonds. This is just a secondary characteristic for colored diamonds, therefore they are cut to enhance and showcase the color intensity. Brilliance is something to be considered, only if you’re satisfied with the diamond’s color saturation.

If you plan on buying a pink diamond, or any type of diamond, or if you already have a diamond and would like to know how much it’s worth, AGI New York provides certified appraisal services.

Color Options For Diamond Engagement Rings

white diamond engagement ring

Diamond rings are the first choice for any engagement, but even for something as traditional as a marriage proposal, some pay attention to…fashion trends. If we take a look at famous engagement rings some of the most talked about celebrities in Hollywood showed off, we can easily notice one significant trend: no one wants colorless diamonds anymore. Fancy colored diamonds are the latest rage in fashion and have become some of the most sought out jewelry item over the last years. Kristen Bell received a beautiful champagne colored diamond from Dax Sheperd, Olivia Palermo has a canary-yellow sparkler on her hand and “Gossip Girl” Blake Lively was proposed to with a pink diamond ring by Ryan Reynolds.

Fancy diamonds is a term used for diamonds hued in very bold shades, which makes them unusual and present the perfect opportunity to stand out. And what else does a Hollywood diva want rather then not being just another girl in the crowd? Fancy diamonds are rare, although stones treated in a laboratory are also valuable. However, the really expensive diamonds are those who are naturally colored, without any chemical addition. Natural coloring occurs when an impurity gets trapped inside the diamond’s carbon lattice structure. For instance, yellow diamonds have their coloring from nitrogen, while blue diamonds have this interesting hue due to traces of boron.

Speaking of popularity, fancy diamonds are not an invention of the last decade, because many celebrities and famous people used to offer lavished gifts in the form of colored diamonds to their loved ones. The most popular diamond hue is certainly yellow. Over the years, yellow diamonds became the quintessential expression of elegance and opulence. Someone who wears yellow diamonds is trying to make a statement, to get noticed. When Paris Hilton was engaged to billionaire Paris Latsis (let’s not get into the whole Paris and Paris subject), the heiress got not one, but two engagement rings, one of them being a canary diamond ring, worth $5 million. After Jennifer Lopez gave birth to their twins, husband Marc Anthony gave her an 8 carat canary yellow diamond ring as a present. Another famous yellow diamond engagement ring was the one received by Katie Holmes from Tom Cruise. And let’s not forget the famous 1953 movie premiere where Marilyn Monroe wore a yellow pear-shaped diamond, called The Moon of Baroda, which was also used for a promotional photo shoot.

Those who want a more feminine and delicate choice as an engagement ring, opt for pink diamonds. Most women love pink diamonds because it’s the one color you don’t see men wearing that often. We all remember the famous pink diamond engagement ring given to Jennifer Lopez by her then fiancé Ben Affleck.  Another diva who has a passion for pink diamonds is Mariah Carey. When she got engaged to Nick Canon, she received a beautiful emerald cut pink diamond engagement ring. A pink diamond was also the stone of choice for Enrique Iglesias when he proposed to long time girlfriend Anna Kournikova.

One of the hardest diamonds to find is a naturally colored blue diamond. Blue diamonds are so rare, but so worth it, considering how blue is the color of royalty and nobility. Strangely enough, not many celebrities opt for blue diamonds, but somehow they did gain in popularity over the last years, replacing sapphires.

No matter the shape, size or color, engagement rings are special and should be treated accordingly. If you’re in need for a ring appraisal, or if you want to insure your diamond engagement ring, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll provide you with all the information you need. Our services are certified and professional, so you can be assured you’re receiving high quality and detailed appraisals.

Image courtesy of Boykung at

Why You Shouldn’t Waste Time Thinking About Diamonds

blue diamond

A couple of years ago, Ira Weissman, one of the veterans in the diamond industry seriously stirred the waters when he published his article “7 Reasons Why Diamonds Are A Waste Of Money” for Huffington Post. Quickly, a debate started and there were various experts defending the diamond industry, but also plenty others who agreed with Weissman’s ideas.

Although he wasn’t the first one to state this idea, his piece really started somewhat of a mini-revolution among Internet users and the article has become the main motivation for many young couples not to splurge for a diamond engagement ring.

Fact is diamonds are part of our life, whether we like it or not, because these precious gemstones were used for decorative purposes since ancient times. Early references to diamonds come from India in Sanskrit texts. Due to their qualities and because they were rare gemstones, diamonds quickly became a trade item in many cultures. However, diamonds are not meant to symbolize only the social status or wealth. They are symbols of love, purity, power, strength and beauty. Diamonds are rare, beautiful, can’t be easily cut and are impervious to fire, so it’s no wonder ancient Greeks thought they were tears of Gods fallen on earth and ancient Romans believed diamonds were splinters of fallen stars. As a matter of fact, the Romans far not that far away in their assumption, as a recently discovered white dwarf star is made entirely out of diamond.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, and let’s get back to Weissman’s article and answer the stringent question: “Are diamonds really a waste of money?”

First, Weissman states diamond engagement rings are just a marketing product of the 20th century. That’s only partially true, because that’s when they became more popular, but engagement rings were not that uncommon starting with the Industrial Revolution, when diamonds began to be sold even by department stores because new diamond mines were found, and they weren’t reserved only for the upper class and those who were wealthy enough to afford them. Noblemen and royals used to offer diamond rings as gifts for centuries. The first diamond engagement ring in the history, is the one received by Mary of Burgundy in 1477. So no, it’s not a new tradition made by marketing agencies, it’s just that diamond rings were not that popular before De Beers and their ad campaign. It’s the same as Santa Claus. Just because Coca-Cola put an old man in a red suit, it doesn’t mean people didn’t have this tradition under different names and meanings for each culture.

Another idea stated in the article is that diamonds are not a real investment because you can’t sell them for exactly the same price. Yes, that may be true if you want to sell your diamonds after a couple of years, but diamonds, and jewelry in particular is always going to be valuable and that’s why jewelry is inherited by children, grandchildren or other family members. So if you were to inherit your grandmother’s diamond ring, you could keep is as a cherished memory or you could sell it for a good amount of money and use it however you want. So no, you don’t get rich by buying and selling diamonds, but the gemstones are still worth a lot of money if you were to sell them.

Spotting fake diamonds is tricky, and yes, many online dealers and even brick and mortar dealers are trying to scam their customers, but now a days, there are so many technological processes used to establish the real value of a diamond, that it’s practically impossible to get scammed. Just make sure you don’t buy anything without getting an expert opinion, best from an independent appraiser, who has no interest in telling you a diamond is worth more or less and will only give you the true facts.

Another controversy related to diamond rings is how much you spend for them. This is a very subjective matter, as for  each individual money has different values. Some prefer to spend it on necessities and save the rest, while other believe you only have one life and you should really enjoy it. When it comes to diamond engagement rings, no woman will tell you a diamond is the only sign of a man’s love and many brides don’t want a diamond. That’s absolutely natural, everyone’s entitled to make their own choices, but fore many brides, a diamond engagement ring is their most precious possession. Some users form the boards explain it best:

“I wish I could say that I’d be fine with whatever, but honestly I wanted a real one. Its the only “real” piece of jewelry I own and its important to me. I wear it everyday though and I plan to wear it everyday for the rest of my life so I wanted it to be special. To me having the real thing was worth it. ( board user: Mrs.PinkPeony)”

“My husband was able to afford a nice ring and I love it. If we’d been in a different financial situation at the time he got the ring, he probably would’ve purchased a smaller diamond, but still a real one. (board user: QueenBecca037)”

“I would care. I hate saying it, but it’s true.

I got a real diamond, but it’s small. Having a real diamond was important to me because the thought of having a “fake” diamond symbolizing our engagement just didn’t sit well with me. I know, it makes no sense because a diamond doesn’t determine the status of your relationship, but that’s just how I feel (board user: Miss Chapstick)”

On the board, there are plenty of brides who don’t specifically want a diamond engagement ring, but for some, the ring symbolizes something and it was well worth spending the money for it.

Other arguments presented by Weissman in his article or not even convincing enough, he just basically says you don’t need a diamond to prove your love. Yes, that is completely true, but that’s not why people buy diamond engagement rings. Let’s admit it, if someone were to do that, the relationship is doomed from the start. But diamonds are a traditional symbol, whether we like it or not. Diamond jewelry is also practical. Usually the engagement ring is worn for any occasion, every day. Diamonds, unlike other gemstones “go with everything”, so many women like the fact they don’t have the hassle of accessorizing diamond jewelry according to outfits, occasions or events.

Bottom line is diamonds are not a waste if it’s something you really want, just like the latest iPhone is not a waste for those who love the brand and are crazy about these gadgets. Diamond engagement rings are just a choice like any other made in life and no one should be influenced by what the media or anyone else for that matter says about it.

Photo credit:, user: PublicDomainPictures