7 Things to Know When Buying a Ring

1. Learn about the four Cs — the color of the diamond, the clarity of the diamond, the quality of the cut of the diamond, and the carat weight of the diamond. These will have the greatest impact on value and price of the diamond. Know the 5th C – Confidence comes with a Jewelry Judge Appraisal Report!

2. Check store reputations — always purchase from a jeweler who has been in business for a number of years. If you are not familiar with the jeweler or online site, check their reputation and rating with the Better Business Bureau and the American Gem Society before you buy.

3. Buy a certified diamond — it comes with a diamond grading report that has been issued by an independent, unbiased gemological institute (GIA or AGS preferred). This way, you have the opportunity to compare one diamond’s details to that of another, at the same store or different one.

4. Grading report — always purchase diamond jewelry accompanied by a grading report. The grading report provides an unbiased assessment of a jewel’s four Cs. It informs you if a stone is synthetic – in other words, man-made or laboratory grown – or has undergone any treatments, which may dramatically affect the value. Be sure an accredited gemological institute, such as GIA or AGS, has graded the diamond jewelry.

5. READ the store’s return policy — most reputable retailers have at least a 30-day, money-back guarantee, although there may be some cases where the jewelry is not returnable, such as if it has been custom-made for a particular client or engraved with unique initials.

6. Use a credit card — pay with a credit card and keep the receipt for your records, as it’s a legal document that protects the consumer should anything happen to the diamond. It may be required when making a return, always READ the store’s return policy for better protection. If there are any problems, make sure you deal with it as soon as possible to qualify for consumer protection against fraudulent transactions.

7. Bring it to the Jewelry Judge Ben Gordon — for verification many jewelry stores and on-line merchants will send the jewelry to our gem lab in advance of your purchase so we can authenticate the diamond grading report prior to your purchase. If not, bring it in for verification as soon as possible!

Download this PDF Document and share it with your friends and family.

Buying an Engagement

Jewelry Judge Ben Gordon
5433 Westheimer Road, Suite 606
Houston, TX. 77056
Call for an appointment 713 961 1432 we try to accommodate your busy schedule!
Book an appointment online: Book Appointment

What Type of Diamond Do You Have?

Do you want a Natural diamond, a Synthetic diamond, or a Simulant?

Whether you are looking for BLING, an investment, expressing your love, saving money or saving the environment, your choice of gemstone is a personal thing. As long as you know what you are getting, you can enjoy your purchase. There is nothing worse than being misinformed during your engagement ring hunt!

Here are a few things you need to know:

  1. Diamond Simulants — mimic the look of diamonds and include cubic zirconia, moissanite, quartz, and glass, just to name a few. Simulant Retail Value approximately $200 per carat or less.
  1. Synthetic Diamonds — laboratory-created, lab-grown, or man-made diamonds have the same physical and chemical properties as mined diamonds. Synthetic Retail Value is approximately 20 to 50 percent less than mined diamonds, but varies greatly between manufacturers and the size/color of the synthetic diamond. Synthetic Diamond Grading Reports are being issued by gemological laboratories. These reports provide no guarantee and no recourse.

16-SimsBlue

You won’t be able to tell the difference between a natural mined diamonds a simulant or a synthetic lab-grown diamond. With Gem Lab Equipment, Our Experienced Graduate Gemologists Know the Difference.

 3. Natural Diamonds – refers to diamonds made through geologic processes, taking hundreds of millions of years to form. Only 30 percent of diamonds that are gem quality, bright and beautiful, end up in jewelry, the rest are only good for industrial uses.

The four Cs made up of the color, the clarity, the quality of the cut, and the carat weight of the diamond have the greatest impact on the value and price. Know the 5th C – Confidence comes with a Jewelry Judge Appraisal Report!

Jewelry Judge Ben Gordon, 5433 Westheimer Road, Suite 606, Houston, TX.  77056

Call for an appointment 713 961 1432 we accommodate your busy schedule!

Book an appointment online:  Book Appointment

Why The Eternal Slogan has Lasted so Long…

Ever wondered who came up with the brilliant (no pun, of course) slogan, “A Diamond is Forever?” Would you believe, it’s only been around since 1948? De Beers was experiencing a post Depression era slump in sales. Since then, the slogan is identified with emotion and longevity, love and immortality – representing a major change in advertising concepts that promote the feelings about a product, not the product itself. If you enjoy the psychology of sales and, of course, the glitter of diamonds, read the full article appearing in The Washington Post …. .

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-a-diamond-is-forever-has-lasted-so-long/2014/02/07/f6adf3f4-8eae-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html

Germs – Not the Only Danger of Cruise Vacations

Clients come to us after a cruise vacation to obtain insurance appraisals on the jewelry they purchased. This story almost NEVER has a happy ending! We will continue to document cases like the following…

Our client traded her diamond earrings with .80 ctw stones (SI) for 1.75 ctw diamond earrings (I-2). That’s right I-2/3. Remember I stands for Inclusion. A clarity grade of I-2/3 means the diamond is of industrial quality – not worthy of fine jewelry. But this is not the most painful issue.

In addition to surrendering her pretty earrings, she paid an additional price of $20,000 for the privilege of purchasing the larger, but inferior quality earrings. Yes, size does count, but quality should trump size in most diamond purchases.

Is it a crime if you GIVE your jewelry and money to a Pirate? Maybe it’s not illegal, but is sure is a shame!

How could we appraise low quality stones for their replacement value when the client overpaid by thousands of dollars – maybe even tens of thousands? This is a real dilemma for appraisers and insurance companies as well.

Have fun with the costume jewelry and souvenir purchases and enjoy the vacation. Put the money you save from the diamond purchase toward another holiday! But please beware when buying diamonds while on a cruise!

Trust But Verify

Verification is what we do in our gem lab on a daily basis. Often the paperwork or certificate from a gem lab does not match the stone that accompanies it.

We ‘call them as we see them.’ This past week we examined a diamond ring with a certificate grade for the stone of SI-1. While we agreed with the color grading, we determined the clarity to be SI2 – 3. This meant that the owner had received a lesser quality stone than he thought he was buying.

With the information we provided, he was able to return the stone to the jewelry retailer in exchange for a better quality stone with a GIA certificate – the more trusted grading laboratory.

This type of discrepancy happens more and more frequently so Buyer Beware – Trust but Verify. Here is a helpful link to a news network broadcast:

View these interesting GIA videos of sapphire mining in Thailand…

Sapphires at Mining Site near Chanthanbury, ThailandSapphireMininginThailand

As appraisers, we see cut and polished stones but the gems in the rough are fascinating as well. Hear comments from the field before sapphires reach the cutters.

Click on the hypertext above the photo or copy and paste or follow the link: http://www.gia.edu/gia-news-research-Chanthaburi-gem-market

Welcome to the TIJA site

Texas Independent Jewelry Appraisers welcomes you to our new specialized site.  Appraising jewelry in Houston’s Galleria Area now since 1975,  TIJA serves the client who typically seeks expert diamond, gemstone and fine jewelry appraisals for specialized needs.

Principal Ben Gordon is a Master Graduate Gemologist and Appraiser with over sixty years in the jewelry industry.

Mr. Gordon and his qualified staff provide written appraisals and consultations for:

 – Fair market purposes

–  Replacement value

–  Division of property

–  Business purposes, i.e. wholesalers and retailers buying or selling

–  Legal cases involving identification for the return of property

–  Disputed claims

We value your valuables.

What's Your Jewelry Worth?