There is more to purchasing diamond jewelry than choosing a style and cut. Diamonds are a worthwhile investment that will grow in value over time. Therefore, whether you are buying a diamond engagement ring, diamond earrings, or a necklace with an elegant diamond pendant, it is a good idea to have this precious gemstone appraised by a professional.
Choosing the Right Professional for your Diamond Appraisal
It can be very easy for someone to be tricked by a fake diamond appraiser. That’s because only real estate appraisers are licensed. All others, such as diamond appraisers, do not require a license. Therefore, it is up to you to decide whether or not you should trust this professional’s opinion.
Just because someone has worked in the jewelry industry for several years, doesn’t instantly qualify them to appraise diamonds. The person you hire to do your diamond appraisal should have the right amount of training and education needed to help you choose the perfect precious stone.
But since there is no way to prove if someone has received this training, it is up to you to separate the real jewelry appraisers from the fakes.
What to Look for When Choosing a Diamond Appraiser
If a professional appraiser is a member of reputable organizations, such as the American Gem Society, or the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, the probability that they are an experienced appraiser is very high. Members of these organizations must meet the requirements and perform services based on their strict standards.
To determine if an appraiser has the experience needed to help you make an informed diamond-buying decision, you should first ask the appraiser how they earned their membership in these organizations.
While some may have strict requirements, others will allow someone to become a member just by paying dues. It would be in your best interest to learn more about the specific organization your appraiser belongs to before you proceed
There are also some organizations that will “grandfather” their members, which means that as long as they pass a single test, they never have to be retested again in the future. A quality organization will frequently test their members to ensure that they are up-to-date with all the latest information regarding their trade. Most will retest their members at least once every five years to guarantee that they are still eligible to be part of their organization.
Terms Associated with Jewelry Appraisers
There are several terms and titles commonly associated with jewelry appraisers. Understanding the meaning behind these titles and what each appraiser had to do to receive them can help you determine if your diamond appraisal expert is telling the truth.
Simply working at a jewelry store doesn’t make you an expert in the industry. Jewelers are craftsmen and artisans who have the skills to manufacture and repair jewelry pieces. This type of experience comes from years of training and education in the industry. A jeweler shouldn’t be confused with a jewelry retailer, sales associate or a jewelry wholesaler.
A graduate jeweler is someone who has completed all the necessary courses and exams from the Gemological Institute of America’s manufacturing arts program.
A stonecutter is a professional who has the training and experience needed to cut, facet, or polish all types of diamonds or colored gemstones.
Lapidary Artist/Gem Artist
A gem artist is an expert who has the training needed to go beyond the tasks of a stone cutter. These artists can carve and sculpt precious stones to create one of a kind jewelry masterpieces.
A Graduate Gemologist is a professional who has passed all courses in the GIA Graduate Gemologist program. They should have the experience needed to identify and grade gemstones, however, this does not make them a jewelry appraiser.
A horologist is a watchmaker that has been trained by an apprenticeship or by taking educational courses to manufacture watch parts, rebuild or repair watches. Someone who can only change the battery in a watch is not a horologist.
A certified horologist has passed all the necessary courses of an educational institution which specializes in watch manufacturing or repair. To receive this certification, a watchmaker must also pass a state certification exam that covers theory and practical horology.
Beware of Unprofessional Diamond Appraisers
Since there is no requirement for a diamond appraiser to have a license, it can be easy for anyone to claim that they are a professional gemstone appraiser, when they actually aren’t.
There are several things that you can look out for when choosing an appraiser to help guarantee you are working with an expert. Find out if they are members of any reputable organizations and learn about any titles that they hold.
Be sure to ask plenty of questions regarding their experience in the industry to help you determine if they are the best appraiser for the job.