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Appraiser FAQ: How To Find and Trust A Diamond Appraiser For Your Big Decision

Appraiser FAQ: How To Find and Trust A Diamond Appraiser For Your Big DecisionJudging a diamond is no task for the uninitiated. If you want to find out more about a diamond’s quality and market price before selling, buying, or buying insurance, then use a professional appraiser. Here is a quick guide on what to expect from appraiser services.

What Is a Diamond Appraiser?

A diamond appraiser is a licensed specialist that you can hire to examine a particular diamond and make a qualified decision about its quality. Appraisers are often used to decide market values or identification for insurance purposes, but they can also offer opinions about general quality and how well the diamond matches the description used by the seller. This helps prevent fraud and gives you the truest picture of the diamond, something worthwhile for major gem purchases.

How Do I Know An Appraiser is Trustworthy?

Sometimes sellers try to pass off their own employees as specialists or professionals when they are not. In the United States, those who have graduated from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) or the American Gem Society (AGS) are authorized to make real appraisals of diamonds with the use of broadly accepted standards. Look for these Graduate Gemologists and other professionals with similar qualifications, and accept no substitutes. In the UK, The Gemological Association of Great Britain performs a similar role.

What Questions Should I Ask the Appraiser?

The appraiser should offer information on the grade of the diamond, include cut, color, and clarity. You should also ask the appraiser if the description and stated grade of the gem is accurate – in other words, if the market value is similar to what you are actually paying. Sometimes diamond markups can be ridiculous, and you do not want to pay twice as much for a gem as the going rate out of ignorance.

Can An Appraiser Judge an Online Diamond?

Typically, no. Appraisers need to see the diamond in person in order to make any type of real judgment. Close inspection with gemologist tools will yield the most accurate results. In an online format, an appraiser really cannot see much beyond a few photos and descriptions. This is enough for a specialist to give a very broad opinion – if the photos are accurate, of course. The specialist may also be able to offer advice on the most trustworthy organizations. However, for the sake of accuracy and getting the most from your appraisal, only use appraisers when they can examine gems in person. Another hint – stay away from online appraisers who say they can judge diamonds based on your photographs, or who want you to send your diamonds to them for an inspection.

How Much Does An Appraiser Cost?

This varies widely. Independent appraisers can often choose their own prices. Some charge flat fees up to a hundred dollars, although around $50 may be more common. Some charge hourly fees that may add up $100 an hour or more. Others in more specialized work may charge based on the appraised value of the diamond itself. You may be able to gather several estimates before making your final decision.

Author of this guest article – Alice Galert – jewelry blogger and author of Blue Nile reviews at

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