Author Topic: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades  (Read 11308 times)

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« on: December 21, 2012, 03:43:15 PM »
Recent phone call:
Caller: I'm looking for a 2ct Cushion - E color.
Me: We just got a nice E/SI2 2 and a half carat cushon for $25k
Caller: Wow that's expensive- I saw one in the LA jewelry district for $11k- in a ring!
Me: Was the diamond graded by GIA?
Caller: No, it was EGL, but I don;t want to pay more for a report I'll never look at anyway.

This is one of my least favorite parts of the job.
A person is going to buy something in a case where I have some very strong evidence that the seller is clearly misrepresenting.
Sure we'd like to make the sale- but it's really bigger than that. It really bothers me when dealers are using unethical means to get people to buy.

Do we start carrying misgraded diamonds to compete with this type of buyer?
There's clearly a lot of people buying this stuff.




/rant
Thanks for listening.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 03:53:37 PM by Diamondsbylauren »
David
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Offline clgwli

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2012, 05:14:25 PM »
That reminds me of a ring I saw at a local jeweler.  It was a 2ish carat round brilliant going for about $12K IIRC.  They labeled it "K/SI2"  That thing was fugly as fugly could be.  It was obviously tinted and the inclusions gave it that opaque look.  Looked like a grayish brown piece of... well rock.  It wasn't pretty at all.   

It was on sale for a LONG time.  In fact the store moved locations before it sold.

So yeah, find a bunch of EGL stones and then watch them sit or be returned since no one really likes them when they see them in person ;)
Elaine aka Squiggly
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Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2012, 05:48:03 PM »
Good point Squig- who know what the person was lookng at in a 2ct "E" color for $11k in a ring.
Mightg have been treated- who knows!
But the truth is, some very pretty diamonds have EGL reports.
It's not the diamond that's the problem, it's the way it's being represented.
Take a ring like R3975.
If we sent that to EGL they'd probably grade it Fancy Yellow- it does look like a fancy yellow at this point.
That does not change the fact that the diamond was graded U-V color by GIA- and I believe accurately.
For consumers unfamiliar with this EGL discrepancy, comparison shopping by price leads people to those sellers who purposefully advertise inflated grades.
We're selling a U-V for the same price as other sellers are offering "Fancy Yellow" diamonds, if one believes the inaccurate "cert".
Of course, there's many educated people- even some not all that familiar with the diamond business that see right through the scam.
But many of the ones that call are nice people with no time to learn the diamond business- they are just interested in getting a good deal- too bad too sad that often hey spend more than they would for the same item honestly represented.

Someone called today that bought a stone locally. The seller claimed, and appriased the diamond to be "Fancy Yellow".
The buyer had doubts and sent it to GIA themselves- guess what?
It is an S-T color!

This was a good case- they have a money back guarantee, and found us.

Today a really nice person came up to look at rings- and were nice enough to let us know afterwards that they bought a 2ct E color instead of R4384- same price!
When I asked if the E color was graded by GIA the reply was, no.
They're not selling 2ct E color diamonds for $8k on 47th street.
They're selling diamonds certainly worth no more than $8k- and likely worth less.

If they potential client had found a great deal on a GIA graded diamond, I'd have been a little disappointing- but happy for them as well.
This type of thing is more of a challenge.
We're obviously not going to start misrepresenting diamonds- but maybe put more effort into showing what the difference is for consumers.



David
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Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2012, 05:49:39 PM »
[snip]
Do we start carrying misgraded diamonds to compete with this type of buyer?
[snip]
Why should you? What's the point?

You can try to educate them to the fact that a GIA report costs $150 on a 2 carat stone, and EGL does not come for free. So, if the difference is only the piece of paper (that they won't look at), why is the seller leaving $10k+ on the table? Out of the goodness of their heart?

If they listen and understand, you may have a sale or at least a wiser punter who may come back.

If they don't understand, do you really want to sell to moronic brickheads - whether what you sell is correctly or incorrectly graded?

Offline clgwli

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 07:43:39 PM »
I will say I have no issues buying a diamond without a cert or with an EGL or IGI (or fill in the blank) as long as I am able to pay the right value.  In fact many vintage pieces come with EGL and I accept that - no questions asked, but I want the price to reflect the item, not the numbers & letters on the sheet.

I am all about saving a buck or two honestly.  I do feel bad for those who think they are saving a buck by getting the EGL stone vs the GIA stone and then getting ripped off.  However as an informed buyer I kind of think it is their own fault for not researching on such a large purchase.  I don't know someone who buys a car just because they like the color (and only the color) so why would people do that with a larger purchase like a 2ct stone?

I am kind of with OMC here.  Inform them.  Show them differences if possible (take photos if you ever can to show) and explain it.  It is their choice after that.

Trust is big for me.  All you can do is be honest and see what people have to say after that :)
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2012, 09:42:32 PM »
I think we're on the same page. It was a rhetorical question. Although, it probably would make sense to keep half a dozen EGL graded diamonds in the office to show people when they come in.

David
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Offline dovesgate

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2012, 01:51:42 AM »
I think we're on the same page. It was a rhetorical question. Although, it probably would make sense to keep half a dozen EGL graded diamonds in the office to show people when they come in.

Do you often have people dropping by your shop? If so, it might be worth it to send some small stones in to be graded by each company. If you can show a GIA J is an EGL G then the customer may be more likely to skip the stone with the EGL.

Offline Trinkette

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2012, 08:38:18 AM »
Good idea, Dovesgate. Of course, David would have to post the results online as well.  >:D Then, the stones are in the office for in-hand for comparison.

As others have said, education is the key.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 08:39:04 AM by Trinkette »

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2012, 11:22:29 AM »
Yes, education is definitely the key. We do get people coming up to the office frequently DG.
I've been thinking of starting to do a series of educational videos where I'm facing the camera and talking, then show the diamonds to demonstrate what I'm talking about. That would be a good way to start to tackle this more aggressively.

It's my experience that many educated people get sucked into this scam, simply because they're trying to find a bargain...... And there is a lot of natural skepticism about diamond dealers or jewelers
David
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Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2012, 05:14:01 PM »
here's a photo that gives you some idea of the discrepancy
.
David
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Offline dovesgate

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2012, 10:27:15 PM »
What would you grade the EGL one?

Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2012, 04:14:58 AM »
What would you grade the EGL one?
"Not-E"... >:D

Probably H-I based on the photo.

But, heck, it's a lot bigger. And it costs the same. So the guy selling the GIA diamond is trying to have me on.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 04:48:58 AM by oldmancoyote »

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2012, 03:10:52 PM »
What would you grade the EGL one?
"Not-E"... >:D

Probably H-I based on the photo.

But, heck, it's a lot bigger. And it costs the same. So the guy selling the GIA diamond is trying to have me on.

Good guess by my account OMC! I graded the diamond a "high I" by GIA standards.
It might have gotten an H.

Consider the fact that the difference in price between a 3ct E and a 3ct I color diamond is massive.
Based on industry stats, if I search for 3 ct cushion diamonds graded E by GIA, compared to stones graded E by EGL USA, the difference is about 35%. If we include the other EGL labs, we'd be looking at a 50% difference in price based on who called it an E.

For this reason, the mis-grading problem is more acute ( and costly to the consumer) on diamonds that have been granted high colors by EGL.
David
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Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2012, 03:40:56 PM »
Yep. Same with clarity: the difference between SI and I (or between IF and VVS) is pretty large...

The other big issue is that "E" diamond another day could be a D or a G. And as a consumer one has very little chance of guessing right (I was very lucky to get it "more or less" from one photo, and even then the difference between H and I can be a fair amount of money on a 3 carater).

Offline Trinkette

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2012, 05:42:24 PM »
I'm interested to view the two GIA stones side by side.

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Please lie to me- Why I detest EGL grades
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2012, 09:07:54 PM »
Here's an interesting comparison of color in disparate sized GIA graded diamonds.
I started with two different sized diamonds.
I'll take some shots of different shaped diamonds of the same color as well.
David
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