August 2012

JEWELRY INSURANCE ISSUES (formerly IM News), provides monthly insight and information for jewelry insurance agents, underwriters and claims adjusters.

Subscribe to
Jewelry Insurance Issues

Table of Contents

Click on article titles in red


What's a Certified Appraiser? - January

Best Appraiser Credentials - February

Are the diamonds you’re insuring real? - March

Handwritten Appraisals - April


Moral Hazard, Documents and the Bottom Line - January

Ruby and Jade - February

How to mail a diamond - March

Jewelry Insurance Appraisal Standards: JISO - April

Describing a gem's color - May

Why not just put jewelry on the Homeowner policy? - June

GIA Diamond Reports - July

Not just a pretty face - August

Moral hazards on the rise - September

Hurricanes, fires, floods—and jewelry insurance - October

Inherent vice / wear-and-tear losses are rising - November

FRAUD UPDATE – lack of disclosure, false inscriptions & doctored docs - December


Inflated appraisals—alive & well! Shady lab reports—alive & well! MORAL HAZARD—ALIVE & WELL! - January

Clarity Enhancements v. Inherent Vice - February

How green is my emerald? - March

Cruise Jewelry - What's the problem? - April

Crown of Light ® - how special is it? - May

Diamonds at Auction — Big gems, big prices, and the trickle-down effect - June

Are you sure her wedding jewelry is covered? - July

What Affects Jewelry Valuation? - August

What to look for – on the jewelry appraisal, on the cert, and on other documents - September

Growing Bigger & Bigger Diamonds - October

Scam season is always NOW - November

Ocean Diamonds - December


Pair & Set Jewelry Claims and the Accidental Tourist - January

Is that brand-name diamond a cut above the others? - February

Vacation Jewelry – Insurer beware! - March

Apple's Smartwatch – The risk of a wrist computer - April

Why you should read that appraisal - May

Smoking Gun! - June

Color-Grading Diamond: the Master Stones - July

Padparadscha—a special term for a special stone - August

Jewelry Appraisal Fees - September

Insuring a Rolex - steps to take, things to consider - October

Diamond camouflage and how to see through it - November

GIA Hacked! - December


Who Grades? - January

Sales, discounts, price reductions, bargains, specials, mark-downs . . . . and valuation - February

Credential Conundrum - March

Frankenwatches - April

Fakes, fakes, and more fakes - May

Marketing Confusion — What is this gem anyway? - June

12 Reasons Not to Insure a Rolex! - July

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 5-7 - August

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 8-10 - September

Why NOT to insure a Rolex: Reasons 11-12 - October

The Doublet Masquerade - November

Is the gem suitable for the jewelry? Is this a good insurance risk? - December


Wedding Rings on HO? NO! - January

Silver: the new gold - February

Point Protection - March

Tiffany v. Costco - April

What counts in valuing a diamond? - May

Appraising Jewelry - What’s a credential worth? - June

A Cutting Question concerning vintage diamonds - July

Synthesized Diamonds - Scam update - August

Pretty in Pink - Kunzite on parade... - September

Preventing jewelry losses - October

Scratch a diamond and you’ll find . . .??? - November

Synthetics in the Mix - December


Advanced Gem Lab - A deeper look at colored gems - January

Whose Diamond? - February

Appraisal Inflation - It Keeps On Keeping On - March

Big Emerald - April

Changing colors and making gems: Are we seeing "beautiful lies"? - May

Diamonds - Out of Africa. . . or out of a lab? - June

Appraiser's Dream Contest - July

GIA & the Magic of Certificates - August

Pricey when it’s hot: What happens when it’s not? - September

Fooling With Gold - October

Tanzanite – December's stone - November

Branding Diamonds - What do those names mean? - December


Unappraisable Jewelry - January

Replicas - Are they the real thing? - February

Composite Rubies- From bad to worse - March

Jewelry Hallmark - A Well-Kept Secret - April

Non-Disclosure: Following a Trail of Deception - May

Preserving the Diamond Dream - June

Spinel in the Spotlight - July

Jewelry 24/7 - Electronic Shopping - August

Diamond Bubble? - September

Disclosure: HPHT - October

"Hearts & Arrows" Diamonds - November

How a Gem Lab Looks at Diamonds - December


Emeralds - And What They Include - January

Pink Diamonds: From Astronomical to Affordable - February

Palladium-the Other Precious White Metal - March

Bridal Jewelry - April

The Corundum Spectrum - May

How Photos Cut Fraud - and help the insured - June

The Price of Fad - July

Old Cut, New Cut-It's All about Diamonds - August

EightStar Diamonds-Beyond Ideal - September

The Hazard of Fakes - October

Jewelry with a Story - November

Counterfeit Watches - December


Blue Diamond-cool, rare and expensive-sometimes - January

Turning Jewelry into Cash—
Strategy in a Bad Economy
- February

Enhancing the Stone - March

Being Certain about the Cert - April

Every Picture Tells a Story - May

Color-Grading Diamonds - June

The Newest Diamond Substitute - July

What Happens to Stolen Jewelry - August

Jewelry As an Investment - September

Black Diamond: Paradox of a Gem - October

Protect Your Homeowners Market—Keep Jewelry OFF HO Policies! - November

What’s So Great about JISO Appraisal Forms & Standards? - December


Garnet - and Its Many Incarnations - January

Organic Gems - February

Do Your Jewelry Insurance Settlements Make You Look Bad? - March

Don't Be Duped by Fake JISO Appraisal - April

Diamonds in the Rough - May

The Cultured Club - June

Sapphire-Gem Superstar - July

It's a Certified Diamond! 
- But who's saying so?
- August

FTC Decides: Culture Is In! - September

Paraiba Tourmaline – What's in a Name? - October

How Fancy is Brown? - November

CZ – The Great Pretender - December


Moissanite's New Spin - January

Online Jewelry - Buying and Insuring - February

Blood Diamonds - March

Damaged Jewelry, Don't Assume!- April

Chocolate Pearls - May

Appraisal Puff-Up vs Useful Appraisal - June

It's Art, but is it Jewelry?
- July

Diamonds Wear Coats of Many Colors - August

DANGER! eBay Jewelry "Bargains" - September

TV Shopping for Jewelry - October

Enhanced Emerald: clever coverup - November

How do you like your rubies -
leaded or unleaded?
- December


The New Platinum: A Story of Alloys - January

Ruby Ruse - February

How Big are Diamonds Anyway? - March

GIA Diamond Scandal
Has Silver Lining for Insurers
- April

Watch Out for Big-Box Retailers Insurance Appraisals - May

Mixing It Up: Natural and Synthetic Diamonds Together - June

Tanzanite - Warning: Fragile - July

Red Diamonds - August

Inflated Valuations & Questionable Certificates - September

Emeralds - October

Where Do Real Diamonds Come From? - November

Counterfeit Watches - The Mushroom War - December


The Lure of Colored Diamonds - January

Synthetic Colored Diamonds - February

Watches: What to Watch for - March

When is a Pear not a Pair? - April

The Truth About Topaz - May

White Gold: How White is White? - June

One of a Kind - or Not - July

Jewelry in Disguise - August

Valued Contract for Jewelry? Proceed with Caution! - September

Antiques, Replicas and All Their Cousins

Grading the Color of Colored Diamonds

New GIA Cut Grade for Diamonds - December


Synthetic Diamonds - and Insuring Tips - January

Bogus Appraisals and Fraud - February

A Picture is Worth Thousands of Dollars - March

Don't be Duped by Fracture Filling - April

Gem Scams Point to Need for Change - May

What is a Good Appraisal - June

4Cs of Color Gemstones - July

Gem Laser Drilling: The Next Generation - August

Why Update an Appraisal? - September

When to Recommend an Appraisal Update or a Second Appraisal - October

Secrets of Sapphire - November

Will the Real Ruby Please Stand Up - December


Mysterious Orient:
A Tale of Loss
- January

Bogus Diamond Certificates and Appraisals - February

Can Valuations be Trusted? - March

Spotting a Bogus Appraisal or Certificate - April

Counterfeit Diamond Certificates - May

Case of the Mysterious "Rare" Sapphires - June

Politically Correct Diamonds - July

Name Brand Diamonds - September

Princess Cut: Black Sheep of Diamonds - October

Reincarnate as a Diamond - November

Synthetic Diamonds - December


Irradiated Mail/Irradiated Gems - January

Fake Diamonds (Moissonite) - February

GIA Diamond Report - March

AGS and Other Diamond Certificates - April

Colored Stone Certificates - May

Damaged Jewelry: Don't Pay for Nature's Mistakes - June

The Case of the "Self-Healing" Emerald - July

Mysterious Disappearance: Case of the Missing Opals - August

The Discount Mirage - September

What Can You Learn from Salvage? - October

Gaining from Partial Loss - November

Year in Review - December


Colored Diamonds - January

Good as Gold - February

Disclose Gem Treatments - March

FTC Jewelry Guidelines - April

Myths Part I: Each Piece is Unique - May

Myths Part II: Myths, Lies, & Half-Truths - June

New Trend: Old Cut Stones - October

The Appraisal Process - November

Year in Review - December


Deceptive Pricing - January

Gems - Natural or Manmade - February

Jeweler/Appraisal Credentials - March

Fracture Filling - April

Salvage Jewelery - May

Gem Treatments - June

Don't Ask/Don't Tell - A Buying Nightmare - July

Laser Drilling of Diamonds - August

Jeweler Ethics or the Lack Thereof - September

Gem Scam - October

The Truth about Clarity Grading - November

Year in Review - December


We'll be glad to notify you when the Jewelry Insurance Issues is available each month. Sign up for your FREE SUBSCRIPTION to Jewelry Insurance Issues.

Visit the rest of the JCRS site:

GIA & the Magic of Certificates

In magic acts there's often a useful little trick called misdirection: the attention of the audience is led to focus on one thing in order to distract its attention from another. We're seeing that kind of thing happen with diamond certificates online and in the press.

GIA diamond reports are considered the gold standard of diamond certs. Saying a diamond is GIA-certified works like magic in putting people at ease. But let's take a closer look.

Here's a jewelry site that states "All our items are certified by GIA." For one of its colored diamond rings, the site shows a GIA Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report.

Sounds impressive and looks good at first glance. It's a GIA cert, after all. But this certificate is pretty bare-bones, as far as completeness. It does not include clarity grading, nor does it give any cut information.

What we'd like to have is GIA's more complete cert, the Colored Diamond Grading Report. Compare the two GIA reports below. The Grading Report gives a clarity grade and shows the clarity grading scale so you can see how this gem rates in terms of quality. It also has a diagram indicating inclusions in the stone. This report also carries a diagram with some basic cut proportions (though not all—but that's another story), and it lists a few other details, like polish and symmetry.

Identification and Origin Report

Colored Diamond Grading Report
Both certificates are from the GIA website.


Why would the seller supply an ID and Origin Report, rather than the more complete Grading Report? If the main concern is verifying the quality of the gem, it would seem that the more information, the better.

But perhaps the seller chose a cert with less information

Or, maybe the less informative ID & Origin Report was chosen just because it is a less expensive certificate and thus a cheaper way to be able to say the magic words: GIA Certified!
Here's another slick use of GIA's name. The magazine ad on the right shows a GIA cert – again it is the ID and Origin Report – as background for the jewelry. In fact, the GIA name is encircled by the jewelry. But if you compare the cert in the ad with the sample taken from the GIA website (shown above), you can see that the cert in the ad doesn't appear to match the look of the GIA report.

Jewelry sites on the internet blatantly use GIA certs to sell their wares. On the page shown below, the certificate pictured is a Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report. The cert describes a brown diamond in the W-X color range, though the title of the page announces a diamond with the color grade of M. Both are misleading, because these letter grades are used by GIA for white (colorless) diamonds, not fancy colored diamonds. The title line also says the diamond is of SI3 clarity, but this is a bogus grade that GIA doesn't even use. In short: the report prominently pictured has nothing to do with the diamond being advertised.

Report Check Issue

An additional concern involves verifying the authenticity of the ID and Origin report. GIA has an easy way to check the authenticity of its Colored Diamond Grading Report online: one merely enters the certificate number and the carat weight. However, GIA's online Report Check does not work for their ID and Origin report. This means we cannot check the authenticity of certificates shown by advertisers, consumers cannot check the validity of the cert that came with jewelry they bought, and insurers cannot check the certs that are submitted. It may be possible to verify an ID and Origin report by calling or writing to GIA, but an insurer, or even the customer, is much less likely to do this.


We see another problem with the Identification and ID and Origin Report, and that is GIA's double use of the term "origin."

Colored gems, such as rubies and sapphires, are often identified by their country of origin because colored gems have features and inclusions characteristic of the area in which they were mined, features that may greatly add to the gems' beauty and appeal. Burmese rubies or Kashmir sapphires, for example, are so identified because their origin plays a big part in their valuation. Origin can be crucial information on a ruby or sapphire certificate.

With diamonds, on the other hand, the country of origin is not important. Diamonds are formed so deep in the earth that, unlike colored gems, they are not affected by the geology of the area where they are brought to the surface.

So why make a big deal of "origin" in the Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report? Here's the confusion: on the diamond report "origin" refers not to the origin of the stone but to the originof its color. This report states the diamond's color is either natural or due to laboratory enhancement. This is important information, but using the term "origin" with different meanings is confusing.


GIA is the biggest name in diamond certificates, and with good reason. Because of its name recognition, the GIA name acts as a powerful retail sales tool.

Insurers (and consumers) should bear in mind that "certified diamond" just means it comes with a certificate. How much information is on the certs, and how reliable the information is, can vary a great deal.

A diamond report is not a substitute for an appraisal. A diamond certificate describes only the gem. (And some certs, as discussed above, give less than thorough descriptions). An appraisal is required for a detailed description of the gem and the jewelry as a whole and for a valuation.

Fancy colored diamonds are very rare in nature and quite expensive. For such high-value diamonds, always insist on two appraisals. At least one should be written by an appraiser who holds a Graduate Gemologist or equivalent degree and is a Certified Insurance Appraiser™.

Be sure the appraisal for a fancy colored diamond:


Compare data on all documents - appraisals, diamond reports, and sales receipt – to be sure the information agrees.

For fancy colored diamonds, a selling price that is "too good to be true" is a major red flag. Do ITV (insurance to value) calculations to check for a major discrepancy between the purchase price and replacement cost. JEMs® software makes ITV calculations easy and guards against fraud.

There is a huge value difference between fancies that are naturally colored and those that are color enhanced. Be sure the appraisal specifies natural or enhanced color.

If the appraisal was not written on JISO 78/79, use JISO 18 to verify that all necessary information was given on the appraisal.

In settling claims for fancy colored diamonds, be wary — especially if

If any of the above apply, it may be useful to consult a jewelry insurance expert before settling the claim. The expert, working on your behalf, can help determine whether the valuation is accurate.

Use the following link to verify a GIA report:

GIA Report Check

If a diamond certificate cannot be verified online, you may want to call GIA to verify it and to get any additional information that may be in GIA's lab file but not on the certificate. 



©2000-2018, JCRS Inland Marine Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to Jewelry Insurance Issues

Become a Certified Insurance Appraiser™ and be a Preferred Provider of appraisals for insurers and consumers.

Next class is May 14-17, 2018 in Louisville KY.

JIBNA Scholarships available

More Info        Sign Up


Manual JIBNA