December 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:

Branding Diamonds –
What do those names mean?

Manufacturers spend big advertising bucks to achieve a firm place in the public's awareness. A brand name of a product or its manufacturer sticks in the consumer's mind and becomes a likely choice at shopping time.

But now even diamonds, made by Mother Earth over millions of years, are getting brand names. What's that about?

Branding gems or jewelry can be about a number of things—the cut of the gem, its treatments, the setting in jewelry, the reputation of the seller, the politics of mining, the fabulous price—or sheer advertising.

For consumers and insurers, brands can often give significant information about the quality and value of the jewelry. Knowing what a brand does and does not reveal can be useful in insuring the jewelry or settling a claim.

A brand name may tell you . . .

Is it diamond?

Charles & Colvard moissanite pendant

Simulants are fake diamonds, stones that aim to look like diamond but are made of a completely different material. Charles & Colvard advertise quality jewelry, including engagement rings, with moissanite stones.  Diamond Nexus has its own proprietary mix to produce diamond simulant that the manufacturer claims is better than moissanite.

One of the latest technological advances is the ability to wrap a diamond coating around CZ—cubic zirconia—one of the oldest and cheapest diamond imitators. Serenity, Diamantine, Signity, EternityCZ, and Diamond Veneer are some of the names for such products and the companies that produce them.

Diamantine stud earrings

These gems look like genuine diamond and, when examined by the usual means, could seem to be solid diamond. Special equipment reveals them to be merely diamond-coated, but the average appraiser probably doesn't have that equipment. Since these coated gems are mostly CZ, they are worth much less than real diamond, so these brand names are important clues in valuing the stone.

More about moissanite


Is the diamond treated?

Bellataire diamonds

Some manufacturers are proud to produce a great-looking gem at a very affordable price. They accomplish this by subjecting a diamond to treatments, or "enhancements," to improve a gem's apparent clarity or color, thus making the gem more marketable.

Yehuda diamonds, for example, are clarity enhanced. The propriety Yehuda process conceals natural flaws (by fracture filling) and makes the gem more visually appealing.

Bellataire uses HPHT (high pressure and high temperature) to improve the color of a diamond, producing a deeper or richer color. Their advertising characterizes the treatment as restoring the gem to its intrinsic beauty.

For companies like these, gem enhancement is part of their marketing strategy. However, insurers should be aware that in many other cases the presence of treatments is concealed (whether fraudulently or out of ignorance) at the point of sale. Or, by the time the gem reaches the agent's desk, the descriptive material that was part of the sale has been lost (or "lost").

Because treated gems are valued at considerably less than untreated ones of similar appearance, you want to be sure of the quality of the gem you are insuring. Be certain the appraisal either states that the diamond is untreated or clearly lists the treatments.


Is it natural or synthesized?

Chatham created diamonds

Synthesized, or lab-made, gems are as "real" as their mined counterparts. Chatham, which produces quality diamonds and other gems, says "Chatham does not make gemstones, we control environments in which crystals grow naturally." Gemesis, Apollo and other names may appear as brand names on lab-grown diamonds.

Synthesized diamonds have the same physical and optical properties as mined (or "natural") diamonds. Because they are grown under precise conditions, they typically have fewer flaws and inclusions than diamonds that come from the ground, though cut sizes are usually under one carat. Because they are currently worth less in the marketplace, it is important to recognize the brand names of cultured, or lab-grown, diamonds.

Caution: lab-made diamonds without disclosure


Does it match your politics?

Diamonds mined in war zones and sold through illegal channels are sometimes called conflict diamonds, or blood diamonds, with the profits going toward buying arms and funding insurgencies. The illegal trade often involves kidnappings, child soldiers, massacres and other atrocities. The diamond industry promotes strategies to avoid contributing to these activities, but the overall success of the industry's efforts cannot be precisely determined.

Some consumers look for better assurance that they are not supporting the underground diamond market. Diamonds mined in Canada, such as the Polar Bear brand, are advertised as politically clean. Note that this brand says nothing about the market value of the diamond; valuation still depends on the stone's intrinsic qualities.


Is it worth the price?

Hearts on Fire
engagement ring

People usually assume that if they're buying a prestige brand, they are getting good quality. Jewelry from Tiffany, or from Angelina Jolie's Style of Jolie collection, benefit from this association. The consumer presumably likes the jewelry and feels it is worth the price.

For the insurer, there are other considerations. A consumer who buys a Tiffany ring, for example, is buying not just a ring but the Tiffany brand—and may well know he is overpaying just for that name. For a name brand like Tiffany, it is a good idea to insure the jewelry on the basis of agreed value. Other manufacturers may produce a similar style, but they will not be "worth" as much because they don't have the name.

In some cases, a brand is just a name. Hearts on Fire diamonds also draw premium prices because the name currently has cachet, but there is nothing unique about the Hearts on Fire diamond or its faceting. As with all diamonds, value depends on the gem's 4 Cs—clarity, color, carat weight and cut proportions. If a Hearts on Fire diamond were damaged, the insurer could replace it with a diamond of like kind and quality.


Moral of the story

The bottom line is that some brands are just names. Others convey important information about quality. Still others, like Tiffany, Harry Winston, etc., add perceived value and trade in the market at a premium.

This is by no means a catalog of all brand names out there. There are scores of brands, probably hundreds. This is just a reminder to pay attention to brand names and include brand literature with the appraisal and other documents.

For the adjuster, a brand can be a crucial clue in determining claim settlement. If the documents contain any brand names you are unfamiliar with, consulting a jewelry insurance expert can help you reach a fair and efficient settlement.



Pay attention to brand names and keep on file any brand literature than comes with the appraisal documents.

Make no assumptions about the value of a brand. Be sure to get a detailed, descriptive appraisal on all scheduled jewelry.

It is important to have an appraisal from an appraiser who is aware of the current market. Even styles with prestige brand names can go out of fashion and lose value.

For high-value pieces, get two appraisals; at least one of them should be from an appraiser who has a Graduate Gemologist or equivalent degree, and preferably one who has advanced training in appraising for insurance, such as a Certified Insurance Appraiser™.

All diamonds of significant value should have a certificate from a reliable lab. Labs can afford the instruments needed to distinguish natural diamonds from their less valuable counterparts that are lab-grown, and instruments that can recognize diamond-coated CZ. We recommend the following labs and suggest that you use these links to verify reports you receive.

GIA Report Check
AGS Report Verification
GCAL Certificate Search


Pay attention to brand names. In the absence of a solid, detailed appraisal, a brand name can provide important information about value.

Reputable makers of synthetic diamonds and diamond-coated CZ attach their names to their products. Recognizing these names, or working with a jewelry expert who does, could save you tens of thousands of dollars on a claim.
As an insurer you are obligated to make the insured whole by replacing with like kind and quality. Some brands are nothing more than the manufacturer's name, while the product is pretty generic. These gems can be easily replaced with identical items from other manufacturers.

©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