APRIL 2003

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

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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


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Spotting a Bogus Appraisal
or Certificate

How can you tell if a diamond certificate or appraisal is reliable? Is there any way to know whether a valuation is reasonable?

It’s becoming more and more common for retailers to supply documentation attesting to the value of the jewelry they sell. Usually such documents specifically state that they are “for insurance purposes,” but this shouldn’t cause the insurer to let down his guard. As discussed in the last month's issue, these are sales tools designed to encourage the purchase. They usually do not serve the insurer’s interests.

There are also documents prepared by independent jewelry retailers that are not complete enough to serve as useful appraisals.

Here are some guidelines for distinguishing reliable from unreliable appraisals and certificates.


For diamond certificates, Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the most respected authority. GIA established the internationally accepted standard in diamond grading. For details on GIA diamond reports, see March 2002 IM News.

The American Gemological Society (AGS), also highly regarded, is discussed in April 2002 IM News.

When insuring quality diamond jewelry, you should have on file one of these reliable certificates as well as an appraisal signed by a gemologist who examined the exact stone(s). This appraisal should describe the mounting and the stone(s) in detail and should give a valuation. Ideally, it should be submitted on ACORD 78/79 and prepared by a Certified Insurance Appraiser (CIA™).

(For the difference between a diamond certificate and an appraisal — and the importance of having both — see March 2002 IM News.)


Any appraisal or certificate supplied by the seller is suspect. If the document carries a valuation, ask the policyholder for the sales slip.

An appraisal or certificate that carries a valuation significantly higher than the selling price can only be serving the interests of the seller. Retailers often supply inflated valuations as a service to their customers, a mere formality, since it’s “only for insurance.”

An appraisal not signed by an appraiser who has examined the stone is unacceptable. Large retailers, such as Zales or Costco (see February 2003 newsletter), work with a lab. The retailer might say, “We have 1000 diamond rings of such-and-such quality that need certificates,” and the lab will supply them.

A store-supplied appraisal or certificate may state that the document is based on a GIA report on the diamond. That is, the person assigning the valuation has not seen the stone, he has seen only the GIA description. While GIA’s diamond certificates are highly respected, the buyer (or the insurer) has no way of knowing whether the diamond that was purchased is the same as the diamond that was certified.

You may see certificates from various labs. Here are some examples of untrustworthy certificates: diamond ring selling for $6,999 but appraised for $12,955. (description and certificate); 3.06 carat diamond ring selling for $31,699.99, appraised for $61,480 (description and certificate); and a $21,999.99 diamond ring appraised for $44,745. (description and certificate). The names of the labs may sound authoritative and the paperwork may look very official, but they are not creditable. Do not trust either their grading or their valuations.

Appraisals that have incomplete details are not useful. The value of a diamond depends far more on details of color, clarity and especially cut, than on carat weight. If the appraisal in question is not on ACORD 78/79, check its completeness by using ACORD 18, Jewelry Underwriting and Claim Evaluation.


Appraisals signed by an appraiser who is not a Graduate Gemologist (GG) and a Certified Insurance Appraiser (CIA™). If an appraiser does not have the proper training, he may not know how to accurately evaluate gems.

Even a diamond report from GIA or AGS can be a problem. There are counterfeit certificates and there are some retailers who provide a certificate for a different diamond than the one the insured purchased. Obviously the purchaser has no way of knowing whether the gem that was certified is the one that was purchased. The consumer can protect themselves by getting an independent evaluation.


The most reliable appraisal is one prepared by a CIA™ on ACORD 78/79.

If the policyholder supplies an appraisal that is incomplete, or a document from a suspect lab, or an appraisal with a valuation far higher than the selling price, or a diamond report supplied by the seller, ask for an appraisal on ACORD 78/79.


If the valuation on a certificate is much higher than the purchase price, the valuation is probably inflated.

Certification labs used by large retailers supply documents with titles such as “summation of appraisal” or “appraisal report” or “identification report.” The valuations are typically exaggerated to impress the customer. They look similar to reputable diamond certificates, but they carry valuations. Do not trust these valuations.

In pricing a replacement, use descriptive information from the certificate or appraisal to get competitive bids. Do not automatically turn to the seller for replacement, especially if it is a large retailer.

Some large retailers operate under several names, so getting competitive bids can be tricky. You may think you are comparison shopping, while you are actually in a closed loop of a single business.


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