He explained that the earring had been his grandmother’s. Now, first, let us say we think it is sweet that a young man would wear his tutu-wahine’s earring. That’s not something that would have happened in the old days.
The stone had fallen out of the other earring of the pair, and he said he wondered: Is this a real diamond?
That was the easy part. Slap the stone under the electronic tester. Nope, not real.
But what if it had been real? That’s when a GG (Graduate Gemologist) is your friend.
That young man’s “diamond” was around a third of a carat, and it would have been worth serious coin if it were also of high quality. Most diamonds we see are, of course, average.
Value is based on the “4 Cs” (cut, color, clarity and carat size); and when you get into the bigger and better stones, a difference of opinion of one grade level can be worth hundreds of dollars. That’s when a GG comes in, and Kamaaina Loan is the only pawnshop on Maui with a GG on staff. (You can see her diploma on the wall at our diamond store at 96 N. Market St.)
The Gemological Institute of America is a non-profit research and educational organization (www.gia.edu). Those certificates are not easily earned.
GGs don’t rely only on experience. They have expensive instruments (colorimeters, powerful microscopes), but when it gets down to it, experience is what counts.
This is even more crucial if the stone in question is “colored” (ruby, emerald, amethyst, and hundreds of others).
So if you want an accurate evaluation, now you know where on Maui you want to go.