Assessing the summetry of a mounted stone

Assessing the summetry of a mounted stone


I purchased a set of stud diamond earrings (0.5 carat total weight, martini setting) online and ordered an IGI certificate. The online store represented that polish and symmetry would both be "excellent/very good." The IGI certificate listed both of these as "good." The store is now telling me that because the stones were mounted, IGI can't really assess these parameters and assures me that their own internal gemologist stands behind their excellent/very good rating (not that he has seen the diamonds since they were shipped to me. I called IGI and was told that they can certainly assess polish and symmetry even when the diamond is mounted, which makes sense to me. I can see how mounting could hide certain internal flaws, but polish and symmetry would seem to be "macro" characteristics that wouldn't be much hidden, if at all, in such a setting. I called the store back, and their final response is "pasted" below. This seems to me to be a bunch of hooey on the part of the store. For one thing, there is nothing in my IGI report that says 'approximate" or "range".

Sure--I understand that there may be some level of difference of opinion when, say, color, is right on the line between, say, F and G. But I have to believe that if the IGI said symmetry was GOOD, they must have seen enough assymetries to warrant that.

Here's my dilemma. I can return the goods and go elsewhere, but will I have accomplished anything? I could believe that in stones this small, the polish and symmetry issues could make no perceptible difference to me as a lay person and thus no difference in the enjoyment of the jewelry. Also, I believe it's true that the difference in price between "good" and the promised "very good" wouldn't amount to much. So part of me says that I making a big about something that's not really of any consequence. But it does irk me that what I was sent wasn't what I ordered. It also irks me that the store says, in effect, "If you don't believe us, we'll get you an independent appraisal through IGI" and then when it's different, they pooh-pooh the appraisal.

I have to believe that if the IGI said "good" then they actually observed the kinds of assymetries and/or polish issues that cause a stone to rate only that level.

I would love to know what you would think is a reasonable course here. (I paid $690 including the IGI certification.)

thanks for you time and interest in responding to this.

Ron Slusky


Here's the store's last missive to me:
Our rep from the IGI has reported to us that in cases of certifying finished jewelry, they provide a range. They cannot give the same accuracy in finished goods appraisals as they do with loose stones. This is also stated on their website:

"As mounting permits" is an important distinction used on IGI Jewelry Identification Reports. This means that the presence of metal parts surrounding the gemstone(s) allowed IGI graders to provide detailed information but perhaps not as accurately as in an un-mounted situation. In these cases the words "approximate" and "range" are clearly used in descriptors:


Hey Ron,

I'm sure why you are trying to cut corners and not get a GIA. You are just asking for headaches playing around here or there. Yes, you can't really properly evaluate a diamond when it is mounted or in a setting. Anything short of a GIA is just pulling wool over your eyes. Start fresh and with a blank canvas if you can return it and do it the right way from the start. Why have more headaches than you need? There are plenty of great diamonds out there.

Frank Fisher

Author: Frank Fisher

Frank Fisher (Sasha Evdakov) started learning about diamonds at a young age through his cultural background and family influence. He spent years being mentored by the best diamond dealers and has been studying diamonds and the diamond market since 1998.