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While man’s best friend is always considered to be a dog, diamonds are frequently called a girl’s best friend—at least according to the movies. The jewelry industry has made diamond engagement rings a virtual must, and there are anniversary bands to add to the collection.

Because diamonds are valuable, they should be scheduled separately onto an insurance policy so that they’re covered for things that tend to happen to jewelry, such as dropping a ring down the sink or losing an earring. Stuff happens. An appraisal is         needed in order   to insure the jewelry—and a good appraisal will give specific details of the stone, such as weight, grade, measurements, diagrams of flaws, any chemical treatments to the stone and a photo of the item.

However, there is a new twist to diamond jewelry: synthetic diamonds. Not cubic zirconia or artificial substances that look similar to diamonds but are easy for a jeweler to identify as fake—but lab-created diamonds. These diamonds are created by passing a cloud of carbon gas over diamond seeds and then growing a diamond. The procedure results in gem-quality diamonds that are very difficult to distinguish from mined diamonds, at less cost. They even have flaws similar to mined diamonds.

The problem comes with identifying these stones; since they are technically diamonds, only lab grown, most jewelers don’t have the specific equipment to make a positive identification as to whether the stone is mined or synthetic. Synthetic stones, while gem-quality, are less valuable than mined stones. For example, a 1.10 carat round diamond, VS1 clarity and I color, is $5,979 from Gemesis, a leading maker of lab-created diamonds. A similar round diamond, 1.10 carats, VVS1 clarity and I color, is $9,444 from Blue Nile. Since to the naked eye the difference in clarity is indistinguishable, the synthetic diamond is a bargain.

This is where the appraisal becomes critically important; a good appraisal will identify that the diamond is synthetic. This should come from a certified lab, and not just the sales receipt or a letter from the jeweler. The labs have the equipment to identify the stone as synthetic or mined and will state it on the appraisal. Likewise, Gemesis inscribes all stones over one-quarter carat with their name and a certificate number on the stone.

So remember, when scheduling a stone on your homeowner's insurance, it is important to review the appraisal and determine whether or not the stone is synthetic in order to be able to properly replace the stone with one of similar quality.

Call Huff Insurance for a quick protection review, Protecting families since 1948!

Story by: Christine Barlow,  FC&S Online

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