A few years back, we received a furtive and anxious call from an elderly woman living in an upscale assisted living facility that we obviously won’t reveal. She sounded distressed and requested we come immediately.
At 83, she had a bill to pay, and told a disturbing story of having been robbed of dozens of pieces of jewelry that she had brought with her to the facility. She explained that all but one had disappeared – a single ring. She was adamant we come that day because she had a $30,000 bill she needed to pay. I explained that it was highly unlikely that one piece of jewelry would be worth that much, but she insisted that we come anyway, saying only that the diamond ring was large.
When I arrived at her tiny but luxurious two-room apartment, she rustled through her sock drawer and fished out a diamond ring wrapped in stockings hidden securely in the back. It was a whopper! Similar in style to the photo, it was signed by Tiffany, and appeared to be over 10 carats in size, although with a visible pique, so I assumed it was SI to I1 clarity. By formula, it measured 10.5 carats. I explained that it would be beneficial to take it to our office, unmount it, weigh it and send it to GIA for proper grading, and she agreed.
The assessment from GIA revealed that it actually weighed 11.87 carats, and it wasn’t an emerald-cut stone, but a long baguette with squared corners. Three of those corners were broken and I called and said it would have to be recut because of the corner chips and that it would take several weeks.
After recutting, it was a 10.65 carat diamond, F color, Vs2! We were surprised at the liberal grade given by GIA. We were able to sell it for her for $200,000; and when we subtracted the cost of cutting, GIA grading, shipping and insurance, we were able to net the customer over $170,000; more than enough to pay her $30,000 outstanding bill.
Today, this diamond could be worth almost $400,000 – maybe more because it is signed Tiffany. Please note that high color, high clarity diamonds are currently being heavily discounted. (I would also like to add that most assisted living care facilities are completely safe.)
If you have any Tiffany jewelry you would like to sell — pay us a visit. If you need an appointment in St. Petersburg or Tampa, give us a call or email JeffreyPHess@aol.com.