December 2010

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

2017

Moral Hazard, Documents and the Bottom Line - January

Ruby and Jade - February

How to mail a diamond - March

Jewelry Insurance Appraisal Standards: JISO - April

2016

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

Bigger & Bigger Diamonds - October

Scam season is always NOW - November

Ocean Diamonds - December

2015

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

2014

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

2013

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

2012

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

2011

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

2010

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

2009

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

2008

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

2007

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

2006

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

2005

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
October

Grading the Color of Colored Diamonds
November

New GIA Cut Grade for Diamonds - December

2004

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

2003

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

2002

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

2001

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

2000

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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Counterfeit Watches


Brand-name watches like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega and others are constant victims of fakery. It is estimated that the total number of faux Rolex watches produced every year is 10 times what Rolex produces in its own facilities.

Watches are the most common counterfeit merchandise seized by U.S. customs officials. In a single 6-month sting in Los Angeles, customs agents confiscated almost 40,000 watches. They also took in thousands of watch parts and the presses to assemble them. The parts are manufactured abroad and brought here for assembly and sale.

International watch trade shows attract counterfeiters who take photos of new watch models. As a result, a bogus version of a new or prototype watch is sometimes launched in advance of the authentic timepiece.

Some counterfeit watches are cheap imitations of flimsy construction, with no attempt to even resemble the real thing. Others are so well done that only an expert can detect them. They may be reconstituted watches, made of parts cannibalized from several of the brand-name watches that were no longer working. Or they may have some genuine parts, along with poor-quality substitute parts and forged logos. Counterfeit manufacturer's boxes and certificates of authenticity complete the brand-name aura.

How to tell a watch is counterfeit

Some counterfeits are so well done, even a jeweler can't tell they're fake. It takes an expert watchmaker, or even an authorized dealer in that brand, to tell the real thing from a knockoff.

One watchmaker reported cataloging a large collection for an estate. These watches, he said, were high-value collector's pieces, the kind most people can only dream of owning. He opened each watch for examination, to be sure it was what it was supposed to be. All of them were authentic - except this one.

This Patek Philippe looked great. It bore the appropriate logos and signature styling.



But its light weight made the watchmaker suspicious. Then he noticed some quality issues that suggested deception. Upon opening the watch, he found that the movement was not by Patek - and that everything else with the Patek Philippe name on it was also counterfeit. The skeleton case back had been specially made to conceal areas that would indicate fake parts.


A genuine Patek Philippe of this kind costs $100,000. A replica like this one sells online for $269.

Where fakes are sold

It's a good guess that the vast majority of fakes wind up on the Internet. Some are sold openly on websites that advertise counterfeits or replicas of name brands. A site may even show pictures of the authentic watches while pitching its own replicas at a fraction of the price.

EBay is awash with counterfeit brand-name merchandise. Watches may be advertised as “previously owned,” to account for the low price, but that doesn't mean they are authentic. A watchmaker or jeweler who deals in fine watches can spot many discrepancies in the product description that suggest counterfeit goods.

A knowledgeable jeweler gave us the following analysis of one watch offered on eBay. Please enlarge each picture to see the data and the expert's comments.

 



Keep in mind that the problems cited here are based on only the online description; an examination of the actual watch would most likely reveal bogus parts and erroneous descriptions.

Who's being fooled?

Most online buyers do not have the expertise to recognize telltale signs of fakery. Maybe they think they've gotten the bargain of the century, paying much less than the item is “really worth.” Maybe they just want to wear the name and don't mind if some (or all) crucial parts have been imitated. The thriving business in brand-name replicas attests to this market.

Lawsuits against sellers of fakes have sometimes been lost because the defense argues: It's not deception because how could any buyer believe he was getting a genuine Rolex for $100? And yet, some customers have brought their fake Rolexes to authorized Rolex dealers for service-and been turned away.

Those customers were fooled, but the Rolex dealers weren't, and the insurer doesn't have to be.

FOR AGENTS & UNDERWRITERS

For expensive name-brand watches, be sure to keep on file all documents that testify to the watch's value and authenticity, including the sales receipt and any guarantees and warrantees from the manufacturer.

Any watch from an unauthorized source should be thoroughly inspected to be sure that all its parts are genuine, including the movement. This requires opening the watch case and examining the entire watch in detail. The inspection should be done by an authorized dealer in that brand.

A watch containing any non-Rolex parts, for example, is not considered an authentic Rolex watch by Rolex. Any substitute parts or after-market changes void the Rolex warrantee, and the watch will not be serviced by authorized dealers.

You don't want to have to replace a cheap knockoff with a genuine item down the line.

FOR ADJUSTERS

Check for manufacturer warrantees and other evidence of authenticity. Some manufacturers sell only through authorized dealers. Merchandise bought online (or from other unauthorized sources) may be second-hand, or may be altered with cheaper parts, or may be a complete knockoff wearing a prestigious logo.

For damaged brand-name watches, be sure to have the piece examined by an authorized dealer of that brand to ensure all parts are authentic.

©2000-2017, JCRS Inland Marine Solutions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. www.jcrs.com

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