November 2014

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


What's a Certified Appraiser? - January

Best Appraiser Credentials - February

Are the diamonds you’re insuring real? - March

Handwritten Appraisals - April


Moral Hazard, Documents and the Bottom Line - January

Ruby and Jade - February

How to mail a diamond - March

Jewelry Insurance Appraisal Standards: JISO - April

Describing a gem's color - May

Why not just put jewelry on the Homeowner policy? - June

GIA Diamond Reports - July

Not just a pretty face - August

Moral Hazards on the rise - September

Hurricanes, fires, floods—and jewelry insurance - October

Inherent vice / wear-and-tear losses are rising - November

FRAUD UPDATE – lack of disclosure, false inscriptions & doctored docs - December


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Grading the Color of Colored Diamonds

New GIA Cut Grade for Diamonds - December


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


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


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


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


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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The Doublet Masquerade

Ruby doublet

Delighting the eye sometimes means fooling the eye. An old trick is being used again to create gems that look better than they are. Doublets and triplets are making a comeback, mostly involving ruby and sapphire.

A gemological doublet is just what its name suggests: two stones joined together. But the stones are not necessarily gems, and the joining is part of the problem.

Looking at doublets

Doublets were popular in antique jewelry. Before quality synthetic gems were available, this was a widely used technique for creating gems that imitated the appearance and optical effects of natural gems. It was also a way to give strength to fragile gems and to create large gems at affordable prices.

Diagram from Colored Gemstones: The Antoinette Matlins Buying Guide, courtesy of Antoinette Leonard Matlins


To make a doublet, two stones are literally glued together.  Such a composite stone mimicking ruby, for example, might have a top made of red garnet and a bottom of colored glass.

In some cases, the doublet's color comes from the colored glue holding top and bottom together. Red glue, sandwiched between two pieces of colorless spinel, produced a ruby simulant. Blue and green glue could be used to simulate sapphire or emerald.

A triplet is a composite that uses three pieces, rather than two, to form the whole "gem." One representative version, known as a "soudé emerald", had two pieces of synthetic spinel fused together with a layer of green-colored gelatin or green glass, producing an emerald-looking stone.

Some doublets have been made of natural gems, but the gem material is of poor quality or small size. Two small rubies, for example, could be joined to produce a larger ruby. 

Two pale green emeralds, when fused using a deep green glue, produce a more vividly colored emerald. Two pale yellow sapphires of little value, when joined together with a blue glue, produce a convincing "fine blue sapphire."

Lab-made doublet, half emerald and half glass


If a loose doublet were viewed from the side, the seam would be apparent. In jewelry the trick succeeds because doublets are typically put in a bezel setting, which surrounds the gem at the girdle, so the seam is concealed. From the top, the doublet or triplet looks like a solid gem.

Doublets in the mix today

Gemologists and gem labs report that doublets are surreptitiously entering the market. Rubies, emeralds and sapphires are the most common.

One customer paid $16,000 for a pair of "genuine" emerald earrings that turned out to be doublets made of synthetic spinel and worth only a couple hundred dollars.

Today's doublets are more sophisticated than in the past. Rather than being composed of glass or garnet, they are usually made with synthetic gemstones. A common arrangement is to have a nearly colorless natural ruby or sapphire on top and a synthetic stone on the bottom. The top, accessible to examination even in a setting, tests as natural, but the color is derived from the lab-made stone on the bottom.

Technicians have even developed ways of mimicking characteristics used to identify natural gemstones, such as the silk-like inclusions typical of natural ruby, or the phenomenon of asterism found in high-quality sapphires.

Gems in bezel settings

In a sample reported by one lab, a purplish-red stone weighing almost 5 carats displayed the silk-like inclusions typically found in natural ruby and sapphire. However, closer inspection showed that the visual phenomenon was due to a layer of some foreign material just below the girdle. The specimen turned out to be not a 5-carat natural ruby but a doublet composed of two smaller synthetic rubies with a layer of some other material between them.

If the stone had been mounted in a bezel setting, the doublet could well have been appraised as a single natural ruby. The consumer and insurer would have been defrauded, because:

Doublets are often mixed in with batches of natural gems. Suppliers may be unaware of exactly what they're buying and selling—or they may be attempting fraud.  Jewelry manufacturers and jewelry retailers may be careless about examining their gems—or they may be attempting fraud.


Doublets can be ingenious creations for producing attractive jewelry at more affordable prices. The issue here—as in so many jewelry insurance situations—is disclosure. The consumer should be aware of what she's getting and should pay an appropriate price. The insurer needs to know exactly what is being insured and should have a realistic valuation.


A doublet or triplet should be so identified on the appraisal.

A doublet is a composite stone. If it were to be appraised as a large single gem, it would be grossly overvalued.

A large number of doublets have a nearly colorless natural ruby or sapphire on top but a synthetic stone on the bottom. If that stone were appraised as a single natural stone, the valuation error would be even worse. If it were composed of non-gem material but appraised as natural gem, the valuation error would be outrageous.

Rubies, sapphires and emeralds are the most common gems used in doublets, so the appraiser should be a gemologist who regularly deals with colored gems. Because detecting a doublet in its setting can be tricky, a diligent appraiser must be alert to the possibility of deception and thoroughly examine the jewelry.

A reliable appraiser will also be able to recognize synthetic stones and color and clarity enhancements, all of which affect the valuation of gems.

For all quality jewelry, do not rely solely on documents supplied by the seller. An appraisal by a reliable independent appraiser will verify that the description and value of the jewelry is as the seller promised.

Recommend that your client get an appraisal from a trained gemologist (GG, FGA+, or equivalent), preferably one who has additional insurance appraisal training. One course offering such additional training is the Certified Insurance Appraiser™ (CIA) course of the Jewelry Insurance Appraisal Institute.

Request a colored gem report from an internationally respected lab such are AGL (American Gemological Laboratories) or Gubelin Gem Lab. You can verify the contents of a report by contacting the labs.


Gubelin -


Always have damaged stones examined by a gemologist (who is not the selling jeweler) before settling a claim. For all colored gems, be sure to consult an appraiser who regularly deals with colored gemstones.

Be sure to get copies of all lab reports. The most reliable labs for colored gem reports are AGL (Amrerican Gemological Laboratories) and Gubelin Gem Lab.

When reviewing appraisals, you may want to verify the appraiser's gemological credentials.

For GG (Graduate Gemologist), contact GIA: 800 421-7250

For FGA or FGA+, contact GEM-A: or call 44 (0) 20 7404 3334 

Examine all documents for the words doublet, triplet, soudé  (which is a kind of doublet), composite and assembled. All these terms signify a stone that is not a single gem but is made of two or more pieces glued together.

Doublets and other composite gems are held together by some non-gem material. A breakdown of this material is not damage for which the insurer is liable.







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