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QUALITY REPORT USPAP and NAJA compliance statements

These statements and certifications apply to all reports, but especially ones we create that do not have dollar value amounts.  Such reports are Quality Reports and are very useful for firms and individuals who wish to sell items on-line to retail shoppers.  Since these reports are generally only a single page on websites, we believe there is a lot of background data, statements and compliance issues that require easy access for those who rely on those reports.  On-line Quality Reports created after June 1, 2018 will have a link to this posting.  We hope it is helpful and useful.  Those few items marked “N/A” are eliminated because they specifically deal with reports that have dollar values attached.  Quality Reports deal with only the grading and descriptive aspects of our specialty work.

Certifications of Appraisal Practice, Contingent and Limiting Conditions:

  1. The statements of fact contained in this report are true and correct.
  2. The reported analyses, opinions, and conclusions are limited only by the reported assumptions and limiting conditions and are my personal, impartial, and unbiased professional analyses, opinions, and conclusions.
  3. I have no present or prospective interest in the property that is the subject of this report and no personal interest with respect to the parties involved.
  4. I have performed no services, as an appraiser or in any other capacity, regarding the property that is the subject of this report within the three-year period immediately preceding acceptance of this assignment. This applies to Fair Market Valuations for IRS related assignments. 
  5. I have no bias with respect to the property that is the subject of this report or to the parties involved with this assignment.
  6. My engagement in this assignment was not contingent upon developing or reporting predetermined results.
  7. My compensation for completing this assignment is not contingent upon the development or reporting of a predetermined value or direction in value that favors the cause of the client, the amount of the value opinion, the attainment of a stipulated result, or the occurrence of a subsequent event directly related to the intended use of this appraisal.
  8. My analyses, opinions, and conclusions were developed, and this report has been prepared, in conformity with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and NAJA Code of Ethics.
  9. I have made a personal inspection of the property that is the subject of this report.
  10. No one provided significant personal property appraisal assistance to the person signing this certification.
  11. Unless otherwise stated this appraisal is not an offer to buy the appraised items at any price.
  12. N/A
  13. Possession of this report does not provide title to the items appraised. This appraisal process does not discover liens, encumbrances, or fractional interests, but if any are known they will be noted.
  14. Appraisal quality analysis is the appraiser’s best judgment and opinion based on current knowledge and information.
  15. Unless expressly stated, the condition of the items appraised is good for their type with serious deficiencies and repairs noted. Ordinary wear and tear common to this type is not usually noted.
  16. Possession of this report, any portion of this report, or any copy thereof does not include the right of publication without this appraisal firm’s written consent. Public use of the name of the appraiser, appraisal firm name, or information contained in the appraisal is not granted. Use of this report in advertising is not permitted without the appraiser’s written consent.
  17. No changes may be made to this report by anyone other than the appraiser who have signed this report. DACO cannot be responsible for unauthorized alterations. Copies of appraisals are kept in the files of DACO for at least ten years after the date of the report and according to USPAP regulations.
  18. The limited owner of this appraisal is the party for whom the work was performed.
  19. Third parties may rely on the information in this report for the defined purpose and function only. Third parties requiring further information than what is in the report must obtain the written permission of the owner of the appraisal before we discuss the appraisal with them.
  20. N/A
  21. N/A
  22. Testimony, depositions, hearings or court attendance are not required by reason of rendering this report. Arrangements for these matters must be made in advance and in accordance with our then prevailing hourly rates. A retainer will be required in advance.
  23. Use of Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and American Gemological Laboratory (AGL) terminology does not represent our firm is in any way connected with these other organizations. We do not guarantee our grading will be the same as these other independent laboratories, but we make every effort to use the same standards these other laboratories.
  24. The quality descriptors placed upon any item of jewelry is based upon the quality of materials, method of manufacture, provenance, salability, and condition.
  25. Diamonds are graded by size, shape, proportion, outline, color and clarity. The finest clarity in the GIA system is the Flawless grade. Clarity decreases in quality to the Imperfect grade. The finest color grade in the GIA system is D color. Color decreases in quality and rarity to the N through R range. Obvious color diamonds in grades S through Z become increasingly rare as color intensifies. The color grade Z denotes a fairly strong degree of color. Fancy color yellow and brown diamonds are more intense than Z color. Fancy color diamonds other than yellow and brown can be very valuable in the less tinted color range of the GIA system. D to R/S color range yellow or brown diamonds are assumed to be natural in color and origin unless stated otherwise.  S/T color to the finest of Fancy color yellow or brown diamonds without a formal lab report are generally assumed synthetic or enhanced.  Major lab reports are required as complete evidence of natural diamond origin and natural diamond color for all diamonds.
  26. Stones that are set can only be estimated for weight, color, cutting and clarity. Mountings often obscure exact grading, identification origin and treatment analysis of stones. We note when stones have been graded “loose” or “unset”, and that certain characteristics are “exact”.  Diamond grading reports are made only on unset diamonds. Quality reports are made routinely on mounted gems and diamonds, although there is a decrease in the accuracy of the work product.
  27. Proportioning, polishing, shape and outline are cutting considerations covered by the GIA teaching system incorporating cut classes 1 through 4. These grades do not appear on GIA diamond reports, but we may use them in our reports to add further information.
  28. Colored stones are graded by size, shape, proportion, rarity, color, clarity and country of origin. Color is the most important factor. A combination of GemEWizard, and GIA is used in the descriptions in our appraisals. GAA cultured Pearl Masters are used in pearl grading.
  29. Diamonds and many colored gemstones have become increasingly difficult to identify as natural, treated, or synthetic.   Treatments vary from obvious to highly difficult to detect or properly identify.  Few appraisers, wholesalers, retailers, or independent gem labs have sufficient equipment and expertise to do more than screen out diamonds and gemstones which potentially have issues of treatments or origin.  Those which are screened out are those which often require additional examination by a major laboratory for definitive identification, using costly equipment operated by highly trained experts.  Consumers should expect and request proper paperwork from their retailer at the time of purchase. Such paperwork reveals the documented natural or other origin of their gem(s), as well as any treatments present.  Factual, documented evidence of origin and treatment is the responsibility of the seller to the consumer.  Both appraisers and consumers rely on proper evidence. Appraisers always make assumptions to produce reports, but, as of 2015, we more often need to make assumptions of a magnitude which require more scientific analysis than can be provided by traditional gem testing equipment.  Since each diamond and gem is unique, a qualified appraiser determines what assumptions should be stated.  An appraiser must formulate the correct set of assumptions based on the evidence and history of the diamonds and colored gemstones in the report.

I certify all the above statements as accurate:  David S. Atlas

Privacy Statement:

D.Atlas & Co., Inc. is committed to safeguarding the confidential information of our clients. We hold all of our clients’ personal information in strict confidence and in accordance with USPAP and NAJA ethics standards. Our files include information collected from clients in connection with the personal property appraisal services provided by our company. At no time in the past have we ever disclosed information to third parties, except as specifically authorized by our clients, or as required by law, and we do not anticipate doing so in the future. We are prohibited by federal law, USPAP, and the NAJA Code of Ethics from changing our policy without first advising the client and obtaining consent. We use the personal property information provided by our clients to help meet their appraisal requests, while guarding against any real or perceived infringements of their rights of privacy. Our policy with respect to personal information about our clients is as follows:

We limit all access to information only to those who have a business or professional reason to know, and only to non-affiliated parties as required by law.  We maintain a secure office and computer environment to ensure that your information is not placed at unreasonable risk.  The categories of non-public personal information that we collect from a client depend upon the scope of the client’s appraisal engagement. This includes information that we collect from a client depend upon the scope of the client’s appraisal engagement. This includes information about personal property assets, information about tax identification numbers, and other non-public information necessary. Additionally, it may include information about transactions between clients and third parties, and information from third party sources.  Unaffiliated third parties that require access to our clients’ personal information, such as Federal and State tax regulators may only review company records as permitted under the law.  We do not provide client information to mailing list vendors or solicitors for any reason.  Personally identifiable information will be maintained during the time a client is a client of the company and for the appropriate time thereafter that such records are required to be maintained by USPAP, and consistent with the NAJA Code of Ethics. After this required period of record retention, all such information will be deleted or destroyed in a manner consistent with providing ongoing confidentiality.

Equipment list:

We will specify equipment used in the body of the report only when deemed necessary and important.

Binocular microscopes 10X-6OX, loupe 10X & 20X, diamond grading light, incandescent spotlight, fiber optic, penlight, Polaroid filters, ultraviolet light short and long wave, digital imaging cameras, electronic scales, optic character equipment, Hanneman filter set, GIA “master diamonds”, refractometer, dichroscope, polariscope, acid and electronic gold testing equipment, color filters, Moissanite detector, type II diamond detector, thermal probe, spectroscope, color description system: GemEWizard®, Diamond measurements via Leveridge and slide type micrometers, Ideal-Scope™, ASET-Scope.


Short Resume:


President, D. Atlas & Co., Inc., Established 1898



Graduate Gemologist, Gemological Institute of America, 1975.

National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, Senior Member 1992 to 2014.  Certified Sr. Mbr, 2014 to present.

Accredited Senior Gemologist designation by the Accredited Gemologists Association. Member since 1981

FORMER TITLED MEMBER:  American Society of Appraisers, 1977 to 1998.   Left membership while in good standing.

FORMER TITLED MEMBER:  American Gem Society, 1974 to 1997.  Left membership while in good standing. 



Diamonds, colored gems, precious metals, jewelry manufacturing, stone setting, quality control analysis, antique jewelry, enameling, laser and machine engraving, gem identification, collectibles, diamond light behavior, and appraisals at all levels. 

Associate Director and Chairman of Ethical Issues Committee of NAJA.


Gem Laboratory:

GIA graded diamond color master stones are part of this lab equipment. GemEWizard colored gem descriptions.  David Atlas is the creator of the AGA-CERT®, a diamond grading report that includes the AGA Cut Class diamond cut grading system developed by David Atlas beginning in 1985 which is now widely accepted by the diamond trade all around the USA and abroad.  Many expert testimony appearances and trade leadership experiences are detailed in the complete resume available on:

Defining our relationship with the GIA and other labs:

No lab, gemologist or appraiser claiming to use GIA diamond grading standards can prove or verify they successfully duplicate GIA results.  The GIA cannot replicate its own results in all cases due to the subjective nature of its grading system for color, fluorescence, clarity, and finish.  Even the non-contact measuring devices typically employed to make physical measurements have some machine error and often are not well calibrated.  For these reasons, no existing lab, gemologist or appraiser should promise or declare it is able to duplicate the grading of the GIA lab.  It is possible to grade closely to GIA tolerances.  Labs such as AGSL and GCAL most often report results very close to what GIA would report.  There are several other major labs, both in the USA and worldwide, which appear to use the GIA grading system. Some are very good and highly respected, while others abuse the GIA system.  Qualified observers understand these dishonest labs are using their own grading structure and have succeeded financially by their abuse or misuse of GIA grading nomenclature.  This problematic situation well suits some members of the trade, but often misleads the uninformed public into a poor buying decision.  David Atlas and D. Atlas & Co., Inc. make every effort to conform to the GIA system and to report what we believe would reasonably be GIA lab results.


No lab report is above question.  The opinions we provided in this report are based solely on our own opinions of diamond or colored gem grading.  We may use some data from lab reports supplied in the course of an appraisal, but what we put into our own report is our own expert opinion, what we think, and not necessarily solely based, or in agreement with, any lab report, no matter how broadly credible that lab’s reputation might be at the time of the appraisal.  All labs make some level of error.  Some mistakes and some labs are more egregious than others.  Forming an expert opinion is based on all the known facts and presented documentation, but it remains for us to form an opinion.  Such an opinion must always be held as somewhat subjective.  Most elements of appraisal practice are based on fact gathering and subjective expertise, but not simply based on completely objective facts.  GIA reports are often shown to retail consumers as if they were “factual” when, in truth; they are expert opinion documents which are somewhat variable and somewhat subjective.  Appraisers are not charged with proving lab reports actually are factual to their clients, but have the responsibility to arrive at a correct value based on the data they can gather mated to their own expertise.



“gr” or “g” = abbreviations for “grams”:   1.5551 grams=1 pennyweight

“pw”, “dwt”, “pwt” = All used as abbreviations for “pennyweight”:  1 pennyweight = 24 grains, = 0.05 troy 11111         11111111ounce, =0.00416 troy pound, = 1.5551 grams

“tr. oz.” or “troy ounce” = 31.1035 grams, =20 pennyweight, 240 grains

“ct” = carat:  1 carat = 0.20 gram, 1 carat = 0.1286 pennyweight, 5 carats =1 gram.

“ctw” or “tw” = carat total weight

“srp” = suggested reference price, suggested retail price.  No attribution as to the entity making the “suggestion”

“msrp” = manufacturer’s suggested retail price

“LWUV”=Long wave ultraviolet light, approx 365-370 nanometers.  Commonly used in our reports as “UV”.

“SWUV”=Short wave ultraviolet light, approx 254-265 nanometers.