Diamond’s Certification; A Quick Guide

What does diamond certification mean?

Simply put, diamond certification means that a diamond has been evaluated by a third, unbiased party with regard to a diamond’s quality of cut, depth of color, degree of imperfections and the diamonds overall weight; measured in carats. These 4 characteristics of a diamond are referred to as the 4 C’s of the diamond industry.

Who are third parties?

565725_2009-6-15_6-46-20Reputable third parties are independent diamond laboratories that examine and grade diamonds. The most reputable, widely known and respected of these third party laboratories are located in the United States and Europe. They are the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)t he American Gemological Society (AGS) the European Gemological Laboratory (EGL) the Diamond High Council (HRD) the International Gemological Institute (IGI) and the International Confederation of Jewelry, Silverware, Diamonds, Pearls, and Stones (CIBJO).

Though all of these laboratories are highly respected, the most widely used diamond laboratory is the United States based, GIA which is considered to be an industry-standard setting laboratory that is the most widely trusted laboratory in the entire diamond industry.

A diamond certification from any one of these third party diamond laboratories can be construed as absolute proof that a diamond has been examined and graded properly.

Do they all use the same grading scale?

There is no singular grading system used among these laboratories; though there has been a concerted effort to standardize all grading systems with the system used by the GIA. Each of the grading systems used, however, are accurate, and reliable scales. It’s worth noting that over time, some of these diamond laboratories have adjusted their grading scales in an attempt to comply with these standardizing efforts. Older diamond certifications may not match up with the current grading scales; this does not diminish the legitimacy or accuracy of these older certifications.

Each of these laboratories issues their own certificate that stands as a signature that signifies their laboratory as an individual within the diamond industry. The GIA certificates are called a GIA Diamond Dossier or a GIA Diamond Report while the AGS calls its certificates Diamond Quality Documents/Reports or Diamond Quality Analysis. The certificates do not all include a grade for every C of the industry, and that’s why there is no one universal certificate used among them.

What’s the difference between a certification and an appraisal?

A certification gives a final grade to a diamond’s quality of cut, depth of color, carat weight and degree of clarity, while an appraisal places a monetary value on it.

How can you tell if a certain certificate is meant for a specific diamond?

Many diamonds have a serial number inscribed on the girdle with a laser. This serial number will match the certification number. This isn’t a failsafe way of identification, however, because the serial number can be removed with polishing.

A better way of ensuring the diamond and the certification matches up is to ask that the stone and certificate be matched up by a reputable third party professional. Most diamonds will vary to some degree no matter how similar they may appear. These slight variations in cut, color, weight and clarity are a signature way of distinguishing one diamond from another.

An independent gemologist who doesn’t buy or sell diamonds would be the best choice for an independent third party review.

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