If you are looking to buy a piece of diamond jewelry, chances are you have encountered some giant questions to which you haven't found answers. What does certified diamond mean? Should you buy a certified diamond? I've put together this article to help you understand everything about diamond certification.
What Does Certified Diamond Mean?
Different labs evaluate diamonds and provide valid certificates to validate their grading. While some diamond grading labs are loose and inconsistent, others are strict and consistent. Above all, you need to make sure you’re spending the right amount of money for the actual diamond certification and value.
When buying a diamond, there are various factors that’ll determine the price. The most important factors are the diamond’s color grade, carat weight, cut grade, and clarity grade. Some of these elements are easier than others in terms of grading, for example, you can measure the carat weight and find a correct answer, but you cannot grade color and diamond clarity since they require a more subjective scale.
That means you need a certified diamond, so what is it, and who certifies it? Keep reading to discover more.
What Are Certified Diamonds?
Certified diamonds are diamonds that have been through a rigorous grading process. They’ve undergone high-quality analysis by a respected gemological laboratory like the Gemological Science International, the International Gemological Institute or the Gemological Institute of America.
Certified diamonds have a diamond grading report, known as a certificate. Gemological laboratories act as independent authorities on the diamonds’ quality and identity and aren't directly involved in the transactions.
What Are Non-Certified Diamonds?
Uncertified diamonds are diamonds that haven’t been analyzed and graded by an independent certifying agency. Since uncertified diamonds are common in the marketplace and often cheaper, you need to ensure you’re dealing with a trusted and reputable jeweler. You can also talk to a diamond expert to help you compare the uncertified diamonds with their certified complements.
Who Certifies Diamonds?
Various diamond certifying agencies offer valid and trusted grading reports.
The GIA grading report is the most trusted since this certifying agency is stricter with its grading. As a result, many customers prefer GIA-certified diamonds since they are sure of high standards.
Started by the same person who founded the Gemological Institute of America, the American Gem Society also offers trusted diamond certificates due to its strict guidelines.
What Does a Certification Provide?
Diamond certification offers a number of important reports on different elements. When you ask a certifying agency to certify your diamond, it’ll inspect and grade it. The agency will provide grading reports on your diamond's carat weight, color grade, cut, and clarity grade.
It’ll also provide a grading report on other characteristics such as proportions, symmetry, polish, and fluorescence. The agency will also indicate any inclusions on the clarity diagram. Additionally, the GIA diamond grading report will certify if it is a natural gemstone or an artificial diamond.
How important is a Diamond Certificate?
A diamond certificate is important since it describes and verifies what you’re purchasing. Without a valid certificate from one of the leading certifying institutions in the diamond industry, there is no way to prove the diamond’s authenticity, quality, and value.
What Are the Best Diamond Certifications?
GIA and AGS diamond certifications are the best because they are the strictest and most consistent lab report providers. That means you can be 100% sure of their grading in all aspects, including the diamond's quality, clarity, color, carat, and cut.
Buying Diamonds In-Store vs. Online
Pros of Purchasing a Diamond In-Store
Cons of Purchasing a Diamond In-Store
- The only downside is that you may instantly find a smaller collection of certified diamonds available. However, a collection of loose diamonds can be sourced and provided for viewing and comparison on another day.
Pros of Purchasing a Diamond Online
Cons of Purchasing Diamond Online
What Are Enhanced Diamonds?
Enhanced gemstones are low-quality and cheaper diamonds that have undergone artificial treatment to improve their quality. The treatments involve laser drilling to eliminate any visible inclusion and fracture-filling to hide internal cracks.
They also include color treatment to provide a diamond with either less or more color. They're different from lab-grown diamonds since they are low-quality natural diamonds.
Can Enhanced Diamonds be Certified?
Most diamond grading agencies don’t certify enhanced diamonds, and those that do usually indicate on the diamond certificate how the product has been enhanced. When purchasing diamonds, request to see the certificate to know whether it’s enhanced or lab-grown diamonds. Don’t judge using the naked eye.
What is the Difference? Diamond Certificate vs. Appraisal
A diamond appraisal values a diamond according to the latest market price, while, a diamond certificate grades and describes a diamond.
The certificate helps appraisers determine the replacement value or insurance of a diamond. Having a certificate means the certified stones will be higher on the grading scale and value.
How to Read a Diamond Certificate
The things you need to keep in mind when reading a certificate are measurements, diamond shape and cutting style, lab report number, and the grading date. After these details, look for the 4Cs as well as additional diamond grading information like fluorescence, symmetry, polish profile view, and clarity characteristics.
Types of Diamond Grading Systems
The GIA grading system is the most popular and trusted, however, there are also a few other diamond certifications to look out for, including HRD, GIS, EGL, IGL, and AGS.
Final Thoughts: Which One Should I Buy? A Certified or Non-Certified Diamond?
Almost any diamond can be certified. The fact that a diamond is certified doesn't mean it's of good quality. Also, just because a diamond hasn’t been certified doesn’t mean it’s low in quality and less desirable.
Purchasing a diamond engagement ring with a certified diamond will provide much-needed peace of mind. If you're dealing with a trusted jeweler or on a budget, an uncertified diamond can be a perfect option.
FAQs about Certified Diamonds
Is a Certified Diamond More Expensive?
A certified diamond is more expensive since experts take time to analyze it and provide a lab report. If you buy any of the non-certified diamonds or lab grown diamonds, you'll notice that they are cheaper than certified ones.
Should You Get a Certified Diamond?
You should buy a diamond with a valid certificate. A certificate guarantees the stone’s quality and helps protect your investment.
Is Certified Diamond a Real Diamond?
Not all certified diamonds are real diamonds since some of them are lab diamonds. A certificate will indicate whether it’s a lab diamond or a natural diamond.
Is it Worth Buying a GIA Certified Diamond?
It’s worth buying a GIA-certified diamond since it has high quality and value.