What is a Diamond Grading Report or Certificate?
A certificate is a diamond grading report issued by an independent laboratory detailing the diamond's weight, dimensions, color, clarity and cut. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and EGL (European Gemological Laboratory), whose standards are the strictest in the diamond industry, are the undisputed international authorities on diamond grading and gem identification. The GIA issues a Diamond Grading Report or Diamond Dossier. The EGL calls their report a Diamond Certificate.
Why is certification important?
A Certification is an assurance of quality. A diamond certification is a detailed quality report issued by an accredited independent gemological laboratory. The most recognized gemological laboratories that provide certified diamond quality reports to the diamond and jewelry industry are listed below.
GIA - Gemological Institute of America. Founded in 1931 in Los Angeles, the GIA created and introduced the international grading system. Headquarters are still located in Los Angeles. GIA is the foremost authority on diamonds. They set the standard for accuracy in grading diamonds especially based on color and clarity. Labs from all over the world usually carry GIA master set stones to compare colors and clarity grades when they're uncertain how to grade a stone. All truly "important" diamonds are sent to this lab above all others.
IGI - International Gemological Institute. The oldest institute of its kind in Antwerp. Set up in 1975 with labs in New York, Bangkok, Mumbai and Tokyo. I.G.I. provides a detailed certification that is not as strict as G.I.A. Like the E.G.L. the I.G.I. certification also provides more information than the G.I.A. diamond report by including the important pavilion and crown angles in their diamond report. Diamond grades rarely vary over one grade from G.I.A. Like E.G.L., I.G.I.'s diamond report cost less and is used mostly by diamond cutters for smaller diamonds although larger diamonds are also available. You must be aware that diamonds graded by E.G.L and I.G.I. can be less in price than diamonds graded equal by G.I.A. and may sometimes not match G.I.A. if resubmitted.
EGL - European Gemological Laboratory. EGL was originally opened in Antwerp in 1974, and now has laboratories in Antwerp, New York Los Angeles, Johannesburg, Paris, London, Israel and Seoul. This lab is a major player in the US with more labs than any other. Their passion for their work and commitment to the diamond industry to provide fast, accurate and dependable grading has given them a prominent place in this market.
AGS - American Gem Society Founded in 1934 by Robert M. Shipley who also founded the GIA. The AGS is based in Nevada, USA. Currently this lab sets the standard for precise measurements of cut parameters. No other major lab in the world goes through such detailed analytics to properly determine if a diamond is cut to ideal proportions or not like the AGS does.
Why don’t all diamonds come with a certificate?
For the most part, diamonds of higher quality and larger sizes are certified. You will also find smaller high quality diamonds of high quality that have been certified. Where you won’t find certificates are the lower or promotional grades. At this level there is no return on the investment of the certification. Frequently, the higher grades are certified to insure the highest price will be paid from dealer to dealer.
Is a certificate the same thing as an appraisal?
No. A diamond appraisal is the opinion of an individual appraiser as to the quality of a diamond and his/her opinion as to the monetary cost of replacing the stone. An appraisal is useful only as a tool for the insurance industry when a customer needs something replaced due to loss or theft. Appraisals are typically far above the actual retail cost of a diamond. In contrast, a certificate is issued by an independent laboratory that has had one or more staff members evaluate the stone for its specific quality. A certificate contains no price estimates; it is simply the assessment of the lab as to the exact quality of the diamond you are selling.
Do you provide gemological certificates for your products?
Yes we do provide gemological certificates for most of our products. The loose diamonds come with GIA, IGI, EGL, or AGS certificates.
What is the importance of a certificate?
A certificate assures all customers of a diamond’s value and quality. The report gives a detailed enlisting of the key characteristics of each diamond which includes the 4C's and makes it almost impossible to falsify. The certificate marks the credibility of the stone under consideration
Why does Gem Stone King prefer a diamond with a certificate?
The gemological laboratories are essentially non-profit organizations, so the certificates they issue are not biased. Also, diamonds sent to the gemological laboratories for certification are examined by many different expert graders in the determination of exact quality. A certificate allows us, at Gem Stone King to provide our clients with a certified, secured, and reliable shopping experience.
How do I know that the item I purchase is the one that I will receive?
Your purchase will arrive with an original certificate for loose diamonds. Each product is checked and compared to its certificate by one of Gem Stone King’s experts prior the shipment to ensure a match between the item and the certificate. You can either have your purchase appraised by a local jeweler or inspected for your piece of mind. If you are not satisfied with the appraisal of your purchase order you can return the item. At Gem Stone King, we understand how important the purchase of your diamond jewelry is. In order to assure you that you’re receiving the value and product you expect, we provide a grading report from a well-known and well-respected independent gemological laboratory. A complete listing of the stones quality and all attributes of the item are listed for you to see, before you buy.
A grading report may also include a diagram that “maps” the diamond's inclusions. Since each diamond is unique, the diagram acts like a fingerprint to identify that particular diamond. A diamond can be compared to its certificate to help you retrieve it if ever stolen.
It is important to note that a diamond grading report from most independent laboratories is NOT an appraisal, which estimates the monetary value of a particular item. It is simply an impartial, informed opinion made by an experienced gemologist as to the grade of the stone.