A piece of diamond jewelry can be an important investment. So, it’s a good idea to get a little education before you begin shopping to ensure you buy a piece that is high quality and beautiful. Understanding the diamond certification process including who certifies diamonds and how these are certified will help you choose wisely.
There are several organizations that certify diamonds, but there are four primary diamond grading organizations you’re likely to see.
The most reputable diamond certification and grading organizations are:
GIA Certified Diamonds
The Gemological Institute of America is the foremost authority on diamonds. In addition to their certification process, this organization is also known for creating the “4 C’s” of diamonds that is widely recognized as the important features to consider before purchase.
GIA is a not-for-profit organization and is the organization most often used by respected jewelers across the country for certifying diamonds.
AGS Certified Diamonds
The American Gemological Society is another organization that certifies diamonds. This is a highly respected organization, most widely known for its research into diamond color grades.
You can be confident in a diamond certified by AGS, though you are less likely to find large jewelers using this certification than the GIA certification.
IGI Certified Diamonds
The IGI is the International Gemological Institute. According to IGI, when they analyze a diamond, they follow a strict international standard when it comes to inspecting specific factors regarding the diamond.
They are the international standards for examining diamonds which means that it is not only based on criteria set in the United States of America but across the world. If you are looking to sell your diamond in the United Kingdom, an IGI diamond report will relate to their standards.
EGL Certified Diamonds
EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) is another certifying body you might see. Most reputable jewelers avoid EGL certified diamonds for a couple of reasons. The first is the price. EGL is a “for profit” organization, so the cost of having the diamond graded is greater than that of other organizations, ensuring that the same quality of diamond graded by another organization will cost you more if it was graded by EGL.
Also, EGL is known for grading diamonds on a less stringent scale, particularly in certain parts of the world, so your diamond may not actually be as perfect as stated.
Who Should Certify My Diamond?
It’s likely that you will not personally have your diamond certified. Instead, look for a certified diamond when shopping for diamond jewelry. Knowing which diamond certifiers are legitimate helps you get the best quality diamond for your money.
What Does the Certification Tell Me?
Understanding your diamond’s certification is just as important as knowing the reputation of the certifying organization. Here are four important things to look understand:
- Your certification does not assign a value to your diamond. For value, you need an appraisal.
- The certification will tell you the four “c’s” of your diamond. These are the carat weight, cut, color and clarity.
- Certifications are only performed on loose stones, but the certificate will carry on with the diamond after it is set.
- You can ensure that the certificate you are shown is the correct one for your actual diamond by looking at the laser engraving on the diamond’s girdle. This is where the certificate number is shown.If the certification number is not engraved on the stone, ask for an independent professional comparison of the stone with the certification. Each stone is unique, making it nearly impossible for any stone to have the exact same details on the certification as another stone.
Purchasing a diamond can be a bit confusing, but it is important to arm yourself with knowledge before shopping. A little education goes a long way toward ensuring your diamond choice is both beautiful and a good investment.