Genuine Diamond certificates are independent evaluations of a diamond developed by third party evaluation organisations – the agencies do not have a vested interest – they are neither a buyer or seller of diamonds. Certificates are important for any diamond buyer as without an independent report it would be easy for an unscrupulous jeweller to take advantage of a buyer who is not trained to look for a bad deal. Without a certificate, you could be given a ‘Rolls Royce’ sales pitch, for a diamond considered a ‘lemon’ by those in the industry.

There are a number of diamond certification companies globally, with the following list being the major and well known organisations:

  • Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
  • American Gemological Society (AGS)
  • European Gemological Laboratory (EGL)
  • Diamond High Council (HRD, which is an abbreviation of the Dutch “Hoge Raad voor Diamant”)
  • International Gemological Institute (IGI)

GIA is by far the most well-known and is considered the industry standard in the diamond trade. Although not as well known, the other agencies each have their strengths and weaknesses, but will all give you a solid certification of a diamond to ensure you won’t end up with a ‘lemon’. An example of a strength of one of the certification organisation – AGS is well known for it’s ability to grade colour in the diamond.

Types of certificates
Each of the agencies will provide a slightly different certificate report, for example GIA reports are known Diamond Dossier or a GIA Diamond Report. All GIA Diamond Dossiers provide basic information on the diamonds’ 4Cs (carat weight, colour, clarity, and two elements of the cut quality: polish and symmetry). AGS calls their certificates Diamond Quality Reports, Diamond Quality Documents or Diamond Quality Analyses. Each type of report is slightly different in that they provide varying degrees of detail about a diamond.

Certification vs Appraisal
Often confused a certification does not tell you the monetary value of a stone, it simply assigns grades on the diamond’s condition and qualities: colour, cut, clarity, and carat weight.

An appraisal on the other hand, assigns a monetary value to a stone. Appraisals of diamonds can vary dramatically depending on whether the stone is mounted (on a ring) and who is conducting the appraisal.

Where can I find certified diamonds?
Most diamond websites will tell you where they have their diamonds certified. For example, Zoara diamonds are often certified by Gemological Institute of America and these reports can be read online.

Good luck with your search and ensure you buy a certified Diamond to ensure you don’t end up with a lemon!

To view or purchase the ring pictured in this article go to Classic Princess Cut Diamond Ring in 14k White Gold

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