Certified or Non-Certified Diamonds

By on 14/05/2014


You have heard the term ‘certification’, and you may have wondered what the big deal really is and why there is a major price difference between certified and non-certified diamonds. Since diamonds are expensive purchases, it is a good idea to buy a certified stone. Find out all about certification and its advantages in this article.

What are Certified Diamonds?

Certified documents are stones that have been formally appraised and the quality characteristics have been documented in a grading report. Being certified means that the diamond has been evaluated by a third party, which has established strict guidelines to grade for each of the stone’s most important features that include clarity, color, cut and carat. The certification simply guarantees that the diamond has passed an official appraisal.

Who Can Certify a Diamond?

Diamonds are certified by trained independent experts. Some of the reputable institutions are Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Hoge Raad voor Diamant (HRD), American Gem Society (AGS), or International Gemological Institute (IGI).It is important to remember that seller certifications are not as valuable as a certification from the above mentioned institutions. It is essential to be done by a third party who is not connected to the jeweler and whose quality assessment would not be biased.

Non-Certified Diamonds

Many diamonds are not certified for a variety of reasons. Certification costs money and some diamond sellers do not want to incur those additional costs for low-quality diamonds. Another reason for not getting it certified is so that they can offer the diamonds in such a way that they present the quality of the diamonds in the best possible way. Certification is more like an independent verification of the diamond quality and without it you can never be certain of its quality. Without the certification, your only source of information about the quality is the seller who can be biased and purposeful. Thus, by buying certified diamonds, you will be ensuring that the jeweler’s claims about the diamond are not just empty talk.

Diamond Assessments are Subjective

Although grading laboratories follow strict guidelines when the evaluation takes place, the exact grade given to any of the diamond characteristics is subjective to the opinion of the expert who is making the assessment. The laboratories try to make the process accurate by getting it graded by multiple experts. It is not illegal for diamond sellers to describe the quality to the customer without a certification. In fact, they are allowed to increase the color and clarity grade of a stone by one grade up legally.

Getting the Certification

In order to have your diamond certified by any of the graders, you will need it to be sent to the laboratory. Once received, trained gemologists will examine the diamond’s important quality characteristics under 10 x magnifications and assign a grade to each of them. In addition to the 4 C’s, the grading report also contains information on how well polished the diamond surface is, how symmetrical the diamond facets are and whether the diamond shows signs of fluorescence when exposed to UV light.

The Bottom Line

To conclude, it is important to know what certification really is. Certification is simply a proof of what the jeweler said is true and it is in no case an indicator of higher diamond quality. If you really want to ensure that the quality of the diamond you buy is what the jeweler claims it to be, you must always ask for a certificate. As the differences to the naked eye are subtle and invisible, it is always a good idea to get a grading report from an independent certification laboratory. It should also be noted that a non-certified diamond is not inferior. If you are comfortable with the price quoted or have some experience in diamond evaluation, you might just want to consider investing in a non-certified diamond. However, you must also remember, a certified diamond could make a big difference to your wallet as you are paying the premium to ensure you do not get scammed.

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