A diamond certificate, also known as a diamond dossier, is a formal document detailing a diamond’s unique characteristics, especially its cut, carat weight, color and clarity, and may also include its finish (polish and symmetry), fluorescence and additional comments. The most widely recognized diamond grading laboratories are the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and EGL (European Gemological Laboratory). Trusted worldwide, these grading laboratories are preferred by the world’s most famous and trusted jewelers.
Certification by one of these diamond grading laboratories is your assurance of a diamond’s quality and serves as proof of your diamond’s identity. Diamond grading laboratories are completely unbiased in their grading processes. If a diamond is graded by a laboratory, such as the GIA, you can be certain that the information included on the diamond certificate is accurate, and that the diamond will not fall victim to ‘inflated grading’.
GIA - GEMOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA
But what makes a diamond certificate so important? Without it, proving your diamond’s unique characteristics and identity can be tricky. The diamond would have to go for independent testing in order to establish its grading – when purchasing a certified diamond, this step is already completed.
The certificate also aids in the process of valuation, as an expert valuer needs the information on this certificate in order to assess the value of your diamond (both for insurance purposes and in the case of a re-sale). The certificate is there, not only as proof of your diamond’s characteristics, but also for your peace of mind. When you buy a house, you receive title deeds. A diamond is no different.
A sales consultant should show you the diamond certificate when you are viewing the diamond, in order to prove that the diamond they are showing you has the grading on its price ticket. It is important to understand what each of the different elements on the certificate mean. If you are uncertain about anything, ask the sales consultant to explain it to you.
When purchasing a certified diamond from Shimansky, you’ll receive the original diamond grading certificate which documents your diamond’s unique characteristics – the 4Cs.
For further peace of mind, a laser inscribed diamond contains a unique diamond identification number on its girdle, matching it to the diamond certificate. This unique identification number, in letters no larger than a few micron, achieves two important things: firstly, to trace the origin of the diamond and secondly, as further security to trace the diamond back to its owner.
When buying a diamond from Shimansky, you are guaranteed through your lifetime, that what is stated on your certificate, is what you bought. All Shimansky diamonds over 0.5ct, and most diamonds of 0.3ct to 0.5ct, are accompanied by a diamond certificate.
It is important to note that a diamond certificate is not the same as an appraisal or valuation certificate. A diamond certificate states the characteristics of a diamond, but does not place a monetary value on the stone. If you want to insure your diamond, you’ll need a valuation certificate, which is an estimation of the retail replacement value of your diamond.
Unlike a diamond certification document, a valuation tends to be less objective, as it relies on the appraiser’s estimation. These estimations are influenced by the availability and production of diamonds, global economic trends and economic recessions. Because the factors that influence the valuation fluctuate, it is advisable to have your diamond appraised on a regular basis.
A ROUND BRILLIANT CUT DIAMOND WITH A CLEAR VIEW OF THE GIRDLE
Knowing the importance of a diamond certificate significantly minimizes the risk of a non-reputable jeweler taking advantage of a customer. A reputable jeweler will always have the diamond’s certification on-hand. If you are in any doubt about the trustworthiness of a specific jeweler, and the authenticity of a diamond, follow your gut instinct. A little bit of research and a second opinion could make all the difference in assuring your purchase is legitimate.
Before being graded, most diamonds are sent to a diamond grading laboratory for a comprehensive evaluation. This is where the certification process then takes place. A reputable grading laboratory is staffed by experienced gemologists who specialize in diamond grading. Diamond grading is carried out under special circumstances, using the latest technology, to ensure that the 4Cs are accurately and fairy evaluated. Each diamond certificate has a unique number on it which corresponds to one individual, specific diamond. Once certification is complete, the diamond - along with its certificate - is ready to be sold or set into beautiful jewelry creations. This certificate assures the buyer that the diamond truly has the characteristics that the sales consultant says it does.
GIA, EGL AND SGL DIAMOND CERTIFICATES AT SHIMANSKY JEWELERS
Established in 1931, the Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, is the world authority on diamonds and other gems. A non-profit organisation, the GIA upholds the highest standards recognized by the diamond industry. In 1953 the GIA developed the 4Cs, and established their diamond and gemstone grading system, which today, is a worldwide standard. Two years later, in 1955, they issued their first diamond grading report. Each diamond graded by the GIA is examined by at least four highly trained and experienced gemmologists. To ensure the process is completely objective, diamonds are randomly assigned to graders. Each diamond graded by the GIA is accompanied by a GIA Grading Report. This report details the diamond’s 4Cs (cut, color, clarity and carat weight), as well as notes on the stone’s polish and symmetry, and fluorescence. Most often the report also contains a diagram of the diamond which indicates clarity characteristics, a proportion diagram and GIA grading scales.
The GIA has graded and certified some of the most famous diamonds in the world, including the Centenary Diamond and the Hope Diamond. Their headquarters is in California, USA, but the GIA operates out of 13 different cities around the globe, including New York, Hong Kong, London and Gaborone, Botswana.
The GIA aims to protect buyers and sellers of diamonds and other gemstones. By setting and maintaining the standards that are used to evaluate gemstones, the GIA is a trusted source of information for buyers and sellers worldwide.
The European Gemological Laboratory, or EGL, was founded in Europe in 1974. A globally trusted organisation, the EGL has independent offices all over the world. They are known for having developed grading techniques for diamonds weighing less than one carat, and for introducing the SI3 clarity rating for diamonds.
When various laboratory-created diamonds starting entering the market, the EGL pioneered lab-grown diamond identification. It was the first to alert the public that chemical vapour deposition lab-grown diamonds and high pressure high temperature (HPHT) treated and colored diamonds were being sold. Today the EGL is at the forefront of research that advances the knowledge we have on diamonds and gems.
Similar to the GIA, the EGL’s grading certificate gives a comprehensive list of a gem’s characteristics. It covers the 4Cs, fluorescence, measurements and proportions, as well as symmetry and cut on most diamonds graded.
Scientific Gemological Laboratory (SGL) leverages the latest scientific measurements by using innovative modern technology in grading diamonds. The diamonds have been examined in accordance with internationally accepted standards. The SGL report also contains the identification and characteristics of a diamond including the shape, carat weight, color, clarity and cut. The most up-to-date, technologically-advanced methods and cutting-edge equipment is used to analyse and record diamond information.
When viewing a diamond, be sure to ask the sales consultant to show you the diamond certificate. If the diamond has been graded by the GIA, EGL or SGL, and is being sold at a reputable jeweler, you can rest assured that diamond is true to the specifications on its label.
It is also important that you keep your diamond certificate somewhere safe – it is a very important document to have for insurance, as well as starting point for the valuation process.
Every diamond is unique, with a range of characteristics that act as its “fingerprint.” These characteristics determine the diamond’s value, and are recorded on a diamond certificate.
The GIA Diamond Certificate is a formal document containing a diamond’s unique details. These details include the 4Cs (a diamond’s cut, clarity, color and carat weight), the diamond’s finish (polish and symmetry), fluorescence, diagrams of the diamond’s proportions and additional comments.
MAGNIFIED VIEW OF THE DIAMOND'S GIRDLE SHOWING THE LASER INSCRIBED GIA SERIAL NUMBER
The GIA Diamond Dossier (certificate) also includes an assessment of the 4Cs and a microscopic laser inscription of the GIA report number, aiding identification. The Diamond Dossier is focused on loose diamonds, D-Z color, weighing 0.15 to 1.99 carats and is a condensed version of the diamond grading report.
The GIA diamond report serve as proof that the details on a diamond’s price ticket, are actually true for that particular diamond. It protects the customers from falling victim to a diamond fraud, and it protects the seller by fixing a diamond’s characteristics entirely independently, thereby leaving no room for error.
Although a diamond report outlines a diamond’s individual characteristics, it is not an appraisal or valuation, and does not include a monetary value. For insurance purposes, a separate valuation certificate will need to be issued. This is a written estimate of the retail replacement value of the diamond.
There are various grading reports available, from a number of different grading laboratories, but the GIA is recognized as the original source for unbiased grading, and has established a reputation for accuracy, reliability and integrity.
A GIA certificate contains a lot of information, however, it is presented in an uncomplicated fashion, and you will find it easy to interpret.
A GIA Diamond Certificate will include the following information:
Some GIA certificates contain additional information such as:
This is in cases where the diamond has inclusions:
GIA REPORTS CAN ALSO BE VIEWED ONLINE USING THE SERIAL NUMBER
Like most official documents, all GIA reports have security features to prove their authenticity. These include a hologram, security screen and micro-print lines. These features prevent reports from being forged or duplicated.
The GIA set the standard for diamond grading and diamond certification, and today, almost all diamonds are graded using their methods, and following their certification processes.