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Diamond Certification

Importance of Diamond Certification


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 favored among the world’s most famous and reputable jewelers.


Certification by a reputable diamond grading laboratory 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, one can be certain that the information stated on the diamond certificate is accurate, and that the diamond will not fall victim to inflated grading.


GIA Certificate



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 determine the monetary 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.


Certification is also important because it acts as proof to the customer when purchasing a diamond. A sales executive will show the diamond certificate to the customer when the diamond is being viewed, in order to prove that the diamond on show 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 executive 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, serves two purposes: firstly, to trace the origin of the diamond and secondly, as further security to trace the diamond back to its owner.

When purchasing a diamond from Shimansky, you are guaranteed through your lifetime, that what is stated on your certificate, is what you purchased. 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 an appraisal or valuation certificate which is a written estimate of the approximate retail replacement value of the item described.


Unlike a certification document, an appraisal tends to be less objective, as it relies on estimations. These estimations are influenced by the availability and production of diamonds, global economic trends and economic recessions. Because the factors that influence the appraisal fluctuate, it is advisable to have your diamond appraised on a regular basis.



Diamond and girdle



Knowing the importance of a diamond certificate significantly minimizes the risk of a non-reputable jeweler taking advantage of a customer’s ignorance. A reputable jeweler will always have certification on-hand. If in doubt about the reputability of a jeweler, and the authenticity of a diamond, follow your instinct. A little bit of research and a second opinion could make all the difference in assuring your purchase is legitimate.


Types of Diamond Certification


Before being graded, most diamonds are sent to a diamond grading laboratory for a comprehensive evaluation. This process is known as certification. 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 particular 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 executive says it does.


GIA certificate


GIA - Gemological Institute of America


Founded in 1931, the Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, is the world’s foremost 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 gemologists. 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 countries, such as New York, Hong Kong and Moscow, to name a few.


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.



EGL Certificate


EGL - European Gemological Laboratory


The European Gemological Laboratory, or EGL, was founded in Europe in 1974. A globally trusted organisation, the EGL has offices all over the world, and is committed to honest and reliable analysis results. 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. The EGL is committed to research, and advancing 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.



SGL Certificate


SGL - Scientific Gemological Laboratory


Scientific Gemological Laboratory (SGL) makes use of 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 contains the identification and characteristics of a diamond including the shape, carat weight, color, clarity and cut. The latest technologically advanced methods and state-of-the-art equipment is used to analyse and record diamond information.


When viewing a diamond, be sure to ask the sales executive 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.


Be sure to keep your diamond certificate somewhere safe – it is a very important document to have for insurance, as well as appraisal purposes.


How to read a Diamond Certificate


Each 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.


GIA inscription on girdle



The GIA Diamond Dossier also includes an assessment of the 4Cs and a microscopic laser inscription of the GIA report number, aiding identification. The Diamond Dossier is only for loose diamonds, D-Z color, weighing 0.15 to 1.99 carats.


The GIA diamond reports serve as proof that the details on a diamond’s price ticket, are in fact true for that particular diamond. It protects the consumer from falling victim to a fraudulent purchase, and it protects the seller by establishing a diamond’s characteristics independently, thereby leaving no room for error on the seller’s side.


Though a diamond report outlines a diamond’s individual characteristics, it is not an appraisal, and does not suggest 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.


Though there are various reports on the market from a number of different grading laboratories, the GIA is recognized as the original source for unbiased grading, and has established a reputation for accuracy, reliability and integrity.

Though a GIA certificate contains a lot of information, it is presented in an uncomplicated fashion, and is easy to interpret.


A GIA Diamond Certificate will contain the following information:


    • A unique certificate number (e.g.: 1105994015)


    • A description of the shape of the diamond (e.g.: Round Brilliant Cut)


    • The carat weight of the diamond (e.g.: 0.50ct)


    • The color of the diamond (e.g.: E)


    • The clarity of the diamond (e.g.: VS2)


    • The length, width and depth of the diamond in millimeters (5.10 - 5.11 x 3.16 mm)


    • A description of the cut grade (e.g.: Very Good)


    • The quality of the diamond's polish (e.g.: Very Good)


    • The quality of the diamond’s symmetry (e.g.: Excellent)


    • The presence or absence of fluorescence in the diamond (e.g.: None)


    • The total depth percentage and table percentage of the diamond (e.g.: 61.9% and 57% respectively)


    • A description of the girdle's appearance (e.g.: Thin to Medium)


    • A description of the culet (e.g.: None)


Some GIA certificates contain additional information such as:


  • A diagram in which the clarity characteristics of the diamond are plotted.


This is in cases where the diamond has inclusions:


    • Descriptions of the type of inclusions in the diamond


  • Additional notes of interest


GIA certificate online



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.


Ethical Diamonds


Ethical diamonds are diamonds where the journey from mine to finger is done in an ethical manner. None of the proceeds have been used to fund illegal activity, such as acts of terror or crime, where human rights regulations have been adhered to without any exploitation along the diamond’s journey.


This makes your diamond conflict-free and an ethical diamond is one that will become a symbol of love that will last forever.


When diamonds are mined in an ethical manner and in a conflict-free environment, the economic and social benefit is of great value. Currently, over 10 million people are employed directly in the diamond trade for mining, polishing, distribution and retail. The socioeconomic impact has changed the lives of many in Namibia, Botswana, Angola, South Africa, Russia, Canada and other major diamond producing countries.


Diamond and tweezers



The diamond industry is one of the few in the world that has created a self-regulatory system, known as Kimberley Process.


The Kimberley Process ensures that every member adheres to regulations to make sure that diamonds have been traded throughout the supply chain in a fair and ethical manner. These strict, industry-led principles and processes have resulted in transparency and accountability; far more so than in other industries such as the textiles and coffee.


When buying a diamond from a respected retailer with the proper documentation, you can be assured that your diamond is conflict-free.


Shimansky diamonds are sourced directly from South African mines. Once a month on regular buying trips in the search for rough diamonds, only a handful are selected for their unique quality and properties that make them suitable to become a Shimansky diamond.



This also ensures that Shimansky diamonds are ethically sourced directly from the mine with a 100% conflict-free guarantee.


Shimansky is proud to source, cut and polish our own diamonds, which later become the hero in a Shimansky jewelry design - yours to own now and for generations to come. We know exactly where our diamonds come from.

 Diamond Grading Certificates



When purchasing diamonds and/or diamond jewelry from Shimansky, the invoice will state the following in accordance with the Kimberley Process:


Ethical Compliance Assurance


The gemstones herein invoiced have been purchased from legitimate sources not involved in funding conflict and in compliance with United Nations Resolutions. The seller hereby guarantees that these gemstones are conflict-free, based on personal knowledge and/or written guarantees provided by the suppliers of these gemstones.


In addition, every Shimansky diamond is accompanied by an Ethical Compliance certificate with 100% conflict-free guarantee for complete peace of mind and a lifetime’s enjoyment with the choice you made.