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Diamond Certification - What you need to know:

One of the biggest issues when purchasing diamonds is the issue of diamond certification! Just who is it that is "certifying" your diamond? Should I buy a "certified diamond?" Is this "diamond certificate" better than the other one? Allow me to clarify some of the myths.

First and most important... the so called "certificate" for your diamond isn't! If you look closely at these documents, no where are they called "certificate!" Well... at least by the legitimate laboratories. The Labs that create these reports call them "Grading Reports" and, rightfully so! They give you detailed "grading" of a diamond, based upon known criteria. Most, however, do not give you value. Hence the reason they are not "Appraisals." And, if all are graded equally, using the same standards, a document for one diamond from 4 different labs should read pretty much the same "color, cut, clarity and carat weight!" Within some Industry standards which do apply... An unmounted diamond can be within (+) or (-) one grade, while a mounted diamond can be (+) or (-) two grades. But, (+) or (-) from what?

Here in the U.S. (and in most of the world), the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the "Standard" and most recognized for diamond Grading. Right alongside the GIA is the American Gem Society (AGS). If you purchase a diamond based upon one of these documents, you can be assured that the diamond is what it's supposed to be. Right behind the two leaders of the industry you'll find the International Gemological Information (IGI-New York) reports. The only difference in the three is that the IGI will often give split grades, as in the color of a diamond as "G-H", which may become an issue later on if a loss occurs. Other very recognizable labs can be considerably off the mark when compared to the GIA standards.

Use a great deal of caution when purchasing a diamond. If it doesn't come with one of the above reports, use extreme caution. Chances are you may get a good "price", but the diamond may not be what it's supposed to be! In more cases than none, reports from other labs may have very misleading grades, giving a diamond the GIA would grade as "G" color and "SI-1" clarity, somewhere around "D" color and" VS-1" clarity, giving the purchaser the false belief that they are getting a much finer quality diamond, when in fact, they are getting a good value on the much lower grade diamonds.

So where does Jewelry Judge come in?

The only way to ensure the diamond matches the report is to bring both the diamond and the report to a certified appraiser. We will confirm that the characteristics of the diamond match the diamond report. An appraisal also reveals the retail value of the diamond and details any additional information that is not on the Grading Report.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today or find a Jewelry Judge near you!