important is a diamond certificate? Ask yourself this:
Would you buy a car that had no warranty, no service record,
and a missing serial number? Of course not. Yet many people
make the foolish mistake of taking the seller's word on
the quality of a diamond.
What is a Diamond Grading Certificate?
Simply put, a diamond certificate is a complete evaluation
of your diamond that has been performed by a qualified
professional with the help of special gemological instruments.
As you probably know, every diamond, like every fingerprint,
is unique and distinguishable from every other. Each stone
bears its own recognizable, individual characteristics.
The certificate will map out all this information about
your diamond in a picture--sort of like a photo ID.
Properly speaking, a gemological laboratory issues a diamond
grading report, not a certificate. Since a grading report
is a statement of opinion, its value depends largely on
whose opinion it is.
Who Issues Diamond Grading Reports?
There are quite a few institutions worldwide that issue
diamond grading reports. To avoid a conflict of interest,
the best of these organizations are not involved in the
buying, selling, or appraising of gems or jewelry. The
blue-chip standard of diamond grading reports is issued
by the Gemological Institute of America, or GIA. The leading
diamond report that includes a cut grade is the Diamond
Quality Document from the American Gem Society Gemological
These organizations not only refrain from direct involvement
in the diamond trade, they also act as research and educational
facilities. The GIA, for instance, is also an academy
for obtaining a gemologist's degree, and others are actively
involved in the study of diamond and gem science. The
impartial information that comes out of these laboratories
is a crucial tool for gem traders and retailers, and in
fact is often used to settle disputes or controversies
in the gem industry.
If you've never heard of the institution that is offering
a grading report, don't hesitate to ask about its credentials.
But don't expect the grades from an unknown laboratory
to be the same as a GIA or AGS report. Not all labs are
as strict, so you aren't comparing apples to apples. In
fact, some labs are popular with retailers because they
have a reputation of being generous with grades.
What's on a Diamond Grading Report?
Basically the grading report confirms information about
the Four Cs. It lists the color grade, the clarity grade,
the size of the diamond within 0.1 carat, and cut information.
Not all labs grade cutting quality. The GIA just provides
some general measurements and then provides an evaluation
of symmetry and polish. AGS uses a grading scale from
0 (best) to 10 (worst).
A grading report also includes a map of the diamond's
inclusions, which acts as an identification. You can always
compare any diamond to its certificate by examining the
diamond under a 10x loupe.
Finally, the grading report will include comments about
a diamond's fluorescence, girdle thickness, and culet
size, which are less important than the Four Cs but are
still factors that can affect a diamond's brilliance and
Please note: a grading report does not include an appraisal,
or any kind of statement about the monetary worth of the
diamond. Grading reports only stick to facts that can
be scientifically evaluated, or at least judged by highly
How do I get a Grading Report?
All you have to do is ask for one. It's as simple as that.
The world's top jewelers and auction houses routinely
give grading reports with important diamonds. Mondera.com
provides a grading report from GIA or AGS with every diamond
we sell. Why shouldn't you expect the same from any retailer?
Remember, the first rule of buying jewelry is to buy from
someone you trust. The second is to be sure you've gotten
what you paid for. A grading report from a qualified laboratory
will give you this reassurance.