Perhaps you’ve heard that the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) issues certificates for diamonds, and you are wondering if you could get your diamond ring certified too. Let’s see what a GIA certificate really is and how you can obtain one.
What Is a GIA Certificate?
A GIA certificate most commonly refers to a document containing information on the quality characteristics of a particular diamond. To grade a stone on these characteristics, trained gemologists at the GIA inspect and measure the diamond’s most important features.
The findings are then included in a grading report, which can be used to establish quickly the quality of the stone it describes.
Can You Get a Diamond Ring Graded by the GIA?
The GIA does not grade complete pieces of jewelry; it only issues reports for gemstones.
Therefore, you cannot have your diamond ring graded by the GIA.
You can, however, get the quality of the individual diamonds in your ring evaluated.
An important thing to remember is that the GIA only grades loose stones because the setting in which a mounted diamond is put hides part of it and makes it hard to determine the stone’s exact features.
If you want a report issued for the diamond in your ring, you should have the stone removed from the setting by a local jeweler before sending the diamond to the GIA.
If you want to have the quality of the whole ring determined, consider having it appraised by a professional appraiser, who will evaluate not only the piece’s stones but also its metal parts.
Keep in mind that the GIA evaluates diamond quality but does not determine the value of stones in monetary terms.
What Information Does a GIA Grading Report Include?
A diamond certificate issued by the GIA includes a description of the stone’s major quality characteristics, i.e., the 4 Cs: color, clarity, cut, and carat weight.
These are the features that affect a diamond’s value the most. Each of them will receive a certain grade on a scale devised by the GIA. This grading scale is one of the most widely used standards to describe diamond quality.
GIA diamond reports also include additional information about the evaluated stone such as how smooth its surface is and how symmetrically the diamond is shaped.
There is also a diagram showing the measurements of the stone’s most important proportions.
Why Should You Have the Diamond in Your Ring Graded?
Having your diamond graded provides you with a documented expert opinion ascertaining the stone’s quality.
What’s more, the GIA is one of the most authoritative institutions you could choose to have your diamonds graded by.
Although the GIA will not put a dollar value on your diamonds, if you decide to sell or exchange your diamond ring, knowing the quality grades of its stones will give you a better idea of how much money you can ask for the piece.
Besides, having a GIA certificate for the ring’s diamonds will make it easier for potential buyers to verify their quality.
The diamond report could also be useful if you decide to have your ring appraised for insurance or other purposes.
When the GIA issues a diamond report, it assigns a unique number to the stone graded. You can request to have this ID laser-inscribed as a small engraving on the stone’s edge.
This laser inscription will help you to indentify your stone if you ever need to recognize it among other similar-looking diamonds.
Sending Your Diamond to the GIA
You can send your diamond to the GIA by mail. Before doing so, you should ask a jeweler to remove the stone from the ring.
It is good if the diamond is insured before that because anything can happen: The stone might get chipped while it is being taken off the mounting, or it could get lost after you send it to the GIA.
Where to Buy a Diamond Ring?
For diamond rings, we highly recommend James Allen (read our review) because it shows real photos and videos for each diamond so you can take a 360-degree look at any stone before having it set in a ring.
For colored diamonds, we recommend Leibish & Co., which specializes in fancy color diamonds (use code JewelryNotes200 at checkout to get a 5% discount).
Also read our Diamond Buying Guide and check out our selection of eye-clean diamonds that we've vetted for quality.