You are looking to buy a diamond and want to make sure that you get the best quality for your money. Should you go with a certified stone or buy one that is not? Wouldn’t a certificate ensure that a diamond is superior in all respects?
Diamond Certification Doesn’t Mean Higher Quality
The truth is that it doesn’t matter whether a stone is certified as far as quality is concerned. For example, you can buy an uncertified diamond that is of superior color compared to a stone with a certificate.
It is also possible for a certified diamond to have more inclusions (internal flaws) than an uncertified one.
If you are confused, that’s understandable.
Let’s see what certification actually does for you.
Diamond Certification Explained
Being certified simply means that a diamond has been evaluated by an independent third party, which has established a grade for each of the stone’s most important features.
The major quality indicators that are assessed are the so-called Four Cs of the diamond (Clarity, Color, Cut and Carat).
In the U.S., one the most trusted certification bodies is The G.I.A. (The Gemological Institute of America).
So, it turns out that it’s entirely possible for a diamond to be certified and still be of low quality. The certification process simply assures that the stone has passed an official appraisal, that’s all.
Certified Diamonds Cost More
All else being equal, a diamond with a certificate will be more expensive than an uncertified one.
After all, certification costs money, and in a way, you are paying a premium to ensure you are not being scammed.
However, considering how expensive most diamonds are, the additional money you will pay for a certified stone may pale in comparison to the price of the diamond.
A Word of Caution About Uncertified Diamonds
If a diamond is not certified, that doesn’t mean it is inferior.
If you are comfortable with the price asked for the stone’s color, clarity, cut and carat, it is up to you whether you will buy the diamond.
However, you should be aware that buying uncertified stones is risky unless you have experience evaluating diamonds.
Is It Better to Buy Certified Diamonds?
Sticking with certified diamonds is the best way to ensure that the jeweler’s claims about the stone’s quality are not just empty talk.
For a lot of people certification provides assurance that they are not being taken advantage of since not everyone can easily establish a diamond’s color or its level of clarity.
If you also fall into that category of buyers, you would be better off picking a stone with a certificate.
Considering that diamonds are very expensive, it would be unwise to drop a lot of money on a stone whose quality is not documented.
In any case, it is important that you understand what certification is and what it is not. It’s just a proof that what the jeweler says is true, not an indicator of higher quality.
Where to Buy Diamonds and Diamond Jewelry?
For diamond jewelry, we highly recommend James Allen because it shows real photos and videos for each diamond so you can take a 360-degree look at any stone before buying it.
For colored diamonds, we recommend Leibish & Co., which specializes in fancy color diamonds (use code JewelryNotes200 at checkout to get a 5% discount).