One of the services offered by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is diamond certification. Certifying a diamond involves grading its quality and issuing a report containing the findings of the assessment. Let’s see how can you have your diamond certified and find out if it’s actually worth it to do so.
What Is a GIA Certificate or Grading Report?
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.
How Does the GIA Certification Process Work?
In order to have your diamond certified by the GIA, you will need to send it to the Institute’s laboratory. To do so, it is recommended that you use a reliable courier service and have your stone insured beforehand.
After your diamond is received by the GIA, trained gemologists will examine the stone’s most important quality characteristics and assign a grade to each of them.
For example, a diamond’s clarity is graded by looking at the stone under 10x magnification to determine the number, visibility, and position of any detectable flaws that may be present in the diamond.
The proportions of your diamond will also be measured, and depending on how close they are to the so-called “ideal diamond proportions,” the stone’s cut will be assigned a quality grade, ranging from Excellent/Ideal to Poor.
(This is mostly true for round diamonds; most other diamond cuts do not have such precise proportion benchmarks.)Black Friday Deal: Click here to get up to 50% OFF engagement ring settings from James Allen.
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Your diamond’s proportions and cut grade are some of its most important features, as they determine how much light the stone will return to the eye of an observer and how brilliant the diamond will look.
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.
What If Your Diamond Is Not Loose but Is Mounted in a Setting?
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. We recommend that you do not attempt to remove the diamond yourself as you may damage the setting or the stone.
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 contains grades indicating the quality of the stone’s color, clarity, and cut, as well as the weight of the diamond in carats (1 carat = 200 milligrams).
These four most important quality characteristics, also referred to as “the 4 Cs”, are what diamond buyers are most interested in when reading a grading report.
A GIA grading report also contains information about how well polished the diamond’s surface is, how symmetrical the stone’s facets are, and whether the diamond exhibits fluorescence when exposed to UV light.
Diamond certificates also usually include diagrams that show the most important proportions of the stone and the locations of its visible flaws (inclusions).
Why Should You Have Your Diamond Certified?
So what are the benefits of having your diamonds certified? Here are some of them:
A certificate issued by a reputable, independent gem lab provides reliable information about the most important quality characteristics of a diamond.
In addition, the document also serves as an assurance that this assessment is not only unbiased but also reasonably precise, as certification authorities such as the GIA employ highly qualified gemologists, who have sophisticated equipment at their disposal.
The information in a diamond’s certificate can help you to establish the stone’s value.
Although such a document issued by the GIA does not list how much a diamond is worth, the grades assigned to its color, clarity, and cut can be used to infer a reasonable value range based on how much similar diamonds sell for.
A GIA certificate can make the identification of your diamond easier.
Every grading report issued by the Institute bears a unique number that identifies the diamond described in the document, and you can elect to have this identifier inscribed on the girdle of your stone with laser.
If you ever need to verify that you have the right diamond, you can always check its microscopic laser inscription (if it has one) and see if it matches the number in the stone’s report.