What is a diamond certificate?

A diamond certificate, also called a diamond grading report or diamond quality document, is a report created by a team of gemologists.

A completed certificate includes an analysis of the diamond’s dimensions, clarity, color, polish, symmetry, and other characteristics. Also many round diamonds, due to their popularity and brilliance, will also include a cut grade on the report.

A diamond certificate is an expert third party opinion. The diamond is evaluated, measured, and scrutinized using trained eyes, a jeweler’s loupe, a microscope, and other industry tools.  It states the quality of the certified diamonds.

Why is it important to have a diamond graded with a lab certificate?

The jeweler is the seller.  Without the certificate (graded by a 3rd party) you are left to trust the jeweler’s estimates. This can cause a potential conflict because it can come down to a difference of opinion resulting in an inaccurate grade and possibly overpaying. 

All certificates are not created equal. 

There a lot of diamond laboratories out in the market. There are even documents that have been laminated and have fancy folders with them. Keep in mind some may be inaccurate and not graded by GIA standards. The certificate may state a certain grade but if it is not from GIA there is a good chance this may be inaccurate and potentially result in over paying for the stone. 

Why G.I.A?

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the most respected laboratory in the diamond industry.  Its world-wide presence stands on its consistency and unbiased diamond grading system.  Diamonds accompanied by GIA’s grading reports and certificates are the most highly valued to consumers.  Every loose diamond at Frederic Owen Fine Jewelry has been graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Advantages of buying a diamond with a diamond certificate.

1.  You know exactly what you are buying. Every important factor you need to know about the diamond is explained in the certificate.
2.  The seller knows exactly what he/she is presenting to you so as to avoid any misunderstandings in the future.
3.  If a diamond comes with a certificate, you do not have to worry about the possibility that you might be purchasing a fracture-filled diamond. These are diamonds that have surface cracks that can be artificially filled to appear as much better diamonds than they actually are. These are in essence, very low quality diamonds that look great to naked eye. GIA does not certify these diamonds.
4.  Purchasing a GIA certified diamond will provide you with much more certainty, accuracy, value, and confidence when making your purchase.

Here are a few questions to ask when looking for a certified diamond without a GIA lab certificate.

These are all valid questions that should be asked in order to have all of the details clear for you purchase of a loose certified diamond.

1.  Why are you using this lab versus GIA?
2.  Is this certificate “as” accurate as all the other labs?
3.  If you send this stone to GIA for grading will it get the same grade as the certificate you have here?
4.  Why does this stone cost so much less than a stone graded with GIA certification?

For more info please visit

Mark O. Berman
G.I.A Graduate Jeweler Gemologist
G.I.A. Alumni 1995

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