With such a huge number of fake diamonds circling the internet and making their way into unreputable businesses on the high street, knowing the ins and outs of Diamond Certification is certainly a good way to avoid being ripped off.
Diamond Certification is a document that is provided from a laboratory alongside a diamond that has been tested and examined for its various qualities. The practice of providing a Diamond Certification document isn’t prevalent in the UK for all types of diamonds, but those of a pricier nature do typically have documentation of some sort.
The provided document will describe the colour, clarity, and dimensions of the diamond in question. This document is not usually given by retailers, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a high street retailer that does carry certification documents for the diamonds they sell. However, any diamond can be sent to a grading company, who will have the diamond examined for you.
What you need to know is that all grading entities grade diamonds in different ways. One clarity grade by the EGL may not match the same clarity grade given by the GIA.
The Grading Companies
Gemological Institute of America – GIA
The GIA are the most renowned diamond grading institution in the world. They are consistent, respected, and trusted by all jewellers and consumers. Despite being based in America, they do grade diamonds worldwide, and there are several UK companies that will ship diamonds to the GIA to be examined.
American Gem Society – AGS
The first lab to start providing diamond cut grades, AGS grade their diamond cuts from a scale of 0 to 9, with 0 being an “ideal” cut. Back when AGS were the only cut graders around, a diamond couldn’t be titled “ideal” without achieving that grade from the AGS with a certificate proving so.
There’s little difference between the GIA and the AGS, though retailers still prefer using the AGS for perfectly round diamond cuts.
International Gemological Institute – IGI
Originally a blue-collar establishment for diamonds, many popular jewellery brands in America and Canada would send out their diamonds to be graded with the IGI. They work fast and price under what the GIA bills, but consumers prefer seeing grades from the GIA because of how the GIA have established themselves.
European Gemological Laboratory – EGLWhen grading with the EGL, consumers and retailers should consider the comparisons that are often made between the same diamond graded at the EGL and other, more reputable grading labs. The EGL diamonds are somewhat overpriced for the quality of diamond grades they send back to their clients.
There are several other grading companies around, but our advice is to stick to buying diamonds that have been graded through the GIA. Other laboratories don’t have the same prestige, and you could end up being charged far more for the grading service than the diamond is worth being graded for.
With a graded diamond that has documentation, you’ll know that the diamond you buy meets its seller’s claims.