The biggest benefit of the diamond industry is also the biggest drawback. With thousands of online and in-store retailers, buyers gain access to a thriving market filled with glittering stones. The caveat: How will you know who to trust? There are several diamond certification companies, but by a landslide, the industry authority is the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Why do people trust the GIA for certificates? We’re answering that question in this article, so keep reading.
Buying diamonds is a complex process because no two stones are the same. Of course, you mitigate the confusion by buying from a reputable dealer who provides third party lab-certified reports. That’s why it helps to familiarize yourself with GIA’s Diamond Grading Report.
A diamond certification is an in-depth analysis of your diamond’s characteristics given by an independent gem certification lab. The reason you want a certification separate from the jeweler’s is to verify that the information about the stone is accurate as proven by a third party.
See, every diamond is uniquely shaped by heat and pressure over millions of years. Since the process is entirely natural, no two diamonds are alike. And that’s why certifications are necessary. Without a reputable certificate, there’s no telling that the diamond you see on the shelf matches the information the jeweler gives you.
A diamond certificate is the most straightforward way to learn about the quality of the stone. So, what should you expect to find in a diamond grading report?
Diamond certificates break down all of the pertinent details about the diamond so that buyers have assurance in their purchase. A diamond grading certificate will include:
Proof that the diamond is natural and not lab-created or synthetic
The 4C’s: color, clarity, carat weight, and cut as examined under extreme magnification (10x)
The diamond’s brilliance, sparkle, and fire, also known as “light performance”
Unique features of the stone including polishing, treatments, finish, and proportion
A tiny laser inscription on the diamond’s girdle matching the certification report number
Most standard grading reports include the above information, but GIA takes it a step further. You’ll also get a detailed hologram, as well as a security screen and microprint that protects your diamond from being swapped, duplicated, or fabricated.
In other words, if you take your diamond in for a cleaning with a GIA certificate, you’ll be able to tell that the diamond you get back is 100% your diamond and not a decoy.
We’re not suggesting this is common, but it’s always important to be vigilant with investment items — especially irreplaceable engagement or heirloom jewelry.
If trust and security are your main goals, then GIA is the report you’ll want. But, who — or what — is the GIA?
If we’re talking about the gold standard, it has to be GIA. Widely recognized and respected as the industry authority, GIA has earned its prestige through solid and trustworthy grading protocol. It’s universally known in the gemstone industry that GIA will have the absolute strictest guidelines for diamond grading.
How does GIA do it? With thorough research, scientific analysis, strict ethics, and cutting-edge grading tools. Furthermore, GIA only hires the most elite GGs (graduate gemologists).
Other labs may claim to uphold the same rigorous standards, but if they did, we’d be talking about them, not GIA.
There are hundreds of independent labs out there, but only a handful are recognized and trusted. In addition to the GIA, other notable labs include:
American Gem Society (AGS)
International Gemological Institute (IGI)
Gem Certification & Assurance Lab (GCAL)
Again, while these labs are reputable and worth exploring, there’s simply no comparison to GIA’s universally recognized notoriety and reputation. In the words of Warren Buffet, “It takes years to build a reputation, and seconds to destroy it.”
GIA has spent years building a thoroughly trusted global reputation that’s set the bar so high, few labs can even compete. And while lenient labs’ reputations crumble due to loose guidelines and lack of accuracy, GIA remains the authority.
Diamond certification is kind of like the wild west of the gemstone industry — there’s no federal regulation, and gem labs can make rules on a whim. Moreover, anyone can open a grading lab without credentials or industry expertise.
And that’s why you want to submit your gem to a trustworthy, reputable lab like GIA.
GIA is considered a strict lab that upholds and enforces the highest level of regulations and grading protocol. You can trust that your certification will be completely thorough, universally accepted in the industry, and backed by years of expertise and international respect.
Going with a lenient lab doesn’t help you because you won’t know the true facts about your diamond. This can be especially problematic when it comes to appraising and reselling your diamond down the road. You might get inaccurate information from a lenient lab and ultimately realize your diamond isn’t worth what you thought — or vice versa.
The best way to eliminate any risk of this happening is to get your diamond certified through the best lab in the business: GIA.
We’ve thoroughly covered the diamond grading process, but let’s recap the top reasons why people trust the GIA for certificates.
GIA is internationally recognized and respected: Few labs have global notoriety like GIA. When it comes to buying an engagement ring, you want full assurance that you’re getting the most exact and accurate information about your diamond. No one provides diamond analysis and certification to buyers better than GIA.
Your certificate protects your purchase: If you’re going to invest in an expensive item like a diamond, you want full security, right? GIA provides certification that’s trusted universally by insurers, jewelers, and appraisers.
You’ll get the most accurate, credible certificate available: This is ultimately the #1 reason to choose GIA for your diamond certification. If you want unbiased facts, GIA is going to give you the nuts and bolts of your diamond, down to the most meticulous detail. There’ll be no question about the quality and characteristics of your diamond, because GIA delivers strictly facts.
And that’s why people trust GIA for diamond certificates!
Do you need other gemstones certified? GIA provides certificates for most gemstones including natural colored diamonds, colored gems, pearls, and even lab-grown diamonds, each with the same protocol and strict guidelines as for diamonds.
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